Best Materials To Use When Building A Chicken Coop

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Shelter is important for a flock - offering safety, warmth, and a place to rest each night. But buying a chicken coop can become very expensive, especially if you purchase one pre-built. Instead of buying a coop you may have decided to build one of your own. There's several items and materials you should incorporate into your building plans to ensure your flock will receive the best home possible.

Building Materials

The materials you use while building your coop are the most important element. You could go the route of purchasing the most inexpensive wood, insulation, and other materials - save a few dollars in the process - but you risk your flocks safety and well being by doing so. A more inexpensive wood saves you a dollar but may be treated with harmful chemicals or might not be meant for outdoor use. Recommended woods for a coop are the following options:

  • Naturally rot resistant woods such as Cedar or Redwood,
  • Apply an eco-friendly and safe sealer to woods such as Pine,
  • Or opt for a material other than wood

When shopping for wood one of the biggest things you want to avoid is wood that has been pressure treated. Wood that has been pressure treated may contain harsh and harmful chemicals that could eventually find its way onto your flock.

Insulation, chicken wire, and even the screws and bolts you use on your coop should all be carefully selected. Screws and bolts that have been painted to appear a color other than silver should be avoided - due to the chemicals used. If you must have screws painted a different color be sure you use safe paint. When choosing a paint you should look for the following:

  • Zero volatile organic compound
  • Non-toxic
  • Low odor
  • Allergy and asthma safe

Some popular paint brands such as Yolo and Valspar have paints that you may be able to use. Check with your local paint or hardware store to confirm.

Fencing is another important item to consider. While your coop provides shelter and safety inside, fencing allows your flock to safely run around outside. All our items above (such as wood options and paint options) should also be considered when choosing the materials you use for building a fence. Chicken wire and rabbit wire are also popular options. An invisible electric fence is another option but is not recommended as there are many risks involved in using this type of fencing.

You've figured out the best route to take, you've picked your materials and are ready to go. Are you unsure of how to construct a coop of your own? Chicken coop plans are available for purchase online and often come with many instructions on the best way to proceed.

If you are unsure of any items you can or cannot use in your coop, it's recommended you consult with a local veterinarian or expert that can assist. Many farmers stores or livestock stores will have someone on staff skilled to assist you with any questions you may have.

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Farmer Rachel 3 years ago from Minnesota

Nice hub! I actually hadn't considered that pressure-treated pine might eventually be harmful to chickens. Did you learn this from experience, or research, or...? Just curious! I don't use pressure- or chemical-treated wood around my gardens, or with livestock that chew. I like the picture of the fancy chicken coops - super cute! Coops on wheels are great for moving the birds to new forage.

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