Why Build A Chicken Coop?
Chicken coop primary purpose is for the chickens to live and to lay eggs. Also, a large proportion of these chickens are raised for their meat. Instead of buying a custom-made chicken coop due to its cost, many first-timer enthusiasts who have a big backyard would like to build one on their own.
Keeping a small flock of chickens in your own backyard brings with it a lot of joy from these lively pets. You will enjoy the cockerel’s infamous early morning cockaddodle-doos call that wakes you up from your slumber. Not only do they supply you with fresh, healthy eggs every day, but they also supply fertilizer back to the soil to support the ecosystem.
Another reason to start your flocks is that you can avoid the industrial-produced eggs where the eggs-producing hens are often kept in such close proximity and cramped in inhumane quarters that even stretching their legs and wings in normal social behaviours is not possible.
Picture yourself and your kids happily racing up the chickens every morning and see who collects the most eggs. It would be fun for the kids to get some fresh air and get dirty with the friendly chickens to get away from the video games once in a while.
Start From Scratch
With the vast amount of resources both on the internet and videos on how to build a chicken coop, perhaps it has made you interested to try to make yourself a chicken coop from scratch. Soon you’ll have your flocks of chickens of your own and see them grow happily, Looking for lumber to start building your chicken coop? Shop here.
Chickens need a comfortable space for them to continue producing a constant stream of eggs. Housing your own chickens is a great way to save on your groceries bill while ensuring the eggs you consumed are as fresh as it gets.
Ensure the chicken coop that your building plan provides a comfortable and safe environment for the chickens. This will not only you will have a bounty full supply of fresh eggs, and you don’t have to spend unnecessarily for repairs and premature replacements. At least you know how to do it yourself. That’s the beauty when you learn the nitty-gritty yourself from scratch. Learn more about the plans here.
Choose A Flat Land For Building A Chicken Coop
It is always common sense to have your chicken coop to be built on level land. If you’re building a permanent structure in an uneven parcel of land, then you have to landfill it to make it balance. If you place a moveable tractor chicken coop on uneven ground, everything will then be looped-sided to the chickens. They, then do not have secured footage when they try to roost at night and might lose their balance.
The chickens would feel uncomfortable like they are falling off when they lie on their nest boxes for them to lay their eggs. Only when they are relaxed and comfortable, will they concentrate to lay eggs
If you have no choice but to build a chicken coop on a slope, this can be easily done with the coop frame resting on piers. So long as the piers are tall enough to compensate for the height difference on the lower end to keep the frame level.
It’s best to build a chicken coop on a strong surface. Not only to save you money on landscaping costs, like constantly refilling land and to save you the headache to prevent predators from entering the coop on sinking ground surrounding it.
Learn to build your own chicken coop here.
Properly Place The Windows When Figuring Out How to Build A Chicken Coop
Different breeds of chicken will do well and have the ability to adapt to your climate. Make sure you select the breeds that are native in your region and you don’t have to take extra precautions to minimize the impact of the weather.
Take advantage of the sun’s warmth during winter by placing the coop facing south and the windows in the east-west alignment. This way the flock will be able to gain more light exposure.
One important tip to learn from here is that daylight, and not the temperature affects egg production because daylight stimulates the productive cycle of egg layers, the more it is exposed to light the better the quality of the eggs.
Use Artificial Lightings
Therefore, in the spring and summer months when the chicken is receiving more sunlight than usual, their egg production also increases. If daylight is short in certain months of the year, it can be easily compensated with artificial light as used by commercial farmers, but it can add up to your utility bills.
If you want your chickens to continue producing eggs during the winter months, consider hanging light inside the coop for an extension of time to simulate additional daylight hours. Ensure safety measures are in place, the lights do not fall off and the electrical wiring may not cause a short-circuit, that would start a fire.
It is best to install a dim transition light, to mimic dusk, to enable the birds to have the opportunity to settle down before it suddenly becomes dark. So when you start building your own chicken coop, you have learned how windows are properly placed to get the maximum benefits of sunlight. Windows also play an important role in air circulation in the coop. If placed too high, air may not flow down to the chickens and if placed too low to the ground, the air may not fill the coop effectively.
