How to Build a Chicken Coop – 6 Essential Tips to Help You
How to build a chicken coop is one of the most searched phrases on the Internet as more and more people are thinking of keeping chickens at home. Whether you want to have a flock for eggs, or because they are fantastic pets, you are in need of a coop.
However, to some people the thought of building anything scares them. Even so, building a chicken coop can be as basic or as complex as you make it.
But choosing the type of coop that will meet your needs is probably the most important part of the entire building process. First decide if you want to build a fixed, semi-permanent or portable coop.
Making a mistake at this initial step can easily lead to have to build a new one in the end. Therefore, various aspects need to be considered properly.
Chickens are not hard to keep and will reward you every day with fresh eggs and endless hours of fun and entertainment.
But you must guarantee your chickens a happy healthy life or they will not lay eggs for your family.
Let’s share some useful tips for successfully planning a healthy home for your backyard flock:
1. Decide on Location
Your chicken coop’s location is one of the most vital aspects of the building process, and you need to think about where it should be placed. You might prefer building the coop relatively close to your home in case a problem will arise during the night.
Also, your chicken coop should be positioned about three feet above a flat dry ground, free from debris, and easily accessible. Drainage should also be considered, and the space that is needed must be large enough for the chickens to roam freely.
It is also important to choose a location which guarantees a lot of sunlight. This can have a positive impact on your chicken’s egg production as well as your electricity bill.
2. Decide on Size
Your coop’s size will be determined by the number of your chickens. On average a chicken will need about 4² feet of space. Include in your calculation also sufficient nest boxes (about one box for every four chickens), and roosting poles with enough space between them in order to provide your chickens with a comfortable sleep.
3. Decide Your Chicken Coop Design
Your coop’s roof should be placed at an angle in order that rain can run off easily. Furthermore, windows are essential to provide an appropriate ventilation to allow the ammonia to escape.
If you do not provide adequate ventilation, you are at risk of causing illness and death among your flock (respiratory diseases). Also, depending on where you live, your coop might need some insulation.
Consider a large door to access easily the coop for collecting your eggs and cleaning it. Your chickens require a smaller exit connected to a ramp leading to the yard.
Choose a coop design allowing for easy cleaning and maintenance, thus preventing illness and disease. The easier it is to clean the coop the more likely you’re to do it as often as possible.
There are quite a few designs available ensuring your coop’s cleaning process can be done in a convenient and easy way resulting in a happy healthy flock.
4. Beware of Predators
The housing has to be secure to protect the chickens from predators in your area. All sides of your coop must be safe from predators. This means that all openings should be protected with the right size of wire mesh (15mm square).
There are many different animals that will find your chickens incredibly tasty, which is why they need to be locked away at night.
5. Think about Water and Food
Hot weather can kill chickens, which is why there should be a waterer inside your chicken house. Also, don’t forget to equip your coop with a feeder. You will need about one waterer and feeder for four chickens.
6. Building Your Chicken Coop
When building your chicken coop for the first time, it might take just a little longer than expected. However, this is normal if you have never done any carpentry work before, but you’ll quickly see your project taking shape as you work on it.
Start by cutting the wood pieces according to the size provided in your chicken coop plans. Then join the bottom frames followed by the side and supporting frames. When you assemble the frames, wood glue will be useful as it holds the joints in place so that you can drill cleanly through the wood.
In order to ensure the stability of your chicken coop, you’ll need to secure the joint areas properly. There are many types of joints that can be used, but for the most security, it is recommended using a miter joint or an end lap joint. These 2 joints are the most common way to ensure sturdiness and stability.
After the basis for your chicken coop is done, it is time for the siding. Plywood or chicken wire is commonly used for the sides and walls of the coop.
In case you’re increasing your coop’s size or dimensions make sure to double the length and also the size of the wood supports. For example, if your frame dimensions were 30mm x 30mm x 2m, you will need to increase the size to 60mm x 60mm x 3m. This allows your frame to remain sturdy and strong. After your siding is finished, the windows and doors should be worked on.
As soon as everything is put together, inspect the whole structure and go over every joint with an insulation product. This will seal all the seams and prevent cold air from coming into your chickens’ new home.
Once an inspection and the final insulation is done, painting your chicken coop will give your project its own distinctive character.
If you take the time to consider the various chicken coop plans available and conduct a proper research on how to build a chicken coop will both ensure that everything is done correctly.
And finally, you’ll realize that a DIY coop is much cheaper to build than you’ve thought at first. Also, your chickens don’t care how their coop was made, but will appreciate all the effort that you’ve put into this project.
Your backyard flock will definitely enjoy their new home, and for all your work and effort they will return the favor by supplying you and your family with plenty of fresh organic eggs.
There is no better time than right now to start building a perfect coop for your chickens, and you won’t find a better way to do it.
In case you do not have enough time to build a chicken coop yourself, you can check out here the most favored pre-built coops on Amazon.com: