I find DIY really therapeutic. I lose myself in it, because you can concentrate on the task and not think about all the other stuff going on in your life.
-- Andrea McLean
If you're planning to raise a couple of chickens in your backyard, but you're not really interested in spending hundreds of dollars on a chicken coop kit, making one on your own is very achievable. If you have experience with woodwork, this should be a breeze but if you're a beginner, fret not, there are dozens of easy-to-follow plans you can use to make your dream coop possible.
Before you head out to the nearest lumber yard, take a quick look at the things you have at home. There are probably some items you can repurpose or convert into a coop. This will save you money and allow you to be more creative.
Here are some DIY coops you may be interested to follow. Each has a distinct charm to it that would definitely look great in any backyard. You just need to know how many hens you plan to keep and where you're going to put up your coop.
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Simple DIY Chicken Coops
If you have limited space, this coop will be ideal for you. It is big enough to house two to three hens comfortably. Which is all you really need when you're starting out your urban farm. With this coop, you don't really need an additional run, since the living space is quite big enough for them to walk around in. With the large door and mesh cover, you are providing your flock with enough fresh air during the day time and no drafts during cold nights. The coop is elevated to prevent any predators from accessing it when you're not watching.
To build this coop, all you need is basic carpentry skills and a pocketful of patience. It should not take more than a day to put this coop together. One thing is for sure, it will definitely last a lifetime.
Easy Chicken Tractor
Portable DIY chicken coops
Having a chicken tractor as a coop is great especially when you have a garden. It allows your hens to roam and forage for food, and the flock's waste helps fertilize your garden in return.
To build your tractor, all you need is a few framing lumber, put them together and line them up with mesh and viola! You're done. There's no need for too many fancy tools or extensive experience in carpentry. Compared to larger coops with sturdier runs, this may not last as long especially with natural wear and tear, but it is a great starter coop for a small flock of hens and ten times more affordable than the best chicken coop kits. Due to its easy-to-access design, it is simple to clean and maintain.
If you have a playhouse your kids have outgrown, you have found an easy solution to your coop problems. Repurposing playhouses like these are inexpensive and efficient. When you think that the typical pawhut chicken coop costs anywhere from $200 it's worth taking a second look at what's lying around.
In fact, some of the most durable coops available in the market are made with similar material but cost ten times more than you would expect them to be.
With this design, it's just a matter of sealing the spaces to prevent your birds from escaping and creating an additional enclosure for their run. It is durable and is a great way to upcycle your kids' playhouse.
If saving space is a priority, you need to choose a coop that can fit and house the types of chickens you have. Having large breeds in a cramped space is unhealthy for them. If you are looking to manage a small backyard farm, it is ideal to choose between the following small breeds:
- Silkie Bantams
- Plymouth Rocks
These DIY chicken coops are simple enough to make, upcycle your old stuff and it won't cost a fortune. It's worth putting in the extra design time to get a coop that fits your backyard and the space you have.
Remember, you need to provide your birds with the right amount of space depending on their breed. By doing so, you are encouraging them to lay tasty eggs, which is your end-goal! If you have large breed chickens and are not too confident with DIY or just want the convenience of buying, a large chicken coop for sale will set you back between $300-$600.