Learn more about the building plans here.
Size Matters When Decided On A Chicken Coop
Large chicken coop or smaller coop?
If time and your budget permit why not start building a coop that is larger so that your chickens will soon be grown into it? It is better to make it larger if you have the intention to add some more layers to it. It would be more expensive or hassle just to add more space in the future.
With a bigger coop, you have the luxury of space. You can cordon off part of the coop to separate off the breeds, broody hens, roosters, and even baby chicks.
However, unless you want to be a full-time chicken farmer, most people can only cope with only chicken at a time. Taking care of chickens is like having dogs and cats as pets. You have to take care of their living environment, and diet, collect poops, cleaning their cages. There will be a hundred and one things to do in order to keep them safe and happy. If they are happy, you are happy too.
As long as you have an easy-to-follow building plan, you can make a good and comfortable coop for your chickens. The plans should incorporate all the important aspects of proper coop building designs, like the placement of windows, and nest boxes.
Of course, you can build smaller coops and add on new ones if the flock grew larger. It is easier to build a much smaller coop than a full-fletch one. It is also less expensive and it’s easier to clean. If you build a smaller chicken tractor coop, you can move them around so that your chickens can have fresh pasture all the time. You can also save on grains to feed them. The soil will have a natural habitat of grubs, worms, small stones and grass to feed on. The chicken poops with added fertilizers to the soil to protect the ecosystem. Learn how to build a much better chicken coop here.
Building a Chicken Coop Means More Cash In Your Pocket
What does it take to raise backyard chickens?
Baby chicks may be feathery soft and cute and irresistible, but if you are considering raising them in your backyard, there are many factors you need to know. Ask any who have raised a flock of chickens before and they’ll tell you that it required a lot of hard work and commitment to ensure they are well taken care of, happy, and productive.
Young and old can be having a fun time raising chickens. Anyone with their own backyard could make use of the space to rear chickens. Whether it’s for the kids’ pleasure of chasing their fluffy feathers pet or bringing you fresh protein every day, I think it’s worth all the effort that goes into it.
But you must bear in mind, these 2-legged animals are a lively and active lot. They can be noisy, dirty and smelly. Their poops can be smelled miles away and can put off many. Despite all the drawbacks and challenges, raising backyard chickens can be very beneficial. Think of those fresh eggs almost on demand every morning.
Benefits of Raising Backyard Chickens
Try to breed different types of layers in order to get a different variety of eggs. Some breeds will lay eggs every day and some will lay only 3 to 4 times in a week. You know the quality of eggs they produced because you know what you feed them.
Instead of buying fertilizer for your garden and lawn, the chicken poops they dropped can be gathered as manure which can be composted and added back to the soil to fertilize it. Chicken manure is rich in potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus and it made the primary ingredient for your garden fertilizer.
Chickens Eat Everything
Chickens are natural garbage disposal because they eat almost anything in their path. It will devour and help clear garden weeds and fallen fruits from trees. Household food scraps need not be wasted and thrown away anymore.
Food scraps like salads, vegetable peelings, rice, and fruits. Your chickens will be glad enough to help keep your yard’s pests under control by having snacks like grasshoppers, snails, crickets and slugs in your garden, saving you on your pest control bills.
If you enjoy home-grown chickens because you know better that they are not injected with growth hormone enhancers as most commercial chicken farms do. You know that your chickens are free from any sort of chemicals and are safe to consume. If you have a free ranch, the chickens will benefit more, as they are free to eat whatever they like.
When Is Time You Invest In Building A Chicken Coop?
Raising your own chickens brings a lot of benefits for your investment. It helps either to save money or make money. You can assure your hen lays eggs that are GMO and steroid free. Moreover, if you have excess production of eggs, you can sell them to earn that extra income. The whole chicken can be sold too.
In order for your flock to be productive, you need to have a proper living conditions for them to live. You just don’t let it roam in your backyard and let the chickens face the elements.
The number one enemy is the threat from predators If you are staying near the woods, be prepared for your chickens will get the attention of snakes, wild dogs, foxes, rats, mice, hawks and the like, waiting for a quick meal.
