Chicken Coops To Build For Fun And Profit


Different Chicken Coops To Build


Hi, and welcome to Chicken Coops To Build.Com Glad you could drop by. We hope you will find the information here helpful in your chicken adventures. Let me tell you a little bit about us and how Chicken Coops To Build came about.

Our family lives in the country about a half an hour from the closest small town. Pretty small, but we do have a down-sized Walmart. Yeah, I know, everyone does. On Saturday night you can still sit at Sully's Ice Cream Shop and watch the same people drive around and around our circular main street. We call them Loser Laps. Enough said. Our closest neighbors are about 1/4 mile away on either side of us down our small chip seal two lane road. We live on 48 acres, an old farm property, and raise our own organic vegetables that my wife prepares for storage in our cold room for those long cold winters. We also grow strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Our children always get so excited to work in the garden and pick berries! Well, not really.  They're normal kids.

Anyway, we thought, "Why not get some chickens and be real farmers?" Little did I know that there is a lot to learn about chickens. In just researching different chicken coops to build, I was all over the place. So I thought, "Why not put a bunch of good information in one place while I'm doing my own research and maybe I can help someone else, too?"

So now you know the rest of the story. Let's get with the program.  Let's talk chicken coops.

The Best Chicken Coop Plans I Know Of And They Include Extra Information About Raising Your Chickens

A Basic Summary Of Some Chicken Coops To Build

I will start out with the basics and a summary of what I have learned while searching for chicken coops to build. First of all, we need to decide what size chicken coop you want to build. There are three options:

1) Small chicken coop (2-5 chickens, usually with chicken run due to small size.)

2) Medium chicken coop (6-10 chickens, with or without chicken run but usually with run due to limited size.)

3) Large chicken coop (10 or more chickens, can be with or without chicken run)

By the way, just in case you haven't heard the term "chicken run," it means a fenced in yard for your chickens. It gives them a safe place to get outside in the fresh air and scratch and peck to their heart's content. Some other names for a run  are: chicken pen, chicken fence, hen yard, chicken yard.  You get the picture. Chicken runs are very important to your chicken's well being as well as your egg and meat quality.

We have friends who only had chickens for a short time before egg production went down to almost nothing. They were new to chicken raising and after getting some advice from some chicken veterans, the problem became apparent. Their chickens were not getting out of the coop to run around, scratch and gobble up some grit and bugs. After a few days of being outside around the yard, they began to lay more and better eggs( darker orange yolks ) than ever before. Lesson learned.

I think you need a run, especially with a small or medium coop, but even with a large one. Chicken runs can be attached to the chicken coop or free standing. They can be stationary (also called fixed or permanent) or they can be portable (also called mobile or movable). I have even seen chicken runs with a divider fence down the middle to allow the grass on one side of the run to grow back while the chickens use the other side. Chicken runs also provide protection from predators and can be totally enclosed.

Sorry, I kind of got off on a chicken trail there. We have chicken coops to build; let's get at it. Now that we know the number of chickens in each size of coop, we can determine the rough size of the structure we need. A good rule of thumb for what size chicken coops to build is that a chicken needs 3 to 4 sq/ft of floor space each. Bigger is better here. Now we know the size of our building. For example: 8 chickens x 4 sq/ft each = 32 sq/ft of floor space. That's, hmm, an 8' x 4' coop.

Fixed Or Portable Chicken Coops To Build

Now we need to figure out if you want a Fixed or Portable chicken coop.

1) Fixed, stationary, or permanent chicken coop can be any size (small, medium, large). They stay put. Built to stay in one location, they're usually built stronger and more durable. Great when space is not an issue and you have an area you want to dedicate to your chickens. Higher cost to build, though, in both time and money but tend to last longer.

2) Portable, moveable or mobile chicken coop (often small, sometimes medium, rarely large), built to be moved from one place to another, usually lighter, less sturdy and less durable because they get beat and jostled around while being moved. Good option when space is an issue such as a small yard in an urban setting.   Perfect for starting out with a few chickens, they are the easiest chicken coops to build.   Lower cost, less time and money to build but tend to have much shorter life span.   Usually have handles and sometimes wheels. Oh, I forgot, also called a chicken tractor, because of the wheels??? maybe.

The next thing we need to consider is property space, how big an area you have available for your chickens. If you live on a property in the sticks like me, space is not an issue or a determining factor, but if you live in an urban area as I mentioned above, it can be a serious matter. Space in the city or lack of it can dictate how many chickens you should keep. You will also need to check your local municipality to be sure of the regulations. For some details about these, check out our page on Urban Chicken Coop Regulations.

Three Ways To Get Into The Chicken Business

Now, finally, how to get your chicken coop. We will discuss three different methods of acquiring a new or at least new-to-you chicken coop next.

1) Buy a completed chicken mansion either new or used,  in pristine condition, of course. Gets you into the chicken business right away, all you need are some chickens and chicken feed. Sometimes you can get a deal on Craigslist or Kajiji on a used unit as long as it is in good condition. Usually has the highest cost involved; shipping is a big deal here. If you can find a coop to buy close enough to pick up yourself with your own truck or trailer, you can save some money.

2) Build your own chicken coop From a pre-designed kit, keep those instructions under lock and key. Kits come with lumber all precut, all fasteners and hardware included to build a chicken coop. They are a bit pricey, and shipping can still be an issue. I recommend that you check out the instructions before you buy a kit as this can be a nightmare if they are unclear or not complete, and some of these kits have a lot of pieces. Good way to go if you want to build your own coopbut lack the tools or confidence to measure and cut your own materials.

3) Build your chicken condo from scratch, and dazzle your family and friends. By far the most economical chicken coops to build. You can draw up your own plans or buy excellent plans at a very reasonable price. The best ones include lumber lists with exact dimensions for every piece of material so you can cut everything before you start, just like having your own pre-designed kit for a lot less money. Some of the best plans contain a lot of extra information, stuff like how to feed and care for your meat- and egg-laying chickens, how to incubate eggs, chicken brooding, and municipal chicken regulations. Building a chicken coop yourself is a fun and rewarding project. This is by far my favourite way of getting into the chicken business. It's so cool to build something on your own and, with the right plans and information, it's just plain fun.

I hope this will give you somewhere to start. Sorry I went on so long but there's a lot to cover and I want you to get it right the first time. By the way,if you decide to build your own coop here are The Best Chicken Coop Plans I Know Of And They Also Include Lots Of Extra Information About Raising Your Chickens