When you are 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. Or if you have it available in your own stock.
Check our chicken coop plan manual if you want to know more. 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.
- Borrow from your neighbours.
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!
Free Range Chicken Raising
1. If you have enough space in your backyard, you may want to consider chicken raising free-range style.
2. To ensure that you do not spend too much, choose a corner area so that you already have two sides of the required ‘walls’ of the free-range site.
3. In putting in the fence posts, make sure that they are set at least 30cm into the ground.
4. Use only 25mm x 25mm x 2mm wire mesh – this gives you the necessary strength and protection against predators.
5. For the roof, you can either use corrugated plastic or tin sheeting.
6. Make sure that the fence reaches up to the roof and that the roof edges extend beyond the fence line.
7. The entrance door/gate should be wide enough so that you can truck in a wheelbarrow – for bringing in chicken feed, for cleaning purposes etcetera.
8. Make sure that you have enough perches for the chickens to rest and sleep on during the night.
9. Make provisions for at least 2 100-watt light bulb sockets in the middle of the free-range enclosure. Your chickens need warmth during the cold days. If at all possible, it may be better to also provide tarpaulin or plastic covering for the wall during cold seasons and when it rains.
Fencing /Overhead Cover Guidelines
1. Use the recommended size of 25mm x 25mm x 2mm wire mesh.
2. In putting up the fence, make sure it is set at least 30cm into the ground (wire mesh fence and post together) for added protection against predators.
3. To provide a bigger chicken run for the semi-permanent and permanent chicken coops, put/construct the whole structure in a big fenced in area following the fencing guidelines.
4. For overhead covers (except for free-range style chicken raising) of movable, semi-permanent and permanent chicken coops, it may be cheaper to use old fish nets.
Have fun and enjoy your new pets with the entire family!
There is one very important thing that can influence the quality of the eggs and the mood of the hen – the coop. The quality of the chicken coop is crucial for you if you are serious about breeding chicken so i highly recommend that you (invest in this manual). This manual helped me and many other people to make chicken breeding easier and more simple.
Shannon Stansberry has been engaged in the business of raising chickens for more than 12 years. In 2016, she accomplished the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. At present, she tends to more than 80 chickens on her 4-hectare farm. Shannon regularly shares her insights and experience on how to raise healthy and contented chickens on the platform Typesofchickens.com