You don’t want the chickens to be running around and laying their eggs all over the backyard. If you have a chicken of two then it is manageable, but as you decided to bring in more chicks, it’ll be a nightmare.
By building a chicken coop, each chicken will have a nest to call home and a safe place for them to mate and lay eggs. Chickens love their privacy and if they feel secure enough they will lay more eggs.
Safe From Intruders
Housing your chickens will keep them safe from fleas and wild animals who are looking for food. Not only do you risk losing the eggs to these intruders, but their presence is also counter-productive as they live in constant fear for their lives. Putting your chickens in a coop will allow some protection for your chickens, and will deter intruders altogether.
Chickens easily felt ill if they are forced to live in the open without any form of protection from the rain, wind, snow or the sun. All these extreme conditions put the health of your flock at risk. It may affect their egg production or they may even die. To prevent them from the elements, housed them in a proper chicken coop that provides protective space for shelter from the wind or wetness of the rain.
It’s time to invest in building a chicken coop. See the plans here.
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Portable Chicken Coop Plans
You can simplify the process of choosing a chicken coop plan by following a cheat sheet that brings with you the knowledge and step-by-step on how you to follow to build a coop successfully with ease.
You would like the cheat sheet to show you what are the tools required for the job, and the materials used to assemble the coop altogether. Not only it will help you prepare for the process of building the chicken coop easily, but it will help you through the process quickly without fuss.
Selecting A Portable Chicken Coup Style
Chicken coops come in many different styles of the many creative plans available. A chicken coop can be categorized into three different factors such as shape, size and space limitations. Even though the chicken coop can come in different sizes, they all can fit in any one category below:
A-Frame Chicken Coop Plans
In the simplest form, an A-frame chicken coop is a coop or coop/run combo in an “A” shape. It is easy to build, cheap to build, easy to build, quick to build, and they are lightweight and can move around easily if you’re going to build a chicken tractor style.
Basically, an A-frame chicken coop consists of 2 compartments, a compact shelter which is affixed to a triangular-shaped protected run. These types of coop do not need a large number of materials to build and these are kept to the minimum. They are suitable for people who have a handful of chickens to take care of.
Tractor Chicken Coop Plans
Sometimes they are called an ark, highly mobile, and they come with no floor. They are lightly built, sometimes with an A-frame which can be dragged by one person about the yard.
If the pasture on which the tractor chicken coop was placed has been fully eaten by the flock, it can easily move to another location. Moving the coop would not disturb the chickens and the structure of the coop.
Usually, they are built on a pair of wheels or skids for easy moving around. The open-floor concepts allow the chicks to work on the soil efficiently and cure the soil with their poops.
All-in-one Portable Chicken Coop Plans
When you have a chicken coop that is too small, you’d have to hunch your back to get inside either to clean the pen or to pick up the eggs laid. With an All-in-one portable chicken coop, you’ll have the benefit of a human-sized entrance and a full-height coop so that your head doesn’t have to bump on the roof again.
You can make it small enough so that it doesn’t weigh much yet the coop can be moved around without much effort.
Walk-In Chicken Coop Plans
This is usually built on a larger scale with human-sized height all around. You can have a larger run where you can read a dozen or more chickens as large as they can comfortably support.
The run could be separated from the nesting place by a pop door where the chickens are free to go in and out throughout the day. The pop door could be dropped and shut during the night once all the chickens have trooped in.
Not only do they provide accommodation for the flocks, but this large and spacious style coop also provides extra storage space for food and tools.
Gathering Your Tools and Materials Needed
Before you embark on your project of building a chicken coop, you want to make sure you have the right tools and materials you need in one central place. If you don’t have them, borrow them from your neighbours or a friend. Owning your own tools is necessary because you might make use of them in future in case of any repairs or extension work to be done.
Personal Safety Gears
Personal safety is of paramount importance when handling those working tools. Without any protective gear, you might hurt or injure yourself and accidents do happen. Equipped yourself with safety goggles, gloves and earplugs to protect your eyes, hands and ears from accidental injury while working on your project.
Some basic carpenter tools such as drills, screwdrivers, a variety of saws, tape measure, hammers, speed squares, tin snips and torpedo levels are a must for you to work on building a chicken coop project. For more efficiency, a compressed air pneumatic nailer is required. See my recommendations for power screwdrivers here.
