If you’d love to take care of your chicken and wanna make it comfortable and healthy grows up, you need to think about the place where the chicken life first! And how about make it by yourself? Why not? That’s not an impossible things anyway. Also, that is not as hard as you think.
Don’t be confused! The chicken don’t care about the shape, color, and the motif of the coop, All the chicken need is only an comfortable (warm, dry, draft free, enough space to breathe, and also can keep they safe from any predator) coop.
We’ve tryin those capable step to make the chicken coop and finally we’ve been build it for more than 10 chicken choops and its all working absolutely better than bought it! It’s easy and worth to try. So, this is why we are here, explain to you how to make your own comfortable chicken coop, and all the way is simple and easy to follow for beginner.
Not only that, we will also give you more knowladge and guides about coops that will be usefull for you before you start to make your own chicken coop. So, let’s check it out, and enjoy!
What is the “Most Important” things of DIY choop?
Chicken Coop Plans
Good start will lead you to the great end. So, before you start to follow the instructions of the chicken coop plans, more better to know the important things that the chicken need for their choops and put it as your goals.
Let’s see, what is the feature things you need to keep first:
1. Adequate space
Ass we all know, every chicken has a different kind and size. If the coop didn’t have enaough space, the coop will be overcrowded, and the atmosphere in the coop become stuffy. Overcrowded condition can make the appetite of the chicken decrease, the chicken also more difficult to feed in the coop. Every types of chicken have their own standard for the coop.
So how to make sure the coop have an edaquatespace for chicken, especially for the hens? What big it should be?
Here, the general space requirements in squarefeets for each type of chicken:
- 2sq.ft/bird in the coop
- 4sq.ft/bird in the run
- Standard large flow
- 4sq.ft/bird in the coop
- Minimum sq .ft/bird in the coop
- 8sq.ft /bird in the run
So, from the space requirements above, we can conclude that the coop size is depend on the chicken type and size. And a coop size is absolutely influental to determined before you build the coop.
- Except the space requirements above, here are several ways to get the ideal size of coop,
- You can determine it with count the number of the chickens that you will put in the coop, more chickens, the more coop size you need.
- You can depend on the chicken age, when the chicken has entered the grower or older phase. When in grower phase or period, we need a larger encolsure because the chicken’s body will also increasy fastly. Of course, we all know that an old chicken need more space than a small chick.
- Therefore, think about the future. What if the chicken grows better and getting bigger? And what if the hens hatch many chicks? That will make you need to add more coop space or build a new one in the future. You can decide it from now to anticipate the possibly space problems for the coop.
- Can cou walk into (the coop)? Or the coop will be only enough for the hens or the chicken? We prefer to build the coop that you can look in easy to see what happening in coop, or to clean and arrange the equipment and chicken on it. Not as height as your tall, but as long as you can fit into.
So, we prefer the big one! So you can make sure that you’ll not to re-build it in the future. Because, the coop size is very significant thing when you want to make it.
2. Keeps chickens from predators
From many predators, weasel is the most often prey predators of chicken. Eventough you have a high fence, it was not give a guarantee that the weasel can’t prey on it’s chicken.
To protect the chicken from the civet, you need to make a coop that is really strong and sturdy. Try not to make a wire cage because for ferrets it does not become a barrier to invade chickens. For more sturdy, you can make a plastic enclosure and a hard cloth on the vents and other open spaces and make a measurable measurement. Make sure the smallest access road is your concern. Because, the wasel is smart in entering through narrow road access.
Many information sources advocated for using chicken wire to cover windows and also in the run area. Chicken wire is designed to keep chickens in, but will not keep predators out.
So, you should use wire mesh or hardware cloth, which is the size is under ½ inch for at least the bottom three foot of the run, you can if you wish use chicken wire higher up. Raccoons can and will bite through chicken wire to get to your birds. The hardware mesh can keep predators out, and the chickens in. You also need to apply the hardware mesh to the window and door too.
