Chicken Coop Plans
When your chicks have reached the age that they no longer need to be in the brooder, it is time to get them into there new home. You now need a chicken coop. Regardless of whether you plan on fencing them in or allow them to free range, you will need to provide a chicken coop for protection from the elements and predators.
When it comes to chicken coops, there are many choices you need to make. One of the first things you need to make sure of when you build or buy a chicken coop, is that it is big enough to properly house your flock. You will need about 4 square foot of space per chicken. For example an 8X8 chicken coop will house approximately 16-20 chickens. I also recommend that you do not get too big of a chicken coop for your needs, as the chickens will huddle together during the cold weather and a properly sized coop will help them stay warm.
Be sure to have a "roost" for your chickens inside the coop. You will need 6 - 12 inches of roosting space per bird. A roost can be a simple dowel or board 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Keep the roost about 2 1/2 - 3 feet off the floor of the coop.
Place or build nesting boxes inside the coop as well. Nesting boxes help to keep the eggs off the floor, away from the manure. I recommend a nesting box that is about 13 inches square.
If possible, place windows with screens in the coop. It will aid in providing sunlight in winter and ventilation in the summer.
Chicken coops come in many different sizes and styles. If you plan on buying a ready-made chicken coop, you can expect to pay around $500 minimum, to well over $3000 for a large unit.
I highly recommend building a chicken coop yourself. A well built chicken coop, large enough for a few dozen chickens, can easily be made for $750 or less and a smaller coop can be made for less than $150.
Anyone can build a chicken coop with some basic wood working skills and tools. Build your new chicken coop in just one weekend. Click here to get easy, do-it-yourself chicken coop plans.
**If you live in the city or the suburbs, be sure to check with the local authorities regarding zoning. Many areas have rules regarding livestock, particularly poultry. In most rural areas, you should not have any problems.