Building Your Backyard Chicken Coop
Before you begin building a chicken coop, the very first thing to do is survey the area where you plan to put the chicken coop. Decide whether what you plan to build will be portable (movable), semi-permanent or fixed.
Regardless of the type of backyard chicken coop you will build for your chickens, you have to make sure that you provide them with the best available comfort, cleanliness and security since this is where your flock will sleep and lay their eggs.
This is where your chickens will eat and sleep. Your coop will also need to keep them safe from potential predators. It is possible to buy a pre-made chicken coop and that is a good option for you if you have the money and don’t have the time to build one on your own.
Pre-Planning and Site Selection Basics
- Choose the Right Plan and Design: Based on the family discussion as to how many chickens you plan to have, you already have an idea as to how big the chicken coop should be and what type you would build.
- Other Factors to Consider: When you have decided on the right plan and design, you also have to consider the following factors in order to make the building phase a lot easier for you.
- Allocate 4 heads of chicken per feeder and waterer.
- Build the nest boxes at the same time you build the chicken coop to save time.
- Position the Coop Strategically In choosing the right place for semi-permanent or fixed chicken coop, make sure that the area will have the right amount of sunlight and is not directly in the direction of the wind with predator threats kept to a minimum.
Buying Construction Materials
You are now ready to buy your construction materials and supplies. To save on expenses, it is recommended that you shop for your chicken coop building supplies from second hand shops. You never know the kind of bargain you will be able to find in these shops.
Check the chicken coop plan you have chosen and copy the list of materials of the plan. If you will have less than 4 chickens in the coop, the size of the coop is sufficient but for future expansion purposes and to preclude building another coop after a year or two, it may be best to double (or triple) the original size of the chicken coop.
Make sure that all of the basics are taken cared of before you buy a single piece of lumber.
If you took our advice to use used lumber in building your chicken coop, then one of the problems you’ll face is getting them all in the same lengths – don’t worry, you can always cut them to size but bear in mind that the shortest piece you should get should also be the dimensions of the smallest piece in the chicken coop plan that you have chosen to avoid unnecessary joints.
In choosing your lumber pieces, make sure that they are:
- Choose wood that are bigger or longer than the actual dimensions specified (you need to sand them clean yet) which means they’ll become a little bit smaller.
- Choose lumber that you can cut in half to make two equal pieces of the same length.
- Don’t worry about the cracks in the wood, the age of the wood guarantees that they are dry and will not split.
- Buy as much as you need that are available in the second hand shop, you’ll discover what a bargain (not to mention fun) it is to build your backyard chicken coop.
Ready, Set, Go!
Now the real fun begins!
Don’t forget your notes, chicken coop plan, measuring tape, sander, power saw, work bench, face mask and leather gloves. It pays to be safe whenever you work with tools – electric or not!
Once you have your plan and your materials you can start to build your backyard chicken coop. Follow your plan details and make sure that everything is secure.
It’s not difficult to build a chicken coop although it may take a long time if you have not done any carpentry work in a long time but it is definitely exciting and fun, especially when the chicken coop begins to take shape!
- Clean all the pieces of wood that you will use making doubly sure that there are no more nails on them.
- If necessary, sand them down with your electric sander so you will have a smooth surface for all the wood you will use.
- Cut them to size based on the dimensions provided on your chicken coop plan details.
- Join the bottom frames first, then the side frames and supporting frames.
- In assembling the frames, use wood glue to hold them in place where they are to be joined and drill very small pilot holes for the nails. Drilling pilot holes ensures that the nails go in straight.
- Better yet, use a miter joint or end lap joint as shown in the figures below. These are the two most common joints you need to use in building your chicken coop to ensure stability and sturdiness of your project.
- When the frame is ready, you then have to put the sidings (plywood and/or chicken wire) and the roofing material of the chicken coop.
- When increasing the size or dimensions of your chicken coop, make sure that you double the length of the wood supports and the size.
- For example, from a 25mm x 25mm x 2m wood, increase it to 50mm x 50mm x 3m to ensure that the frame is strong and sturdy!
- The windows and doors should be the last ones you should work on.
- As soon as everything is finished, do a once-over inspection and plug all seams and joints with insulation material to prevent cold air from entering your flock’s new house.
- Lastly, you can paint it any color you want to match the overall character of your home!