Learn how to build a chicken coop. With these 4 easy steps, you’ll have your very own chicken heaven in no time. We’ve now updated this post with even more advice on how to build your own chicken coop.
How to Build a Chicken Coop [2nd Edition]
Building your own chicken coop shouldn’t be a chore. Did you know that you can actually do it in just 4 easy steps? Yes, you heard it right, I’ve been a homesteader for years, and there are just four things that you have to be mindful of when learning how to build a chicken coop. Keep reading to find the newly added Chicken Coop Checklist so you can learn even more about how to build a chicken coop!
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Follow these steps to build your own chicken coop:
- Know the number of chickens
- Plan your chicken coop
- Gather materials and tools
- Build your chicken coop
STEP 1: Know the number of chickens
- via abc news
Did you know that for each chicken you should have at least 4 sq. ft.? So, if you’re planning to get started with 5 chickens in your coop, then you should have at least 20 sq. ft. of space. That being said, it’s very important to know how many chickens you are going to have. I’m sure you wouldn’t want them to be cramped, right? Plan this first, and make the ideal dimension for your coop. It’s also recommended to make it a little bigger than the recommended space required for each chicken.
STEP 2: Plan Your Chicken Coop
Planning is a vital component when building your chicken coop. Remember, you’re building a home for your chickens, and the main goal is to keep them safe and comfortable.
Consider these 7 things when planning your chicken coop
1. Choose the right materials
Chicken wire mesh is the ideal material you can use to cover the outer portion of your coop. For the locks, since you have to consider that chickens are easy prey, choose one that won’t be easily flicked open. I’m sure you don’t want any unwanted visitors in your coop.
2. Prop Your Coop Up
Elevation has many benefits. Build your coop at least 2-3 feet from the ground. Doing so will ensure that their feet will stay dry during the rainy season, and it will also allow them to move freely. This set-up also adds protection from predators.
3. Include a Perch Area
Have you noticed how chickens usually sleep? They’re more comfortable when they are perched. Offer enough space for this so they don’t get too cramped.
4. Nesting Boxes
You’ll need a nesting area for the hens to safely lay their eggs. Keep it at least 4 inches deep to keep the eggs safe. Make it large enough so they can lay as many eggs as they can since they will lay eggs every 1-2 days.
5. Proper Ventilation
Like all animals, chickens require fresh air. They can easily get sick if the air is stale inside the coop. Make sure that there is sufficient airflow by adding a vent or a window.
6. Adequate Insulation
Did you know that a well-insulated chicken coop will prolong the life of your chickens? Make sure you are aware about what kind of weather conditions the coop will be exposed to. Once you do, base the insulating materials you’ll be using on those facts. If you use a heat lamp, make sure it is safe and won’t burn the place down – tips here.
Your chicken coop should not only be chicken-friendly but human-friendly as well. You have to remember that you’ll be cleaning and collecting eggs. Add access doors and dropping trays to make clean up easy.
STEP 3: Gather Materials and Tools
Now you’re done planning. Start collecting all the materials and tools you’ll need to start building your coop. Be sure to take accurate measurements so you’re able to estimate how much material you’ll need to build your chickens’ home.
STEP 4: Build Your Coop!
Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to start building! Follow the step-by-step procedure based on the plan you made. Measure twice, cut once. Start with the foundation first moving up. The doors, windows and roofing should be done last.
The Chicken Coop Checklist: Additional Tips and Advice
Chicken sleep just as much as any other animal… sometimes I think more! They love to sleep on a perch, so you should try and install a horizontal bar across the chicken house where they can crouch and fall asleep.
Chickens require nesting boxes where they will be able to lay their eggs. These nests should have some warm insulation such as straw. It is suggested that you have one nesting box per three hens.
3. Food & Water
You have plenty of freedom when it comes to how you design your coop, but many people keep their feeders off the ground. This can help prevent spillages and accidents.
4. Insulation & Bedding
The most common bedding material is straw because it’s absorbent, cheap and soft for the birds. You can also use wood shavings or chips. Remember that your chickens will require less insulation in summer, don’t let them overheat!
Have you ever smelt a chicken coop which hasn’t been cleaned out and ventilated properly? It’s not pretty! Install a simple window at least—but remember to also protect it with chicken wire or mesh.
Chickens have quite a lot of predators such as foxes, birds of prey and raccoons. Make sure that you protect your chickens by using a wire mesh around the outside, building with sturdy materials and remembering to padlock the door (if you have one!)
7. Watertight & Shade
Chickens just like us also hate being too hot or too cold. Make sure that the coop is waterproof to prevent them from getting cold during the wet season. Also, ensure that your run has a shaded area where your birds can get out of the sun and cool off!
8. Egg Access & Decoration
And there you have it. In just 4 easy steps, you learned how to build a chicken coop! I’m sure you’ll have happy, healthy chickens after this.
Click here to watch how this homesteader built a very simple chicken coop out of pallets:
Do you now know how to build a chicken coop? Let us know below in the comments!
Interested in Raising Backyard Chickens? Check out our Homesteading Handbook!
This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.