Building a chicken coop in the tropics


After a month living at the Tortuga Verde it was clear that we needed some organic eggs. The solution was building a coop to protect the chickens at night and make sure our future hens would lay eggs at the same place (we had noticed our neighbours had many chickens, but some of their eggs would get lost here and there). Chicken manure is also the best kind of natural fertilizer after horse manure – so this would be perfect for our organic garden!

It all started with a simple plan

It all started with a simple plan

Below are some of the key things to keep in mind when building a coop:

General info

– A south facing slope (full sunlight to prepare for the rainy season) would have been perfect… We decided to build under a big mango tree that would protect the coop. Since the days here in El Cuco are really sunny, keeping the soil dry around the coop would not be a problem. 

Ventilation holes near the ceiling along the south and north walls (include screens and dropdown covers) / Cross ventilation (1 square  meter window per 10 square meters)

Roof and wall insulation (3.8 cm) – styrofoam (particularly on south and west sides)- especially important if you’re not living in a hot climate (We didnt’t include additional insulation as the nights don’t get too cold).

Reflecting the heat was important – aluminium roofing or light colored composite roofing is recommended, as well as painting the outside of the coop white (We included a coloured plastic roof placed on top of the outer fence) / Another option would be to plant trees or install awnings to shade buildings

Roof protection

Droping boards: Sturdy welded wire or closely spaced wooden battens – Start with a wooden framework and fasten either welded wire or  lumber, placed on edge for rigidity (2,5 cm gaps between boards) …. After cleaning boards – spread 5 cm of litter

Flooring 30 cm above the ground- We made it using recycled wooden fruit boxes :) We added some plastic bed feet that were going to be thrown away.

Plastic bed feet used to raise the coop floor (also helped to  avoid the wood getting wet)

Plastic bed feet used to raise the coop floor (also helped to avoid the wood getting wet)

wooden fruit crates

Wooden fruit crates used as flooring













Our Construction had started!