Note: Using anything larger than ½ inch can invites civets and other small critters to visit the chicken.
You don’t want to raise your chickens to be the predators dinner isn’t it? Here, lists of predators that can be hunt your chickens :
- Undfriendly canines
3. Ventilation for air circulation, and coop access
a. Ventilation for air circulation
Chickens need to supply fresh air to breathe too, so it’s important for chicken coop to have ventilation . Coop need ventilation to reduce extreme temprature that causes heat-stress to the chicken, and to avoid the chicken from get contagious diseases that can be carrying by organisms in the air. Air vents eliminate excess heat, moisture, dust, and odors in the coop.
When the temprature is too cold, such as in rainy season or winter, a well-designed ventilation system can also save energy consomption by utlizing the heat of chicken body temprature it self. Or when in the summer, ventilation can let the warmer air out and keep the temprature balanced. If you didn’t take care of ventilation,and if the temprature will reach more than 90F, the chicken will start to be stressed and can leads more problems such as disease and causes it to death.
How big a vent that you need? And where you should put it? According to our experience, the best place to put a ventilation is up near the celiling, and it must be above the chicken height.
The general rule to arrange the ventilation is :
• In colder climates, 1sq.ft of vent per 10sq.ft of floor space.
• In warmer climates, you can place more ventilation to maintain an ambient temprature in the coop.
b. Coop access
The coop need a window too, the window can give an access to sunlight for emitted enough warm into the coop and add extra ventilation. It can and add more light in the day when you want tou check the coop up. The window is ideally in the south side. Literally, you can place it anywhere except the north side.
Except that, a window can let the oxygen pass trough it, so it can helps the chicken ti breathe. Also, it can let the odor pass troughout.
A door is not an only access for the chicken, but also you! So, you need to make it at least fit to your head. Except that, you need to make the door strongly and well-glued to the coop to evade predators walk in.
For chicken acess, we call it “pop door”. A pop door is a simple hole that you can cut into the coop about 12×14 inches for its tall and wide. You can add extra width to allow more birds to pass in the doorway. If the door is too small, the chicken will be difficult to pass and need more time to take all the chicken in.
4. Draft free
You can make your own chicken coop with free designs and theme, shape and color. You also can improve your creativity. So, don’t worry about it, express your self and of course without rule out the “comfortable” things that the chicken need.
5. Easy to clean and sanitize
Don’t let the chicken coop getting dirty! Easy-to-clean coop make you more frequently and loved to clean it. If the chicken coop didn’t cleaned and getting dirty, the virusses and bacteria can be develop in the coop and give bad effects to the chicken.
To kill germs, the coop must be cleaned regularly. For yerly cleaner, you can use chemical solution such as lysol, kreolin, or carbolic acid with ratio 10 to 30 cc of ingredients and mix with 10 liters of water. Except that, you can also use 10 grams of potassium premanganate with 10 liters of water. The way to clean it is by sprinkle quicklime troughout the coop.
For weekly or monthly cleaner, you can spray the coop directly with desifectant and insectiside after the chicken comes out , and don’t forget to remove all equipment from the coop. The way you need to do is:
a) Remove and clean all dirt from the coop. You can use a gloves to keep your hand clean from the chicken feses and bacteria.
b) Spray all the part of the coop including roof, floor, wall, layer and other parts with detergent , use low pressure.
c) Scrape and brush it untill the rest of the coop.
d) To rinse, spray with high pressure water or warm water
e) If you need more than it, you can use such as NaCl to kill worms, lime to kill coccidia, and alum to kill lice.
f) Don’t forget to clean all the coop equipments.
Note: You have to be diligent. Diligently cleanse laying hens, a clean condition that will make the chickens and hens become healthier and avoid them to being able to produce various types of bacteria. Laying hens are animals that have a lot of dirt, if not cleaning we will make the dirt accumulate. Clean at least once a day
6. The right location
Except the coop features, you need to decide which one is the good place to build or put the coop. It might be harmful to the chicken if you put the coop in the wrong location or wrong areas.
