My good friend @badgerpendous has just posted his miscellaneous coop notes that's a nice list of "if I'd known beforehand, I would have..." items for all you newbie DIY coop-builders out there.
Once you get to his blog, you can see the rest of the coop updates to see how the process played out over time, but I really like the lessons-learned list.
See, before we got our own pre-fab plastic Eglu, I'd entertained the idea of building a coop from scratch. It didn't take me too long, however, to realize that the amount of time, tools and raw materials I'd have to buy would approach the cost of an Eglu, so I went the pre-fab route.
Without a lot of budget discipline, you can easily clear $400 building your own from scratch, not including the price of books to help you plan.
While there are a lot of great books out there with fabulous plans to use to build your own, I'm a man who knows my limitations. And the price I pay is to get some serious chicken coop envy when I see setups like that at badgerpendous or over on greenfrieda's blog. (sometimes I'll even window shop by searching on "chicken coop" on Flickr)
Edging away from building your own? If plastic's not your thing but you're looking for a high-end easy-to-assemble coop, you can also check out the offerings at Henspa.
Whatever you do, make sure your chickens get the right housing and you'll be rolling in eggs for a good long time!
My next door neighbor built his coop at about the same time, and he designed his own from scratch. (I'm VERY happy I purchased an inexpensive set of plans for mine) He's got just a few more bits to finish up, which is nice because his hens are just about ready to move outside.
I'm going to ask him for a list of what he's learned so I can beef up my list.
Good tips from badgerpendous, especially about painting/treating the wood before assembling. There's a good wood treatment - not messy at all - that I recommend in my coop plan called Internal Wood Stabilizer by TimberPro UV.
Also, if your coop is to have an access door for people to walk through, hinge it so that it opens towards the inside. This will help you keep the chickens from rushing out if you don't want them to.
One more important tip: if building is not your hobby or profession, a detailed plan will help you far more than one that gives only a few views and basic dimensions. Of course, I happen to offer just such a plan. . .
:) Thanks for the post! –John
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