If this is your first time building a chicken coop, you will often face the decision to choose between a small chicken coup or a larger one. The decision to choosing the right chicken coop will vary depending on different factors such as how many chickens you want to breed and the location where the coop will be at. The size of the coop will need to be large enough to house all of your chickens. If you are planning to raise about three to five chickens, then a small coop will be ideal.
Chicken Coop Plans
Choosing a plan to build a small coop should be fairly easy as it does not involve as much materials and labor as a larger chicken coop will. When planning out your chicken coop, the most important factor to consider is to make sure there are enough room for all the chickens to sleep, eat, and exercise, which all of these in turns increase their ability to lay eggs. Having adequate room will keep the chickens happy and healthier with less possibility of spreading disease.
Location To Build Chicken Coop
Choosing the location for the coop should be somewhere out of direct sunlight, especially if you live in the warmer climate. An ideal place will be under a tree or close to a structure that provides shades half of the day. If you don’t have any location that provide shades, you can place sun shade screens on top of the coop to help keep the heat out. While most chicken themselves should not have any problems being under the sun, shading will help keep the chicken’s house cool.
Materials To Build Chicken Coop
When it comes to materials, it will usually consist of woods and nails. There are different kinds of wood you can use. The most popular wood to use to build a coop is Plywood which comes in different thickness. Another popular kind of wood is OSB (Oriented Strand Board). This is an engineered wood created by layering flakes and strands of wood together. OSB wood is sturdy and cheaper than plywood, but it all comes down to your preferences. The woods will be used for the walls, flooring, and rooftop. However, most people choose shingles, tin or metal for the roof because it provide better protection from the elements.
Most people tend to place the coop on the ground, but it’s more ideal to place the chicken coop on cider blocks to prevent the woods and other materials from rotting, and prevent providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are known to carry malaria and other diseases which could kill all your chickens after you have put all your efforts and time to raising the chickens.
For ventilation, a small coop will consist of one window or two and a couple holes in the roof. Ammonia from the urine and feces from the chicken can get your chicken sick so you want it to escape as soon as possible. The window should face each other to keep air flowing throughout the coop. Also, make sure you use predator-proof screens in windows to prevent foxes and other predators from going in and eating the chickens. In the roof, you can puncture small holes to allow hot air to escape. For the flooring, there should be no holes at all. If there are, use waterproof caulk to seal the holes to prevent drafts.
Inside the coop, one side should have roosts and the other side should be nesting boxes. The roosts should be elevated and closed by a door too keep the chickens safe at night. The door leading into the coop should be large enough for the chickens to get in and out off. Also, make sure the door has a lock that only a person can lock and unlock. Most door will be manual open and close, but the door can be automatic as well, but that depends on your budget.
If you are just starting out, planning to build a small chicken coop should be the way to go. If you mess something up, it won’t cost you a lot of money to fix. After learning the basics of building your first coop, you should have no problem when it comes to building a larger chicken coop.