Keeping Chickens: How To Build a Chicken
How To Build A Chicken Coop
For Keeping Your Own Free Range Chickens
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
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
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
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.
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
See also ~ Choosing a wire mesh for your chicken