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How to Build an Urban Chicken Coop
Many modern families have a strong desire to bring a bit of bucolic farm life to their anemic backyards. Thankfully, it has become exceedingly easy to raise chickens in moderately urban areas.
This is really great- not only because raising chickens is a great means by which children can be introduced to real food sources, but because the eggs and meat that home-raised, especially free-range, chickens produce is delicious.
If you want to raise chickens at home, you'll need somewhere to put them. Below I'll walk you through your major choices when it comes to urban chicken coop selection and construction. There are some really great options available!
Readymade Urban Chicken Coops
If you do not have the time, experience, patience, or special tools necessary to build your own urban chicken coop from scratch, don't worry. There are plenty of readymade templates you can work from.
One of my personal favorites is the Ware Premium + Chick-N-Cabin Chicken Coop, which features a lower cage area and an upper story coop. The rooftop is constructed with waterproof shingles and there the front and side screened and wooden panels can be removed for washing.
You might also consider the Ware Premium Chick-N-Lodge, which is large enough for a human to step inside and can house more chickens. While the $500 price tag might seem a bit steep, the personal time spent building a chicken coop from scratch would likely cost much more.
Because free range chickens tend to produce tastier meat (and have happier lives), you might also consider the Ware Chick-N-Pen Chicken Run, which would give your friendly fowl plenty of room to move about.
Tips on Constructing Your Own Chicken Coop
While the prospect of building one's own chicken coop from scratch may seem daunting to some, it seems like a fun weekend project to others. To the right, I hav included a couple of video guides to building chicken coops on one's own.
The major benefit to building a chicken coop independently is that you have the option to customize your work to fit well with your unique space. You will also spend less money upfront, though if you are trying to choose the most cost-effective approach, you might also consider the monetary value of your labor.
If you're not ready to create a complex coop, your best bet would be to go with a simple A-frame design- something with a netted run area on the bottom and an upper level where your chickens can rest at night- and lay delicious eggs.
You'll find a bunch of sites selling kits and guides to making chicken coops- some charge money for assembly booklets and starter kits, other sites just share open plans.
Below are links to some of the free plans. If I were you, I'd stick to these or else buy a readymade coop that I would only need to assemble.
Free Chicken Coop Plans
- How To Build a Chicken Coop. 450 Designs & Pictures
Chicken coop pictures and designs for every backyard. Small, medium, large coops submitted by our huge community of chicken experts.
- Small Chicken House
Free Y2K Survival Plans, Projects and Info
- Chicken coop construction sequence
- Hen House & Hutch Design
Time & Money
As you can probably surmise, your choice of chicken coops really comes down to a choice of time and money. If you have no time, your best bet is to buy a coop that is all ready to be assembled. If you have no money, you should make your own coop.
... and if you have the luxury of enjoying both time and money, you should make an adorable chicken mansion! The first sight of chicken coop designs linked to above has some really interesting designs (some of which look better than my own house) that any chicken (or at least human visitor) would love.