Chicken Coop / June 5, 2018 / Maryellen
Building with used material you already have lying around or maybe a friend or neighbor has lumber they would like to give you and that would certainly cut the costs of building materials down. Also building the housing yourself from a good set of chicken coop plans could save you as much as 50% off the price of buying a coop in kit form or already built. Planning and building your chicken coop should not be difficult or even take a lot of time. Just a few hours of planning will go a long way in keeping the process smooth. Provide shelter from the environment and predators build according to your projected flock size and how much property you have to work with give your chickens enough room to exercise place your chicken coop so they get plenty of sunshine and fresh air and finally size according to your projected budget.
The next thing you should ask yourself is will you move your chicken coop a lot. If yes you may think about building a mobile chicken house. It will allow you to change location of your flocks home with ease. The only disadvantage of such a solution is the size limitation. In order to create a mobile chicken coop you will have to attach wheels to it. This on the other hand will force you to build a chicken coop which size allows you to carry it. The next thing you have to think about is the hardness of the ground in your backyard. If it is very soft you wont be able to pull your chicken coop through it without getting stuck. Topic of predators is often missed by many people who learn how to build a chicken coop. But this issue is of utter importance and if neglected can lead to loss of your entire flock. You should start from establishing what kind of predators are in your neighborhood. You can do it either by asking people near you or searching this information on the Internet. The thing you are after is the method they will try to attack your chicken coop.
Use appropriate building materials. Wood on the bottom of the coop that is in contact with the soil will eventually rot. Redwood and cedar are rot-resistant and excellent choices. Pine is cheaper and may need replacing in the future or require treatment. Be aware that preservatives put on wood might be poisonous to chickens. Use metal fiberglass or wood shingles for the roof. Perches. Chickens need to perch off the ground at night. You can be creative making perches from broom handles natural branches or 2x2s rounded and sanded (1x2 for bantams). Figure 6-10 inches of perching space per hen or 6-8 inches for bantams. Nesting boxes. Provide 1 nesting box for every 4-5 hens. They will often share a nest. Build the boxes where you can reach in through a hinged door for easy access to collect the eggs.