How to Make a Chicken Coop in 7 Steps

Building a Successful Chicken Coop in 7 Easy-To-Follow Steps

Having a chicken coop is a good way to become self sufficient. Chickens can provide eggs for baking and cooking. They can also be a source of meat. They also can provide an extra income by selling the eggs. Chickens require a relatively small place compared to other farm animals.

\"Chicken Wire Fence\"

Although this all sounds great, as with having any animal, there are responsibilities. You need to be absolutely sure that this is something you can and want to do. So if you are confident that you'd like to build a chicken coop and care for the chickens, then read on!

How to Make a Chicken Coop in 7 Steps

Step #1 - Chicken Coop Construction - Get Prepared With Plans!

The first thing you will need to do is draw out plans. Know how many chickens you want and what type of chicken coop you will need. Most areas have predators, so consider that as well. Get the correct materials including materials for insulation. You will want to make sure that you get pressure treated outdoor wood.

This is so the wood will not rot from moisture. You will need insulation to keep the chickens warm during the winter. However, if you live somewhere that it gets below freezing you will need to install heating where the chickens will be roosting and laying their eggs. The dimensions of your coop directly depends on the number of the chickens you want.

Step #2 - Base Frames and What to Do With Them

When getting started, you will need to find the highest point in the yard and level it off. Make sure that your chickens are going to have 2 square feet of space per chicken. If you are in lowlands build it up. This is so the area doesn't flood and leave the ground holding water.

Lay the base frame and floor. the dimensions will vary depending on your requirements. You should start with a rectangular frame with slats that are spaced 6 to 8 inches apart depending on the size you are wanting. Lay the floor using your choice of fiberglass flooring or plywood.

Step #3 - Building the Walls

Next, build the frame for the walls. Make sure the beams are approximately 1 to 2 feet apart depending on the desired size. The roof will slant enough to allow for rain to runoff. To make this easier, you can start all same size beams then use a measuring tape and a pencil to get your desired slant evenly. Since the roof will be slanted, it is important that the wall frames are the same size.

Make sure that the measurements for each frame strut matches one another. There should be two of each size. The back wall struts should be the same size as the last strut on the side wall frame. It is easier to build the frames on the ground and make sure that the measurements are correct and then lift them up and match them accordingly.

Step #4 - The Walls Are Up, Now What?

Once the wall struts are up, the roof struts can be laid across the top of the side wall frames. If you would like an over hang, you can cut purlins to support an over hanging roof truss. You can choose which side you want a door, but a door is necessary to clean the interior of the coop and put down food when needed.

The side of the wall that the door is going to be put in will need the struts to be closer where the door frame is being placed. The first strut from the edge should be about two feet in. The second will be only one foot with another strut at approximately three feet from that one to ensure a standard door can fit.

Place a beam cross section between the two struts that make the door frame high enough for you to get under. Five and a half to six feet is best. the less you have to duck down, the better. Across the top of the door frame, attach at least one more short strut from the top of the door frame to the roof. Also, make sure to make a space for at least two windows for circulation of air using the same process. Using steel or aluminum angle supports is useful in ensuring that the structure is sound. Screws instead of nails hold better, as well.

Step #5 - Building Nesting Boxes for Your Chickens

Building the nesting boxes should be done after the wall frames are installed, but before the inside walls are hung. They can be constructed at a minimum of twelve inches, otherwise the chickens will not lay in them as they will be too small. Access doors for them should be placed on the outside to ensure that you can access the eggs and clean the nests as needed. Put in as many nesting boxes as you have chickens. Chickens will sometimes share boxes, but you do not want to depend on this.

After the nesting boxes are finished, cut wall panels to the specifications needed. Install the wall panel on the inside of the coop to enclose it, keeping in mind doors and windows. Once those are installed, insulate the walls from the outside before hanging the outside wall panels. Tack up the insulation between the struts, again keeping in mind the windows and doors. After the insulation its hung, hang the outside wall panels.

The back wall will be nearly solid, except for a small hole in the wall that will be used as an exit for the chickens. You should cut the hole approximately 12-24 inches in diameter. Put a sloped plank for the chickens to enter and exit down. Once this is all complete, you can add your desired type or style window of choice, as well as a door. You will need to attach the door with hinges and a way to open it, as well as locking it.

Step #6 - Build the Roost!

Building the roost depends on what is needed. Take wooden dowels, cutting them to the desired length, then fastening them to a small wooden plate. Attach the plate to the inside wall once it is finished. This should be one of the last steps. Put in as many as you desire, but keeping in mind to leave room for clean up.

Your major concern should be keeping your chickens safe. Once the chicken coop is up, it is best to build what is call a chicken run. It is a length of fence that surrounds the coop. This fence can come out from the coop about six feet, but can be further if you need it. It should stand about six feet high. The design is going to be simple, but a bit like the frame for the chicken coop walls.

It should be built similarly, so that there can be a door installed with which you can enter the area around the coop to clean up and to get any eggs that the chickens lay there. once the frame work is up, attach chicken wire the height and length of the wall, but dig a trench on the inside of the chicken run and run the wire fencing wider so that it goes into the ground and lays flat, about twelve to eighteen inches out from the wall itself.

Step #7 - Dealing With the Chicken Wire

Cover the chicken wire back up to make sure that the chickens do not get tangled in it. Running the wire under the ground is done so that if a fox or other ground based predator tries to dig under the fence, they will not get past the chicken wire under the ground. When you are wanting to protect against air born predators, like chicken hawks, cover the entire area of the chicken run from wall to wall with chicken wire across the top.

This will keep the predatory birds from getting in. If you build your own door into the coop area, make sure to cross the frame work of the door with two beams to support the weight of the door before attaching the wire to it. For the walls of the chicken run, it is not necessary to use chicken wire. You can use almost any kind of wire fencing, but for the enclosure roof, it is best to use chicken wire as the links are smaller.

These instructions can vary depending on the needs. Feel free to have fun and be creative. Add color as well as making your windows and doors have shapes. This after all, will be for you and your chickens. So get the whole family involved, and come up with something fun and inventive that will not only be fun to look at, but be efficient as well.

How to Make a Chicken Coop in 7 Steps

With literally thousands of wood-working projects successfully under his belt, Manny J. Walters is an accomplished home builder, remodeler, master plumber, and carpentry expert. In addition, Manny also enjoys learning all about eco-friendly hardwood options.

When Manny's forum members ask him for the best DIY (do it yourself) chicken coop plans in order to build top chicken coops, this all-wood master confidently refers them to, which contains easy-to-understand instructions. Click the following link to learn more about building your own chicken coop.