Chickens need a comfortable, healthy and well-planned living area. Given this, they will thrive and provide plenty of fresh eggs or meat. Many poultry owners who decide to make their own chicken coops want to know what the best hen house DIY guides provide, to help them build the perfect environment for their hens.
Apart from providing the best chicken coop design for every situation, a good guide should also be a source of expert advice, practical tips and instructions in selecting, housing and keeping hens.
The main requirement is to have a well-planned coop and poultry run ready for the arrival of your hens. This living area should be easy to clean and maintain, safe from predators and healthy for the chickens. The guide should cover all this in detail that is comprehensive and easy to understand.
Looking at each of these aspects more closely, let’s start with the design. Hens need a comfortable, clean and safe environment. The coop and run have to be large enough for the planned number of hens but not too large – chickens are social animals and like to be reasonably close together. The guide needs to show clearly how to achieve this balance.
Hens like to be clean and well fed. The coop must be easy to clean out and have watering and feeding points that are simple to access for both hens and keepers. Don’t forget the nesting boxes for collecting the eggs – they need to be readily accessible without disturbing the hens too much.
Safety from predators is, of course, a prerequisite of any good coop and pen. Foxes, rodents, birds of prey – they all must be kept at bay from your precious chickens. The best chicken coop guides show how to do this properly and efficiently. They include guidance on siting and positioning the hen coop and run correctly, providing adequate light and ventilation for the birds, what building materials to use, how to make low-cost nesting boxes, even what varieties of hens to select for your particular requirements.
Choosing the right hens is a whole subject in itself but is covered by the good DIY guides. There will be advice on proper feeds and feeding as well as all the husbandry tasks that need to be carried out weekly, monthly and half-yearly.
The assembly plans themselves should be a good mixture of diagrams and drawings, showing the assembly in a simple step-by-step process so that nothing gets overlooked. They must include comprehensive materials lists and all the tools required. Nothing is more annoying than getting to a critical stage of assembly, only to find that you are missing a vital part or piece of timber.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the best chicken coop design layouts will show how to customize the plans to meet your specific requirements. You do not have to accept a standard design that is not suitable for your chosen site, which is the main reason for avoiding ready-made coops in the first place. Building your own hen house and pen using fully adaptable plans is the way to go.