Coop Plans and Ideas
Coops need only be a part of your imagination. Chicken Coop plans and ideas are available on-line, some are free others not. Try to avoid the pre-packed ones as not only are they costly, they are sometimes very inferior in quality and build .
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Now a word of warning and please note these important steps.
- Please check with your local Council for any special requirements
- Make sure you adhere to any distancing from neighbours fence
- Just do a check underground to make sure there are no services there such as plumbing
- After you have decided on the location, mark it out with pegs and string. This will give you a more accurate guideline to the finished result
- And finally it may be a good idea if you let your neighbours know what you're doing
In the decision to build, you need to consider how long you want it to last, how big is it going to be, how long and wide? If you're only going to want the coop for a short space of time, use re-cycled materials such as pallets and old colourbond fencing or roofing material. Do you want the run to be open back, front, sides and top with just chicken wire to contain the birds, How big is the nesting/sleeping area going to be?
Whatever your plans, I suggest you do make it tall enough for you to get into and be able to stand upright, there's nothing worse than trying to capture a chook to be able to check its health or other reason if you can't stand up right.
Please get the best quality chicken wire you can and make sure you dig it out all around to a depth of 30 cms and out another 30 cms to provide some sort of predator restrictions.
Now for a dimensional overview, and this of course depends on your budget.
You could make the whole coop 6 metres long and 3 metres wide, if you have the space, with about one quarter of that dedicated to the nesting area which should be totally enclosed with a space for a door to gain access to harvest your eggs. Its up to you if you want to cover the top of the run with some cover, but I believe you need to give your flock protection from any bad weather and keep them cooler in summer.
I found this plan on line recently, and although its in Imperial measurements, you should be able to follow the plan. Download the entire pdf plan here.
Now lets talk about the perches inside the nesting/sleeping area
Chickens are sound sleepers and prefer to be off the ground while they sleep They are very serious about their pecking order and like to maintain their social placing. For this reason, perches should be just like a ladder against a wall with several levels of perches available.
Chickens don't wrap their feet around a perch, they like to sleep flat footed tucked underneath their breast bone. So an Ideal perch would be about 70 millimeters wide by about 19 millimeters deep and should be routed on the edges. The width between perches should be no more than what you could see as a jumping distance about 30 Cm. The minimum distance from the floor should be and 30 Cm and the height of the top perch from the roost should be at least 45 cm. So the end result should look like a set of stairs.
Yet again, another word of warning
Chooks like to forage, that means scratching the dirt, that means digging up grass roots, that means bare earth and that then means a muddy patch. You may find it necessary then to top dress the area with river sand, Its up to you, but just please note this caution.
For more information regarding the entire chook housing requirements, click here to another page