Simple Ideas on How To Make A Homemade Chicken Coop Ideas

Keeping chicken at home is not as hard as it may seem. For quite some time now I have been keeping chicken at my yard and believe me the idea of keeping them has been the best thing I have ever tried. What I like the most about keeping hens at home is that I get constant supply of high quality and fresh eggs daily. I assure that the quality of the eggs I get is by far much better than the ones I used to buy at the convenience store. I learned about rearing chicken from a friend and I would like you to learn from me as I would be so mean not to share with the tips on keeping chicken at home. Currently I keep about 45 chicken at my place and the benefits, wow, so much. Anciently, kitchen gardens were all about planting veggies and rearing a small flock of hens and cocks for meat. Thankfully, the nutritionists started talking about the relevance of rearing chicken for eggs too. Now, let me give you some few tips on how to keep these valuable birds at your home. You should start by building a coop for them.

unique-chicken-coop

Building a chicken coop should not give you a headache. It is as easy as it sounds since everything you need is just at your reach. First, find a spot right there at your yard. If you have some trees at your yard then under those trees would be the best spot to build your coop. the trees, during summer, help keep it cool for the chickens as full sun-rays are restrained from heating the coop up and instead the coop is only warmed up which is good for chickens. This is the first step you should take in building a homemade chicken coop.

Let’s get to real work now. You need to start propping up the structure by elevating the perching are around 2.5 to 3.5 feet off the ground so as to ensure that the chickens’ feet dry during rainy seasons. I hope you know that chicken are very delicate especially when it comes to contact with wet environments. You should set up a ramp for perching and it should stretch across the coop in a way to allow free movement of the chicken within the coop. The coop walls should be made of timber (wood) and they should be high enough and partially covered with wire mesh.

The wire mesh is important as it ensures that the chickens get enough sunlight as it is important for egg production. During summer, expect more eggs and during winter expect less or none as chicken tend to be more productive during summer. You need to install electricity in the coop so as to use warm bulbs during winter to stimulate egg production. You do not need the help of a professional in doing this since all you need are the dimensions of the wood, nails, roofing material, electricity and the chicken.

The next thing is the resting boxes for the hens in order for them to lay eggs and to roost. You can use the some old sturdy wicker baskets lined on the inside with straw or hay to provide a cozy and comfortable place for the chicken to lay eggs. Wood rods are also needed for the chicken to perch on when sleeping. After setting up all that now go look for the chicken and bring them in. an averagely small coop built with the woods laying around at your homestead can sustain a minimum of about ten chicken and do not forget to bring in some roosters if you need some quality eggs.

So now you have a coop right there at your backyard. Finally, what you need to do is to always clean up the coop in order to avoid the stinking smell from the chicken droppings from making you and your family uncomfortable. Remember to always clean up the coop every morning and ensure you feed the chicken well. Make a visit to your local veterinary officer at least once every month for the officer to come and check out your brood’s progress and to ensure that your chicken are healthy. Owning a homemade coop is as easy as that, try it out today and start enjoying the benefits.

Build a Small Chicken Coop in your Backyard

Building a backyard chicken coop will allow you to harvest eggs, raise chickens for meat, recycle your food scraps and develop high-quality fertilizer. It’s easier than you think! Read below for the steps in building a chicken coop at home.

small chicken coop

1. Develop a plan for your chicken coop. Ask yourself how many chickens you plan to keep, how much space you have, and for what purpose you’re keeping chickens. These questions will affect how you build your chicken coop.

2. Develop a plan. You can buy chicken coop plans, or create one. Here’s a list of basic design for most coops:

Most chicken coops are raised two or three feet off the ground. Increased height makes the chickens less accessible to predators. Having your coop too close to the ground could also provide space for rodents to nest.

Depending on where you live, your coop might require more or less insulation. Select your materials based.

Because your chickens will be eliminating inside the coop, you’ll need to keep air flowing through it. Most vents consist of hinged flaps on the sides of the coop that are propped up, with the openings covered with chicken wire.

Your chickens will need access to food and water, away from the litter. The system you use for this can be simple.

Perches inside the coop will provide a place for your chickens to roost at night. Remember that chickens prefer to sleep on a perch, and that the perches need to be far enough.

