Chicken Coop Plans

Chicken Coop Plans

I have been designing and building chicken coops for a bit over four years now and it seems that as I tweak my chicken coop plans from project to project they turn out better and better. Problem is, I built my own chicken coop first and have been building them for friends ever since so everybody else’s is better than mine.

Anyway. The chicken coops that I build these days are built for six hens and consist of a main run with nesting box enclosure accessible by a small ramp. You can see my brothers chicken coop in the photo. He is currently keeping four hens in this one as he wanted it a bit smaller because his yard is not very big.

As a guide, you need to alocate at least 4 square feet per chicken if they are able to freely roam your backyard througout the day. If the chickens are in the coop all day long, you should allocate at least 10 square feet per chicken . If you folow this space guide, your hens will be happy and healthy and should be good productive egg layers.

Nest boxes also determine egg laying capacity. You should have at least 1 nestbox for every four or five hens. The nest boxes should be raised off the ground but it also needs to be lower than the lowest perch (We'll talk about perches a bit later). The nest boxes should be dark and away from the main run so the hens feel like they are in a safe place, therefore comfortable to lay eggs.

Chicken Coop Nest Box
Chicken Coop Nest Box

The most important consideration when designing or building a chicken coop is protection of you hens. There are many predators that will try to get at your flock so you have to do everything to protect them and make sure they are safe. Some of the predators that will give you grief include but are not limited to foxes, raccoons, rats, wolves, hawks and coyotes. I recommend that you do not standard chicken wire because the holes are a bit too big and racoons can get their arms through the holes and claw at you hens. One-half inch square hardware cloth is the best material to use for this job.

half inch hardware mesh
half inch hardware mesh

One thing that many people don't consider when building a chicken coop is that your chickens have a natural instinct to perch. if there is an absence of proper perches they will perch on anything else that they can find which includes nests and feeders. This is not ideal because they will mess up these areas with their droppings.

If there are no perches, the hens tend to huddle in one of the corners of the chicken coop and it will not take long for a hard hunk of droppings to form and the chickens feet will get filthy with manure. This mess will then be transferred to the nest causing any eggs to also become dirty. This is obviously bad in all aspects. Coming back to my point, this can all be avoided by ensuring that your chicken coop plans include suitable perches for your hens.

Each chicken needs about 10 inches of perch space. It should also be within easy jumping height for your hens so about 2 feet high would be fine.

Anything from a broom handle to a straight stick from a fallen branch would suffice for this but make sure the surface is rounded as the chickens will find this much more comfortable than perches with squared/flat surfaces.

If any of our readers have had any experience with chicken keeping or have and ideas about chicken coop plans, in particular perches then post them in the comments box so everyone (including myself) can benefit from your experience.

Thanks Clance McDonald.

Chicken Coop Plans Perch
Chicken Coop Plans Perch

Chicken Coop Plans Comments 22 comments

Mary 7 years ago

Thank you for posting. I'm building my own nest boxes and it was nice to have a photo as a guide.

Dave in swva 7 years ago

I'm going to get me a few chickens here come spring,And enjoyed reading your stuff here on them.

TheChickenCoop profile image

TheChickenCoop 7 years ago

Great hub, a lot of quality information.

Here's another little tip that can maximize egg production; if you keep chickens in a cold climate, make sure you insulate the chicken coop properly. Chickens do not like the cold.

Susanna 7 years ago

I am building a coop for 6 chickens. How much room do chickens need inside the coop during the winter?

mamahen 7 years ago

Been planning to raise chickens years ago and now my dream has come true. I have 5 old Rhode Island Red chicks which are 11 days old. They had gotten their feathers on the wings, tails and now on their shoulders and are flying out of the box they have been living in since I received them. Now, fixing up the old chicken coop so they will soon be going out in their own house. They have been taken out on nice sunny days and they love it, so I know they will very happy to be out when I open the small door to run around their fenced in pen.