We can help you to determine the best location to place the coop, make sure that you’ve consider about those things:
• Dry ground and good drainage
Dry ground and good drainage can avoid the danger from waterflow when it rains and also maintain the moisture in the cage. For example you shouldn’t place the coop near the river, ditch, puddle, or a pond that sometimes can be overflowing and flood the coop. Then, the chicken getting damp and cold.
• In “enough sun” spot
The chicken need an enough sunlight to grows, and the coop need and enough sunlight to help it ventilate. The location is not in too sunny area, it must not too warm in the mid of the day or too cold in the evening.
• Human acessible-easy
A good location, is where you can easly to visit the coops and chicken everyday. It’s not too close with your house or too far. Or if you want to build it in the different area from your house, the coop shouldn’t place too close with the forest, vilager garden, or another people house. And make sure there is a good way to visit (example: no stone, no flood, no bushes).
• Good shelter
Find a good place for shelter. The location must be strategic and make the coop can survive trough any bad conditions such as reached by the flood or strong winds that can destroy the coop. So it can be not too high or not too low ground area.
Fore more, before you start to build the coop, you can do an observation for the condition around the place where you want to build it. You should know what’s going in in the morning, is that too cold? In the afternoon or evening, or is it too much people and transportation around the place? And see another effects. Observe it for several days to deciding is the zone right for you and also for your chicken and coop.
If you life in the big city or town, make sure the laws allow you too put the coop in specific place (backyard,yard, near the road, near the office if your home near with it). Or if the laws allows you to keep the chicken or not. Actually, we know it, that the goverment or people has a good reason why or why not to keep the chicken.
There must be some place that allowed by the laws to keep the chicken with the coop isn’t it ? Your responsibility is to check out the rules and follow it. If you didn’t got enough information about the laws, you can ask people about their habbits on take care of chicken.
What you need to put into the coop?
What is an equipment that the chicken need? Is chicken need a Tv to watch cartoons movie? Or they need smartphone to see what’s going on around the world or going viral? Or maybe wi-fi? Freezer? Computer? Of course, not. They didn’t need that at all. They have their own kind of equipments needed. That’s why we said that the chicken coops need enough space not only for the chicken, but also for the chicken equipments.
Equipments you need to place in:
1. Roosting perch
A roosting perch can be a stick, small wood or anything similiar with it that place in horizontal direction.
roosting pech is essential for the chicken when they are old enough to perch. It can provides the sleeping area for hens. And also the best place for the chicken to struggle with the coldness with get on the roosting perch together.
Characteristics of a roosting perch you need to place:
- It’s can allow for 8-12 inches of space/bird.
- If the chickeen has “flat-footed”, the perch should be between 2-4 inches wide for their comfortable zone.
- An ideal height prefered is 18-24 inches from the floor.
- Make sure the roosting perch is strong enough, so the chicken will not fall when they’re stand on it.
- Note: Don’t place it too high, to avoid the risks of leg or foot injury when the chicken jumping down.
2. Nest boxes
The hens need nest boxes to lay their eggs. Altough the hens can lay their own egg everywhere they want (as long as it feels secured), you still need the nest boxes to collect all of the eggs easier.
Characteristics of nest boxes you need to place:
- The height should be about 18 inches from the floor and can be as high as a few feet off the ground.
- Safe, Darkened and Quiet. Tchicken can’t distrub the hens (for example, far from the roosting perch). Or the nest must be quite thick.
- Private, because sometimes the chickens have the one nest boxes that they love the most, so all the chickens might fight to sit on it and don’t want to share it with each other. So, we prefer the minimum number of the chicken for one nest, altough one nest can using for 3-4 hens.
- For the standard size of birds, it can fit into a 12 x 12 inch nest box and placed about 12 inches off the floor.
- For larger size, it can fit into 12 inches deep, 14 x 12 inches nest boxes.
- For kind of bantams size, it can be fit about 10 inches deep, 12×10 inches nest boxes.
