Below you will find a comprehensive directory of DIY chicken coop plans. Chicken coops in residential areas are becoming more and more common, and you can become part of that trend while providing your family with high quality, organic eggs. Imagine having farm-fresh organic eggs on a daily basis for you and your family that taste better, are much, much fresher, and are healthier for your family as well.
It all starts with building a chicken coop in your yard (or other piece of land depending on what space you have available). Building your own can actually be quite simple, and with a basic set of tools and the willingness to follow directions, you can build your own coop for chickens in a weekend or less. Be sure to check with your city to make sure you can have a chicken coop and raise chickens in your backyard prior to beginning your build!
Are there any laws for having chicken coops in town?
Simply put, it depends on where you live. We recommend that you check with your city council before you build your own chicken coop. Just like you would check with your HOA bylaws or city council to make sure a home addition or a fence is OK to build, you should do the same prior to building your chicken coop.
There are some towns and cities that do not allow chicken coops within the city limits, so you want to make sure that you can build it and raise the animals.
What tools do I need to build my own chicken coop?
It depends on what type of chicken coop you are building, but simply put: the more basic the chicken coop, the more basic of tools you will need. As with any DIY project, more advanced tools are not always required, but they can certainly help your precision and can cut some time off of how long it takes to do a project.
How big of a chicken coop do I need to build?
Generally speaking, you need 4 feet of space (minimum) for each standard size chicken. That should be a good starting point when looking to construct a chicken coop. Of course, the more space you can provide them, the happier – and likely, healthier – they will be (they do not need to live in a mansion or anything, but they generally do better with more space).
Be sure to plan out your yard as if you were doing a landscaping project prior to building your chicken house. You want to make sure that it fits in with your yard, and that you are planning for the possibility of expansion in the future if you so decide.
What types of supplies should I prepare for raising my own chicks and chickens?
You should consult the specific guides that come with a number of our plans featured on this site to get specifics on how to take care of chicks and chickens. However in general, you want to make sure that you have a heat lamp or bulb, a brooder, a water vessel for baby chicks, starter feed and a feeder, and newspaper for the brooder floor.
Some places also recommend purchasing Pedialyte and feeding it to the chicks for the first few days rather than just water to help stabilize the babies to decrease chick loss and help them stay hydrated to survive.
What temperature and climate does it need to be to raise chickens?
Chickens actually prefer temperatures that are in the 40s or higher, but they do have built-in down coats and overproduce in cold weather to insulate themselves from the cold, and can survive just fine in temps in the teens. There has been some speculation that when temperatures get below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, egg production could drop. If you live in a cold weather zone, you might consider purchasing a unit that will heat your chicken coop and keep them warm throughout the winter months.
What else should I think of before building a chicken coop?
One thing to keep in mind is how you will be sure to keep out predators that could attack your chickens. Dogs, raccoons, possums, and even skunks can be attracted to chickens. Be sure to situate your chicken structure accordingly.
List of additional sites with DIY chicken coop plans:
Design friendly chicken coop built in 30 hours.
Forum with a list of chicken coop designs by users of the site.
Detailed design and instruction with videos.
Urban chicken coop designs for backyards.
Mother Earth News
Portable, predator-proof chicken coop.