written by: Marina Hanes•edited by: Lindsay Evans•updated: 12/30/2009
Building a chicken coop doesn't have to be an elaborate process. If you're trying to create an eco-friendly home for your backyard chickens, use a basic chicken coop plan and incorporate recycled or used materials into the process, too.
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The Basics of a Chicken Coop
Before you build an outdoor chicken coop, you need to do some planning. Each chicken will require at least two to three square feet of space. To make the coop more comfortable, you will need pine shavings for the floor and hay for the nesting boxes. In addition, you will need a durable fence around the coop to prevent predators such as coyotes and other local wildlife from eating your livestock.
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Materials Needed for a Chicken Coop
Fortunately, you can use a variety of items to build your coop, so if you have extra lumber or materials such as barrels, tarps, old shed pieces, you can take advantage of these items and reuse them. Below is a list of the common materials used to build a chicken coop.
Keep in mind that you can find these materials new, or you can find scrap materials and reuse them. Also, don't be afraid to experiment with materials you already own, because you might be able to simulate the same design with different materials.
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Steps for Building a Chicken Coop
For the foundation, create a 74’’ x 72’’ house like structure with 2’ x 4’ framing walls and 4’ x 4’ skids. You can put down a ¾’’ plywood floor and add in supporting beams as well as the roof and shingles. For the roof, you will need tar paper or some type of underlay.
Inside of the structure, construct a 15’’ W x 15’’ H x 11 1/8’’ L nesting box for each chicken. You can fill these with hay and add a 2’ x 2’ perch in front of the boxes.
Build an area that is 4’ off of the ground for the roost. Then you will need to cut an 8’’ wide board or use a tree branch to create the ramp up to the roost. You can nail on small sections of wood so the chickens have something they can grab onto with their feet.
Protect your chickens by creating a fence with chicken wire and cover any air vents with the wire as a precaution.
There are a variety of different ways to create a chicken coop, so you can find different chicken coop plans online or create a customized version of your own with reused materials you find.
Once you have created a comfortable environment for your chickens, it won’t be long before you will get to enjoy hormone- and antibiotic-free eggs fresh from your backyard farm.