Learning how to build a chicken coop is a good thing if you plan on having a lot of chickens on your farm. In this presentation we’ll tell you what are some things to always pay attention to when designing one and giving you 9 models to try and build yourself. These are not just ordinary coop models, but portable ones.
Table of Content
- Recommendations for building right portable chicken coop:
- 9 Variants of Portable Chicken Coops
- Some final thoughts
Recommendations for building right portable chicken coop:
As previously stated, we first have to learn and decide on a few basic features of the new chicken coop. These features include correct size, its new location, and some planning.
Size of the coop
When designing a shelter for any animal on the farm, it’s important to know the minimum requirements it needs to thrive. With the minimum size in mind it’s easy to alter any design to match your needs. Additionally, you should also know what space you have for it. It’s probably best to add a few inches to all measurements, to ensure there’s enough space.
Most chickens need some 3 or 4 sq ft per bird to be happy. If there’s not enough space available, they’ll become stressed, ill and can even die. Cleaning their shed and collecting the eggs should also be taken into account when deciding on the size, as you’ll need easy access inside it.
Perching is another aspect to remember when deciding the size of the DIY chicken coop. Each chicken should be given between 6 and 10 inches of perching space.
Place of the coop
The place you want to build your shelter on is also important. It also influences its size, like mentioned above, but also other aspects: its shape, the materials needed, and even some architectural details. For instance, if your area gets flooded often, you’ll want to have the shelter raised off the ground and make sure the area underneath it gets well drained.
Some areas are known for its predatory birds, or it may not have many trees for shade. A roof over the outdoor area can provide protection from predators and shade while also allowing sunlight to reach the hens. If the place is very windy you might want to insulate the coop and maybe even part of the outdoor space.
No matter where you place the shelter, make sure you also have easy access in it, twice per day. You’ll have to both clean it and collect the eggs. Some farmers like to place food and water inside the coop too, and this means the floor should be more resistant.
Chickens can be quite smelly and noisy. You might want to designate a place for your simple chicken coop that is not very close to your house to that of your neighbors. You could also choose to monitor your property for a while before making a final decision.
Planning the coop
There are a few must-have elements in a chicken coop, besides walls and roof. Ventilation and light are also needed for the health of the birds. Like mentioned above, a waterer and a feeder can also be placed inside the shelter, though leaving them outside in the running area is also possible.
If you plan on closing the chicken exit door, you will want to leave them or place extras inside. Nesting boxes shouldn’t even be mentioned, but they’re mandatory. Depending on how large your flock is, you might want 1 box for 4 or 5 hens, though most of them might use the same one.
To ease the cleaning, place some poop boards or other type of material underneath the perching area, that you can remove with ease. Chickens like to take dust baths as it helps them stay clean. Design such an area in the outdoor area. Artificial lightning is needed in winter if you want to help your girls to still lay eggs. The light you install for the purpose has to be warm.
While the features of the small chicken coop are important, there are extra tools and materials you will need to have. For instance, it’s not enough to decide the size and the materials you’ll use. You must make sure you have enough nails, a hammer, a level, hinges, saw and even solution to treat all the wood that is exposed to the elements.
Depending on the climate, you’ll have to make further adjustments to use proper insulation or make enough vents to ensure the hens are comfortable. You might even want to install a heating system if the winters are too harsh, or you might need proper documentation if you decide to install electricity in or around the coop.
9 Variants of Portable Chicken Coops
It’s time to discover the 9 models of chicken shelters that are easy to build by yourself. The step by step instructions indicate to always start the building process with the frames, as to have a clear idea of where the doors and windows go.
Trictle’s Chicken Coop
This 4×4 feet chicken coop is the ideal house for 4 hens, and it features rods made of cedar for a better stability and durability. The house was build in such way as to keep the base separate from the roof, which can be removed for cleaning.
The nesting box is built on the outside of the shelter, and its walls feature extra framing in order to support its weight. The mobile chicken coop plans include 4 windows for improved ventilation, and the base has a hole which is used by the hens to enter with the help of an inclined ramp.
The coop is surrounded by a chicken wire for additional safety and allows birds to move around comfortably. All in all, the small coop allows for 32 square feet of space which means about 8 square feet per bird, pen included.
Shed Chicken Coop
Here you have a shelter that resembles a shed, as it has a slanted roof. With a surface of 8×4 ft it’s ideal for up to 8 hens. It has a large window on a side under which the nesting boxes were fitted. These boxes have a roof with a hinge to allow you to easily collect the eggs. An option would be to install a small door on the wider side of the nesting boxes that are build to the outside of the coop.
You can install another window on the opposite wall and a hen door underneath it. The hen door can also be installed on the back wall. The taller side has a door for your access inside the coop. The run should be attached to the side of the shelter that has the small door for the chickens.
The movable chicken coop plans show a shelter lifted off the ground by a few inches, and the space covered with rocks. The outer walls offer plenty of space to hang some potted flowers as well, if you’d like some.
Wire Spool Bird Coop
The design suggested here is unusual given its round and quite vertical shape. It’s rather small and thought out for 2 Bantam chickens, however with some tweaking other breeds can benefit from it as well.
As it is, this model of coop can be successfully used for smaller birds, like pigeons. Another advantage of this shelter is that it doesn’t occupy a lot of space which is great if you don’t have a lot of it to begin with.