Because chickens don’t control their eliminations, you’ll need to provide some sort of litter beneath the perches such as straw or wood shavings. Having the waste attached to filler will make the coop easier to clean.

Your nest box should be a small, shallow space where your chickens can lay eggs. Avoid making it too spacious or comfortable, so that the chickens aren’t encouraged to stay there for too long. Some coops are designed such that the eggs from the nest box can be accessed via a small door.

To exit the elevated coop, your chickens will need a small ramp going down to the yard. Paint the ramp with a mixture of sand and paint to make it less slippery, and add cross strips (like frets on a guitar) for the chickens to use like little steps. If your ramp does not go into an enclosed yard, you’ll want to be able to close it up at night.

3. Assemble materials and tools. At a minimum, you’ll need wood or plywood in different sizes, nails, chicken wire, hinges, screws and litter. If you’re building a more complicated coop, you’ll need more varied materials. Additionally, you’ll need a measuring tape, sander, power saw, hammer, drill, work bench, face mask and leather gloves. You might be able to buy these items from second-hand shops.

4. Start building. When you’re constructing the coop, try to build methodically so that you don’t have to go back and fix mistakes.

Join the bottom frames first, then the side frames and supporting frames. In assembling the frames, where they are to be joined, use wood glue to hold them in place and drill very small pilot holes. To ensure that the nails go in straight, drill pilot holes. Better yet, use a miter joint or end lap joint. The lap joint and the miter joint are the two common joints you need to use in building your chicken coop.

Put on the sidings (plywood or chicken wire) and the roofing material of the chicken coop when the frame is ready. Make sure that you double the length of the wood supports and the size when increasing the size or dimensions of your chicken coop. For example, from a 25 mm x 25 mm x 2 m wood, increase it to 50 mm x 50 mm x 3 m, to ensure that the frame is strong. Add the windows and doors. The windows and doors should be the last ones you should work on.

5. Inspect your work. 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. You can paint the chicken coop in any color you like.

small chicken coop

Large Chicken Coop Design

The Big Coop

My inspiration came when I purchased used double vinyl windows off of Craig’s list. I designed the coop and runs around these windows. The first coop I built 100% single handedly. I cheated a bit with this one. At 12 x 20 with a 9 ft high inside peak I knew I couldn’t handle it alone so I contracted out the construction of the basic building. I did all the interior work, the painting and the construction of the runs.

large chicken coops

The Specifics

I preferred the look of the saltbox style and it allowed me to create a wall of windows facing south. There are two windows on the north side, with the roosts placed between the two. There is one smaller window on the east side to catch early morning sunlight. The west side has no openings as this is the direction from which the prevailing winds blow. The south side is 8 ft tall, and the north side is 6 ft. There are two vents at the peaks of the east and west ends, vents, and a ridge vent along the length of the substructure.
I debated at length of whether to elevate the coop or to build it on a concrete slab. My first coop is elevated and my chickens love to get underneath out of the weather, or sun in the summer. The cost for the two options was identical i.e. the cost of pouring the slab was equal to the cost of the elevated flooring. I knew I wouldn’t be happy unless I insulated under an elevated floor, and then I’d have to cover the insulation to keep the chickens from pecking at the insulation. I decided I didn’t want to take the time to do this, or spend the additional money, so I went with concrete.
West end
I went with car siding, and asphalt shingles to match my first coop. On the north side, I included a clean out door 3 ft wide by 8 inches high, under the roosts. I used fiberglass insulation in the walls, covered by shower board. The ceiling is insulated with 1 in foil backed rigid foam. I covered all of the windows from the outside with framed 1/2 inch hardware cloth panels. Since these photos were taken I have poured a 4 ft. x 4 ft. concrete slab in front of the door.

