How to Build a Backyard Chicken Coop

The owner of this backyard chicken coop adapted an old tool shed that had been on his property since the 1940s to serve as his coop. He lined the windows and openings with small-gauge chicken wire to ensure cross ventilation. He also added nesting boxes and roosting platforms made from old rack shelving. The coop includes an outdoor run area where the chickens can scratch up bugs. The coop is topped with a plastic awning, which protects the nest boxes and gives the hens privacy.

Roosters love a backyard chicken coop

Having a rooster in your yard can be a great way to welcome this aristocrat into your home. These birds will enjoy a variety of food, and you can provide that variety by providing them with different types of feed, such as scraps from the kitchen. Roosters also enjoy catching their food, which gives you a chance to provide a new challenge to your flock.

You can enrich the chickens’ environment by putting up perches and swings. You can use a dead tree with sturdy branches as perches. Be sure to secure the base with concrete or heavy rocks. You can also hang a chicken swing from the ceiling of the coop. You can purchase a commercially available one, or even make one yourself. Roosters also enjoy pecking at the seed sprays that you place in the chicken coop.

Nesting boxes

In the absence of a large backyard chicken coop, you can convert an old storage container into a nesting box for your chickens. Plastic storage containers are an excellent option as they don’t take up much space. You can also use old furniture. Just make sure it’s sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the hens. And be sure to make the boxes at least four inches deep to prevent eggs from rolling out and breaking.

If you’re building a coop, nesting boxes can be permanently installed on the wall. To avoid damage, make the holes evenly spaced, and place them side-by-side, with their edges meeting. In addition, many coops feature horizontal blocking, which may require you to use 2X4 batons or other supports. The supporting surface should also help spread the weight evenly, such as board over cinder blocks.

Roosting bars

When you are building a backyard chicken coop, one of the main concerns you may have is whether or not to provide your flock with roosting bars. Chickens can use roosting bars as early as four weeks of age. Roosting bars make it easy for young chicks to explore the world around them. Roosting bars are also great for keeping your flock healthy, as roosting chickens eliminate waste around 15 times a day.

If you want your chickens to sleep on a roost, you can purchase roosting bars for your coop at different heights. They can roost a foot off the floor or as high as you choose. Ensure the heights of your roosts are staggered, so your birds do not have to jump down in a hurry. Roosting bars should also be at least fifteen inches apart, so your hens will not poop on each other.

Feeders

When choosing feeders for backyard chicken coop, some types of feeders will help prevent waste better than others. Look for ones with a small lip on the top to prevent your chickens from ‘billing out.’ Some breeds will claw their food out of their cages, while others will kick it around. Feeders with a small lip are also less likely to let your chickens poop in them, which is especially important if you have a lot of young chicks in your coop.

You can choose between a simple plastic or metal container with an attached feed tray, or a trough feeder that is hanging over the coop. Either way, you’ll want to keep the feeder centrally located and accessible to all your chickens. Choose a feeder that is waterproof and vermin-proof, and remember to put it away when the coop is not in use. While the basic trough feeders are good for small chicks, if you plan to keep many hens in your coop, you can go for a hung feeder.

Waterer

Waterers are essential to the healthy living of your hens. Chickens’ drinking troughs tend to become contaminated easily. Chickens scratch dirt from the floor into their beaks and stick it into their waterer and drinking trough. And that’s before you get to the issue of feces in the waterer. So, you need to consider the waterer design that will keep your hens comfortable.

A plastic waterer is a good choice for your coop because it doesn’t put moisture into the air, which can lead to frostbite. A quality model has four separate water stations and a five gallon capacity. A well-built waterer will last for several days even if you have a large flock. If you’re considering a waterer for your chickens, research its capacity and design before purchasing it.

Run

For an easy-to-manage flock of backyard chickens, consider purchasing a prefabricated wooden coop from a feed store. If you can’t afford to buy a wooden coop, you can use a variety of household items, such as plastic tubs, laundry baskets, and old milk crates. Chickens may also select their own places to lay eggs. One Green America member reported that her chickens chose an old laundry basket as their new nesting area.

Regardless of your chosen location, ensure the coop is on high ground. You can make it slightly sloped away from the coop for drainage purposes, which minimizes mud and flooding. Low-lying areas are also less favorable for chickens, since they tend to become muddy and foggy and may see more frost during winter. In addition, chickens often tend to stay near their homes after dark. If you plan to let your chickens roost during the night, it’s a good idea to install an additional feed and water station in the run.

Free Homesteading NewsletterGet updates and news from ChristianHomeSteading.com

You can subscribe to our newsletter below to get regular updates, tips, and ideas.

Leave a Comment

Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter below and never miss the latest tips on homesteading.