Current trends towards organic living has led to an increase in interest for raising chickens. Because of this a variety new designs for chicken coops have become available as people find ways to fit these structures around existing structures. For the beginner woodworker a chicken coop can be a quick and easy project to practice some basic skills.
Necessary plans and materials:
- Where will it go
- Waste collection
Things to avoid or watch out for:
Many first time builders make common mistakes (few people build chicken coops every day) because they don’t know all of the conditions that need to be considered. Before beginning your coop project make sure to check on the following:
- Make sure the doors open inward
Doors that open inwards instead of outwards make the structure easier to secure while also making it more difficult for the birds to get out when you don’t want them to.
- Double check the dimensions and materials
Make sure that the final structure will have adequate space for the birds and necessary accessories. Also make sure that the materials for the siding and flooring are easy to clean and accessible for this purpose.
- Make sure the ventilation is appropriate
If there is too much air allowed in the structure the birds may be at risk during harsh cold spells and drafts. On the other hand, too little ventilation will cause too little oxygen to be circulating which can make the birds sick and limit their egg production.
- Insulate the walls properly
Insulation helps keep the chickens warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This increases their comfort while also maintaining the proper humidity level for egg laying.
- Place food and water feeders carefully
If the chickens cannot easily reach the food and water they will get sick. The placement of these devices needs to take into consideration the placement of the doors as well as the waste of the birds so that they don’t contaminate their food or water with waste.
- Lighting is also important
The chickens need light to behave properly. If they are confined to the coop during cold spells and other bad weather it is important that they have proper lighting to continue functioning and avoid sickness.
There are a variety of coop designs available that can be modified to suit your specific needs. There are also assorted accessories that can be added to these plans to make your chicken coop work best for you. These include automatic chicken feeders and waterers that can handle feeding and watering the flock when you are away as well as automatic egg collectors.
The best chicken coop designs take into consideration everything mentioned above while also showing the beginner woodworker how to setup the construction site and select the best materials. Many will even come with tips on roofing materials, nesting boxes, walls, flooring, perches and flooring that can all help the beginner build the perfect coop with minimal frustration.