Building a backyard chicken coop has become a popular endeavor for many property owners. Whether it be just for your home or part of a homesteading project, a chicken coop can be a great project that yields a big return on the investment.
But if it’s your first time, building a chicken coop can be a bit overwhelming. Knowing how to lay out a coop so that it creates the perfect environment for the chickens isn’t always easy. While complete coops can be bought, many sellers also have plans available that are relatively inexpensive.
Below, We’ll list some of the best chicken coop plans available so you can get started right away and avoid many of the hassles and pitfalls of going it alone.
Why use a Chicken Coop Plan?
You can always design and build your own coop. However, this is best left to those who have years of experience raising and caring for chickens. Without the experience, you may not account for all the space and other necessities the chickens need
Beyond the safety and comfort of the chickens, a good coop plan also helps with certain zoning and permits if you are building in an area that has such requirements.
Most good plans will have the specifications and diagrams to make getting a permit and meeting zoning requirements much easier. Without the proper experience, this can be very difficult to achieve on your own.
Using a trusted plan also simplifies the entire process. A good plan will have a list of building materials to help you determine the budget for your coop before you even start building.
Most plans will have instructions as well to help guide you along the way. Although basic construction skills are still needed, the instructions make this a doable project for almost anyone.
Lastly, you can work on your project knowing the final result will be exactly what you want, which can make the whole process more rewarding.
So below, we’ll list our favorite sellers for finding the chicken coop plans that are perfect for your property and goals.
EasyCoops has been offering plans for ten years and they pride themselves on offering complete solutions that have been designed by experts who know both coop construction and how to properly care for chickens.
EasyCoops also works with a professor of poultry science to make sure they are creating the best coops so that the chickens can thrive in the structures they have designed.
EasyCoops offers 47 free plans as well via their website along with more detailed paid plans. The free plans are good if you just want to get an idea of what a plan looks like or to examine various types of plans.
The best option for most builders though will be the paid plans. These are regularly $29.99 but are often on sale for $19.99. They provide complete instructions, materials lists, and other extras that are well worth the money, especially for new builders.
With nearly 50 paid plans, there should be something to fit almost every budget and property configuration. Easy Coops has variations to house as few as six chickens or as many as 50, plus everything in between.
Overall, Easy Coops is a great place to start when looking for a chicken coop plan.
You’ve likely heard of Etsy, but for those that haven’t, it’s sort of like eBay but for arts and crafts that people have created themselves and want to sell to others.
Etsy sells many different items but one item they do have is chicken coop plans. These are sold by individuals and businesses, similar to how eBay or Amazon works, so you have to spend some time choosing a seller you trust.
However, like most platforms, Etsy displays feedback from other buyers and information about the seller to help you decide if they are right for you.
With a little searching, we have found some great, high-quality coops on Etsy and the plans were very professional.
For example, Comfy Coops is a seller on Etsy that offers a very beginner-friendly 4×4 coop plan. The plans were over 40 pages long and included everything such as 3D images, materials, cut lists, tool lists, and step-by-step instructions.
At $17.95, it’s a good deal considering how detailed the plan is.
But with a little searching, you can find much more elaborate coops with more amenities if that’s what you need.
Since Etsy allows sellers of all kinds, you can find many different types of plans. Some are created by CAD (Computer Aided Design) software, similar to how modern houses and buildings are designed. While other sellers create old-school hand drawings, the way architects designed in years gone by.
Both can be appealing, just make sure to check which type is offered and make sure it fits your building style and knowledge level when it comes to construction.
Finally, many coop plan sellers such as EasyCoops also sell their plans on Etsy. Prices can vary between their own website and Etsy, so it’s best to check both to see what the current price is on each platform.
The Garden Coop
The Garden Coop tends to specialize in more beginner-friendly coops. So if this is your first coop or you have a smaller property, these plans can be a great fit.
The plans from Garden Coop are also very complete. You get an instant downloadable copy after purchase. Most plans are about 40 pages, complete with diagrams, photos of construction, cut lists, and more.
Overall, these are nicely detailed plans that will be easy to follow for anyone with basic construction knowledge.
The Garden Coop also has a link where you can preview each plan to see exactly what you get, which is a nice touch.
The Garden Coop sells full kits which are plan plus materials. So many of the plans can also be purchased with a materials kit or just by themselves. For those who find shopping for materials difficult, this can be a great option and the pricing is mostly fair for the materials.
If you shop around you can probably source some items for cheaper, but you’ll also need to consider the time spent shopping and transporting everything. Buying everything yourself does allow you to customize certain things, so that’s a plus if you decide to just buy the plans and source everything yourself.
Overall, these are great beginner plans with lots of detail and construction tips included. Plan pricing is also fair, with most plans starting around $19.
What to Look For In Chicken Coop Plans
If you’re new to chicken coops, there are a few areas that are most important. Many plans should cover these, but what you need may differ depending on your location and climate.
This is critical to maintain the proper temperature. If you live in an unusually warm climate or an area that gets very cold, make sure your coop is designed for that area.
The size is important so that the chickens have room and can comfortably move around without being stressed. Make sure to follow the plan’s guidelines for the designated chicken count. If you plan on adding more chickens, building a larger coop to begin with is generally easier than adding on to it later.
Different areas have different predators to be aware of. Most plans should account for this by being raised off the ground and having other features. But make sure to ask the seller if you have unusual or larger predators in your areas.
Finally, the chickens need space but so do you. Make sure the coop you choose can allow you access to it for cleaning and other reasons. A coop that is too cramped for you to comfortably maintain really makes the whole process that much more of a chore.
Raising chickens in your coop should be fun and rewarding, so making sure you’re comfortable as well goes a long way toward making your new coop as fun as possible.
Chicken Coop Construction
Once you’ve found some high quality plans, it’s time to start building the chicken coop. Here’s a general outline of the construction process:
- Frame and Base: Begin by building a sturdy frame for the coop, elevating it slightly to prevent flooding. Create a solid base to support the weight of the coop.
- Walls and Roof: Build the walls and install windows and ventilation openings to ensure proper airflow. Attach a sloped roof with weather-resistant materials, like asphalt shingles or metal roofing.
- Nesting Boxes: Construct nesting boxes for egg-laying hens. Place them in a quiet, dimly lit area to encourage nesting.
- Access Doors: Install doors for easy access to the coop for feeding, cleaning, and egg collection. Ensure they are predator-proof by using strong latches and locks.
- Flooring: Consider using easy-to-clean materials like linoleum or vinyl flooring inside the coop. This makes cleaning up droppings much simpler.
- Insulation and Ventilation: Insulate the coop for temperature regulation, especially in colder climates. Add adequate ventilation to prevent moisture buildup and ensure fresh air circulation.
Start with Good Chicken Coop Plans
Building a chicken coop can be a rewarding project that not only provides a safe and comfortable home for your feathered friends but also adds a touch of homestead charm to your backyard. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can create a coop that keeps your chickens happy and healthy for years to come. Enjoy the journey of building your dream chicken coop!