Building Your Chicken Coop

by Izy

Welcome to building your chicken coop, an article in my series raising chickens for beginners.

In this article we will cover all of the basics of picking your chicken coop plans and preparing to build your coop.

Buying a coop can be expensive, but despite how intimidating it may be, building a coop is really easy.

Especially with the right plans and advice.

Your Chicken Coop

So first things first, what kind of coop do you need? It all depends on what chicken breed you have and how much space you have.

If you have chicks, you want a warm small coop that can be closed off so they are not outside or in a run. Chicks are very fragile and can easily hurt themselves.

You also want to make sure they are close to you and safe from predators because chicks are very vulnerable and have no defenses.

You will want easy access to them because you will want to check on them often.

Laying Hens

If you have laying hens you will probably want a nice big house with lots of nest boxes, easy access to the boxes, and a run that you can close up.

You will want ventilation and a way to easily clean the coop. You may also want a door in the run so you can release them for the day while you clean.

You could also put your hens in a mobile tractor.

If you put them in a tractor then you will want it to be tall enough to put nest boxes far off the ground and perches for your hens to sleep on.

Chickens love to perch, it keeps them safe from predators.

Meat Birds

If you have meat birds, you will probably want a low to the ground, mobile tractor.

This prevents jumping and perching that can cause heavy birds like Cornish Cross to break their legs. 

If they find a high place they may try to perch and end up falling and possibly breaking a leg.

You don't want to have perches in your tractor either, they could hurt themselves.

You won't want to let your meat birds free range if they have big chests or weigh a lot either. 

If your meat chickens are an heirloom chicken breed, you won't need to worry about that as much. 

Winterizing

If you live in a place that gets cold, rainy, or harsh weather in the winter then you will probably want to move your chickens to a winterized pen.

You probably will want to send your meat birds in to the butcher before winter, so I wouldn't worry about them too much, however they can go into the same kind of pen as your laying hens, though I wouldn't put them together.

When you are building your chicken coop for winter you will most likely want a small, easy to heat pen with thick walls, maybe insulated, and a place for you to put a light if necessary.

They do a pretty good job of keeping themselves warm, but if you want eggs all winter a light is a good idea.

I always close mine off from the run if there is one and give them extra bedding.

Materials For Building Your Chicken Coop

Once you know what kind of coop your are building and have your plans, your plans should give you all the instructions you need to get building.

I would suggest using just regular, untreated wood for your coop, your chickens won't care, and you can always add a stain, outdoor paint, or a waterproofing agent later to make you coop picture perfect and help keep your coop for many years.

A word of caution, don't use chicken wire. It may keep your chickens in, but it's so flimsy that any predator can rip it open easily. I would suggest using welded wire fencing.

Keeping clean

Once you've finished building your chicken coop, you will need to regularly maintain and take care of your coop.

Scooping out old bedding and replacing it, spraying it out with a hose, and using bleach occasionally are all great ways to keep your coop clean.

You will want to replace nest bedding frequently.

Thanks for reading!

I hope this article helped you to get started building your chicken coop and good luck on your chicken raising journey. Be sure to check out the rest of my raising chickens for beginners articles.



How to build the 20x30 sugar Shack for under $12k!  


Recent Articles

  1. 20 X 55 Barn - Bunker Hill, WV

    May 08, 18 12:09 PM

    This barn is located on Torytown Rd in Bunker Hill, WV. It is of log construction and is approximately 20 x 55 feet. It is covered with plank siding and

    Read More

  2. Historic Gothic Arched Roof Barn (disassemble/move or buy w/ lot) - Westerville, Ohio

    May 06, 18 10:38 PM

    This barn is shown in the book Americanization of the Family Barn by Pamela Whitney Gray. It would cost a small fortune to put up a barn like this on

    Read More

  3. Cedar chicken cabin

    Apr 26, 18 08:57 AM

    Built with cedar lap siding and rough sawn cedar trim. This will house our 6 buff orpingtons in a few more weeks. They will have a fairly large area to

    Read More

  4. 200+ year old 28'x60' hill barn - Rehoboth, Massachusetts

    Apr 22, 18 05:41 PM

    This 28'x60' hill barn dates to roughly the late 1700's with an addition to the south from the 1800s. We own a historic home that belonged to a well-known

    Read More

  5. Bell's Queen Anne Victorian Carriage House (Barn) - Wakefield, NH

    Apr 02, 18 05:36 PM

    3/26/2018 Bell's Queen Anne Carriage House (Barn) for sale and removal from property. This approximate 1885 3 story hardwood post & beam with wooden

    Read More

  6. 40x50 barn - Remsen, IA

    Mar 28, 18 01:06 PM

    I don't know much about my barn. It is approximately 40x50 including an approximately 17' addition to the east side. I've owned it for 20 years and I believe

    Read More

  7. 1915 40x48 post and beam barn - Ottawa Illinios

    Mar 20, 18 11:22 AM

    This barn has four bents. All the post are 8x8 with 8x8 beams. The top tie beam is 40’ long all southern yellow pine. This barn is dismantled and ready

    Read More

  8. Building a barn

    Mar 16, 18 10:53 AM

    I noticed on one of the pictures for a Gable Barn you show dormers. Can they be added to plans? I don’t see any plans with dormers. I want to build an

    Read More

  9. 32x64 Gambrel barn - Illinois

    Mar 14, 18 01:45 PM

    For sale is a 1917 post and beam barn completely dismantled and ready for re-erection as a barn home. The barn is labeled and blue printed and treated

    Read More

  10. Early New England/Yankee Dairy Barn (1800-1825) 72x40 ft - Maine

    Mar 14, 18 01:37 PM

    Style: Early New England/Yankee Dairy Barn Year Built: 1800-1825 Location: Farmington, Maine area Dimensions: approximately 72x40 ft Details: from the

    Read More

  11. Hafner - Ohio - Late 1850’s barn measuring 38’x76’

    Feb 28, 18 09:24 AM

    This late 1850’s barn measuring 38’x76’ is the small sister to the New Washington frame. Built in the same time period and about 8 miles from the larger

    Read More

  12. Gleason, Ohio - Late 1860’s barn frame measures 26’x50’

    Feb 28, 18 09:22 AM

    This late 1860’s barn frame measures 26’x50’ with an attached 18’ x40’ storage area. Both frames are handhewn and are original. This master barn builder

    Read More

  13. Crimson Road Ohio - Early 1860’s measures 30’wide x 46’ long

    Feb 28, 18 09:21 AM

    This early 1860’s measures 30’wide x 46’ long. The bent layout 16’-16’-14’. This frame is just the right size for a retirement home. Uprights measure 9”x10”

    Read More

  14. Coon Path Rd, Ohio - Late 1850’s frame measures 30’x50’

    Feb 28, 18 09:20 AM

    This late 1850’s frame measures 30’x50’. It has all handhewn timbers measuring a full 9”x9”. The bent layout is 20’-15’-15’. The roof design is queen post.

    Read More

  15. Cliffton Mills, Ohio - Late 1840’s frame measures 46’x70’ with NO CENTER SUPPORTS

    Feb 28, 18 09:19 AM

    This late 1840’s frame measures 46’x70’ with NO CENTER SUPPORTS. Located in the Dayton area this barn was constructed by a master timber frame builder

    Read More