A chicken coop is a dwelling place for female chickens. Also called hen house, a chicken coop is not entirely a very complex structure to build. With proper guidance and organization, building a chicken coop is a walk in the park. Let’s get started on how to build a chicken coop.
Build Chicken Coop
1. Set Goals.
The first order of business when building a chicken scoop is to devise a plan based on the owner’s current needs. It is very important that the owner at the outset should anticipate both his/her present and future needs, and incorporate them with the development of the plan. Some of the things that might be important and must be considered are as follows:
- How many chickens does one plan to keep?
- For what purpose are these chickens kept?
- How much space is there available for the coop?
2. Develop a plan.
When creating a plan, the creator should take the following specifications into consideration:
- Height of the chicken coop. Average chicken coop size is between 2 and 3 feet off the ground. This prevents chickens from being too close to predators, such as snakes. Moreover, coops too close to the ground may serve as nesting places for rodents, which may not be good for the chickens.
- Insulation. Chickens need a warm place to stay. In saying this, choose the best materials for the coop. The type of materials to be used however is contingent upon how much protection is needed from outside elements. Common bedding materials for chicken coop are wood shavings, straw and hay, chopped cardboard and shredded paper.
- Ventilation. Air flow is another essential component in building a chicken coop. There should be good ventilation into and out of the coop, mainly to ward off poop odor. Most of the vents are made of hinged flaps on the sides that can be propped up, with its openings covered with chicken wire.
- Food and water. The chicken’s food and water supply should be kept clean and away from litter.
- Perches. These structures are important for chickens, especially at night. A perch serves as a place for hens to roost. Decide on the number of perches, enough for the chickens in the coop. They must also be placed far apart that they won’t be in full contact with one another.
- Litter. Chickens do not control their eliminations. They just poop whenever and wherever they feel like. Hence, there should be a litter container beneath the perches attached to a filler. This then makes it easier for the owner/caretaker to clean the coop. It should be mentioned though that chicken litters are an excellent source of fertilizers.
- Nest Boxes. Nest boxes are small, shallow spaces where the chickens can lay eggs. Nest boxes should not be too spacious or too cozy, so that chickens are not encouraged to stay too long inside the boxes.
- Ramp. A ramp is necessary for the chickens to walk down. It is advised that the ramp be painted with a mixture of paint and sand to make it less slippery. If the coop is not placed in a closed yard, it is advisable to close them at night to keep chickens safe from harm, especially at night.
3. Assemble all the materials and tools.
Gather the necessary items to build a chicken coop. These basic construction materials are the following: (a.) Wood or plywood, (b.) Several nail sizes, (c.) Chicken wires, (d.) Paints, (e.) Hinges and Screws, (f.) Litter, (g.) Measuring tape, (h.) Sander, (i.) Power saw, (j.) Hammer, (k.) Drill, (l.) Work Bench, (m.) Face Mask, and (n.)Leather Gloves.
4. Construction of the coop.
- Organize the area where the chicken coop will be built. Level the area, clear it from litter, and mark it clearly.
- Construct the basic frame using woods with the dimension of 2×4” and 4×4”.
- Fill out the frame with more 2×4”, including the roof beams, the doorway, and the second level.
- Add some sheathing onto the roof using oriented-strand board.
- If the area is cool, add on shingles onto the roof and insulation panels to keep the chickens warm and dry.
- Cover up the insulation panels using clapboards, plastic, or vinyl siding.
- Consider putting up side doors for easier access of coops and retrieval of eggs.
- Make sure to fence the coop with chicken wire.
- Set up platforms, obstacles and boards for chickens to hop around and allow them to move about.
- Add pine wood shavings to serve as bedding.