chickens in a chicken coop

How To Build A Chicken Coop: A Step By Step Guide

Chickens locked in a chicken coop

Wondering how to build a chicken coop is only natural if you’ve never built one before.

These structures are critical if you want to raise chickens. A chicken coop will provide a place for your chic kens to sleep and lay eggs. They will also provide some warmth during the winter and shelter from the rain.  

Building a coop can be a very simple process if you follow some basic techniques.

In this article, four steps are offered for building a chicken a coop. Towards the end of the article, some final thoughts are offered on these structures.

4 Steps for Building A Chicken Coop

In this section, four steps for building a chicken coop are discussed in detail.

1. Design The Structure Before Starting

designing process using a pencil and a ruler to build a chicken coop

If you are interested in how to build a chicken coop, you should first start with designing the structure.

This is important, as it will allow you to determine what supplies you will need. This is important for both planning and budgeting purposes. If you are on a strict budget, then designing the structure ahead of time will allow you to maximize your resources and will lead to an optimal coop.

Designing a coop can be done in a number of ways. Many builders like to sketch a very rough, visual outline of the coop using a pencil or pen and paper.

For some, this might be enough to move forward with the project. Others might need to engage in a deeper level of planning. This could include jotting down the materials needed in a list form as well as making a scaled-down model of the desired coop.

Some workers might not enjoy this part of the process, as designing entails some form of thinking about the future. Some workers prefer to stay grounded in the present moment, allowing the nature of the coop to emerge during the building process. These workers might only need a rough idea of the structure they are building.

Still, at the very least, you should envision the location where the structure is being built as well as its general parameters. If you ignore this element, you might start building a coop only to find that you don’t have sufficient space or supplies. This could prolong the project and lead to further complications.

In this sense, many people like to design the coop by talking about it with an expert. This could be a close friend or family member who is experienced when it comes to building. Alternatively, you could post your idea to discussion boards online, using the feedback from the community of users to shape your blueprint.

2. Create A List Of The Necessary Materials

listing necessary materials for building a chicken coop

After sufficiently envisioning your structure, it’s time to collect the materials you will use to build it.

Even though these coops don’t have to be complicated or highly developed, you will still need to acquire some basic materials. Consequently, it’s best to make a list of everything you will need, as this will prevent you from forgetting certain critical items. Having to run back to the store could disrupt your project, throw off your flow, and lead to a compromised structure.

There are many ways to make a list due to modern technology. Of course, you can always stick with the classic route of writing the materials down on a piece of paper using a pen or pencil. This physical copy of what you need appeals to some people, as the visual nature of the writing can lead to better memory and thus execution.

Many people also create a list using a note-taking application on their smartphone. Most smartphones come with a note-taking application, although there are plenty available from third-party developers. While some of these might cost money, a free application should be sufficient for most workers’ needs.

If you store information in the cloud, then you could edit the list on any of your cloud-compatible devices. This would allow you to edit the list on a laptop, desktop computer, tablet, or smartwatch.

Even if you think you can remember all of the supplies, making a list could be beneficial for examining in the future. While you might remember the supplies long enough to purchase them, it’s possible you will forget their exact quantities and varieties after the project has started. Having them written down will offer a valuable reference point if you decide to buy more of a certain material.

Additionally, many experts stress the importance of updating your list of materials as you execute the project. If you purchase more of a certain material or an entirely new material, you should add this information to your list. Inputting the cost of each item will also be helpful for keeping track of costs, both as you complete the project and if you decide to work again in the future.

3. Buy The Materials

white hen in a chicken coop

After creating your list, it’s now time to acquire the materials.

If you’ve created a comprehensive list of what you need, then this part should be simple to execute. Many people like to take their list to a lumber yard, as the experts there can help you acquire everything you need. Alternatively, you can simply show your list to a sales associate at a local store.

If you’re on a strict budget, then you should let the experts there know what your expectations are. This will save you time, as it will prevent them from searching for items that you can’t afford.

If you have no budget limitations, then it might be beneficial to source your materials from many diverse sources. This will allow you to get the best possible materials, leading to the most durable, reliable chicken coop.

 You will likely need lots of wood. Some people use metal for the roof, although a combination of wood and shingles can also be used.

You might also need many small items like nails, screws, bolts, and wires, as well as many tools. These tools might include a screwdriver, a hammer, a saw, measuring tape, and sandpaper.

Borrowing some supplies from friends, family members, or neighbors can be an easy way not only to save money but to acquire the most effective tool. Previously used tools are also broken in, making them more comfortable and effective to use for an extended period of time.

4. Execute The Plans

shaving a lumber for building a chiucken coop

Finally, you should execute the plans that you envisioned.

 Many beginners like to block out several days to complete this task, as it can be tedious if you’ve never built one before. A long weekend or holiday break could be a great time to execute your plans.

 Many people also like to enlist the help of others when accomplishing this task. This not only makes your work more efficient but it also makes your experience more satisfying. Being able to talk to someone for both entertainment and guidance will be preferred by many over having to complete this project in solitude.

 Generally speaking, your chicken coop should contain both a sheltered house for your chickens to stay at night and lay eggs as well as a chicken run for them to roam around. It would be ideal for you to build a raised shelter, as this will protect your chickens from excessive rain and provide an area for their urination and defecation.

 Within the main house, you will need a nesting area as well as an area for your chickens to rest. Proper ventilation is also vital, as chickens require fresh air just like humans. This means you should cut vents or a window in the main structure.  If your area experiences the extremes of the seasons, then proper insulation would also be important to the health of your chickens.

 One of the most critical elements of a chicken coop is a fence around the outside of it, as this protects your chickens from predators like foxes.

 It’s also important that the coop be accessible by humans. You will need to occasionally clean the coop as well as maintain it. Also, you will need to be able to access the eggs from the nesting box if you plan on eating or selling them.

Final Thoughts On How To Build A Chicken Coop

chicken coop

At the end of the day, building a chicken coop is a big undertaking, though that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated or difficult.

As long as you’re properly prepared, this project can be completed very smoothly without any stress.

If you view it as a creative act, then you might even enjoy the work. Taking pride in a chicken coop is important, as both you and your chickens will appreciate this investment in the years to come. If the coop is inefficiently assembled, then you will likely have to maintain it constantly, which could be annoying.

Building the structure right the first time will pay dividends in the future when you are your chickens are living in perfect, sustainable harmony.

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