What Materials Are Required?
If you have a chicken coop building plan in hand, you will only buy the necessary amount of materials. The measurements will give you an accurate picture of what is required so that it minimizes any excessive buying. Buy only what is needed to prevent any wastage.
However, in order to build any type of chicken coops, the main materials are framing lumber, plywood, nails, screws, roof shingles, wire mesh, chicken wire and fencing staples.
Galvanized hardware cloth is the best material for enclosing a chicken coop of an enclosed run. The mesh is made of weaving or welding steel wires together and it is protected from rust.
Skills Needed To Build Your Chicken Coop
Besides having the tools required for the job, you must also need to know how each tools function and the way to handle it. These are basic skills but knowing how to use these tools will make your work efficient.
Make sure you have keen eyes for measuring and marking skills, if not you’ll have an out-of-portion chicken coop, one side may be out of proportion than another. Nails and screws are put in place at the right spots.
Lumber still needs to be cut to the required size according to the building plans you have, even though you purchased your lumber cut from the hardware store.
Be ensured that at every step in your construction, you are checking that your frame is horizontally and vertically level and that they are not inclining or leaning. If the frame is leaning, there is a good chance it will topple off or be blown down by strong winds because they are not properly erected.
How You Can Make Sure Your DIY Chicken Coop Plans Are a Good Fit
The DIY chicken coop is gaining in popularity because not everyone has the talent to design one. Getting a professional to do so would be expensive. If you caught on chicken fever, why not buy a purpose-built plan to make one yourself?
A big mistake for those who don’t see the need for a guide for the correct building process is that you risk making a costly mistake and for some reason, you are made to repeat the construction process because of failure to plan.
Get a package where there are a lot of design types where you can pick and choose. There are varying sizes to suit the size of your flock and whether you prefer a small or larger coop. You can choose between a portable or a walk-in for practical.
Overcrowding or insufficient nesting boxes for the layers are the reason that your chicken is not laying eggs as regularly as it should. If the coop is made too small, the chickens are stressed out because they cannot live comfortably and are constantly fighting for space, which causes their productivity to drop.
If you are following the chicken coop plans, they are formulated to contain a correct specific number of chicks which each plan and type would hold. Your D.I.Y. plan will ensure you have an optimum number of chicks in the coop for them to stay healthy within the confined space.
Getting enough sunlight helps the chickens to produce healthier eggs. You can compensate with artificial lights during the winter months when you are not getting enough daylight.
Placing the windows on the east and west fully maximises getting the numbers of sunlight, and at the same time, you do not over-expose only one side. Using natural light will save on your electric bills. It is economical to install solar cells so that it won’t cost you when you want to light the coop up at night for that extra warmth.
Choosing the right location is the utmost decision you have to make. Choosing the chicken coop position is to ensure the place will give happiness, health and security to your chickens.
The chickens are unable to fend for themselves for everything they need and they are vulnerable to the external elements.
If you’re living in the countryside where all sorts of predators lurk, ensure the coop is surrounded by galvanized hardware cloth which is strong enough to keep these predators at bay. Building a mesh wire about 2 feet wide on the ground around the coop to deter the predators from digging into the coop is a precautionary measure as some animals tend to dig through if they cannot sneak through the nooks and cracks of your coop.
What Makes The Best Design For A Chicken Coop
One most important criteria in building the best chicken coop are security. If your chicken coop is not secured properly, your predators will one day wipe out your entire flock overnight.
Your chicken coop should be sturdily built so that it cannot be breached by predators. There are some designs where the coop is elevated 6 inches off the ground to prevent rodents from chewing from below the coop.
That is the reason why housing your chickens in a proper chicken coop rather than letting them go free-range most of the time. Not only do you protect them from below, but you also have them covered from the air and sides as well.
Any openings should be covered by half-inch hardware cloth wire instead of chick wire because they are much tougher and the holes are small which deter unwanted animals to crawl inside. Remember don’t make your fencing too porous.
Here is what you need to know in order to build one of the best chicken coops properly.