The Runs

The north run is 8 ft. x 19 ft. and the south run is 12 x 19. This is the widest I could make them in order to match the pitch of the roof line. I used 4 ft wide sheets of 1/2 inch hardware cloth so the runs needed to be less than 20 Hardware cloth long to allow for overlapping. The hardware cloth extends 2 ft beyond the structure (horizontally on the ground.) When construction was finished, I got a couple of loads of top soil to cover the aprons. I decided to go with small people doors into the runs because they were easier to make than 6 ft tall ones, they were cheaper, and I just think they look better. This may have not been the best decision. I can bend way down to get inside now, but when I’m older, this might not be so easy. I used treated lumber, including 2 x 10’s around the base. I then filled them with about 6 inches of sand. South run
I used corrugated roof panels where the roof meets the runs. This provides shade on the south side from the hottest summer sun, and directs rain water away from the windows on either side. If you look closely, you’ll see the panels don’t lay flat. This is because I didn’t plan for enough overhang of the shingles. I had to keep the panels as tight as possible against the at the expense of a clean line. It works as planned, however, so I can live with the appearance.

The Inside

Brooder There are three sections inside. At the west end is a 5 ft x 12 ft section with a pop door to the smaller run. I will use this as an area to house breeding groups, followed by an area for 2 or 3 broody hens and their chicks. The chicks will grow up for several weeks separated from the main flock by just the door and chicken wire. I should be able to integrate the 2 groups after 6 or 8 weeks. (The rooster are kept separate in a bachelor pad, my first, smaller coop.) For now I have taken out the door between the 2 sections to allow maximum space for my main flock, and access to both runs.
The middle section is 10 ft. x 12 ft. for the main flock. It has a pop door to the larger run. The roosts are of a ladder type and swing upwards when I do a major cleaning. I use the deep litter method – pine shavings. Where the floor meets the wall under the roosts I have a clean-out door through which I can sweep out the litter for periodic replacement of the deep litter. I have a 6 hole roll out nest box which deposits eggs into the storage area. Since these photos were taken, I have attached perches to the front of the nest box for ease of entry.

Roost Nests

The section along the east wall is 5 ft. x 12 ft. It is used for storage of food, feeders, etc., and allows collection of eggs without entering the pen. I used many of the tools, cabinets, crocks, etc. I had saved from my grandparents and parents garages and basements. On the wall, I have an 1877 picture of my ancestors storage who were 77 and 81 in the photo. Cabinet

I made the feeder out of 6 in PVC, and oyster shell and grit dispensers out of 3 in PVC. I’m using nipple waters. Two 5 gallon buckets with 3 nipples in each. This winter I’ll place a bird bath-type heater in one if they freeze up. They converted to the nipple waterers without any problems, and they stay sooo much cleaner. With 25 hens inside now, I don’t have to change food or water for several days in a row.

Feeder Waterer and Pop Doors

I am often gone from sunrise to sunset, so I couldn’t live without my automatic pop doors. I have the Foy’s model in my first coop and love it, so I wanted Pop door use the same in this coop. I did so for entry to the small run, but for entry to the south run I needed to put the pop door under the windows, requiring a door that swings open. So on this side, I went with the Pullet-Shut door. It was somewhat easier to to install, but I have a slight preference for the Foy’s model because it is battery operated, and the batteries last for at least a year. Pullet Shut requires a 12 volt battery with a trickle charger, or a solar powered battery. Adjusting the times is easier on the Foy’s if you don’t have the photocell option. Since I added the photocell option to the Pullet Shut door (as I already had on the Foy’s) I never have to adjust the times.

Chicken Coop Pictures and Designs

We not sure how we feel about the whole chicken coop craze, but after learning that we’re sure that the backyard chicken ranchers trend is something we’ll be seeing. And it’s not so bad we guess, especially when you see some of these surprising designs. Don’t believe us? Just scroll through these chicken coops pictures and maybe you’ll be inspired to tend to some hens.

A frame chicken coop Portland

combination-chicken-coop

dutch-chicken-coop

great-looking-chicken-coop

lean-to-make-chicken-coop

Prod The Pentland

unique-chicken-coop

wooden chicken coop

Front-View-of-SFF-Chicken-Coop

combination-chicken-coop
dutch-chicken-coop

great-looking-chicken-coop

Front-View-of-SFF-Chicken-Coop

wooden chicken coop

unique-chicken-coop

Prod The Pentland

lean-to-make-chicken-coop

 

Want to raise chickens but not sure what type of coop is best for your backyard? These stylish hen houses photo will help you decide to buy one or design and build one yourself.

Best Free DIY Chicken Coop Blueprints

Harriet’s House

free chicken coop blueprints

Holds                                4 – 5 birds
Nest boxes                       2
Attached run                   Yes
Ease to construct           Quite challenging.
Dimensions Overall      40” x 144” including the 28” x 40” coop.

