Considering a DIY chicken coop is a fantastic idea if you're just getting into raising chickens and are looking for something you can do yourself very cost-effectively, or if you're someone who is good with their hands and looking to add a bit of personalization to their chicken coop. By choosing to DIY, you can do just that – customizing it to your own individual needs.
Before going out to get the building supplies, you need to think about a few things first to ensure you're on the right track for exactly what you're looking for. Making one small error with the planning of your DIY chicken coop and you could wind up with big problems down the road. Since much of the decision-making process in building your own will be solely up to you, it's a very smart idea to gather all the information you can first so any money you do invest in your own coop is put to best use.
Here are four main things to consider.
DIY Chicken Coop Size
Always error on the side of building a larger coop than you think you need. Chickens are picky animals and if they feel that their coop is too small, they may not lay eggs properly. Just as you would get extremely depressed living in a very small area for a long period of time, so will your chickens. When they feel crowded in, they are not going to be happy and you will pay the price later on.
Have Water Readily Available
Also, keep in mind that it's vital you have water available to your chickens at all times. You will likely find that you're constantly refilling their water feeder, sometimes more than once throughout the day. If you build your coop so far away from a water source, that's going to make a great deal of excess work for you.
Don't Forget About Food
Along with water, you'll also want to make sure that it's easy for you to feed them easily. If the coop you build is too small or makes it awkward for you to access their feeder, this will get extremely annoying over time. Ensure that the way you design the DIY chicken coop will make your job easy.
Remember too that the more chickens you plan to house, the larger the feeder you will need – unless you want to fill it many times throughout the day. You don't want your chickens to be fighting for food, so it might be a smart idea to put two feeders in the coop in different places to make feeding time civil.
DIY Chicken Coop Security
Finally, you should make sure the security you have around the coop is enough for the wildlife you have around you. If you live in an area where foxes, coyotes, or dogs are frequently roaming, it is extremely important you don't overlook this point.
All it takes is one run-in with any of these predators for your chickens to suffer dire consequences.
So, before getting started with your DIY chicken coop, make sure you've looked at all of these points and planned for them. If you do, you'll be right on track to building the coop that will fit your needs perfectly.
Bill Keene is a former poultry farm and author of of the guide “Building A Chicken Coop” and website http://www.buildingachickencoop.com