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Build a Coop

Would you like to build a coop
for your backyard flock?
Here's some things to consider along the way

If you've already read the basics of what needs to be included in a chicken coop, you've got a great start on understanding what you need to include as you consider a proper home for your chickens.

Additional things to consider before you build a coop (or buy or convert something into one):

Location (according to local city regulations):
Most cities should have their rules about keeping chickens posted on their website. Look there first. Written in the ordinances and codes of the city will most often be regulations about how far away (from human housing) your chicken coop must be placed. For example, where I live, the coop has to be at least 70 feet from the front property line and 100 feet away from neighbor's houses.

Location (what's best for the chickens):
If you live in a place where it's extremely hot in the summer, placing your coop where there's at least partial shade (under a big tree, for instance) will help protect them from overheating. If you live where there's nasty winter wind, think about where you can build your coop that will provide protection from that wind.

Elevation (of the chicken coop):
Some people swear by having their hen house off the ground, others like it touching earth. There are potential benefits and drawbacks to each method. Think about them before you build your coop.

coop off ground

Manure Cleanup:
Easy coop clean up is essential for the health of your birds. It's even more important if you have chickens in the city! A way to quickly get your neighbors unhappy is to have the smell of a dirty chicken coop wafting over to their backyard during their BBQ dinner! Think about ease of manure removal and cleanliness as you design and build your coop.

Once you've given thought to all of these issues, you're ready to dive in. There are many companies that offer chicken coop kits and pre-built coops. You can also find free plans to build a chicken coop here. Or, see how I built my chicken coop from a used play structure and a bunch of recycled wood.

If you'd like more coop building inspiration, check out these chicken coop photos!


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