Chicken Coop Plans, Designs & Ideas For DIYers In 2017

chicken-coop-guide-2

Since you’ve come across this article, it is likely that you are thinking about building a chicken coop on your own and are looking for some coop plans for this purpose. With tens of thousands of chicken coop plans online with varying styles and differing levels of complexity, it can be mind-blogging to know where to begin.

Realistically, less than 1/10 of those available chicken coop designs that can be found online are detailed and easy enough for beginners to follow.

We’ve personally gathered and vetted through a ton of these to find the most user-friendly and easy to follow guide, which we’ll talk about in a second. Before that though, let’s take a look at what you need to consider when building a chicken coop:

Planning the size of your coop

Before you jump feverishly into building anything at all, take a moment to consider how big you want your flock and ultimately, your coop to be. Each chicken will require at least 3 square feet in the coop. We would however advise you to allocate a little extra space (perhaps 5 or even 6 square feet for every chicken).

overcrowded chicken coop

An overcrowded coop like this is a bad idea.

The reason’s that most chicken coop owners we’ve spoken to have regretted not allocating additional space when they first started building their coop and as they expanded their flock, suddenly the coop becomes too crowded. Sure, it’s always possible to expand your chicken coop in the future, but you’d have to dismantle part of it before rebuilding it again, when you could’ve just built it a little bigger the first time around.

Plus, even if you don’t plan on expanding your flock, it never hurts to have more space for the chickens to move around especially if they are cooped up all the time. This brings us to our next point: the chicken run.

Build a chicken run

chicken run area

Try making your chicken run as wide and spacious as possible if there’s sufficient room in your backyard or garden.

A chicken run is an area usually attached to the coop itself, where your chickens will be able to roam freely. Think of it as a form of exercise for your chickens. If they are always holed up in the coop itself, they will get agitated and start fighting or pecking each other.

chicken run

Planting some flowers and shrubs along the sides and edges of your chicken run can make the entire coop look more homey and less out-of-place, especially in an urban setting.

They’ll also fall sick much more easily without some natural sunlight, fresh air and an open area to stretch their legs. To make your chicken run “blend” in with your garden or backyard, try planting some flowers or greenery around the boundary. If done right, they can look absolutely fantastic!

As for the rest of the features and functions that a chicken coop needs to have such as the nesting boxes, chicken perches, bedding material, automatic feeders and more, they are all explained in greater detail here, in case you haven’t seen it yet.

What Type Of Chicken Coop Plans Should I Get?

coop measurements

You wouldn’t want to be stuck with just these.

Now, let’s talk about the type of coop plans you need to be looking at especially if you’re a beginner. As important as it is to have a set of plans that can guide you using step-by-step instructions, it is even more vital to have plenty of pictures and illustrations to show you what you should be seeing as your coop is being built.

Surprisingly, not many chicken coop designs come with such illustrations, which can be rather unnerving. Without knowing what your coop should look like as you build, you could get stuck at a certain step, or worse, end up building entirely different parts that just don’t fit together, leaving you frustrated with nothing to show for your time and effort. This is all me, speaking from personal experience.

Wouldn’t these designs be so much easier to follow?

wall framing measurements

Detailed measurements for the wall frames.

Having illustrations like these to guide you along the way would be a great help

coop layout 1

Colored pictures to show you exactly what you should be looking at.

coop nesting box walls and support

More colored pictures to show you exactly what you should be looking at.

roof frames

… yeah, you get the idea by now

So.. Can you just tell me which coop plans to get already?

detailed-plansSome of our readers have asked us to recommend a set of plans to follow for people who are new, and so we have. For first timers, we highly recommend getting this particular guide here because it offers very clear instructions, with fully colored pictures that you can follow with ease. One of the best things that we like most is the multiple angles shown of a certain structure every step of the way so that you know precisely which part the steps are referring to.

If you want to save some time and effort from gathering and sawing up all of the woodworking materials yourself, there’s also a checklist of required parts that you could bring to your nearest hardware store. From the list, they should be able to provide you with all the needed instruments and materials based on the measurements given on it.

Of course, some people (such as myself) prefer doing it all from scratch because of the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that you get from being able to complete such a project on your own. And not to mention, you get to save up on some costs too.

There are many designs included in these plans, so you get to be picky when choosing which type and size of coop you wish to have. Some of them range from beginner coops, for housing 4-5 chickens at most to farm-grade coops which are capable of sheltering 40-50 chickens at a time. The last we checked, there are a couple of other bonuses included with these plans, such as a chicken raising guide, so you don’t have to get those resources separately elsewhere.

turquoise colored chicken coop

Nothing a fresh coat of bright paint couldn’t do! (via The Tattooed Housewife)

p.s. It is always a good idea to finish off with a fresh coat of paint. Go with colors that would match your house’s decor. Now, go crazy! Good luck!