Having a chicken coop is a good way to become self sufficient. What Does Chicken Jerky Taste Like can provide eggs for baking and cooking. They can also be a source of meat. They also can provide an extra income by selling the eggs. Chickens require a relatively small place compared to other farm animals.
Although this all sounds great, as with having any animal, there are responsibilities. You need to be absolutely sure that this is something you can and want to do. So if you are confident that you’d like to build a chicken coop and care for the chickens, then read on!
The first thing you will need to do is draw out plans. Know how many chickens you want and what type of chicken coop you will need. Most areas have predators, so consider that as well. Get the correct materials including materials for insulation. You will want to make sure that you get pressure treated outdoor wood.
This is so the wood will not rot from moisture. You will need insulation to keep the chickens warm during the winter. However, if you live somewhere that it gets below freezing you will need to install heating where the chickens will be roosting and laying their eggs. The dimensions of your coop directly depends on the number of the chickens you want.
When getting started, you will need to find the highest point in the yard and level it off. Make sure that your chickens are going to have 2 square feet of space per chicken. If you are in lowlands build it up. This is so the area doesn’t flood and leave the ground holding water.
Lay the base frame and floor. the dimensions will vary depending on your requirements. You should start with a rectangular frame with slats that are spaced 6 to 8 inches apart depending on the size you are wanting. Lay the floor using your choice of fiberglass flooring or plywood.
Next, build the frame for the walls. Make sure the beams are approximately 1 to 2 feet apart depending on the desired size. The roof will slant enough to allow for rain to runoff. To make this easier, you can start all same size beams then use a measuring tape and a pencil to get your desired slant evenly. Since the roof will be slanted, it is important that the wall frames are the same size.
Make sure that the measurements for each frame strut matches one another. There should be two of each size. The back wall struts should be the same size as the last strut on the side wall frame. It is easier to build the frames on the ground and make sure that the measurements are correct and then lift them up and match them accordingly.
Once the wall struts are up, the roof struts can be laid across the top of the side wall frames. If you would like an over hang, you can cut purlins to support an over hanging roof truss. You can choose which side you want a door, but a door is necessary to clean the interior of the coop and put down food when needed.
The side of the wall that the door is going to be put in will need the struts to be closer where the door frame is being placed. The first strut from the edge should be about two feet in. The second will be only one foot with another strut at approximately three feet from that one to ensure a standard door can fit.
Place a beam cross section between the two struts that make the door frame high enough for you to get under. Five and a half to six feet is best. the less you have to duck down, the better. Across the top of the door frame, attach at least one more short strut from the top of the door frame to the roof. Also, make sure to make a space for at least two windows for circulation of air using the same process. Using steel or aluminum angle supports is useful in ensuring that the structure is sound. Screws instead of nails hold better, as well.
Building the nesting boxes should be done after the wall frames are installed, but before the inside walls are hung. They can be constructed at a minimum of twelve inches, otherwise the chickens will not lay in them as they will be too small. Access doors for them should be placed on the outside to ensure that you can access the eggs and clean the nests as needed. Put in as many nesting boxes as you have chickens. Chickens will sometimes share boxes, but you do not want to depend on this.
After the nesting boxes are finished, cut wall panels to the specifications needed. Install the wall panel on the inside of the coop to enclose it, keeping in mind doors and windows. Once those are installed, insulate the walls from the outside before hanging the outside wall panels. Tack up the insulation between the struts, again keeping in mind the windows and doors. After the insulation its hung, hang the outside wall panels.
The back wall will be nearly solid, except for a small hole in the wall that will be used as an exit for the chickens. You should cut the hole approximately 12-24 inches in diameter. Put a sloped plank for the chickens to enter and exit down. Once this is all complete, you can add your desired type or style window of choice, as well as a door. You will need to attach the door with hinges and a way to open it, as well as locking it.