Plans For Chicken Coops - 4 Top Tips To Make Your Hens (And Your Own) Life Easier.
1. Let's look at fence design. Whether you're considering chicken coops with runs, or just the general fencing of the area where you'll keep your hens, a strong fence or enclosure is vital for their safety. Sadly there are lots of beasts - and a few birds - that will happily make a meal of your chickens or their eggs. Don't spend ages on the hen house then short cut the fence.€
2. When you see chicken coops on sale there are generally two types - big boxy ones and small portable ones (often called chicken tractors). If you're going to have more than three or four birds you probably want a coop with a nice tall ceiling - because you're going to have to go in there yourself sometimes. Low ceilings can be a real pain in the back! If you've got a dozen birds, walk in chicken coops really are recommended. €
3. Think about light. Do the plans for chicken coops you've chosen allow for plenty of natural light? If they're kept in the dark too long, not only will your birds' health suffer, they won't lay many eggs. Hens lay less eggs in the winter time mainly because there's less light. Some people even put electric lighting in their coops. If you're doing that, make sure you get an expert to do the wiring. If you wouldn't wire up your house, why would you attempt to do a chicken coop? It's the same electricity and it's just as deadly if you get it wrong!€
4. Plans should give you lots of useful info about design and construction, but think about finish too and build with care. Some wood treatments are downright poisonous. Also, make sure screws and nails are properly driven home and points don't come through. Your birds could get a nasty injury and sooner or later you'll reach in without thinking and tear your hand open. Just because it's a hen house, doesn't mean you shouldn't take time to do the job properly. Watch out for sharp wire ends as well. Cut them off or bend them over so they're not going to hurt you or your chickens.€
That's just a few ideas for chicken coops that should help you in the decision-making process, and in putting things together. Personally I would choose a professional set of plans for chicken coops simply because it's likely the designer will have spent time and effort ironing our potential problems - so you don't have to!