Things to Know Before Building a Backyard Chicken Coop

Before building a backyard chicken coop, make sure you know how to create a safe home for your new flock.

| December 2013

Learn to treat your flock to a diet rich in a variety of herbs, greens, and flowers with Fresh Eggs Daily (St. Lynn’s Press, 2013). Lisa Steele offers dozens of simple and intelligent tips for “going natural” that help you avoid common ailments that plague many backyard flocks. This excerpt comes from the first chapter, "In the Coop," and covers the basic things to know before building a backyard chicken coop.

You can purchase this book from the Capper’s Farmer store: Fresh Eggs Daily.

More Fresh Eggs Daily

Properly Caring for Chickens in Winter
What to Feed Chickens in Winter, and Freezing Chicken Eggs       
DIY Chicken Scratch Wreath
Homemade Suet Block Recipe
Green Choices for Chicken Coop Bedding
Easy Green Tips for Refreshing and Cleaning a Chicken Coop

Building a Backyard Chicken Coop: Start Here

Once you have made the decision to start raising a backyard flock of chickens, your first thoughts will most likely turn toward acquiring a coop for them. Coops come in all shapes, sizes and materials. Building a backyard chicken coop is not your only option. You can build your own, buy a kit or buy one turn-key; you can convert a shed or playhouse. Personal preference comes into play here as well as the eventual number of hens you think you will want (do some serious thinking here, because one of the most oft-mentioned regrets I hear from fellow chicken keepers is that they didn’t build their first coop large enough).

All right, so you have decided how many chickens you are going to want, and researched how many your municipality will allow you to have; now you need to multiply that number and then multiply it again because, take it from my personal experience, chickens are addictive. You can’t stop at just three ... or five ... or even a dozen. You will see a pretty hen and want to know its breed and then decide you need one. You will want blue eggs and then green eggs, pink eggs and cream-colored eggs.

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