How to build a perfect 2k16 shooter

Build instructions for the chicken coop yourself

Do-it-yourself chicken coop: the pros and cons

It makes sense before the project "Build a chicken coop"To think about possible advantages and disadvantages. I don't want to talk badly to you, you should ask yourself critically which points apply more or less and come to a decision in the end.
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advantages

  • Own design:If you want to build a chicken coop yourself, you also decide how it will look in the end. If you are gifted with craftsmanship, you can fully develop. That can be great fun! If you want to build your barn based on this motivation, you can buy the individual parts in the hardware store, buy ready-made kits or a garden shed kit and modify it.
  • Craftsmanship:Another important reason for building a chicken coop is to have fun with the thing itself. Many people enjoy manual work.

disadvantage

  • Higher cost: A common reason for self-construction often turns out to be a cost trap. Building a house yourself is rarely cheaper than buying a chicken coop or using a kit. The reason? Specialized companies can produce in far larger quantities and lower prices by purchasing large quantities. The bottom line is that the whole thing is cheaper than going to the hardware store and buying the individual parts together. Another question is the possession of the required tools. Where can I borrow them? In addition, the time required should not be underestimated.
  • High effort: The time required for construction is also underestimated. As a rule, the planned time can never be kept and is immensely exceeded. This is of course not a problem, but should still be considered. The construction is only a small part of the overall project; more time will be consumed by purchasing materials, etc.
  • The workplace: Do you have a suitable workplace that you can leave dirty for a long time? Maybe you have a place to evade.

Tips for building the perfect chicken coop

Keeping chickens is more fun than I ever imagined. Each member of my flock has their own personality. There are a few things to keep in mind so that the chickens have a species-appropriate home. In addition to animal welfare, safety is particularly important:

Pay attention to the predators

There are some predators to protect our chickens from. Whether in the country or in the city. Foxes, martens, rats or weasels are happy to have a small snack. Hence some safety tips:
  • A simple clay or earth floor makes cleaning easier, but makes it easier for predators to enter. A wooden floor has proven itself here.
  • All holes must be protected from rodents. It is therefore important to cover everything well during construction.
  • Walls and doors should be built of solid materials. Simple wire mesh or also known as "rabbit wire" is not enough. An alternative to wood is marten-proof "aviary wire".
  • A solid roof is not only important to protect your chickens from drowning. Dangers to chickens can also lurk from above

How big should the chicken coop be?

Two factors are decisive for the size of the chicken coop:
  1. Number of animals
  2. Breed of chickens
A bantam takes up a much smaller area than a New Hampshire. For a normal-sized chicken, an area of ​​at least 1 m² is sufficient for 4 animals. This value should be regarded as the minimum value. In the case of bantams, the number can be multiplied by 2. The perch for 4 chickens should be 1 m. More on that later. Sufficient lighting conditions must also be observed. The window area should be 1:10 compared to the floor. With 4 chickens with a floor area of ​​1 m², this means 0.1 m².

The outlet

Chickens need daily exercise to "scratch" in the ground. If you are concerned about your beautiful garden, a separate area would make sense. A run can be bought, but I recommend that you buy some fence for the same cost and give your chickens more space.

Sleep behavior

What the bed is to us, the perch is to chickens. Chickens have a "defense mechanism," which is why they sleep high off the ground. The perch should be 3 - 4 cm thick. Some chickens prefer round perches, while others prefer square perches. If there are several chickens, the distance between each chicken should be at least 25 cm. For this reason there is a length of approx. 1 meter with 4 chickens. If there is more than one perch, they must be the same height as the first. Otherwise there is a fight every evening to see who gets the highest and therefore “safest” place. The area under the perches becomes littered with feces. Many chicken farmers prefer a "manure board". There is a grille under the perches, so the droppings can fall through the grille, but the chickens cannot reach it.

Laying nests

Chickens prefer a private place to lay their eggs. If you don't have a nest box in your hen house, you will find eggs in the craziest places in your garden. Should the eggs be laid on the floor in the hen house, the chickens will eat the eggs out of curiosity. However, this curiosity quickly becomes a habit and you will run out of eggs. More information about egg-eating chickens.

Nest boxes

Nest boxes can easily be made of wood or can be ordered from Amazon. Some tips on the right nests:
  • You need one laying nest for every 2-3 chickens. If there are not enough nests available, you will find the eggs in other places in the house.
  • Laying nests must be large enough for the hen to come in and turn around. Still, it needs to be small enough for the chicken to feel private and cozy. The laying nest should measure around 35 x 35 x 35 cm.
  • The nest boxes must be kept dry and clean. For this reason an additional roof is necessary.
  • The inside of the laying nests should be covered with litter, straw or hay. After all, the eggs shouldn't break.
You can find a good example on this page.

