"What Kind of Chicken Coop Plan
Is Best For YOU?"
We've been raising our own chickens at home for years now, in our own chicken coops, with chicken coop plans that we designed ourselves.
And some of my friends couldn't understand why I got so crazy about my feathered girls. They wondered why we put all the hard work into building and protecting our chickens. And, to be honest, most of them couldn't understand why we did it, so it was just easier for us to keep our hobby to ourselves, right?
Well, not anymore. Times have changed. Now everyone knows why we raise our own chicken flock:
- They provide AWESOME organic compost for your garden.
- They give your family amazingly healthy, tasty, home-grown foods for cheap.
- You can raise them with NO nasty chemicals, hormones, or pesticides.
- Grocery store costs are as high as backyard raised egg costs now.
(and if that's not enough right there...)
All that alone makes building your own chicken coop a no brainer, right? All my friends stopped asking me why, and instead started asking how they could keep chickens themselves 🙂
There is so much you need to know to make your own chicken coop, and raise your flock at home but at the same time a lot of it is just common sense. There are many things I have learnt along the way. Take this for example :
Here's How YOU can INSTANTLY save your entire flock in one day.
Did you know that if you don't build your coop to stop ONE specific predator, that you can seriously lose your entire flock in one day? And no ... it's probably not the large animal you're thinking of right now.
NOPE - it's hawks.
Do you want to guess how I figured that one out?
And that's not the only lesson I learned the hard way.
Here's what I realized pretty quickly ...
There are SO MANY different types and styles of chicken coops out there, that you really have to know what you want to accomplish before you find the chicken coop plan that is right for you!
- You want to understand what YOUR needs are (eg. easy access to the nestboxes and being able to clean the coop out without being bent over double make life with chickens more enjoyable)
- You need to know what the needs of your flock are going to be (eg. smaller breeds will feel the cold more, a big breed may need low roosts and a bigger entrance, breeds with feathered feet can get really clogged down with mud [or snow] if you live in an area with lots of rain and their pen floor is soil)
- You have to build a chicken coop that you are comfortable having your neighbors see ('have to' is not strictly true but it is nice to have something you can be proud of 🙂 )
- You have to stay within the legal limits of your area (some areas don't allow chickens at all, or if they do they restrict how many you can have or specify no roosters etc. - it is best to check these sorts of things before you buy your chickens and build a coop)
All of these, PLUS a whole bunch more are key factors in your chicken coop building process.
You see ... making that first mistake, of losing an entire flock in one day, taught me an important lesson in how to keep your chickens safe and predator-free.
Incidentally probably the easiest way to keep hawks at bay is simply to have a wire mesh going over the top of your chicken pen, if that is not possible/practical then at least use some of the common deterrents such hanging reflective items such as cds and provide cover such as bushes for your chickens to dive under. Bamboo sticks stuck in the ground at various heights can help prevent a clear flight path for swooping in. Additionally there are all sorts of deterrents available at places like garden centers.
It is not a nice thing to think about, but any time spent thinking about ways to make a predators access to your chickens more difficult is worth it - and it can definitely save lives.
Equally some time planning the overall picture of your coop and how you want your life with chickens to be (coop position, flock, access etc) is also worth it so be sure to check out the video we made about some common things people forget about when designing their chicken coop.