What kind of materials you can use to make a nest box?
- Straw: You can buy it from the local farmer or from the farm store. Straw is another favorite of chicken keepers. Sometimes, you don’t need to buy it, because the local farmer often to leave much straw in their field.
- Pine needles: This is free for the taking as much as you need, but, if you have a local source! The best to choose is the softer one. You can find piles of pine needles when the pine tree hit by wind.
- Sawdust: You can get ot for free or canvery cheaply from any place or people, for example from your neighbors or from wood factory.
- Leaves: You can collect much fallen leaves in the autumn! Dried leaves is easy to be formed as a nest boxes.
- Small branch: You can get it from an old tree that begin to collapsed or take it from capable tree and let it dry first.Note: The commonly and mostly used materials is straw and sawdust
3. Poop Boards or Dropping Board
Have you ever smells the chicken’s feces? It must be smeels bad and almost all of the people hates the way it smell. Of course you don’t want to keep the chicken feces for a month in the coop or let it spreading in and make the coop Difficultly to clean.
Dropping board is a used in the area directly below the roost bar in a chicken coop. According to the research, chicken pooping over 70% at the night and when the chicken is sleeping and it can be smells so bad if the feces drop around the coop area. A dropping board will helps us collecting the manure or chicken feces and clean it.
Characteristics of dropping you need to place:
- It’s can be made from plastics or woods.
- The board materials should be stiff, heavy and sturdy, so you can clean it easily.
- It’s should be placed 8 inches below the roost
4. Chicken’s feeder and drinker
You also need a place to feed the chicken. Some people prefer to bought it than make it. Most of the chicken’s feeder and drinker is made by plastics. You can make it by using an old plastic vase or plastic bucket, PVC, or wood.
But, if you choose and make a wrong feeder and drinker, it can lead the chicken to eat too much or overeating, wasted many feed, and can causes feces contamination. So, make sure you will not waste your time and energy with useless things. You have to chose the right chicken’s feeder and drinker.
Characteristics of chicken’s feeder and drinker you need to place:
– Don’t place the feeder or drinker too high. It’s weird, if the chicken need to jump or fly first to get the feed. So, you you put it on the ground or little bit above it.
– No feed or water wasted!
– Its better to place it in the middle of the coop, so they can make a circle surround the feeder and the drinker
– The shape can be circle, square, or up to you (as long as it easy to use for you to give the feed and for the chicken to reach the feed)
– You can put more than one feeder and drinker, so the chicken will not scramble with another chickens.
What is the advantages of build your own chicken coops?
- You can save a lot of money
Build your own chicken coops is using less costs then buy it. Sometimes you can get some materials for free and cheaply. You can get some materials such as wood pallets from the business that always keep the wood pallets away. Another example is you can use an old vase or bucket to make a poop board, dried leaves to make a nest boxes, and also branch that you can found arround your place.
Someday, if the chicken growing faster and the first coop is not enough to keep it, you can build more, and save more money (again).
- You can designed the coop as you wish.
Sometimes, several store provide the same design of coops. It’s must be bored to have the same coop woth your neighbors or of if the coop have one colour only. So, when you try to made it by yourself, you can add any mixed of colours, any kind of pattern, any kind of ornament and shape. You must be happy to have a different one.
- You can learn more how to fix it
If the chicken is too active or the weather in your place is too bad or stormy, it’s possible for the coop to broke or a little bit need to repair.
Indirectly, when you try to build your own chicken coop, you also learn part by part of the coop. So, if you got a trouble with the coop, you’ll easier to know which part is need to be fixed and how to fix it it. Also, you didn’t need to hire a repairman to repair the coop.
- You can be a chicken coop builder!
Why not? If you didn’t have any job to get some money, you can try to be a coop builder or coop repairman. Especially if there is much people in your place who loved to take care of their chickens.
- You can improve your skills and creativity
Skills and creativities help your everyday activities. It’s mean build your own coops also can give you an insides benefits that might be usefull in the future.
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