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Keeping Chickens: How To Build a Chicken Coop

 

How To Build A Chicken Coop For Keeping Your Own Free Range Chickens 

 

FREE 7 deadly mistakes when you download your chicken coop plans

What better way to prepare for your new flock of free range chickens than to build your own chicken coop. It’s an enjoyable, cost effective and fun way to ensure you create the perfect accommodation, which not only suits your flock, but also is easy and practical to maintain.

Weather you’re a complete amateur, or seasoned pro with the woodworking tools, building your own coop can be achieved in as little as a single day.

 

   

Remember that the well being of your chickens is the primary concern when coming up with a design. So with that in mind you will need to consider the following points:

  

 

 

  • Security, It will need to be of robust construction to keep predators out while keeping your chickens in.   
  • Weather, It will need to keep your hens warm and dry in all seasons 
  • Practicality, You will need to access your chicken coop for cleaning and egg collection easily with minimum disturbance to the residents. This is especially important if you intend to hatch your own chickens and you have brooding hens inside. 
  • Portability, If space is limited, particularly in the case of urban chicken farming, you may want to make your run portable so that you can move it around regularly to give your hens a fresh piece of ground to scratch around in. 

So lets get started!

  

When you have decided on your final design and layout you will need to source some materials. You wont need anything that can’t be sourced easily and cheaply from even the smallest local hardware store.

Wood should preferably be pressure treated. This will ensure you have minimal maintenance to carry out and that your coop will last for years, even in the most hostile weather conditions.

If you are using untreated wood and plan to treat it later, remember to treat the insides of the jointsbefore you put the joint together. This will greatly extend the life of the joint and the chicken coop overall. Remember also that some common wood treatments such as creosote are highly toxic to animal and plant life and are best avoided. Always check the can before you brush!

3x2 or 2x2 rough sawn timber is ideal for making the framework as it’s easily screwed or nailed together and light enough for a portable coop while still being strong enough to keep your chickens in, and predators out.

  

Your choice of mesh should be a simple one,buy the best you can afford! (see more on choosing a wire mesh for your chicken coop here) Simple half-inch chicken wire is fine but welded mesh is even better. It is far stronger, easier to work with and looks great. Your priority when choosing and using a mesh should be to keep predators out, rather than just keeping your chickens in. Predators such as foxes and mink are extremely determined when it comes to finding a way into your coop and it’s always with devastating results. The use of half-inch mesh may seem unnecessary considering the size of a chicken but remember you may have newly hatched chicks running around at some stage!

A useful tip is to paint the wire mesh with matt black paint after it’s been applied to the framework. This has the effect of reducing the light reflected from the surface of the mesh and makes it much easier to see through to your chickens. The simplest way to do this is to use a short pile roller, like the mini 3-inch types used for painting doors and such. This has the effect of making the wire appear almost invisible.

  

 

When choosing a roofing material the choice is vast and varied. If cost is an issue you wont get much cheaper than using a standard mineral felt and bitumen primer. Alternatively, have your hardware store cut some aluminum roof sheeting to your specified size. It can easily be screwed or nailed to your roof structure and trimmed out with wood.

Cedar shingles also make an attractive roof if you are being a little more creative and are conscious of the aesthetics of the finished work. This can be particularly important in urban settings where your chicken coop tends to be more visible.

  
Lastly, be sure to finish your chicken coop with some quality hardware and fittings that will stand the test of time, ensure your coop is secure at all times and keep access and maintenance stress free.

Before you start building, why not check out this free video tutorial for building a chicken coop.

 

 

Ever thought about making a living roof on your chicken coop? 


See also ~ Choosing a wire mesh for your chicken coop

              

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