Are you wondering though which tools, supplies, dimensions and all the little details you need to have for the ULTIMATE chicken coop?
Don’t worry, we have you covered.
After looking through all the FREE plans, we have shared in the 20 Free Chicken Coop Plans blog post, have you picked out a coop you want to build this summer?
The first steps are deciding how big to build and where to locate the coop in your yard or farm.
How to Build the ULTIMATE Chicken Coop
How Big to Build the Coop?
Your first decision is what breed of chickens you are going to get and how many. The coop should have three areas, roosting, feeding/watering, and egg-laying.
A regular-sized chicken needs at least a minimum of three square feet of room in a coop, but more room Is required if you live in a climate where your fine feathered beauties will spend a significant amount of time indoors due to colder weather and snow.
If you choose Bantam chickens they are much smaller and of course need less space so two feet square is the minimum for bantams.
Where Should I Build my Chicken Coop?
There are several factors to consider:
- Good drainage in all types of weather, sandy or loam soil
- On a flat surface, not in a hollow so that no moisture sits beneath
- Adequate light, a south-facing coop is best especially in winter
- Good airflow for ventilation
- Protection from wind
General Supplies for Building the Ultimate Chicken Coop
There are a variety of ways to build a coop as you have seen, from using scrap material to buying all-new. A few things you want to remember is that never put toxic or corrosive materials where a chicken is exposed to it. They are curious birds and could have dire health consequences if in contact.
- Interior lumber that can be cleaned and sanitized
- Exterior lumber such as ¾ inch plywood, 4×4 posts for corners
- Roofing material such as plywood and tar paper
- Shingles or metal sheeting for the roof
- Nesting boxes, you can build your own or buy premade
- Hardware such as screws, bolts, and nails
- Windows, Plexiglass or acrylic to make windows
- Mesh, ¼ inch Hardware cloth to cover any openings
- Heavy Duty chicken wire for the run
Chicken Coop Building Tools
- Safety Gear such as safety glasses and gloves
- Circular Saw and/or Jig saw
- Power drill and Bits
- Pliers, Side Cutters, Bolt Cutters, and Needle Nose Pliers
- Extension Cord
- Tape Measure and Pencil
Windows and Ventilation Holes
The windows in the coop need to be able to open entirely and close tightly. A side opening window works best because the chickens can’t sit on top of the open window and share their droppings!
Ventilation is important for the winter months when hens are snuggled into the warm coop. Rectangular holes cut in the roof and circular holes along the top of the walls will allow excess steam and moisture to escape from the coop.
Cover the holes with ¼ inch mesh hardware cloth, and make doors or closures over them so they can be shut up during cold spells.
You will need at least two doors in your coop — one for your ladies to enter and one for you.
The hen’s should be around 1’ x 1’ with a hinged door that can latch closed at night.
Your access door should be large enough for you to enter and clean the coop and have the ability to add a screen in it during the summer to help with ventilation.
Roosts and Nesting Boxes
Roosts are where your chickens will spend 13-14 hours per day, so room and comfort are vital considerations.
Do not place a roost near an entry or exit in the coop and as you may have already guessed there are quite a few droppings overnight, so don’t place over any food or water stations.
Roosts can be made with branches, 2x2s or 2x4s, and they should be at least four feet off the ground. Since heat rises, it is recommended to put the roosts up towards the top of the coop, leaving at least 4 feet from the roof.
Laying a 2×4 flat so that the chickens can place their entire foot on the 4- inch side helps them to not have to wrap their foot around a surface and rest better.
Nesting boxes can come in a wide array of styles and sizes but always should be placed in a dark, quiet space for optimum laying.
A regular-sized hen nesting box is 12”x12”x12” in measurement and you can have one box for every 3-5 hens. Some think each hen needs her own nest, but that is up to you if you feel you want your flock to be pampered.
You will want the nests to be up high enough for ease in gathering eggs or even better yet, make your nests accessible from outside the coop.
Feeding and Watering Station
Arrange four bricks or blocks as corners and then top with plywood, an old pallet or another sturdy surface. Then place your feeder or waterer on top.
Make sure your food and water stations are in the shade and protected from rain or snow.
Attaching a Run
The run is the first round of defense for your chickens and is also their outdoor living space.
You should allow for 8-10 square feet for each bird and make sure the soil has good drainage.
The fencing should be 4-6 feet high and made with galvanized chicken wire or heavy-duty yard or livestock fencing with openings of only one-inch.
Then bury 6-12 inches of the wire into the ground to deter predators from digging under your fencing to get your chickens.
Toys and Outdoor Recreation
- Ramps in the coop and run
- Shatterproof mirror stationed either inside or outside of the coop
- Rocks, logs or a jumble of sticks
- Overhead perches
- Small platforms
- Sand or dirt piles where you can hide treats
There you have it, an overall guide to building your dream coop this summer. The best part is you can make your chicken coop completely your style and compliment your outdoor area.
We’d love to see your “masterpiece” of an ultimate chicken coop!
Share your photos below and inspire a new “backyard chicken project” for someone else!