Small Chicken CoopIf you are looking to build a chicken coop yet do not know where to start, you come at the right place. Chicken coops also known as chicken runs and hen houses can be as simple or fancy as you wish.

Building Chicken coops could be a very successful home based business for someone that has an interest in working with tools and building things. You don’t even have to know everything about building chicken coops to get started. If you’re a handy man, or simply skilled with a few hand tools like a hammer and a saw, then you are set to build a simple chicken coop using this easy to follow chicken coop guide. This guide will provide you all the details you will need in order to build a simple chicken coop.

A chicken coop is can be as crude or elaborate as you wish to build as long as you provide the following:

1. Protection: A good chicken coop protects the birds from the elements (weather), predators, injury and theft.

2. Adequate Space: Chickens need adequate space for movement and exercise as well as areas to nest and roost. Space requirements vary with the type of bird you raise.

Minimum Space Requirements
Type of BirdSq ft/bird insideSq ft/bird outside runs
Bantam Chickens14
Laying Hens1.58
Large Chickens210
Quail14
Pheasant525
Ducks315
Geese618

Nests: Always provide at least one nest for every 4-5 females in the flock.

3. Easy Access to Feed and Water: Feeders and waters should be placed conveniently throughout the pen for birds’ access.

4. Source of Light: If you wish to produce eggs from your flock year-round, you must have a source for electric light. One electric light every 40 feet at ceiling height is appropriate. Windows placed on the southside of the coop will also be a good source of light

5. Ventilation: Fresh air brings in oxygen while excess moisture, ammonia or carbon dioxide are removed the stale air moves out of the house. For small coops windows or vents on one side of the house usually provide plenty of ventilation.

6. Maintenance: You should have a regular schedule for cleaning and maintaining the coop. Have a specific time for replacing straw, cleaning the litter and putting feeds and water.

Here is a sample Chicken Coop Plan and Construction Guide
Coop Plans

Materials list
Cutting list
Coop assembly
Sheathing the coop
To dado or not to dado
Building the nest boxes
Building the doors

Some other useful site: Backyard Chickens

Source: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu
Photo: backyardchickens.com