Chicken Coop / June 6, 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.
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.
You should always use your sound judgment when constructing a chicken coop. You would be better off in using building materials which would allow you to clean the coop easily. The door of your coop should always open inwards and it is always better to have sliding doors so that chickens cannot come out to roost on your windows. You should consider constructing the floor of your chicken coop with material which you can easily hose without many puddles. Your chicken coop must be built in such a way that it can protect your chickens from hazardous elements such as heavy rain wind hale snow cold climates etc and from being eaten or killed by hungry predators. The coop should protect the chicken from being stolen as well. The coop should be protected from draft with windows that can be opened and shut having proper screening system for example a heavy gauge mesh wire. Your chicken coops must have an adequate drainage system where rain water may flow out keeping the coop dry. You need to position your chicken coop in an area where it gets the Sun which will keep the chickens warm and dry.