The chickens love this. It is very quick and simple to keep clean because the nest box is located outside of the coop, daily egg collections can be made without disturbing the roost.

 

How to Build a Chicken Coop Free Plans

If you want to build a chicken coop from scratch, here are free plans to help you get started. Before you start, please read the basics of a chicken coop article to make sure you give your chickens everything they need.

The Basics of a Chicken Coop

The Chicken Run:

This is a secure place for chickens when not in the chicken coop and it usually ‘fenced’ with chicken wire.

The Perch or Roost:

This is a bar that is installed 2 feet or so off the ground where chickens like to hang out and roost. Being off the ground helps them feel safer and keeps them dry.

The Nest Box:

This space is where the chickens will lay their eggs. A chicken coop will often have several nest box spaces tucked away for privacy in laying. The boxes themselves are generally about the size of a shoebox or a bit bigger. Large enough for the chicken to be inside and not feel crowded.

The Chicken Feeder:

A container that holds food for the chickens. This can be free standing or hanging in the hen house or in a covered area of the chicken run.

The Chicken Waterer:

A container that holds water for the chickens. This can also be free standing or hanging in the hen house or out in the chicken run.

 

Step By Step Chicken Coop

It all started with the idea that I could build my own chicken coop.

My first idea was to find a play structure that I could build on from there. My goal was to build a chicken coop with as many free, recycled and/or reused products as possible.
I found this two story play structure on Craigslist.

I brought the play structure home in pieces and lined them up along the back fence.

how to build a chicken coop free plans

Play structure Parts

I (mistakenly) thought that it would be wiser to put the shingles on the roof while it was still on the ground. It was easier, to be sure, but it added a WHOLE lot of weight to the roof, making it hard to put up on top of the structure later.

Jacob shingling Roof

Next, I sawed off the long 4×4’s to make the 2 story play structure a 1 story chicken coop on stilts. And assembled the base framework to work from.

Holding it up Putting it back together

Once I realized that this project was going to take longer than a weekend, I decided it would be best to have two phases for the coop building. I would put a temporary wall on the back wall and take it down when I completed the 2nd phase of the project.

Walls

A house in the neighborhood was gutted and we got permission to drag home their scrap wood. This wall, the first I built, was made entirely out of that wood. I left a hole for the nest box (so we could reach in from the outside to collect eggs).

On second wall on the opposite side from wall one, I decided to install a window. This window was an old scrap I had in the garage that I’d been saving for an art project. I’d originally picked it up for $2 at a re-use store.
(I’m still using the gutted wood from the neighbor’s house, also.

(Actually almost all of Phase One used the wood from that house.)

Window nest box

From there, I built a nesting box out of parts of cupboards from the same gutted house, as well as other scraps I found laying around. And then I stuck a kid on painting duty.

After I got all the walls done, someone asked me if I’d put insulation in my coop…hmmm…I hadn’t thought of that…so I went out and bought a sheet of insulation (for about $15). It insulated 3 of the 4 walls (but remember, the 4th wall is only temporary…so it was a perfect fix.) I then found scraps and put in an inner wall so the chickens wouldn’t peck at the insulation.

insulation nest box

Then the nest box was installed. You can see through it to the outside at this point, but later there will be a door on hinges (a cupboard door from the now famous gutted house!)

The third wall, which is the front of the coop, along with a door.

front door

And with the help of a couple of strong guys, the roof was added. (Now, keep in mind, we’re now WEEKS into the process and my chickens are growing bigger by the day…the pressure is on!)

roof

I enlisted cheerful helpers to paint the inside of the coop (floors, walls, nesting box) bright yellow. Since we live in the Pacific NW where it rains a lot, we thought yellow would make the chickens happy in the winter (but really, it happened to be some leftover paint I found in the garage…but don’t tell them that!)

painting

Here the egg door is installed, as well as the platform for phase TWO of the coop. Eventually, this back wall will come down and the coop will double in size. (Hopefully before my chickens start laying eggs!)

egg door

I made a double door out of shutters from the gutted house. And enclosed the underside of the coop with hardwire cloth. This way, the chickens can get some ‘outdoor’ space before the extended chicken run is completed.

chicken run

This picture shows the side view of the underneath chicken run. You can also see the little ladder I made for them to get from the coop to the chicken run underneath. (If you look close, you can see the completed nest box through the window.)chicken run

I brought Frieda out to inspect the coop before the chicks moved in. I think she likes the color (and, of course, the picture window).

