1. Check Local Regulations
The first, and arguably most important thing you should do prior to building your DIY chicken coop is to check local regulations. Every city has it’s own set of “poultry laws”, some limit the number of hens you’re allowed, while others have no limit, but instead have strict rules about the size or shape of the coop.
2. Build a Secure Coop
I was browsing Google news the other day when I came across this VERY interesting article for anyone considering this DIY project.
This proves that taking proper security precautions when constructing your coop is extremely important. Of course, this is only one person with a coop, who knows how many predators might be around your particular location!
3. DIY Chicken Coop Plans
Let’s face it, without high quality step by step instructions and tools like a mini circular saw, building a chicken coop would tough if not down right impossible. Knowing this, I set out to find the best guide in hopes of saving a lot of time and well.. keeping my sanity!
After a few days of research & testing, I found the DIY guide that ended up working best for me. For those of you who, like me, want the “easiest way possible”, there’s no doubt in my mind you’ll love BuildingaChickenCoop.com because it’s affordable, step by step, and most importantly… it works!
Learning how to build a chicken coop isn’t too difficult, but you MUST have the right plans by your side at all times. To download the plans, click the blue link above, or if you want to see a preview check out the free sample plans page to get access to the PDF right away!
If you download the coop blueprints, drop a comment below & let me if they helped!
4. Easy Maintenance & Cleaning
If even one of your chickens catches a disease or sickness, it could spell disaster for the whole operation! You must be able to clean anywhere in your coop quickly, so you can do it often and without hassle. Here are a few proven ways to make cleaning and maintaining your homemade chicken coop a breeze.
5. Picking the Ideal Location
Choosing the right location is crucial, not only for the sake of your neighbors (depending on how they feel about your new chicken house), but the chickens as well! Place your coop in a location that gets adequate sunlight at least a few times per day. If you live in a wetter climate, this tip is very important, as it helps keep your coop dry, and prevents odor and dampness. Make sure you download chicken coop plans that have windows, as sunlight is good for the coop and the chickens.
6. Appearance & Design
Consider the appearance of your coop. As I mentioned above, unless you’re fortunate enough to have a separate piece of land to build on, it’s a near certainty your neighbors will see it. Although the chickens won’t care about how the coop looks, it’s always a good idea to download aesthetically pleasing chicken coop designs to avoid any complaints. An eye-catching, clean chicken coop is reflective of a professional quality build.
7. Size & Number Of Chickens
8. Use Quality Materials
Over the long run, using the best quality materials for your coop will save you A LOT of money. Cheap upfront costs are NOT the right way to save money! Cheap chicken coop designs & materials take twice as long to assemble, and don’t last near as long. Remember, the chicken coop is outdoors every day of the year, it’s going to subjected to rain, snow, and all other dangerous weather. Trust me on this one, don’t ever cut corners to try & save a buck!
Keeping your chickens protected from the weather, predators, and all other danger requires a pretty “locked down” coop. That being said, it’s crucial that you install proper ventilation so the chickens that breathe easily. Not only will investing in a great ventilation system help the chickens breathe, but also prevent ammonia and dampness build up inside the walls.
10. Heat & Lighting
Proper lighting inside your coop not only provides the chickens with a light source, it also functions as a great source of heat. If you want to design your backyard coop in a way that’s easy to maintain year round, getting a quality lighting system is a good start!
You need to be able to gather eggs without bending down too far, or reaching too high. I recommend building your chicken house so that you’re able to collect the eggs without having to walk over chicken droppings. One simple way to do this is install a latch & hinge on the horizontal door (covering the box) on the side you want to access the eggs.
12. Weather & Climate
As I briefly mentioned earlier, weather & climate is a huge concern when learning how to build a chicken coop, and for a good reason no doubt. Heavy rain, hail, snow, and all other harsh weather conditions can have disastrous effects on your coop and the chickens inside.
So… how can you protect your coop? Luckily, it’s not too hard.
13. Chicken Feeder & Waterer Location
Technically, you can place the waterers & feeders anywhere, but I recommend in a location where your flock can access them easily. No one wants chicken feed all over the floors, so to avoid this you can install the feeders & waterers at the height of the chicken’s back. Doing so forces them to stretch their necks up, but stops them from reaching the feed with their feet. Be sure to always keep clean water in the waterers at all times! This will help avoid the spread of disease and any other potential health problems.
14. Let In Some Sunshine & Fresh Air!
Chickens need sunlight to stay healthy. Avoid keeping them in the shade, as it can cause seriously complications down the road. If you property is small, you should seriously consider constructing a portable coop so you have the ability to move it around.
15. Build Chicken-Size Doors in the Coop
If you decide to go free range in the future, you can make use of these small doors for allowing the chickens easy access in and out of the coop.
16. Build the Roof at a Steep Angle
You may think a flat roof on your coop is more eye-catching, but building the roof at a steep angle is the most effective way to keep precipitation for settling on the roof. By now, you’ve probably heard me say use asphalt shingles a few times, but you should also consider sheet metal, hard plastic, or metal roofing for even more advanced protection.
17. Use Thick Wire Mesh
This is so important that it deserved it’s own point! Using heavy gauge wire mesh is the absolute best way to protect your chicken coop and hens from any predators lurking outside.
18. Large Coop? Use Small Windows with Screens
If your chicken coop is extremely large, consider installing small windows on the opposite side of the coop to encourage a cross breeze. This is an easy solution to increase the air flow and ventilation in your coop!
19. Exercise Your Chickens
Just like humans, chickens need exercise too! The 2 most common ways to accomplish this are…
20. Consider Your Budget
The larger the coop you plan to build, the more expensive the cost. If you’re on a tight budget, you need to consider how big of a coop, and how many chickens you can afford. There are several different ways to save money when building your coop.
21. Use Fasteners, such as Bolts & Screws
You need to build your coop in a way that can be disassembled if necessary. Using bolts, screws, and fasteners is a great way to speed up the process, and get your repairs done fast!
22. Build Your Coop Out of Wooden Bars or Dowels
I recommend using wooden bars or dowels, NOT metal roosting bars, as they lead to nothing but problems and headaches during the cold season. The worst of which is severe freezing weather, as metal roosting bars can actually cause the chickens’ feet to freeze!
23. Required Materials
If planned correctly on the front end, learning to build a chicken coop can actually be quite easy. Here’s the most important materials you will need for the project.
24. Learn the Building Process
Unfortunately, I can’t fit the full chicken coop building process in this post, as it will save you A LOT of time. Being that there’s not a lot of quality chicken coop blueprints available on the web, “Building a Chicken Coop” is a gem I feel extremely lucky to own!
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