Overview of chicken coop kits

You want yours Build your own chicken coop and I don't even want to stop you. However, there are now very cheap kits that might also make sense. If you want to build your first chicken coop, these kits are ideal as a basis, which you can expand accordingly. The chicken coops are not 100% perfect in my opinion. With a few small changes, however, you have built a high-quality chicken coop. Incidentally, these kits are also a cheap alternative to the material that you need to build yourself.

Chicken coop with no run

Chickenhouse No. 02 Gluckshaus offers space for up to 6 medium-sized chickens. The perches can be easily removed or mounted in other places. With additional material, it would even be possible to mount an automatic door opener on the back. A bit of roofing felt would have to be retrofitted on the roof so that the stable is adequately protected from the elements. Additional insulation or, as an alternative, a heating device would be necessary for winter. The happy house was my first hen house and lasted for about 3 years. During this time, various corrections, such as the hinges, were necessary. For the current price of just under 190 € it is still a good chicken coop for beginners.

Chicken coop with a run

I won't show you this chicken coop for about 4 chickens because it has an integrated run and your chickens don't need an additional run. In terms of quality, this coop is similar to the chicken coop without a run. Here, too, I recommend additional insulation for the winter and additional roofing felt for the roof. However, it is advantageous that the area can be covered by the outlet without any problems. This gives you a bigger hen house for up to 8 chickens.

Build a chicken coop from a garden shed

Another popular and cheaper variant of building your own chicken coop is to buy a garden shed and convert it accordingly. Wooden tool shed, model Frankfurt 180 x 145 cm by Gartenpirat® A window is often already installed in a garden shed. If not, this can usually be retrofitted without any problems. A few air vents that can be closed in winter are recommended for adequate air circulation. A suitable foundation made of concrete or paving slabs should be a matter of course for wooden houses. In order to convert the garden house into a full-fledged chicken coop, only a few adjustments to the interior are necessary. Laying nests should be installed at a height of 50 centimeters. Ideally, these are near the door. The perch, on the other hand, should be above the laying nests in terms of height. So about 80 cm high. If you are put off by the current price of just under 350 euros (as of May 3, 2017), you might find something cheap used on Ebay classifieds. I have seen that some houses there are even given away as long as you are willing to dismantle them.

Build the right instructions for the chicken coop yourself

The building instructions that can be found on the Internet are only useful to a limited extent. How so?
  1. Some building instructions that I have looked at do not depict a species-appropriate home for chickens at all.
  2. Instructions can often not be implemented 1 to 1 because there are different opinions between design and interior design.
There are some free and paid building instructions on the Internet, which I would like to introduce to you so that you can decide for yourself.
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Overview of free building instructions

So far, I have only found correct instructions in books or in David Nuss's videos. Below I link some blogs that report on chicken coop construction:

Chicken coop construction

Here you can find illustrated instructions on how a chicken coop with a run was created within 3 months.

Quail - built the quail house yourself

Hedwig writes in her blog about how she builds a quail house herself. In my opinion, this stall is not perfect on the inside. There is no perch and the wooden floor will very quickly become contaminated with excrement, which can no longer be cleaned. Still, this stable is a good inspiration.

Building instructions for a fee

David Nuss runs a paid section by showing you step by step how to build a high quality chicken coop yourself. A lot of videos and images are waiting in the members area, which helps every beginner to build a chicken coop. I myself had access to this area and was able to convince myself of the quality and its information and can therefore recommend this guide. You can find more information on his website.

The optimal chicken coop floor

Many people ask me about the optimal chicken coop floor. I would say there is neither right nor wrong here, but all variants have advantages and disadvantages. The choices are:
  • Concrete foundation
  • Wood
  • Deep litter method
Pavement slabs would also be an option, however, due to mites in the chicken coop, there should be as few grooves and gaps as possible.

Concrete foundation

A simple concrete foundation is relatively inexpensive to build. Many people worry that the ground will cool down too much in winter. I cannot share this opinion. My first hen house had a foundation made of concrete and on top of it was garden soil mixed with sawdust. Worked wonderfully. The disadvantage is that the concrete takes a certain amount of time to harden. Advance notice is necessary here.

Wooden floor

My chicken coop now consists of a modified wooden floor. The basis is provided by very simple USB disks. Why modified? Although litter covers the floor, I find wood not particularly hygienic. For this reason my floor is made of waterproof plastic.

Deep litter method

If you have the opportunity to dig the ground 10-20 centimeters, you can use the deep litter method. Deep litter actually only stands for a natural subsurface. Since the chickens mostly come from the forest, they should be 10 to 20 centimeters with forest-like material such as bark mulch, soil, leaves and litter. Litter is important because of its absorbency. This method has one big advantage and is therefore very popular: the stable does not have to be cleaned as often. The excrement is broken down more quickly by microorganisms from the soil.

