Chicken Coop 101

| 3/31/2011 5:22:00 PM

Tags: Building a Chicken Coop, Chicken Coops, Chicken Coop Plans, Staci Ducharme,

Photo of coop

You can make a chicken coop from just about anything.  I've seen rabbit hutches, tool sheds, and portions of barns converted into chicken coops.  If you're lucky enough to start from scratch, or your able to remodel an existing structure, there's a few things we've learned you might want to take into consideration.

Little red shed that was the coop 

The photo above of the little red shed was the existing chicken coop and tiny outdoor run when we purchased our farm house.  We knew we wanted to build a new, larger coop and run, and had hoped to do so prior to bringing chickens home.  It didn't happen as planned and I am now very thankful.  We learned a lot while using this small coop that wouldn't have have crossed our minds if we hadn't.  The girls and handsome Mr. Clyde lived there for about 3 months before the new coop was built.

As a start, regarding the size of your coop, the general number seems to be 3 feet to every chicken. (Our coop is 8 foot by 10 foot and around 8 foot tall.) Remember to also keep in mind you want a roost area, feeding area and egg laying area.  Think through the feeding area, because if it's too close to the roost area you'll end up with feeders full of manure. 

You also want to make sure the coop is safe from predators.  Even if your chickens free-range during the day, they need a safe haven to sleep in.  Make sure nothing can get underneath the coop or through the door or windows.  We use two types of locks on all our doors (hoping if they can get one open they can't get the other) and every window has a barrel-lock on the inside.  We also added a tough wire to all the windows so they can remain open during the hot summer.

7/24/2014 8:48:29 PM

Been literally looking for free information online that would take me step by step on how to build any size chicken coop. The plans available on this blog were the best I could find. Gives you all materials and step by steps for any design or size. I used it for a coop for 6 chickens only took me 4 days to build I highly recommend it. Your welcome lol

6/30/2014 3:26:51 PM

Idea! I have a workshop(wife calls it my doghouse)out back & instead of it running up the electric bill when I run the table saw & such, I built a windmill tower, topped it off with an alternator from a wrecked semi truck, propeller, and all the trimmings, so that now my workshop is off grid & I have all the power I could ever want. The windmill is wired to a bank of batteries(again, semi truck batteries) that I got for a song(that wasn't even in the top 40) & a dance, which is connected to an inverter which is connected to my workshop. I do not know what your finances are(not asking either), but maybe you could do something like that for the chicken coop.... The alternator from ANY motor car, heavy machinery, etc, will work...the alternator just need protected from the weather 24/7/365. If you look on the internet, wind generators can run about $1000 & up...I spent about $350 for my entire set up...tower(scavenged wood), alternator, batteries, inverter & wiring(the inverter & wiring I bought new). Just a thought...if you can do this, it could save you a TON of money over time....

6/30/2014 3:19:50 PM

Loved your ideas and photos! I used a lot of the same ones when building my coop last summer. May I suggest using a vinyl remnant over your wooden floor? Cleans up great! I'd like to know if you are using something in between the plastic waterer and your metal water heater. I'd heard the plastic could melting on the hot metal plate. The photo looks like something is sandwiched in between. I used a metal waterer last winter, but by spring it had started to rust from the Apple Cider Vinegar we routinely put in the water. Now we use our plastic one, but what to do, come winter?

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