Build a Chicken Coop That Will Last

rooster in door wayWhen some people go about constructing their own chicken coop they fail to take into account how to build it so that it lasts long enough to be worth the money invested in it. This problem can be overcome by gaining an understanding of how the materials should be used and getting an eye for the overall construction so that the coop will be sturdy and last a long time.

Landscape Preparation

First of all, before even beginning to build your chicken coop, you need to make sure the land under it is level and landscaped. There are a couple of ways you can tackle this. You can look around your property for the ideal location to place your flock and then clear the land and level it, or you can take the easier route and find a spot on your land that is already level and fairly well cleared out so you can start building your coop without a lot of preparatory effort.

Not only will choosing land that is already flat and cleared save you a whole lot of work, it will also save you money. Of course, the choice is up to you depending upon where you prefer to have your new ‘poultry palace’ situated.

It is worth the effort to level and clear the land because it will help your coop last for a long time if it is built upon a solid foundation – you don’t want to find your hen house on the wonk or sinking down into the ground after a heavy rain.

Spend What You Need To Build A Solid Base

Don’t pinch pennies when it comes to building the structural base of your floor and framing the coop. Using cheap materials here could haunt you later. You don’t have to buy the most expensive but don’t choose materials based on price alone. Seek out cost effective supplies that will be durable and long lasting.

2x4s make the outside frame of this coop

Include Windows In Your Chicken Coop Design

Light, and by default windows are very important to your chickens. Be sure to include them in your chicken coop design. Although they will want the nests to be in a secluded area of the coop there should also be plenty of light (and fresh air in the day time) coming in. The number of daylight hours directly affects how they lay which is one of the main reasons why many breeds of chicken will either greatly reduce the numbers of eggs they produce or stop producing altogether in winter. Warmth is also a factor, but light is probably the biggest one.

A chicken coop that is light and airy is also a much nicer and healthier place for the chickens to be. Ventilation, as ever, is important and if the windows get steamed up that is a sign of not enough ventilation, and in the cold weather that excess moisture could cause frostbite on their combs and wattles. Be careful where you place your windows. If you put them in the wrong area of your walls you can make them weak which makes the entire structure less sturdy.

Position the Chicken Feeders Wisely

Choose the position of your feeders after giving it some thought. You do not want to place them too high because the chickens won’t be able to reach their food. If you place them too low, the chickens will make a mess and scatter the food around which is a waste of money and will also attract rats.

Not only is scattered food a waste of money, it can be unhygienic for them to eat the food when in and around their droppings and the chickens will start scratching the scattered food and pecking at it which will damage your chicken house given enough time.

It is worth the extra time spent planning your chicken coop design and building it to be sturdy and durable. That way you won’t be constantly fixing up problems that arise and making repairs that wouldn’t be necessary if you had built the coop properly in the first place.

little girl going up the stairs into the coop doorway

The Poultry House Front

The beginner is almost invariably advised to build his poultry house so as to have the front face exactly south. Why this should be so common it is rather hard to understand, for a south front is not desirable in summer, when a south window becomes as the open door of a furnace, nor is it better than east or south-east in winter, when sunshine is so valuable to poultry.

choc a bloc

With many small backyards becoming micro farms and most of those being able to keep poultry in houses of moderate size, and semi-detached so as to give free access to light and air from four sides, it will not matter so much about the front of the house, for the light from windows will reach entirely across the building, and sunshine can strike every part of the inside, sometime during the day.

Where the poultry house is long and narrow there is good argument for an eastern frontage, as this admits the sun early in the morning in winter and shuts it out during the hottest part of the day in summer.

mostly finished

If such a house has a liberally large window in the south end it will get more benefit from the sunshine in winter than it would if built to face directly south.

There is a very good argument in favor of a southeastern front, as this catches the warm rays of the sun early in winter and allows them access to the house until nearly noon.

We have seen a very comfortable arrangement where the only convenient frontage was directly to the north and a west front is not always entirely objectionable, as for instance on the east coast, where the east wind is sometimes very bitter.

Generally speaking, it may be said that a southern, southeastern or eastern exposure are about equally comfortable and desirable. The main thing is plenty of window room on the sunny side. If that is provided, a principal difficulty encountered in building poultry houses is overcome.

It is pretty well settled that the poultry house of the future will be almost square and face four ways. When this style of poultry architecture becomes common the question of frontage will cease to trouble us. – G. H. R.

hey there