How to Build a Chicken Coop Step by Step
Learning how to build a chicken coop step by step lets you provide low cost housing for your poultry that your chickens will be perfectly happy with. You don’t have to be a master carpenter to build your own chicken coop. All you have to do is provide your animals with their basic living needs to keep them healthy and protected from the elements.
Building Chicken Coops
Chickens are great to keep around the farm, because your household has a steady supply of eggs, chicken meat and garden fertilizer. Once you have your chicken coop around the place, your barnyard will be full of hens, chicks and a rooster or two. The following are steps you can take when building chicken coops.
Planning Your Chicken Coop
There are a few factors you need to consider, when building a chicken coop. First, you need to find a high spot to build on. This keeps water puddles from forming in the coop perimeter during the inevitable storm.
Second, make sure the high area is big enough for your chicken coop, by planning the size of your coop. Your hens and birds for meat need to have 1.5 to 3 square feet per bird inside their coop. Chickens need more space in the chicken pen – roughly 8-10 square ft per bird.
Plan Coop Features
You’ll need to plan on a door for your chicken coop, which allows you to get inside and collect eggs. You also need a big enough door to bring in cleaning supplies, because you’ll need to clean the coop occasionally, to keep it from being unlivable.
Along the same lines, consider adding a window on the south side of you chicken coop. This lets you ventilate the space for your chickens in summertime, when the heat in certain areas can hurt the health of all involved.
Every chicken needs 6″ to 12″ of perch space, while you want to nest box for every 3-5 hens living in the coop.
If you have a lot of scrap around the place, you might be able to scrounge enough excess scrap lumber to build the chicken coop without costly building supplies. Lumber or plywood should do the trick.
If you don’t have enough wood to build your coop, purchase plywood, chicken wire, waterers, straw and chicken feeders at the Home Depot, Lowes or other supply stores.
Chicken Coop – Step by Step Building Tips
Build the chicken coop facing south, so the wind doesn’t blow through the coop in winter, and you can open windows and/or doors to ventilate the coop in the summer.
Remember to place a latch on your coop door, so you can secure the coop at will. For instance, unlatched doors could slide open and predators could get inside the coop at night.
Roof of Chicken Coop
Build a sloped roof on your chicken coop. Sloped roofs cause water to run off, instead of stand, when it rains.
Add Boxes, Box Straw and Perches
Add next boxes first, remembering to add straw to the boxes. Next, add the perches, which should be about 3 to 5 feet off the ground.
Protect the Coop with a Fence
Fence the chicken pen entirely with a chicken wire. Remember to bury the fencing at least 1 foot deep, with then fencing angling out. When it’s angled out, predators won’t be able to dig underneath the fence. Believe me; local predators will take note of your chicken supply.
Protection from Predators
The chicken wire should stand 4′ high, to keep chickens in and most predators out. A high fence won’t keep hawks and owls from the chicken yard, so stretch netting to keep airborne predators away. If you decide that’s too much trouble, plant tall grasses or millet in the chicken yard, because this gives your chickens cover from aerial predators.
Remove low-hanging branches of trees, or other low-hanging areas of structures, from above the chicken pen area. While chickens can’t fly really well, they can make it to low-hangers and might roost in the yard, instead of the coop, when you aren’t watching at night. That’s certain to leave them vulnerable when the nocturnal predators show up on the prowl.
Hang chicken feeders off the ground, so dirt doesn’t get into the chicken feed and water. A chicken feeder should be about the height of your chicken’s backs.
Add Chicken Litter or Straw
Any area with uncovered dirt or mud is going to be pooped on and scratched by the chickens. To keep the chicken pen from becoming a mess, add litter and/or straw to bare ground in the pen yard.
Building a Chicken Coop
You now know how to build a chicken coop step by step. Building chicken coops doesn’t take a lot of planning or building skills, but you want to do the job right, to give you chickens a chance to be protected, healthy, lively, well-maintained and productive.