Mr. Ward 7 years ago

Thanks for all the great information. I built a chicken roost from an old fifty gallon plastic barrel. I flipped the barrel upside down so the roof of the roost would be the bottom of the barrel. Then I used a jigsaw to cut open an entrance big enough for them to enter leaving enough room to pile up some hay on the bottom. Then I cut a larger one foot by one foot door on the side to gain access to the roost for egg collection and changing their hay. I put hinges and a knob on the door. I then took an old tire and placed it atop of two cinder blocks as my foundation. After that I took the barrel and placed it on the tire and blocks. Next I built a ramp for the chickens to walk up. They love it!

mol 7 years ago

great info helped

Andrew Micallef 6 years ago

I got 2 chickens about 6 weeks ago and was told that after 3 weeks they'll start laying. Waited and waited but nothing seem to happen. They both look great and healthy. They're eating machines. Is there something I need to do? any suggestions? Cheers

anna 6 years ago

I think someone meant 3 MONTHS. Most chickens never lay till grown, about 4/5 months or so...

midg3tman11 6 years ago

That's some detailed information so i gotta give a thumbs up to you and if anyone wants some ideas for getting cheap building tools to build your own coop check out this article, it'll help

midg3tman11 6 years ago

Hal 5 years ago

A friend of mine who raises approximately 25 chickens for their eggs is wanting to build new nests such that the eggs do not have to be individually collected; rather they would roll down a chute of some sort into a common collecting area.

Can you direct him as to where to get ideas and/or plans for same?

Pets 5 years ago

Hi, great article and very helpful. I built my first coop but it was for pigeons at the time but since then I have built many coops and even 4 for chickens of mine. I like to make them low maintenance so pulling them apart easily is a great help.

Alyssa 5 years ago

This was SO helpful. Thank you. Im just confused about the shape of the perches. Should they be round like branches or flat. I keep reading conflicting info. on othersites and in books.

Jasper 4 years ago

Great information and advice.

Would like to see photos of your chicken house.


Matty Phillips the rapist 4 years ago

i like kids

Matty Phillips the rapist 4 years ago


Matty Phillips the rapist 4 years ago

I don't really give a bloody damn about chickens, I mean who actually cares? nano nano.

Hey now brown cow!!!!!Hey now brown cow!!!!!Hey now brown cow!!!!!Hey now brown cow!!!!!Hey now brown cow!!!!!Hey now brown cow!!!!!Hey now brown cow!!!!!Hey now brown cow!!!!!Hey now brown cow!!!!!Hey now brown cow!!!!!

Matty Phillips the rapist 4 years ago

I have an UNLIMITED supply of chickens. Literally. Unlimited. There are no end to the amount of chickens I have. mmmmmmm........the final countdown....

The Final Countdown lyrics

We're leaving together

But still it's farewell

And maybe we'll come back

To earth, who can tell?

I guess there is no one to blame

We're leaving ground

Will things ever be the same again?

It's the final countdown

The final countdown


We're heading for Venus and still we stand tall

'Cause maybe they've seen us and welcome us all, yea

With so many light years to go and things to be found

(To be found)

I'm sure that we'll all miss her so

It's the final countdown

The final countdown

The final countdown

(The final countdown)

Ohh ho ohh

The final countdown, oh ho

It's the final countdown

The final countdown

The final countdown

(The final countdown)


It's the final countdown

We're leaving together

The final countdown

We'll all miss her so

It's the final countdown

(The final countdown)

Ohh, it's the final countdown


Matty Phillips the rapist 4 years ago

Schrödinger's cat

In the world of quantum mechanics, the laws of physics that are familiar from the everyday world no longer work. Instead, events are governed by probabilities. A radioactive atom, for example, might decay, emitting an electron, or it might not. It is possible to set up an experiment in such a way that there is a precise fifty-fifty chance that one of the atoms in a lump of radioactive material will decay in a certain time and that a detector will register the decay if it does happen. Schrödinger, as upset as Einstein about the implications of quantum theory, tried to show the absurdity of these implications by imagining such an experiment set up in a closed room, or box, which also contains a live cat and a phial of poison, so arranged that if the radioactive decay does occur then the poison container is broken and the cat dies. In the everyday world, there is a fifty-fifty chance that the cat will be killed, and without looking inside the box we can say, quite happily, that the cat inside is either dead or alive. But now we encounter the strangeness of the quantum world. According to the theory, neither of the two possibilities open to the radioactive material, and therefore to the cat, has any reality unless it is observed. The atomic decay has neither happened nor not happened, the cat has neither been killed nor not killed, until we look inside the box. Theorists who accept the pure version of quantum mechanics say that the cat exists in some indeterminate state, neither dead nor alive, until an observer looks into the box to see how things are getting on. Nothing is real unless it is observed.

So yeah.

Lauren 4 years ago

Marty Phillips your an idiot and grow up. Pathetic sad little boy!!

Dee 4 years ago

Matty Phillips _ Karma will get you , I dont have to! You are so sad and lonely all you have to do is say you like kids and post on here! Get a life u know you r a loser!!!! Ha ha ha ha LOSER!

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