How to Build the Ultimate Chicken Coop
When my husband and I moved out to the country I knew I wanted to get chickens. My goal is to homestead our property. Gotta start somewhere right?? Chickens seemed simple enough. I’d put so much Pinterest thought into this and knew exactly what I wanted for the their coop. We bought a 8x10’ shed and converted half of the shed into the coop. The other half is being used as storage. Thankfully my dad is very talented and was able to help me build the coop exactly how I envisioned it. The first thing we built were the nesting boxes. The rule of thumb is 3-5 chickens per box. We did 4 nesting boxes. Under the nesting box is a big open space that we made into the kitty house. The highest point of the plywood is 4ft, the nesting boxes are 12x12in and the kitty house is 12x12inx4ft. We have several out door mouser cats and this is a perfect cozy space for them. Because we’ve built the wall that separates the coop from the storage space the cats can’t get in the coop but they all benefit from the warmth they produce being together. There’s a latched door we can open from the outside for easy access to the eggs, which has come in handy!
I painted everything, hopefully that will help preserve the wood as time goes by and make cleaning easier!
The girls were laying about 6 eggs a day during the summer and have slowed down quite a bit since it’s been cold. One of the best features of the coop is the poop bored lol. I’m so glad this was recommended on so many of the other blog post I read, because I had no idea how messy chickens would be!! We made the perching area higher than the nesting boxes because this is where they will go at night, they will feel safer sleeping at the highest available perching spot. This is where all the pooping happens. Having the bored under makes clean up so much more easy to maintain a clean coop. Chicken coops really don’t need to be cleaned very often especially if you can scoop up the droppings easily and frequently like this. Because we have the poop bored I deep clean the coop twice a year, and scoop the droppings when it gets to be a lot.
TIP: If you don’t want poop on it, make a slanted roof, anything the chickens can perch on, they will. And it will will be covered in droppings.
We got the chickens as baby chicks. The chick phase was the most work, once they were out in the coop and I could fill a bigger feeder and waterer they have been very low maintenance. We have a 10'x10' outdoor run currently. Last summer our big project was building our back yard and fencing it. Once our dog had the fenced in back yard, we used the 10x10 wire dog kennel as the run for now so the can be outside and be protected. We cut the wire fencing around where the chicken door is, this way I can still use the door to go in and out. This summer we will build a bigger and predator proof run for them.
One of the best things about chickens is they eat EVERYTHING. We eat a primarily whole food plant based diet. Which means I’m cooking our meals with fresh produce every day. I started saving scraps of the food I don’t cook with, and I seriously cannot believe how much food goes to waste even if I’m super intentional with using everything I can. Thankfully the chickens step in and no food is wasted. They really didn’t start being interested in eating food til about 10-12 weeks old. Thankfully, as soon as I knew we were getting chickens I started saving scraps in bags and throwing them in the deep freezer. During the summer I would just dump a bag every once in a while and they loved it! So there you have it. Our awesome chicken coop and some chicken tips. Keep your eyes out this spring because we will be selling eggs!