A chicken coop is a building structure, which is erected for housing chickens. A well-planned coop provides the best living environment for the chickens. Some of the features include outdoor run, temperature control, predator protection, proper ventilation, and insulation. To be able to clean it easily, majority of the hobbyists prefer to add certain dry materials such as straw, wood chips, or rice husk (whichever is available).
The coop is a basic necessity to raise poultry, either for commercial benefits or for fun. Nevertheless, the size and features may vary based on the number of chickens and the purpose of raising. You can consider constructing it on your own, rather than purchasing the ready-made coops.
The design should be such that it meets the basic needs of the particular chicken breed. For example; there should be enough space for each bird, perches, and nest boxes. In case, you are raising chicken for meat, then you can skip adding the nest boxes. It should receive sufficient sunlight so that the interiors remain warm. According to your plan, prepare the layouts prior to constructing the coop. In the layout, you may add certain required features as per the availability of space.
When it comes to the finish, wood is the best durable material. Other options include plastic, metals, and PVC. You can even purchase scrap lumbers at low prices. The amount you buy will depend on the dimension of the coop that you are going to construct. Also, get ready with the other tools and materials such as measuring tape, fencing plier, shovels, hammers, cement blocks, boards, screws, grill, wiring, light fixtures, small fans, salvaged doors, and windows.
Construct the frame as per the layout that was designed. The flooring area should be such that each chicken is provided with two square feet space. Measure the dimensions accurately and erect the walls and ceilings. Consider insulating the walls, if you are residing in a cold region. Following this, you can fix mesh wire to the top and sides of the coop. Install the door and window frames with the bolts. The door size should be large enough for easy access to cleaning and maintaining the inside area.
Place the feeders, water tubs, and nest boxes for laying eggs inside the chicken coop. If you are raising many chickens at a time, add more than one feeders and water tubs. Speaking about the chicken run, you can consider adding a free ranging area, particularly if the coop is located in the backyard. However, if there is a possibility of predator threats, you can construct enclosed coops without attaching a chicken run. Complete the task by connecting the light fixtures and the fans.
You can add a finishing touch by painting the shed with a light color. Do not opt for bright colors, as it may attract the predators, instead you can select a wooden color or green color to match the landscape. In addition to these tips, you can also find several sites that provide free plans for building a coop.