You may think that building your own backyard poultry coop is a monumental task. Thinking like this is understandable, if you’ve never built anything before. Have no fears, as I’m here to offer you a way to get the job done and have fun while you complete your project  in record time.

During these difficult economic times, we need to get back to basics and join forces with our friends and neighbors to help each other get through.  Working together is a perfect, just like our ancestors did when they built this wonderful country.

What I’m talking about is a good old fashion backyard chicken coop raising party! First do your home work like we talked about in the previous post, Hen House Planning Tips.

After you have made sure there are not restrictions or ordinances against having chickens, decided what kind of chickens you want to have and decided on the type of hen house you want to build, here’s what you do next:

1. Buy your Chicken Coop blueprints and get all the materials you need to complete your project.

2. Send invites to all your friends and neighbors, adults and kids and ask them to bring friends. Let them know that you need their help and you are hosting a Backyard Chicken Coop Raising Party! It’s a good way to get to know your neighbors and make new friends.

3. Plan a full day of fun! Ask each family to bring a covered dish as you want to end the day with a huge bar-b-que!

4. By the end of the day, you will be exhausted, but happy as you sit back, relax with a cool drink with your friends and gaze at your completed hen house.

People really do love to help one another. Who knows, you may be starting something. Many of your friends and neighbors may decide to follow your lead and have their own Backyard Poultry Coop Raising Party! If anything, they will definitely look forward to “borrowing” some fresh eggs.

This idea should give you more confidence about your project and show you how much fun it can be!

“If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail”

Bet you have heard that one before.  Such a true philosophy to live by governing everything we do.

OK, so you have made the decision to raise a few chickens.  You should do a wee bit of homework before investing in a backyard chicken house or any live chickens.  Here are a couple of things you should look into:

1. Location, Location.  No, I am not talking about where you want to physically build your hen house.  At least, not yet. The very first thing you need to do is make sure there are no governmental or home owner association rules or restrictions or ordinances against keeping a few hens at your home.  As government keeps inserting itself into our personal lives, not doing this research could end up costing you time, materials and general frustration.  If you live in a country or urban setting with no home owner association, you are probably go to go, but checking on this is important.

2. Type of Chicken.  What do you want to do with your chickens?  The type of chicken you decide to buy will depend on what you want your chickens to do.  Some breeds are better layers than others.  Brown eggs or white eggs or fancy colorful eggs.  Other chickens are poor layers, but great on the grill.

  • Do your kids want a couple of pets?  They actually make wonderful pets.
  • Do you want fresh eggs?  Who doesn’t?
  • Do you want to sell eggs?
  • Do you want broilers for the bar-b-que?
  • Do you want to raise fancy hens to breed, sell and show?  There are some incredibly beautiful and unusual breeds of chickens which lay some very different looking and colorful eggs.

3.   Type of Chicken Coop. Once you know the government won’t interfere with your Poultry enterprise and the type of chicken you want to raise, it’s time to plan your Backyard Chicken House.

  • Chicken House Size. This will depend on how many chickens you plan to have.  Always plan to accommodate more than you start with.  Just in case.
  • Stationary or Portable Coop.  If you are only planning on a couple of chickens and have limited land, you may find the Portable Chicken Coop more desirable.  Some of these are larger and called Tractor Chicken Coops which are on wheels and can be moved about easily.  Smaller ones have long poles on each side so they can be carried to different locations.
  • Buy or Build. Here you have about 3 options.

1.   Pre-manufactured hen houses that are delivered to your house on a trailer.   A bit on the expensive side, but if that isn’t an issue, then presto…instant hen house.

2.   Chicken Coop Kits. These are pretty cool.  You pick your design, buy the kit and put it together.  Kind of a happy medium. Backyard Poultry Coops

3.   DIYBuild Your Own Poultry House.  My personal favorite.  Buy the plans, the materials and gather your kids and neighbors for an old fashion Hen House Raising Party! This is the cheapest and the most fun.

The poor economy has many folks looking for ways to cut corners every way they can.  Backyard Poultry Coops have seen a reemergence and are popping up in some rather unusual locations.

You can buy many different types of chicken coops already put together and ready to be delivered to your home.  Or you can get plans to build chicken coops and modify it to suit you own likes and needs.  You will also need to know what your new found feathered egg producer needs to have in her new home.  So let’s take a look at what you will need to be able to successfully keep you hens happy and producing lots of fresh eggs or makes it’s way to your bar-b-que.  Whatever future you have planned for your poultry, you will want to be sure to give her a comfortable, happy home.

Chicken Coop and RunThe idea of a chicken coop is to protect you little friends from the elements, provide a place for them to nest, keep them from wandering into the neighbor’s yard and keep them out of the bellies of predators. Most hen house plans on the internet will do all of these things, but when looking at your new hen house plans, it’s a good idea to take the following into account:

Space is the main thing, how much space does your chicken need? This really depends on the type of chicken you have. Typically in a hen house, mature chickens need less room, say 2 -3’ per hen or rooster. Chicks however are a lot like your 3 year old niece and need much more room to run and grow, typically 3-8 square feet for the first 6 weeks. This is for the hen house mind you, not for your chicken yard.

Your hen house plans should also show a raised house. This is important because while we might like a nice indoor swimming pool, chickens do not. Keeping your hen house off the ground not only prevents flooding, but makes it much easier for you to clean out. In the summer you can easily spray your hen house out if your hen house plans called for a litter board on the backside of the house. This is a small “door” that can be removed or hinged to fold down and let you spray all of the waste out of the house. Your hen won’t like it much, but your nose will thank you.

Make sure there is a perch included in your hen house plans as well. This is important because chickens are birds and birds like to feel important and require a perch. Again, though adult hens require less exercise than chicks, they still need to get up and move around, a perch encourages them to do so.  Chickens also like a perch to roost on at night.

Windows and doors should come with latches for sure, just make sure that you don’t use any window or door seals. Chickens are like children, they tend to pick at everything. The last thing you want is to have to perform a Heimlich maneuver on a rooster! Adding a few hooks over the outside of your doors and windows will allow you to use tarps in cold and inclement weather without having to tack them up. In the summer, you can use these as plant hangers or something cool like that.

Storage is an issue as well. Some hen house plans call for building a storage bin with the hen house its self. This is a handy idea so you will have everything you need close by.  If you opt for a smaller backyard poultry coop, I suppose a garbage can works, but make sure it is secure so it doesn’t blow over or away… but after building your cool hen house that would be like putting fuzzy dice on the rear view mirror of a Lamborghini.

Check out these Hen House Plans.

These Plans even come with How to Video instructions which is something I really like.  It is so much easier to see how to do something rather than just read about it!