How To Build A Chicken Coop In Easy Steps
It is no more a secret that Safe and hygienic food are key to a healthy lifestyle. Foodborne diseases are a common cause of malnutrition and ill-health of infants and children.
According to , almost 1 in 10 people die due to contaminated food. Meat or eggs are known to be a good source of proteins, but do we get fresh and organic meat from the market?
The answer may not be in affirmative, but you have an option of building a chicken coop in the backyard of your house.
By having a chicken coop at home will guarantee the quality and freshness of eggs and meat. You will not only get fully organic meat, but the droppings of chicken can be used as fertilizer and can also be sold off to help you make some extra bucks.
Various types of coops can be built as per the area and funds available. Some of the common shapes are:
Let us read along the various steps involved in preparing a coup yourself, which will not only make you feel proud, but also let you save a lot of money.
Set a Goal
Even before making a plan to build a chicken coop, you should be able to have clear cut answers to certain questions like
- What is the reason behind building a coup?
- What is going to be the scale of the chicken coop?
- How much area is allocated for coop?
- What is the budget set to build a chicken coop?
Once you have found apparent answers, you can go to the next step of planning a coop.
Define a Plan
Finalize the size of the coop
The size of coop depends upon two factors.
- Number of chickens you want to keep.
- Type of coop whether indoor or outdoor
If the chicken coop is going to be indoors, the average size required for each chicken is around 5 sq. Feet and if it is going to be an outdoor one, you can plan a size according to 2 sq ft per chicken.
Location of coop
Chicken rearing is really a challenge during the winter season since chicken strive well and lay eggs under warm conditions only.
Keeping them under direct sunlight is also not a good idea so it’s better to build a coop in a shady area and for keeping them warm, install fluorescent yellow lights inside the coop.
Coop interior designs
If possible, try to place bare minimum objects inside the coop since more the objects, less will be the space available for chickens. Following areas need to be pre-defined.
If you want the eggs laid by hens to be safe and not laid anywhere in the coop then you must think seriously about providing a cushioned and protected area for laying eggs.
Stuffing some boxes with sawdust is a good nesting option. The nesting area should be at a different height compared to their perching area otherwise the chances are that the chickens may spoil them by their droppings.
If you are having an indoor or closed chicken coop, special attention should be given to ventilation otherwise the chances of chicken getting diseases due to stale air are high.
Chickens enjoy bathing in dust and sand so utmost care should be taken to provide them with dust or sand filled boxes.
New structure or reuse an old one
You have to decide whether you want to build a chicken coop from scratch or reuse an already built-up space like a garage or shed. If you are using an old structure, you should take care of following points.
- A chicken coop need to be visited by you multiple times to feed water and food therefore the coop should have sufficient height to let you stand and visit comfortably.
- The already built structure should not have been used for storing some sort of harmful chemicals or painted with a lead laid paint. It is not only hazardous to chicken’s health, but will also take a toll on your health also.
Accumulate raw material and tools
For a basic outdoor chicken coop you will need wood, framing lumber, plywood, nails/screws, roofing shingles, hinges, wire mesh, fencing staples. The tools you may need are a hammer, sander, workbench, saw, gloves and measuring tape.
Chicken coop building steps
Building the floor
The floor should be at least 4 feet by 6 feet in dimensions for easy cleaning and building. If you have extra space, you can get the plywood according to the area decided.
The plywood should be thick enough to hold enough weight of not only chicken but your weight also.
- If you are planning to cut the wood by yourself, mark clearly the area to be cut with a pen.
- The frame should be screwed strongly on all the corners and to give extra strength, it should be screwed at the center also.
Building the walls
Take a plywood that is 6 feet in length to prepare back and front walls. The side walls will be 4ft long. Fix all the plywood walls to the floor with 1.5 inch screws and construction glue.
Preparing front panel
The front panel has to be cut for fitting the door. Before starting cutting with a jigsaw, plan the door dimensions and ideally it should be 2.5 feet wide and height can be customized according to your need.
How to build the roof of the coop
Make the gables
A gable is an important component, while making a coop roof since it supports the roof and it is placed above the front and back walls. This component is triangular in shape.
Preferably, you must use approximately 2 cm thick strand board to make the gables. The length of the gables should perfectly fit the width of the front and rear walls.
The height of gable should be calculated using the width of the sloping roof of the coop.
To make the gables fit the roof and support it neatly, you must use an angle finder to make the exact pitch of the roof.
This can be done even in the absence of an angle finder by using any of the measures you are comfortable with, to make the same pitch for both gables. After you pitch the gables, they must be notched to be placed correctly.
Attach the gables
Attaching the gables should be done very carefully since if it is not done properly the first time, then you may have to make new gables.
For this, put the front gable close to the inner side of the front wall and join it with the help of screws and glue. After you are done with the front side, do the same for the back gable.
Make the truss
The roof of the coop needs another level of support in addition to gables and it is the truss. It stands in the middle of the side walls to provide middle support for the roof.
Ensure that the angle of roof truss fits into the angle of the roof gables by clamping two 2x2s to the slanted edges like the gables. These must be slightly longer than the edges of the gable.
The truss will remain weak if it is not reinforced. For that attach a crosstie from half centimeter thick plywood matching the gable measurements and screwing it to the truss made of 2x2s.
Attach the truss
The truss must be placed in the exact middle of the two side walls. Place the truss in the middle of the side walls and note this position of intersection of the 2x2s of the truss.
Cut out a 1⁄2 inch notches at the marked places on the side walls so that the truss fits to the top of the side walls.
Construct the roof
This is the easiest step of making the roof. Attach two 40” X 84 “plywood boards using hinges along the 84” sides to cover the chicken coop and then put the roof on top of the gables and the middle truss.
Adjust the roof for equal overhang on all the sides on the coop. To keep the roof in place and add strength to the roof, attach two of 2x2s by screwing them to the bottom edge of the front and back overhangs.
Screw the roof to Truss and gables
The last step is very important and must be done very carefully to attach the roof to the truss and gables by screwing it.
If you are placing this coop in an open space, you must make it weather proof by attaching a roof top cap with a layer of tar paper and galvanized roofing.
To make the tar paper stick to the roof secure it with staples and apply good quality screw.
Complete with the door for securing your chicken
The door of the coop will keep the chicken safe from different weather conditions as well as from the preying eyes of dogs or any other animal. Use medium density fiberboard to make the door.
First, define the size of the door which preferably must be as tall and half as wide as the door opening. Before attaching the door it must have a door frame to provide a strong holding to attach the door using hinges.
Now screw in two hinges for each door, four inches above and below the bottom and above of the frame respectively. If you want to attach door at back also, repeat the process. And lastly, screw in the doors on these hinges.
Elevating the chicken coop
Lifting up the chicken coop from above the ground is always beneficial in the sense that the elevation will protect the coop from any type of ground water, pests and fleas or invasion by other rodents and animals.
- You need four wooden pieces of 4×2 (inches) of your desired length and fix them to the corners of the frame of the coop.
- To let the chickens come out and go to ground level, you need to prepare a ladder. It can be prepared by taking plywood with 1.5 inch thickness and 1 foot wide. The steps can be prepared by fixing the desired number of 2x2s on the board. One end of the board has to be fixed to the door opening with the help of hinge.
Just like us humans, birds need roomy, breezy and comfortable homes with proper security. If you have basic carpentry skills, a tool set and spare time, then by just following above DIY steps, you can build an amazing chicken coop to enjoy fresh and organic eggs. It is worth putting hard work in building a coop, the rewards you get in the form of organic garden and chemical free meat and eggs is noteworthy.