The ABC’s of Chicken Coop Plans

It’s inconvenient, but most states forbid keeping chickens inside the same living quarters as people. And if you want to keep your animals, you need to keep a clean and hygienic living area that protects your chickens from injury, predators, the weather, and even human theft. That’s why before you start building your chicken coop, you need…

… A Plan!

Don’t build your coop in parts, and don’t wing it – most first time builders get started on a project and as they learn about the practicalities of building a coop, they try to add more and more to it looking to save themselves time and energy. This is just a foolhardy way of doing business. Instead, do the research first, and THEN make a plan. You want to measure your yard off and either draw a schematic yourself (that’s not too hard) or grab one from Chicken Coop Guides.

Building Materials

You really can’t afford to go cheap here. Remember that your building materials are going to be exposed to the elements all the time, and you can’t afford to have anything rot out, or worse – for your chickens to peck away at pressurized wood with chemicals in it. When you go out to the local hardware store, get fresh wood – don’t bother getting scalped wood from a junk pile because you’ll just exacerbate the normal wear and tear.

Crawlspace

Well, first you’ve got to build a coop that works for you, just as well as the chickens. If you’ve got a coop that’s too small, you’re not going to be able to get in and clean all the nooks and crannies, let alone grab the eggs. That’s why you should get two doors for the coop – one for the chicken and one that’s big enough for you to walk through yourself.

Chickens like to be low to the ground, so there’s no reason to stick the doors high in the air or use a ladder. It’s also best to add a latch to these to keep chickens in shape and mobile.

As for the chickens, they’ll need some room too.

Defenses

First, you need to defend them from the weather. You need a draft free house that’s dry and prevents wetness and dampness. If you live in a hot area you need to set them up somewhere that’s well ventilated. A smooth airflow will keep insects out, and just as importantly, keep bad smells out too.

Eating

You’ve got to think about ways for feeding your chickens in an efficient way – you want something that’s rodent proof because you’ll need to stop small critters that can sneak in along with bigger animals you’re blocking out with fencing. It also needs to be easily emptied, because you’ll need to refill it fresh on a daily basis. You can put the bottom of the waterers and the top tip of the feeding plank at bird height.

Finally…

Network with other people that own chickens or are in the business. This is a heck of a task to take on with no experience of how chickens work or what exactly they need. Spend time at forums, reading books, or browsing websites like this as you look to care for your chickens and profit.

building a chicken coop