One of the best things you can do to prepare for any emergency is to become self-sufficient. A small garden, solar energy, and simple animal husbandry are great ways to get started with being self-sufficient. One of the best ways to become self-sufficient is by raising chickens. But raising chickens starts off with building a chicken coop – which can be a daunting experience for the uninitiated future chicken keepers. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered: here’s our primer on how to choose a chicken coop that you can build yourself easily and for the least expense possible.
You don’t have to be an architect to build a place for your chickens to reside. You don’t even have to be an experienced farmer. Many do-it-yourself chicken coop plans are available for purchase – or if you’re the adventurous type and you’re good with measuring and dimensions, you can even create plans for a unique coop. By following a set of plans, it won’t take long before your coop is complete.
There is no one right way to build a chicken coop. They come in all sizes, shapes and styles. Some are plain with absolutely no frills at all while others seem to be a work of backyard art.
The first step is to decide if you need a small, medium or large place for your chickens. How will you know what size to pick? The size you want to build will depend on how many chickens the coop needs to house. That’s something to check for when evaluating chicken coop plans – they should state how many chickens will comfortably fit in the finished coop.
If you purchase a set of chicken coop plans, make sure the plans aren’t the bare minimum. The plans should cover all details, including the building of the chicken run. While chicken coops don’t require rocket-science to build, it’s not something you want to build by guesswork. And free plans are sometimes hit or miss – so be careful. Free isn’t always best – especially when you’re limited on time and resources. Drop a few bucks and get some good plans if time is important to you.
For those who think that any old set of plans will do, you could end up with a chicken house that won’t be suitable for use. The right kind of plans will include height and width directions, where the ventilation should go, the best side of the coop to place the windows if you want those, and where and how to build perches and nesting boxes. All of that is part of building a coop.
Some plans show how to build a coop that looks like the letter A, while others show how to build a simple box structure. Some of the fancier plans show off coops built in the style of an old general store and some look like a miniature home complete with a porch and wall decorations hanging on the outside.
To know what plans you should get, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- How much money can I afford to budget for this project?
- How many hens will I be keeping?
- Will I be building this myself or will I hire the job out?
If you’ve never built a coop before, but want a fancier one or a custom built one, you might want to find an experienced coop builder.
Regardless of how you go about deciding your choice among the thousands of chicken coop plans available, the great news is that most coops are not that costly and can be built over the course of a single weekend.
A set of plans we like are Bill Keene’s chicken coop plans. He’ll show you how to make a cozy, comfortable and tidy coop for your chickens. Bill is THE expert on the subject of coop building.
Just follow the guidelines in Bill’s wonderful book, and you will have a well-planned, easy-to-clean-and-maintain coop for your chickens. Get practical tips on locating, positioning, protecting and maintaining the climate in the coop and more. Highly recommended.