Choosing What Type of Coop you Require
Probably one of the decisions you’re struggling with right now at this point is determining which type of chicken coop you need. There are a variety of different chicken coops that you can build, but understanding which one is going to best fit your needs is important for getting optimal results. If you spend the money on a chicken house, it only makes sense that it needs to match your individual needs, so getting started on the right foot is important. There are some main factors that you should take into consideration before deciding what type of coop to build. The following guidelines will lead you down the right path to choosing wisely and being fully satisfied with your new chicken coop once it’s built.
Possibly one of the most important factors that will need to be looked at is the size of chicken coop you want to build. There’s small, medium, and large plans for the chicken coops, each which accommodates a certain number of chickens. The biggest mistake you can make is trying to cram too many chickens into your coop. Because each chicken requires so much area to feel comfortable and lay eggs properly, you’ll really want to make sure you’re choosing your size wisely. It’s always better to error on the size of being too big than being too small, plus then you can always add more birds to the chicken coop if you want later on.
Portable Versus Fixed
The next question you should ask yourself is whether you want your chicken coop to be portable or if you preferred one that’s fixed instead. Portable chicken coops give you the advantage of being able to move it around to wherever you are, so if you’re someone who likes to keep the chickens as pets, this makes for a very attractive option. Also, having a mobile chicken coop allows for easier maintenance since you can simply move the chicken coop to wherever you need to clean it. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something with a little more structural integrity than you’ll likely be better off choosing a fixed chicken house since these will be built sturdier so that they are able to withstand wear and tear.
Factor in protection from predators as you make your decision what type of chicken coop to make as well. Ideally you should have a very solid fencing system to keep all varieties of predators out. This will have to be built to match the size of the coop you’re building as well.
Finally, think about the overall appearance of what you want your chicken coop to look like. There are a number of different ways you can build the chicken coop which will impact the overall design of the chicken coop. This will also likely influence the cost of the building process, so it’s something to think about and work within your budget. There are definitely cheaper methods to build your chicken coop so understanding the different things that will influence the cost is the first step to making a smart decision. So, be sure you’re factoring these points in as you decide which type of chicken coop you wish to build. Getting the information up front before you start to build will help save you hundreds of dollars over the long run.
Keeping your Costs Down
Many individuals do have a tendency to think you need a lot of expensive materials to successfully build a chicken coop, however this is not the case at all. Chicken coops can be made from a variety of different materials including such things as an old shed, scrap lumber, PVC pipes, 50 gallon barrels, or other recycled materials you may have around the house already. Usually wood is the most common material used to build the chicken coop however it’s also the priciest, so you’ll have to weight the pros versus the cons. If you want your chicken coop to last for years and years to come, it may be a good idea to invest in a wooden coop to ensure that it does withstand various climate changes. Keep in mind with this though that wood varieties will also vary in price and that will influence your decision, so looking at the different types of wood is also important. If you are thinking about just building a smaller coop, you might even be able to get away with using recycled timber instead. Asking around for scrap pieces of wood can also be one way to locate some materials to use, but bear in mind if you’re going to go this route there is a higher chance you’ll have to pull some nails and may wind up with a chicken coop that isn’t exactly matching. If you’re really looking for the absolute most cost effective method though, then it’s likely something that you will want to think about and consider. Many times you can save over half the price of the coop just by looking carefully for building materials that will meet your needs effectively. So, before you rush out to buy whatever you think you need for building supplies, give some careful consideration to this first. It’s important that you have a firm understanding about building materials for your chicken house before you even get going. In some cases it can get hard to start with a certain type of material and then switch over halfway through, even between the different types of woods, therefore getting it all figured out before you begin will be your best bet.
How to Build a Coop that Will Last
One problem that many people do run into is that they build their chicken coop and do a decent job at it, but the only problem is that the way they have built it does not stand up over the long run. Gaining a better understanding of the construction process and exactly what’s needed to build a coop that lasts and will ensure that the money you spend is worth it.
Before starting to build the coop, you need to make sure the land you want to build on is level and landscaped properly. You have two options here, you can either landscape an area of land that you really want to build the chicken coop on or you can look for a piece of land that will already work well to build on without having to landscape at all. The latter option is going to be cheaper than the former, but again this will come down to your personal preference. By doing this first though, you’ll build a chicken coop that lasts for a longer period of time since it’ll have a more sturdy foundation that you built it upon.
Spend Money on the Base Structure
Next, one area that you will want to invest a little more on is the structural base. In the building plans in the book you’ll see exactly what types of materials are going to be best for this so it makes the decision easy. Choosing to forgo and opt for very cheap building materials here could come back to haunt you in the long run. There are still definitely cheap options that you can certainly consider and that will work well, but there still are limits. Knowing which cost-effective materials stand the test of time will help.
Make Good use of Windows
Windows are a critical element within the chicken coop because they are going to allow for enough light so your chickens continue to lay eggs as they should. When they are not getting enough light, that’s when you’re more likely to run into problems, so making use of windows in the coop not only helps ensure the chickens stay happy over the long haul, but can also reduce your building costs if you’re using proper materials. It’s important that you consider the structural design with the windows though because placing them in the wrong position on the coop could cause the walls to be less sturdy, so again, having a proper plan to guide you is critical.
Choose your Feeders Wisely
Finally, you should choose your feeder position wisely. When the feeders are at an incorrect height level the chickens will either not be able to get to their food comfortably, or they may start to scatter the food all around the floor. When that happens they’re bound to start picking at the floor and potentially other areas of the house, which could lead to damage over time. By taking the time to properly plan your chicken coop so it lasts over the years you will prevent yourself from having to spend more money down the road fixing up issues that you come into.
Protecting your Chickens
First you need to assess what potential predators you have in your area. This would include animals such as foxes, larger dogs, or rodents that may try and dig underneath the fence and get into the coop in that manner. If you have no idea what types of predators are present in your surrounding area, you may want to consult with your neighbours and check and see if they’ve ever encountered a predator. This will give you a more precise idea of exactly what you’re dealing with so you can take proper precautionary measures.
It’s important that you also identify the best location to place your coop. As we’ve already discussed location is partially going to be determined by land forms already, but having the coop within a close distance (eye’s range is even better) will help you keep a closer eye on your chickens and ensure they are safe. This is where having a mobile chicken coop comes in really handy since you can easily transport it to wherever you are going to be to really keep a watchful eye on them.
Type of Fence
It’s also vital that you factor in the type of fence that would be best to build with your chicken coop. Consider the type of predator you’re looking at and then research the different types of fences that are available to choose the best fit. As mentioned above, if you’re going to encounter digging animals, it will be most important that you build the house low enough into the ground that it’s difficult for them to burrow underneath it. If you are looking at the possibility of larger predatory animals, then you’re going to need a fence that’s incredibly sturdy in order to keep them out effectively. This is why having a good guide to follow will help – it’s vital that you pair your needs with the variety of fence. If you don’t, you may think you’re protecting your chickens, but you really haven’t done much but added a bit of decoration to your chicken coop. So be sure you’re keeping fencing and protection in mind. You could build the most perfect chicken coop ever, but if another animal decides to venture in, that perfect chicken coop could be no more.
Where to from here?
For further information on Building a Chicken Coop, click here.