Are you thinking about getting backyard chickens? If so, you'll need a coop. Building a chicken coop yourself might seem like a lot of work, but you don’t need master carpentry skills to make your own DIY chicken coop. Here are 10 great DIY chicken coop ideas to inspire you.
But first....chickens need a nice place to call home in order for them to flourish and grow. A chicken coop not only provides a place for your chickens to lay eggs and sleep, but it also offers them protection against animals who might come to prey on your chickens.
Over the past few weeks I've been posting pics of our coop and our flock on Instagram and getting a lot of questions about our large chicken coop and run setup. I thought I'd answer these common backyard chicken questions right here.
Please note that I am not an expert by any means. These are simply my answers based on our experiences building our off grid coop in an extremely cold environment.
Questions About DIY Chicken Coops
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And by the way, if you have any questions you'd like me to answer about homesteading off the grid, you'll often find me over on Instagram.
Does my Chicken Coop need a window?
In my opinion, yes. Chickens need light, ventilation, and something to look at! At the very least, a dutch door would work. We used a window that Dan bought second-hand. At the moment, one of our turkeys sits in that window each morning and evening. No room for the chickens up there!
Should I paint the inside of my Coop?
While I don't think it's necessary to paint the inside of DIY chicken coops, some people do. Dan did paint the floor. I don't think we realized just how dirty it would actually get.
If you do, choose a non-toxic paint. Chickens scratch at their feed, the straw, grit, etc. You don't want them ingesting any harmful chemicals.
Should I build an A-Frame Chicken Coop?
So I have mixed feelings about this. A-frame buildings are often popular in cold weather climates that get a ton of snow. And snow load was something we considered carefully when Dan was designing the roof pitch on our own coop.
The problem as we see it with the A-frame chicken coop designs is that there just isn't enough roosting space indoors. And we have such cold weather for so much of the year.
So our chickens choose to stay in the coop quite a lot, instead of heading out to the run. So we wanted them to have the most pleasant indoor coop we could give them.
Are Automatic Doors a Good Idea for My Chicken Coop?
Maybe? We don't have automatic doors because we live off the grid. We're always trying to minimize our power consumption. I can see the appeal of automatic doors on your chicken coop though. Especially to keep the heat in during the winter and the cool air in during the summer.