5 Simple Steps on How to Build a Backyard Chicken Coop
As you probably know, a chicken coop is an essential part of raising backyard chickens. It will provide your flock with warm shelter and a safe place to eat and sleep. However, not many of us want to invest in a pre-made chicken coop for many reasons such as:
inflated cost and the hassle of delivery or bringing it home. Therefore, I have written this article to help you build a backyard chicken coop fast and easily. If you follow these 5 easy steps, you
will be able to construct a strong and durable backyard chicken coop that will provide excellent shelter for your chickens and keep them safe from predators.
Step 1: Plan Ahead of Time.
If you want to build a backyard chicken coop with the least amount of setbacks, you must PLAN ahead of time. Some things to think about before beginning your construction are: How many chickens will inhabit the coop?, What size are the chickens, large standards or bantams? How many nests will you provide the hens with? How many feeders and waterers will you have available? How many windows will your chicken coop require to give enough sunlight to your flock? Will you be constructing a chicken run with easy access into and out of the coop? You see, there are various questions that need to be answered before you build a backyard chicken coop because you may find out too late that the coop you built was not sufficient enough to keep your chickens happy and safe.
Step 2: Choose your Terrain.
Once you have answered all your pre-building questions, the next step is to choose a terrain where you will build a backyard chicken coop in. It is very important that you choose an area that is wide enough for your coop to fit with plenty of space around it for a chicken run or for you to maneuver around. You do not want to build a coop where you do not have easy access around its perimeter. Try to choose a terrain where it receives direct sunlight and far from heavy bushes or weeds where snakes, rodents, and other predators may reside in.
Step 3: Sketch out your Design on Paper.
When attempting to build a backyard chicken coop, do not go at it with a concept in your head. This can lead to disaster. Make sure you sketch out your coop on paper, even if you're not an artist, and cover every angle including a top view of the roof and a sketch of the inside. If this is your first time building a backyard chicken coop, you shouldn't go for an architectural masterpiece, but rather start out with a simple chicken coop first just big enough for your flock, and as you gain experience, then go for something of a greater scale.
Step 4: Gather all your Materials.
Before you build a backyard chicken coop, make an effort to collect all the materials you will need so that you won't have to take unexpected trips to and from the hardware or lumber store. A good example of materials you will need are wood (2 x 4), concrete cinder blocks, chicken wire or fence wire, insulation strips, and of course nails, screws, saw, and hammer. While these are your most common materials, only you will know exactly what you need when you complete steps 1 and 3 and actually plan ahead of time, and sketch out your coop design from every angle.
Step 5: Build it.
It is now time to build a backyard chicken coop. You have done all your planning ahead of time. You have chosen a terrain convenient to maneuver around with excellent sunlight and free from predators. You have sketched out your chicken coop design on paper and you have gathered all your materials. Now all you have to do is put it together.
Some things to remember: Provide plenty of ventilation through screened windows, bury your outside chicken wire along the coop's borders about a foot deep to prevent predators from digging in, and if you live in cold climates, make sure to properly insulate the roof and insides of the coop.
I hope these 5 steps will help you build a backyard chicken coop with greater ease and success. However, these are only a few guidelines and there is so much more information you should learn before you actually build a backyard chicken coop.
Dale Higgins has been raising chickens and poultry for over 20 years and is an expert in building chicken coops.