Want your hens happy, healthy and productive? Like to build your own coop but not sure if you have the skills or tools? What features of a hen house design are essential and how big should it be? How about nest boxes and ventilation? All these questions and more are answered right here.
Feel encouraged! – Provided you’re willing to make a little effort, you can almost certainly build your own chicken coop at home. Despite no wood working experience prior to building our first coop, it’s still in use many years on. The keys to your success are clear and detailed coop construction plans along with giving yourself time.
As for tools, most poultry house designs require only basic equipment and none need to be electrical – although that would speed up your work. You’ll only need a wood saw, a drill with bits and a screw driver. A jig saw or junior hacksaw will make cutting any curves easier. Of course you also need a tape measure and pencil.
Whether you plan on designing your own coop or you’re looking to buy plans for a chicken coop, make sure certain important features are included:
An area that is dry, under cover and free from draughts
It must easy to clean so make it tall enough to walk into, or build it with a removable roof or wall panels. That way you’ll be able to reach right inside without falling in head first!!
Chickens can be like naughty children and they certainly KNOW when theyre at arms-length-plus-2-inches!! Be certain you can reach the entire chicken coop without tools and an hour to spare.
Somewhere to nest that is dark and the chickens cant roost in.
Size really does matter. When thinking about how large to make your coop, allow at least 3 to 4 sq. ft. of floor space per chicken for big breeds and 2 sq. ft for bantams. You’ll need to double this area for their health or triple it for their happiness if your chickens will be confined for much of the day!
Even small chicken coop plans need nest boxes – unless you’re only raising your birds for meat of course! You should provide 1 nest box for every 4 or 5 birds. These need to be in a dry and dark place – not only to encourage laying but also to reduce the risk of a potential egg eating habit getting started.
Adequate ventilation is very important. You can simply include mesh covered ventilation holes in the sides of your coop and windows that can be opened in hot weather if your chickens will be inside most of the time.
The most important aspect of any plans for a chicken coop, which has a dramatic and direct effect upon your chickens health and therefore productivity, is making their home portable. Try to move your coop regularly, at least once per week if they’re confined to a small run but less often if free ranging. If your hens free range then don’t move their coop too far in one go. They are not the brightest sparks and will return to where it WAS and sleep on the ground if it’s too far away!!
I hope this helps you develop confidence in your ability to build you own chicken coop. Once you have, then you too can experience that sense of pride and accomplishment when you gaze at your masterpiece of craftsmanship and it’s happy occupants.