Chicken Coop Ventilation
There should be sufficient movement of air to ventilate the coop so that your chicken would not develop any respiratory disease. Avoid any draft that makes your chicken sick. If your area is experiencing strong winds, cover the windows with a canopy.
Chicken Coop Cleanliness
For those who cannot stand the suffocating pong of the chicken poops, this is not a hobby for you. Chickens by nature are messy creatures who will defecate everywhere, and you cannot the chickens from pooping.
But you can reduce the smell by following some cleanliness routine work by placing removable floor trays and the coop be cleaned and washed regularly.
Chicken Coop Perches
When planning a chicken coop, it has to be high enough to provide roosting perches for the chicken to rest and sleep at night. To prevent them to fall off, your perches should be 5 cm in width and rounded edges to provide a natural grip for the chickens.
If you want your hens to lay eggs, place their nesting boxes in a dark and secluded side of the coop. It should be placed a few cm above the floor and not as high as the lowest roosting perch. To prevent them from fighting for a nesting place, prepare to accommodate 4 chicks in a nesting box. Certain breeds do not lay eggs every day, only when they are laying eggs will they nest there.
Coop Interior Space
Ideally, to prevent overcrowding you should plan to have half a metre square to one chicken to give them a comfortable space for them to roost and rest. If you building a coop for no free-ranging time for the chickens, a square metre is the minimum space that must be designed in the plan.
Again, you must provide space for a drinker and a feeder and extra room for them to entertain themselves like a swing for killing away their boredom.
Get A Secure Door Closure
Most of the time, people overlook the importance of securing the coop’s door closure. Constantly opening and closing the door on a regular basis will eventually cause it to become loose.
Predators may take advantage of a loose latch and a bigger predator like dogs can easily find its way inside the coop.
To ensure the health and life of your flock are protected, it’s a great idea to keep them in a chicken coop. You should be looking at these aspects when you choose your own chicken coop from the building plans available here.
Building a Chicken Coop
You need not have a lot of money to start building a chicken coop on your own and it need not be tricky and complicated.
It gives you a sense of accomplishment after you have successfully brought to life a coop from just a plan. You will not regret making the decisions and you have found yourself a new hobby.
You don’t have to buy eggs anymore. Your hard work pays off. You’ll have fresh organic eggs literally delivered to you every day. You saved on your grocery bill!
The chicken poops will not go to waste. The waste can be collected as manure and left as compost to fertilizer for your lawn and garden.
Demonstrate the master craft men in you and start building the perfect backyard chicken coop of your dream.
Building a Chicken Coop is Common Sense
You may argue that buying a prefabricated chicken coop or getting a professional to build it for you would be easier. You do not have much choice when it comes to prefabricated designs. Either they are limited in choice or they are made from inferior materials.
Hiring a professional will come with it a hefty bill. If you want good materials it will cost you more. Professionals have to factor in labour costs and profit margin in the project, not forgetting the tools and materials they have to buy.
If you are not involved in the building process, and if there are any minor repairs and maintenance, do you have to call the professional? Due to their other work commitments, they might not respond to you immediately. What if your fencing has been compromised and your chickens are in grave danger of predators? Any delay in rectifying the situation can be costly. And not forgetting the house call bills you have to foot.
If you’re keen on chicken farming, you would not hesitate to experience hands-on the joy of starting your chicken coop from scratch. You will be beaming with pride and envy of your friends and neighbours who would like to learn from you.
Be Your Own Expert
Having successfully finished one project, you’ll be tempted to start a new project. If you have done everything with your own ingenuity, you soon can be authoritative in this field.
We know that you need to do a lot when you have to construct a coop yourself. You have to work out ventilation, lighting, dimensions, materials, waste collection, positioning, nesting, perches and protection from the elements and other predators, but you’ll gain a wealth of knowledge along the way, and money could not buy experience. No one can take it away from you. You are an EXPERT.
You just need a simple D.I.Y. plan to start building a chicken coop. Get your plans here.
“Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.”Frank Lloyd Wright
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as advice on any subject matter. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this article without seeking professional advice. Reliance on any information provided by this article and others appearing in the article is solely at your own risk. The article and its contents are provided on an “as is” basis.
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