There are a number of things you need to consider when planning to build a chicken coop. You need to figure them in when you decide the dimensions of the coop. You might want to gather them all together while you are considering the dimensions of the coop you plan to build. Then you will be sure there will be room enough for everything including space for your chickens to move around inside.
Nesting boxes are where your chickens will lay their eggs. They can be made from metal, wood or Rubbermaid containers. If your hens tend to eat the eggs then you might want to consider roll-away nesting boxes. You can also choose from internal or external nesting boxes. The internal nesting boxes are located inside the coop and can only be accessed by going into the coop. The external nesting boxes are extended out beyond the coop wall giving you easy access from outside.
You should have one nesting box for every 2 to 4 hens.
Perches are where your chickens sleep. It is recommended that you use 2 x 4 wood. The four-inch side should be up and the top two edges should be rounded off with sandpaper. You might also consider using a wooden ladder placed horizontally across the coop.
Perches should not be round. The hens will not be able to stay upright and will slide around on them.
All the perches should be the same height or the chickens will fight one another for the highest perch.
Nesting boxes should not be higher than the perches or the chickens will sleep in them and foul them causing mucking eggs. Nor should the perches be directly above the nesting boxes.
Feeders and Waterers
All feeders and watering dishes should be kept inside. They should be kept up off the floor to prevent chickens from kicking bedding into them. It would also prevent them from getting into them and leaving chicken manure thereby fouling the water and the feed. If they are at back height there should be no problem. The area from which the chickens will drink in the water dishes should be shallow to prevent the chickens from climbing in and drowning.
Both the feeders and watering dishes can be made from several materials. Plastic does seem to work best. You can purchase some in a pet store They are usually sold as aviary feeders and are fairly cheap. You will need to replace them every few years because they crack.
Some people purchase troughs but they are not necessarily recommending for a number of reasons. Number one chickens poo in them which is unhealthy obviously. Second they are easily tipped over. Third chickens can fall in and drown and last they take up quite a large amount of floorspace.
Bedding is used to absorb moisture and keep the coop smelling better. Chickens also like to scratch around in it.
Probably the best bedding is pine wood shavings. This can also be used in nesting boxes to prevent the eggs from breaking.
Everything mentioned here is important, therefore you must be sure your coop is large enough so there will be room for everything.