Common mistakes when building a chicken coop

I get a lot of questions about the construction of the chicken coop. With these questions I know that the following mistakes are always made when building your own chicken coop:

Lack of planning

If you want to build a chicken coop yourself, you have to plan first before you start building. Sounds logical at first, but many people start first and only then think about it further. First, make a plan. Only then do you buy all the tools and materials. You should ask yourself the following questions:
  • How much space do my chickens need?
  • Where do I build my chicken coop?
  • Is there enough space to run out?
  • How should the subsequent cleaning be carried out?
  • Is there adequate ventilation?
  • Can the ventilation be closed in winter?
  • Are the perches sufficient for the number of my chickens?
  • Is the chicken coop sufficiently insulated or do you need heating for the winter?
  • Is there a sufficient scratching area? (2/3 of the area)
  • Make sure there is space for food and drink

Lack of circulation

You need a chicken coop for 2 reasons:
  1. A home for the chickens
  2. Protection from predators
Some people protect their chickens so well that they forget that some oxygen is necessary for life :-). A chicken coop without oxygen circulation leads, on the one hand, to an increase in the carbon monoxide content. In addition, moisture will develop inside, which can lead to mite infestation. Of course, the whole thing also affects the production of the eggs ;-).

insulation

The outside walls of the hen house must be adequately insulated. This results in warmth in winter and coolness in summer. The insulation also means that there is optimal humidity. Incidentally, if the moisture level is optimal, the chickens will produce more eggs.

Sufficient light

Build the window or your chicken coop so that it then faces south. Sufficient sunlight is thus guaranteed, especially in the winter months. If this is not possible for any reason, the daylight must be generated artificially. You can be sure of what happens when there is not enough light.

Set up a chicken coop

I have already mentioned some factors for a species-appropriate facility under Tips. The most important items or areas in a chicken coop are:
  • Dung pit
  • Perches
  • Laying nests
  • Feed container
  • Drinking containers
  • Scratching room
  • Sand bath

Dung pit

Thanks to the manure pit, you save time on cleaning and money, as the litter does not have to be changed as often. Bacteria and parasites are contained by using a droppings pit. A manure pit is quick and easy to build. An approx. 20 cm high right, which is covered with wire at the top. The droppings pit should cover the entire area under the perches.

Perches

The perch serves as a safe place to sleep and rest for the chickens. In the wild, the chickens sleep on branches or bushes. This instinct makes chickens feel safer from predators in a higher position. The perches should be placed above the manure pit, as the chickens also excrete when they are resting. There are also 2 advantages of attaching it:
  • There is only one place that needs to be cleaned
  • Because the litter is kept relatively clean, pathogens have problems multiplying.
Perches for chickens are ideally rectangular with slightly rounded edges. Standard dimensions for perches are: Width: 4 to 6 cm Length: 20 to 25 cm per animal Distance between each other: 35 to 40 cm If several perches are necessary, they must be of the same height. Otherwise there will be a lot of competition ;-).

Laying nests

Chickens prefer to lay their eggs in semi-dark and sheltered places that are ideally still a little padded. Chickens like to lay their eggs in a bush. This at least fulfills all of the points. There are laying nests so that Easter is not every day for you and you have to search the entire garden for eggs. A laying nest is a closed box. Which is closed on 5.25 or 5.5 sides of 6. You can build the laying nest in a relatively simple way. However, there are also some ready-made laying nests, like this one. The advantage of this laying nest is that the eggs fall down directly and can be collected centrally.

Feed containers and drinkers

Kerbl automatic feeder for poultry Of course, the chickens also have to eat and drink. The easiest way would be to set up a bowl. This is not the best solution as a lot of feed is wasted, which in the worst case scenario will start to germinate in the soil. Simple feed containers made of plastic have proven effective. The advantage consists in the "tank" which is filled once and refills feed again and again by gravity. The automatic feeder should be raised a few centimeters. Either you place the automatic feeder on a stone or you hang it from the ceiling with a string. In my opinion, the Kerbl automatic feeders have a very good price-performance ratio. I only use products from this company. The same characteristics apply to the drinker as to the automatic feeder. Here, too, I use a model from the Kerbl company.

Scratching area and sand bath

The scratching area is an area in which the chickens scratch and peck. This area should take up about 2/3 of the chicken coop and be laid out with and with litter. Personally, I only use linen straw bedding, like this one. Many beginners to chicken farming forget that chickens need a sand bath. This allows the chickens to maintain their hygiene even in bad weather. Among other things, this also improves the fight against parasites. A small box measuring 50 x 50 cm and a maximum height of 20 cm is sufficient for the sand bath. For the filling I use particularly fine sand such as chinchilla bath sand.

Feedback

You have questions on the topic Build your own chicken coopthat I haven't answered yet? Please write me a short email to info [ät] huehnerstallselberbauen24.de. Questions already received, which I will answer shortly, are:
  • Automatic door opener
  • Laws, regulations and insurance for keeping poultry
  • Build your own chicken coop books