Top 10 tips for building a chicken coop

 Building a chicken coop can seem like a daunting task at first. But, if you have basic carpentry skills and a lot of patience, you can build an excellent coop that will comfortably house your hens for years. Read some tips before you start.

Top 10 tips for building a chicken coop


Take your time and think

Don't rush into building your chicken coop. 

Make sure you have solid plans and sketches and that you have thought of all the variables involved in the cost, size, portability and ongoing maintenance of a coop. 

Consider the functionality of your coop. Doors should open inwards, not outwards; otherwise, your birds might find their way. 

Consider ventilation, maybe add sliding windows for those hot summer days. Most importantly, determine the maximum number of birds you plan to house in this coop.


Look at the prefabricated plans

If you're new to woodworking and the world of DIY projects, find a chicken coop plan in a book or online that outlines the steps in detail. 

You may want to use this or build on these plans. You may even get a good idea by overflowing with these plans.


Write down all your ideas

Write down your steps. 

Sketch your co-op. Develop a list of materials and equipment needed and specify all the details.


Properly size your chicken coop

You might be planning on letting your chicken free range, but are you willing to bet the farm that you'll let them do it all the time? Chickens are healthier and happier when they have more room to roost comfortably. 

Cramped coops make for aggressive birds that peck at each other and disease spreads faster.

If your birds have access to an outdoor run, give a minimum of 2-3m2 per bird inside the coop and about 4m2 per bird in the run. 

The bigger the better; If your birds are caged all winter (chickens don't like snowy surfaces), allow 5 to 10 m 2 per chicken. 

For birds confined in a chicken tractor without an outdoor pen, ensure you have a minimum of 5 m 2 per bird.


Provide ample resting space

Chickens love to perch or roost on piles of wood, on top of their waterers or feeders, and even on the roof of the coop. 

They prefer to perch on the ground to discourage soil pests and, they don't like to sit in their feces.

Remember that you will have to clean it several times a year

If you have a fixed coop, remember that you will need to clean it several times a year.

Provide poles at least 2 to 3 meters from the ground (they don't like to be too low). Allow at least 6 to 25 centimeters of resting space per chicken. If the poles are over 4 meters high, they will need a way to get on, such as a plank with wooden slats for makeshift steps.


Keep predators away

Your co-op needs to be strong, it must also have solid ground to keep raccoons and other predators out. 

If you have cunning creatures chasing your birds, you can look at electric net fencing, but it is not necessary to go too far on the construction.


Save money with recycled materials

You can save money on the cost of your co-op by recycling or taking used materials and making something awesome out of them. 

Using recycled materials is great, but only up to a point. You don't want to use worn, decaying wood, or poor quality materials that will eventually wear out quickly. 

Sometimes the irregularities in a salvaged window can be too difficult to work around.

 If you are a beginner, this can quickly create a lot of frustration and the article may not be worth your while. 

Be prepared to drop the idea if this is the case.


Create cozy nesting boxes

Aim for at least one nest box for every four to five hens. 

Nesting boxes should also be a few feet off the ground, otherwise they will generally not be used.

 Think about how you will access the nesting boxes from outside the coop, so you can easily collect the eggs .


Consider a Mobile or Stationary Co-op

When it comes to co-ops, there are two options: portable and stationary.

 A mobile chicken coop will be smaller and lighter. 

You can move the birds to graze them on fresh grass. Plus, if you move, you can take this coop with you. On the contrary, a fully fixed cooperative is generally larger and more expensive. 

This type makes the most sense if you are going to have a large herd.


Make cleaning and maintenance easier

If you have a fixed coop, remember that you will need to clean it several times a year.

 You will need to include a full size door in the plans to allow a human to easily enter and clear it. 

If you use the deep litter method for the coop soil, you will eventually have compost for your garden.

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