1. Have your coop before you get your chicks. This might seem silly (which is what I thought) since you're getting baby chickens, but those babies grow up fast and when they get big enough, you'll want them out.
2. Ready made chicken coops are expensive. You can find a few in the $300 range online, but the quality is iffy. Best bet in my opinion- build it yourself. Better yet, get a boyfriend/girlfriend who is handy and knows their way around a saw and let them build it for you (which is precisely what I did).
First, I came up with a plan. I researched coop designs, found one I liked and altered it for my personal needs (original plans found at The Tangled Nest). The coop design is a 4'x4' floor plan and 3' high. The coop stands 2' off the ground and the area under the coop is enclosed with heavy wire mesh to provide a run that extends an extra 4 feet past the coop (so the run is 4'x8' and 2' tall).
All that's left is for you (or your significant other) to take the plans and turn them into an actual coop.
|Making the first cuts|
|If your chickens are able to operate power tools like mine are, that's a plus too.|
|Couple of the girls checking on the progress|
|All framed up|
|Working on cutting the sides|
|Finally looking like a coop|