Raising chickens can be a very rewarding experience, and is undoubtedly the best way to get fresh organic eggs on a daily basis. Many people use chicken coop plans so they have an exact template of how to build a coop themselves and all that is left is to purchase the materials, while others purchase chicken coop kits for convenience purposes.
Whichever route you decide to go down, here are several chicken coop designs we have come across to give you ideas and inspiration to get started building your own coop. We have included small, medium and large sized coops, and even very unique ideas like using a car as a coop, but be warned that the larger the coop is the more difficult it will be to assemble and more costly it will be in terms of both time and money.
First, however, we want to list a few things you should consider before you start building.
As mentioned, the larger the coop the more difficult and expensive it will be to build; however, you should always build a coop that has enough space for your chickens to roam around in. As a general rule, each chicken should have 4 square feet of space, so that means if you are planning on raising 5 chickens, you will need 20 square feet of space inside the coop.
Quality of Materials
It’s always a good idea to use high quality materials when building the coop as you want protection from the elements, such as from the rain, wind, sun and snow, and predators to be the best it can. We recommend using a wood like cedar or redwood because it is naturally rot resistant and strong, and to also take note that the coop should be drip-proof and draft-free.
Using high quality materials is a good first step in protecting your coop, but it’s also a good idea to incorporate a few of these ideas:
- Dig a trench that is at least 12 inches deep, and then place hardware cloth in it. This offers good protection against predators that are able to dig.
- Ensure that the hutch is built in a way that is a couple of feet off the ground
- Install a sensor light outside the coop
- Ensure that there are no large holes if you want to stop predators from getting inside