My friend Frank a while back asked me about chickens so I devote this step-by-step tutorial to him and his future “poultry pursuits.”
I suspect he’s already thinking about some aquaponics integrated designs, but this tutorial should be helpful to any aspiring farmer or homesteader looking to create a cozy, functional home for a backyard chicken flock.
Chicken Coop Designs for 25 Hens
For me building a chicken coop was a great first step into discovering the many benefits of raising chickens and also understanding the costs involved. This coop cost me back in 2007 about $300 to build and took a few weekends to complete by myself.
Here’s some of my design considerations to start:
- Roomy enough for 25 hens.
- 3 sq. ft. of space as a minimum per bird. I did an 8′ x 10′ layout. (80 sq. ft. total)
- 4-5 hens can share a nesting box for eggs, so I made 6 boxes.
- Design it for easy access to eggs and other tasks.
- Try to use salvaged wood & materials and recycle as much as possible.
Materials and build
Luckily I had a great sawmill close by in Ghent, NY. The guys there were also great about helping me size up the amount of lumber I would need for an 8′ x 10′ size coop.
Buying rough sawn lumber no doubt saved me money. My mom had just redone her kitchen and had thick plywood boards with vinyl flooring glued to them that I saved for the coop’s flooring.
I used galvanized metal sheets for the roof as these will last a real long time and work well to catch rainfall.
The chickens themselves just need draft-free & dry shelter.
The fact that the coop faced South did provide some warmth on sunny Winter days.
I also used small gauge mesh under the coop and around corners to keep out any mice, rodents, etc… as they will steal eggs or set-up shop in your coop.
What I have below is about 57 photos detailing the build of a chicken coop I designed back in 2007. The coop is happily being used today by the folks who currently rent our house.
Chickens can be addicting!
For some of us, chickens are a gateway drug to stronger farming desires.
There is something about having the freshest, tastiest eggs right in your backyard that gets you thinking about all the other forms of homegrown edibles that could be produced uber-locally and (m)organically.
It was this first step with chickens that led me to where I am today.
I hope that you find my chicken coop designs helpful and that they provide you a “gateway” into other ideas towards your own sustainable, self-reliant homesteading journey.
I’m here to help!
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