Backyard Chicken Coop Ideas – If you are thinking of raising chickens as a hobby, you might be looking for backyard coop ideas.
There are many benefits of raising your own chickens, and you can even save money on their food!
Chickens are amazing little creatures, but they do need some outdoor space and room to roam. Confining them to a coop can lead to disease and health issues.
Chickens are natural foragers, which means they will often be pecking at the ground in search of food.
Designing a backyard chicken coop
When you’re planning a backyard chicken coop, it’s important to consider the design and size of the structure. It will house your egg-laying hens, so it must be functional, as well as look good.
Your backyard chicken coop should meet all of the following requirements: safety from predators, room for hens to lay eggs, and a place to roost at night.
You should also consider the layout and ventilation of the structure.
To keep your chickens safe, you’ll need to install a pop-out door for human access. Alternatively, a screened-in window can provide a source of natural light and give your chickens a little relief from boredom.
A sturdy, two-step lock is best. Make sure it is unbreakable by a child under two. You should also install a separate feeder for the birds, particularly if they’re low on the pecking order. This will come in handy if their outdoor feeder runs dry.
When designing your chicken coop, consider the location and type of perch. Chickens need about a square foot of perch for every chicken.
This way, they can keep themselves warm during the winter, and cool during the summer. Many chicken owners use round roosting bars or 2x4s with narrow sides.
Ideally, you should consider how the birds will use the perch, and make sure the perch is sturdy enough to support the weight of the birds.
Choosing a location
Before you build your chicken coop, decide where it will be. If the chickens are free-range, they will tend to stick closer to your house.
Consider how much sunlight the chicken house will get every day and whether you’d be comfortable standing on your porch to check on your flock.
In addition, consider your neighbors. They may not be as interested in your new addition as you are. Here are some backyard chicken coop ideas to keep in mind.
Consider the weather: Chickens are sensitive to sunlight and shade, so build your coop near trees or other buildings with good ventilation.
The location should also face the sun, as chickens need a good amount of sunlight to lay eggs. You can also consider running electrical lights in the coop, but this is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor.
Besides, you’ll need to take care of the maintenance of the electrical lines that will be used to power the coop.
Placement: When building your backyard chicken coop, choose a spot that is close to your home. A coop that is too far away from your home can be easily noticed and heard by predators.
It will also be easier to clean up the coop at night, thereby minimizing the risk of disease transmission to your neighbors. Make sure that you follow the local regulations for keeping chickens.
If you’re living in an urban area, check with your city or town about the location of backyard chicken coops.
If you’ve got a large garden, consider cutting down overgrown grass and tall grass within fifty feet of your coop. Less cover means less chance for predators to take advantage of your chickens.
Also, check the coop for any access holes. Weasels can squeeze through a small 1/2-inch hole and kill an average-sized flock in one night. Make sure to secure your coop with a sturdy, secure cover.
In addition to ground predators, consider the possibility of feral cats. Although these critters usually avoid poultry, they are capable of attacking bantam hens and baby chicks.
You’ll want to consider how you’ll keep cats from getting into the coop, and how you’ll protect your chickens. Consider aviary netting or structured roofing. Then, you’ll be well on your way to keeping predators away!
Aerial predators, such as foxes, can be difficult to protect from. Their large wingspans make it easy for them to dig underneath the chicken run and access the coop.
This can be prevented by installing hardware cloth a few inches below the ground surface. Ideally, this fabric should be at least twelve or eighteen inches deep. If you’re unsure of how to keep a predator out, consider hiring a professional to design your backyard chicken coop.
Aside from a chicken run, you can also build your own coop using PVC pipe. This material is relatively cheap and easy to work with. PVC chicken coop plans don’t require any cutting or other complicated procedures.
There are 3 PVC chicken coop designs included in this guide. Listed below are some of the most common materials used in chicken coop plans. Listed below are the main purposes of each material.
Lumber is the preferred material for a sturdy chicken coop, but it can be quite costly. Most lumber is treated with chemicals to prevent rotting, so many chicken owners choose to use untreated wood instead.
However, you should avoid chemicals if possible. Moreover, untreated wood is naturally resistant to decay, so it is better if you choose this type of wood. If you’re planning to keep your chickens for a long time, then use wood or plastic.
If you’re looking for cheap building materials, you can look for items on Craigslist. These are often used or second-hand items, so be sure to check for paint chipping and other damage before making your decision.
You can even create your own chicken house by upcycling used furniture. When building a coop, don’t forget to include windows. They’re important for laying eggs, as well as allowing for light to get in.
Backyard chicken coop ideas with nesting boxes include creating a small construction that lays the eggs. Often these structures are made of wood and have a wooden top lid that opens to provide access to the eggs.
A pallet can be converted into a nesting box with common household tools. You can also find free pallets at your local supermarket. Keeping your chickens’ living environment as comfortable as possible will be a top priority.
For an inexpensive alternative, try converting an old dresser or bookcase into a nesting box for your chickens. This piece of furniture should have deep shelves – at least 12 inches in height.
Alternatively, you can convert an old dresser into a nesting box by attaching its drawers to the interior wall of the coop. Usually, old ugly dressers make excellent upgrades.
You can even find inexpensive nesting boxes online. They are simple to assemble and will keep your hens’ eggs in an area that is comfortable for them.
Nesting boxes make for easy egg collection, as hens lay eggs multiple times each day, depending on the size of their flock. There are many nesting box plans online, as well as kits available in the market. This step should not take too long.
You should always consider the size of your backyard chicken coop before buying feeders. Bigger feeders will not fit in a small coop. The coop should be designed to allow free access for your chickens. If you plan to use a mounted feeder, make sure to install it so the birds can see it.
A simple plastic feeder with holes is fine for a small flock. Make sure that the feeder is dry and has enough holes for the birds.
Another simple feeder is a PVC feed bucket. This is a feeder made by joining two 4-foot sections with an elbow joint.
Then, cut two holes in the bucket, two inches apart, so the feed can fall into it. A 20-inch pan acts as a lid. Another alternative is a coffee can. You can add more holes to the feeding pipe so that more birds can feed from it.
Plastic totes are another option to consider. These are often inexpensive and can be placed inside the coop. You can make a no-waste feeder with PVC pipes and glue.
You should also consider buying a rain hood for your feeder if you are constructing your backyard chicken coop. However, the hoods cannot be completely closed, so rats can still enter the coop. For larger flocks, multiple rain hoods may be necessary.
A waterer is a necessity in every coop. Waterers are important for chickens because they keep their water constant and clean. Large feeders don’t require frequent refills, but you should make sure they’re protected from the elements, especially in hotter months.
Waterers should also be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria growth. A few ideas for a backyard chicken coop ideas are highlighted below. Listed below are some of the most popular types.
A nipple waterer is a bucket attachment that allows your chickens to drink without wasting a lot of water and keeping the water clean. These waterers can be made at home, and are relatively cheap. Make sure to clean them thoroughly after training your chickens.
A heated waterer is ideal for the winter months. While many backyard chicken coops feature waterers, they can be expensive. For this reason, it’s important to buy a waterer that is appropriate for your climate.
A waterer can be built with a rain barrel. You can buy one that holds two to three gallons of water. The waterer’s stem can be adjusted to fit the size of your chicken run, and a 3/4-inch male adapter will connect it to the barrel.
The waterer’s stem should feed through the chicken wire, and the second pair of hands may be necessary to attach the waterer assembly to the barrel.***