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Author Topic: DIY chicken coop  (Read 3312 times)

Small Plot Big Ideas

  • Joined May 2012
  • North Pennines, UK
    • Small Plot Big Ideas
DIY chicken coop
« on: August 29, 2013, 02:24:28 pm »
After the delights of a few hens hatching out some unexpected chicks the reality is now dawning on us and we need to sort out some additional housing for the near future. I could just buy something but where's the fun in that so...


I came across these chicken coop plans which seem pretty good to me - click the pictures at the bottom for a PDF version. I particularly liked the fact that they are easy to understand and completely FREE  :excited: [size=78%] [/size]


It seemed worth finding out whether anyone here has ever tried to use these plans themselves so I can learn from their experiences? I think I've found one minor dimensional error in the bill of materials information so I will need to make careful notes as I work through the build...
Voss Electric Fence

lord flynn

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: DIY chicken coop
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2013, 03:18:02 pm »
haven't used them, looks interesting. The glaring thing for me is that the nest boxes are higher than the roosts, if they can moved down I might have a go at this.

Small Plot Big Ideas

  • Joined May 2012
  • North Pennines, UK
    • Small Plot Big Ideas
Re: DIY chicken coop
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2013, 03:22:32 pm »
Good point - I hadn't spotted that but I did want to move the nest boxes anyway as I'm not sure that my better half is  tall enough to see in there when collecting eggs!  ;D

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: DIY chicken coop
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2013, 05:58:41 pm »
I like the idea of them being up off the ground, I wanted this, but alas, didn't quite happen  :(  You could even add a wooden board to a couple of the sides of this area in winter to give them a bit more shelter?
One thought of a modification to the design, and this obviously depends on what your run might have (if one at all?), but if you're planning to have a run to the front (with access underneath too) it maybe useful if you nest boxes are on the side and can be accessed from outside the pen rather than the front so you don't have to open another gate or whatever to go into their pen to collect eggs. (I'm remembering a particularly nasty cock in a breeding trio I once had, and previously dropping eggs as I fiddled with latches).

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: DIY chicken coop
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2013, 08:32:25 pm »
Hi Steph. Before you follow anyone's plans you need to look at a lot of coops. You also need to ask people about how their coop works for them. Raising them off the ground stops rats gnawing through the base, so good idea. It also makes cleaning out better on the back -great idea. But the weight goes up. Nest box is very small- depends on the chicken breed but ours are 25 -50% bigger in all dimensions. Sealing the nest box lid needs thought. Perches at different levels- not sure about that. All want the top one and if birds face in different directions someone will get an eyeful. Nest box must be below the perch or they will sleep in it. Ventilation -presume it is just airflow under the roof. Variable vents are are better to cope with the seasons. Make sure your door is as big as possible -long term you will appreciate it. Even better a door at each end and nest boxes at the back. But the the slope of the roof means the nest box gets wet if you collect eggs in the rain? Get the point I am making -no-one has yet built the perfect coop.


The first coop you build will not be right. You are just on the first step to a better coop. And 12 coops on and I am still learning. Different breeds have different requirements. The fault points become smaller but are still significant. The drawings you show are just sketches. My last coop ran to 20 pages of component detailing and it still left room for mis-interpretation (I was an Engineering Designer for 25 years).

Small Plot Big Ideas

  • Joined May 2012
  • North Pennines, UK
    • Small Plot Big Ideas
Re: DIY chicken coop
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2013, 08:37:25 am »
thanks for all the information and advice!

Through a combination of the good advice here plus the realisation that I don't have as much time on my hands as I would like  we have now decided to buy a ready made one this time around.

I would still like to have a go at building one in the future but just not right now when I'm already busy with so many tasks on top of the full time job!

lord flynn

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: DIY chicken coop
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2013, 09:05:53 am »
you can do alot worse than convert a garden shed-I also built a decent house from a wooden crate(one of the really big ones-nearly tattie box size.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: DIY chicken coop
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2013, 09:17:15 am »
Yeah, my dad and I built some coops years ago, took a huge amount of time and tools and skill (not mine!). I don't know where to start with really making things: my hens and geese live in two stacked tatty boxes, with a metal roof and some doors/latches added. Its nothing like perfect or pretty, but I wouldn't know where to start with building one and I don't have £££ to spend on proper houses. My broody hen is in an old ferret hutch and run, my brooder is a single bed sted with wooden pannels around it and fire guards as a roof; my dog sleeps in a wardrobe, my ferrets used to live in a tv cabinet with a cage nailed on the top - you get the idea, I can cut a new door and screw in some hinges, but the rest is a mystery to me :( so, alas, my hen houses will probably never graduate to something as pretty as the designs.
Everyone seems happy though and at least they have plenty of space :)




bloomer

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: DIY chicken coop
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2013, 09:21:44 am »
the house in those plans is a days work if you have the right tools, I you could do it in a day easily but once you add materials to your time and effort its often cheaper buying one, if you have time to spare then making one is cheaper and quite satisfying!!!

 

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