There are many offers of chicken coop plans on the internet, even so-called free plans, but which of these will result in a good-quality working chicken house? If you are already familiar with keeping chickens, are good at preplanning, drawing your own blueprints from basic plans or sketches, generating a detailed list of materials before starting to assemble your hen house, as well as being an experienced woodworker, then you will probably get by with any general chicken coop plans you unearth.

Alternatively you might waste a lot of time, energy and money, and you could end up making a hen house that proved to be a very unhappy and unsafe environment for your birds. Careful, accurate planning and proper blueprints are essential to making a good chicken coop.

As a minimum you should include the following in your planning:

* Selecting a suitable location for the hen house in your yard or garden
* Calculating the right size of house for the number of hens
* Ensuring there is proper ventilation and lighting provided
* Designing the layout and type of feeders and nesting boxes
* Ensuring adequate safeguards from predators
* Considering any services to the hen house such as electricity and water supplies

In practice most people will need some help from chicken experts to do this planning completely, and will depend on accurate blueprints rather than sketches and vague layout drawings to make a proper hen house. Without good blueprints it is quite likely that you will not achieve a good functional chicken coop, it might not be sufficiently strong and it might give ready access for predators.

You will definitely waste time and money (in wrong materials and get-around fixes) if you take a trial-and-error approach, your enthusiasm will take plenty of knocks and – perhaps most importantly – you will not get the enjoyment and satisfaction you should be getting. In addition, unhappy or unhealthy hens are poor layers, so you will not get the dozens of free-range eggs you had expected.

Before you can start assembling your hen house you will need to make a complete list of all materials required. This is very important, otherwise you will certainly encounter stoppages during the assembly when you find you have missed some bracket or fastener and the local hardware shop has shut until Monday morning! Making a comprehensive materials list is quite difficult to do properly, and we really recommend that you let an expert do it for you.

Mistakes happen so easily without such expert assistance. Often these mistakes will not become obvious until you have completed the hen house, and by then it could be too late to sort out any problems. It is certainly worth investing a few dollars to get professional advice and tips along the way, and usually these come with the step-by-step instructions provided in top-quality planning kits. We have discovered from hard experience that good blueprints and clear instructions actually save money and time in the long run.

We have found and strongly recommend a man who has many years’ experience with chickens. He can supply a good collection of chicken coop plans, including the all-important step-by-step instructions, lists of materials and professional advice for you to plan and build a hen house that will be exactly the way you want it. You will be able to avoid the frustrations and pitfalls often made by first-time builders, and produce a happy, safe and healthy living area for your hens.

Whatever way you decide to build your chicken coop we wish you lots of luck!

Author: Kieran Gracie