The girls finally move in…they don’t know what to think with all this space …they’re coming from an appliance box in the garage…

girls move in

Next comes the paint, shutters and window box. The shutters are actually the top half of the shutters I used for the little doors into the chicken run (see earlier picture).shutters

Here is the extended chicken run (phase one) in progress. The doors at the end are made out of yet more shutters from the neighbor’s gutted house. chicken run

Eventually there will be a corrugated roof on top of the run, but for temporary purposes, a tarp is nailed down.

Now that the chickens are moved out, construction for Phase Two begins…here holes are being cut into the floor. They will be covered with chicken wire and be under the roost. This way, the majority of chicken poop will fall out on the ground below (outside the coop) for easy removal.

A Phase Two wall is completed…this wall, with double doors, will become the main entrance (for humans) into the chicken coop.

doors

cutting hole

The main roost in the 2nd half of the coop is made from the ladder that came with the play structure.

phase two

Nest box and roost, minus a wall…in Phase Two.

nest box and roost

Adding chicken wire and support beams to the ‘roof’ of the chicken run. I want to cover it in a safer manner. So far, I’ve just had a tarp stapled down.

Adding Chicken Wire

And, finally, I opened up the coop–removed the temporary wall and doubled the size….below are a few different angles of the ‘new, improved’ inside of the coop.

Opening the wall Inside coop

Inside the coop Inside coop
The only problem is that my chickens don’t like the new, improved, spacious coop…and they don’t want to hang out on the new roost. Here they are all squished together on one of the old roosts I left inside….oh brother! So much for appreciation!

I designed and painted a sign for the coop and added it below. You can also see the kids feather collection lining the wall…why? I don’t know! But they love tacking them up there, all in a row…

Here I’ve added the 2nd half of the chicken run–making it more twice as large as before (the original chicken run stopped at the white shutter door–the whole section on the left side is new). At this point, the 2nd half only has a couple support beams and chicken wire over the top, covered by heavy thick plastic–as we’re moving into the fall and the non-ending winter rain.
Chicken Run Extention

I have read stories of people building chicken coops in a day or two. My story isn’t so grand. It pretty much took me from April through October to build this. Of course it didn’t help that I don’t know WHAT I’m doing. Nor did I have chicken coop plans (which I’d highly suggest). Also, I used as much recycled materials as possible, so I pieced it together in kind of odd ways….

It is completely functional and serves well for a home for the girls. However, if I ever move from here, I want to move to a place that ALREADY HAS A COOP in place!

Now, on to a simple lean-to shed for the chicken food to live in this winter….the base is made from a freebee palette a business was giving away. Since it was extra large, it seemed perfect for a floor. I filled in the slats with wood scraps of wood and began the framework, walls and ceiling…unfortunately, it isn’t done yet (still has a wall to go) so I don’t have a completed photo…it’s done far enough, however, to accomplish what I wanted it for–a place close to the chicken coop to store the feed and keep it dry.

Build a Backyard Chicken Coop

I made this chicken barn few years ago to house 7-10 hens in my backyard. I’m in town and had to design a chicken coup. This one was inspired by some Kansas barns I’ve seen. I spent $40 when completed. Chicken wire, some 2x4s and damaged siding were the costs. Damaged siding is half price at my local store. Other things used were scrap wood from old bathroom cabinets, leftover hardware, paint, and wood from house projects, and lot of scraps and hardware from a condemned house down the street. Shingles were given by my neighbor.

Backyard Chicken Coop

There are some rules for designing  a good healthy chicken shack:
1. Adequate floor space per bird.
2. Dry with good ventilation.
3. Temperature control.
4. Predator protection.
5. Keep it clean + fresh water/food = happy & healthy birds.

Many towns allow up to 5 chickens. Check local rules if you plan to build. If you do get chickens in town, be courteous to the non-chicken majority so the rest of the city chicken people don’t get punished through politics and zoning.