The coop is made of empty wire spools that can be found at the electrical company, so in reality this is an upcycling project. You’ll need chicken wire to wrap around it, and to make sure to make holes for the birds to go in and out of the spool’s core.
You will want to also design some door openings to allow you to clean the shelter or to let the birds out sometimes, especially if they’re hens.
My6chicks Chicken Coop
Here is a small shelter for about 8 hens. This design is special because it’s designed to have electricity to warm up the water and for an infrared camera to be installed and function, if you want extra surveillance. Warming up the water is a must if you live in regions with really difficult winters. The floor’s area is 8×4 feet.
The roof is slanted, with the front part higher than the back area. The taller side of the coop is the front and has a door and a window. One of the narrow sides of the construction has a small door for the chickens to go to the enclosed run through an enclosed catwalk. Sadly, the chicken run plans are not included, but this area is even more easy to make than the shelter itself.
The designer of this hen shelter added a rectangular pot underneath the window, where flowers or aromatic herbs can be planted. Inside the coop, a hammock was installed to collect the birds’ droppings, to ease the cleaning process. The main door can be equipped with another door made of mesh or hardware cloth, to allow more air and light inside the coop during the warmer months.
‘South City’ Coop
This is a small chicken coop that allows for enough ventilation thanks to its 4 windows, from which 2 are placed in front and 2 on each side. The coop’s ceiling features plywood panels which direct fresh air over the birds but keep them protected from wind. The interior of the house has a ramp that hens climb to reach the nesting place. The main coop has a measurement of 6 feet in length, 6 feet deep and 6 feet tall, while the windows can be closed or kept opened based on the weather.
Due to the base being placed above ground, the birds will enter and exit using a ramp and through the hole on the side of the base. The chicken coop ideas presented here also include 2 lights, one inside and one outside, along with 6 outlets. Its doors features handles for easy opening and closing of the coop.
Pallet Palace Chicken Coop
If you have some 30 hens on your homestead as well as some pallets laying around, this chicken coop is easy to put together and could be your next DIY project. The type of wood used is oak, and all the pallets should look the same. The pallets serve as framing in this coop, as other pieces of wood or plywood will be used both on the outside and inside of the house.
The floor area of the coop is 8×16 ft, with an entrance on the longer side that is also the front. This design is really good for those who don’t really understand framing and want to build something simple. The roof can be made of anything that can keep the water out but is also lightweight.
There’s also an outdoor area for the hens to run in. For extra protection, the chicken coop designs say to use hardware cloth around the pen area, as well as under and around the coop. The outdoor area is also covered with deer netting to protect against predatory birds.
Generic Easy Chicken Coop
Seeing the blueprints for this 6 hen shelter, you’ll surely agree it’s easy enough to build on your own. For this project you’ll need plywood and lumber as the main construction tools, as well as asphalt shingles and chicken wire. The whole process shouldn’t last longer than a day to complete, but it also depends on your time.
The floor area for this coop measures 45×72 in, though the longer side is made of 2 smaller pieces with a support beam in the middle. The floor is also raised off the ground by some 6 in tall legs, though you can obviously adjust their height. One of the longer sides has a large window for ventilation.
On the shorter ends there’s a chicken door and the nesting boxes. The roof has an overhang, and is made of plywood covered with tar paper and then shingles. The same type of roofing should be installed on the nesting boxes.
While making this coop is really easy, the portable chicken coop plans need some adjustments as they don’t provide cleaning access. This is done either by installing hinges on one side of the roof, or cutting an opening on the long side where the large window is, while modifying its size and location.
Palace Chicken Coop
If you have up to 6 or 7 hens and enough space, you can consider building something that looks like a palace from the outside. The shelter itself has a surface of 6×4’, is raised off the ground, and has a pretty large covered enclosure on one side. The coop has large windows for ventilation, a gate to allow people access in the enclosure to clean, as well as offering access to the eggs from outside.
The whole construction offers each hen some 10 sq ft to run, while inside the coop each hen has some 3 sq ft all to herself. Additionally, there’s 1 foot of roosting space for each, and 1 nesting box for 3 birds. The outdoor space is surrounded with hardware cloth which is pretty easy to install with an electric stapler.
Other materials used in this construction are strip wood for the walls and vinyl flooring tiles. The frames are made of wood that should be stained. All wooden parts must be treated and sealed against the weather.
Urban Chicken Coop
For those with just a few hens, of up to 5, a model like this one is perfect. It’s a bit raised off the ground, and the area underneath it is enclosed. The floor area measures 6×3’ and the walls are made of half inch plywood. Make sure to have an overhang roof, or about 10 inches.
The coop itself has 2 doors – a big one on the front to allow you to gather the eggs and to clean inside, and a smaller one on the side for the hens to go in and out. The enclosed area underneath also has a small door. There are also 2 ramps one leading outside and the other leading to the enclosed area underneath, through a trapdoor.
To be noted that the enclosed area is buried 10 inches and uses hardware cloth instead of chicken wire. This is an important aspect if there are many predators in the area, such as racoons.
Some final thoughts
Now you should have plenty of inspiration for your birds’ shelter, if you decide to make it yourself with the materials you already own. Remember that all these homemade models can be adjusted in size to accommodate more or less chickens than the suggested numbers.