How to Build a Chicken Coop

How to build a chicken coop

Chickens have very basic needs. First of all, they need a warm place to live. They also need a place where their predators cannot break in and carry them or their chicks off into the night.

They need shelter when the weather takes a nasty turn. You should make sure that you build a chicken coop that is snug as drafts can be harmful to chickens.

If you’ve never built a chicken coop before, there are several great guides available that will teach you how to build the best possible chicken coop.

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You should survey the place where you want to build a chicken coop. Beginners often decide to build a coop without checking out the ground saturation beforehand. An area that tends to pool water is a bad location to set up a coop.

Chickens must have a dry house. The coop should be built on a level area but you should never build a coop directly on the ground. Have you ever had a snake or rodent get into an outside shed or building? These same predators can easily get into chicken coops that are constructed flat on the ground no matter how much chicken wire you install around the coop.

Predators don’t just arrive on the ground either. Hawks and other large birds will snatch smaller chickens and fly off with them. When the chickens are outside of the coop, they also need to be protected from these kinds of predators.

Humidity inside a coop is unhealthy for chickens. You need to provide some type of opening for air to travel through. Some chicken owners use a simple vent, while others put in a screened window that will open.

Some people take shortcuts and carve a small hole in the plywood and nail a screen over that - this isn’t a good idea. The ventilation opening needs to be one that can be closed in the event of bad weather or constructed in such a way that rainwater and heavy drafts can’t get inside the structure.

Since chickens can’t fly as well as other birds, the perches should not be placed too high off the ground to prevent them from being injured if they have a fall. Perches should be a maximum of three to four feet off the floor.

Nesting boxes should be installed lower than the perches (to prevent them from becoming the preferred sleeping spot for the chickens) and should be deep enough to make the chicken feel comfortable.

When building nesting boxes, make sure that the top is slanted because chickens love to roost on the flat surface of the boxes. The slanted top prevents chickens from roosting there and leaving an accumulation of droppings that you constantly have to clean up.

The front of the nesting box should have a ledge where the chicken can balance when getting in and out of the nest. If you follow these instructions, you’ll have built a chicken coop that will last.

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