If you want to know how to build a chicken coop, you have certainly come to the right place. Whether you are looking to raise chickens for their eggs or meat, or using their droppings as fertilizer, you will need a suitable chicken shed to keep them safe and comfortable.
First of all you need a plan for building your chicken coop. Find out what your requirements are by asking yourself how many chickens you want to keep, how much space you have to build the coop and why you want to keep them. You can then consider how you are going to plan building your chicken coop according to your needs.
If you’re a beginner, your best bet is to purchase some ready-made plans to get you ready for building your first chicken coop. When it comes to designing your coop, there a few important aspects to consider before you start building.
Insulation: The amount of insulation that your coop will require depends on its location and the outside elements.
Height: Chickens are vulnerable to many different predators such as foxes, dogs, and skunks. Chickens will become less accessible to predators if your coop is raised 2 or 3 feet off the ground.
Ventilation: Keep air flowing through the coop by installing vents with hinged flaps on the sides of the structure. The flaps should be propped up and the openings covered with chicken wire.
Perches: Give your chickens a place to roost at night by providing perches inside the coop. Chickens prefer to sleep on a perch but remember to make sure they have enough space between them.
Nest Boxes: This is where your chickens will lay their eggs so make sure that your nest box is a small shallow space. If you make it too spacious, your chickens may be encouraged to stay there longer so try to avoid doing this. You could also have a small door on the outside of the coop so that eggs from the nest box can be accessed easily.
Food and Water: Access to food and clean water inside the coop is essential for keeping your chickens healthy and happy. Keep it away from the litter and go with a system that suits the layout of your chicken coop.
Ramp: Your chickens will need a small ramp to help them exit the elevated coop into an outside area like a chicken run. To make it less slippery, you should paint the ramp with a mixture of sand and paint, and add across strips to create small steps.
Handy Tips on Building your Coop
What you will need:
Use your chicken coop plans and follow the instructions. You will usually need to start with building the bottom foundation and move steadily from the ground up.
Start by joining the bottom frames, then move on to the side frames and supporting frames. Use wood glue to hold the frames in place where they are to be joined and drill small pilot holes for the nails. Pilot holes will help ensure that the nails go in straight but you could use a miter joint or end lap joint instead.
When the frame is ready, you can put on the sidings (the plywood and/or chicken wire) and the roofing material of the chicken coop. Double the length of the wood supports and the size when you increase the dimensions of the coop as this will keep the frame sturdy and strong.
Leave the roofing, doors and windows to be installed last. Then, you have the option to paint the chicken coop as a finishing touch. This will make it look attractive as well as provide an extra layer of protection against weathering.