Build Chicken Houses Plans How To Build A Chicken Coop Or House

Part of a more Self Sufficient lifestyle is all about getting certain things done for as little expense as possible. We spend money on certain things, such as Solar Panels and other construction stuff but if we can get something done for next to nothing then you can bet we will take that option.

Now, i’m not saying this is for everyone. Not all of us have the time or the skills to build Chicken Houses from scratch. Indeed there are some great ready made Chicken Coops on the market. If you fancy keeping Chickens though, and they should definitely be part of a more Self Sufficient lifestyle, then read on.

UPDATE: After a few requests about more complete plans I found a great book that you can download that has tons of ideas about building your own chicken coops. The book is very comprehensive but, of course, you have to pay for it. Below is a sample of what is in the book. You can click it for more information if you find my rather vague ideas are not to your liking 😉

chicken coop /

How Much Space Do I Need To Keep Chickens?

plot-007Not everyone has a vast amount of space. We are lucky and have more than we need, but if you want to raise Chickens you do NOT need much room. If you have a garden/yard or can get the use of a small area of land then you can keep Chickens.

Put it this way, many Chickens lead miserable lives with no room to even turn around so if you can built a small structure with a little fenced in area for them to wander about in, you are on to a winner.

Building Chicken Coops

I am not going to give plans and detailed instructions on how exactly to build a Chicken Coop. What is the point!

I don’t know how much room you have or how many Chickens you want to keep. This is about how to build a Chicken House for free so we will all have our own design depending on what materials we can get hold of. The ver great John Seymour has some great designs for movable houses if you want to have a Chicken House that you can maybe put on Vegetable plots so they can clear the weeds. Amazon UK or US always has his book  in stock.

Here is how to build a Chicken House for free:

  • All of us have local FreeAds or some variation on a free local paper that advertises things for sale or things for free. Browse through the free section and see what is available. People give away free sheds, bricks, blocks, wood, corrugated sheeting etc all the time. See what you can get and take it from there.
  • Go to the local tip or rubbish dump. You will be amazed what people dump. Get what you can and take it home.
  • Rummage through all the old bits of wood etc you have at home. It’s surprising how much stuff we hoard.
  • Search online for sites like Freecycle. As you can see this link to the UK version has 1.5 Million members who are giving away stuff for free! You can find a ton of free materials this way. You may even find a whole wooden Shed, in which case you won’t have to build anything!
  • Drive around looking in Skips. You may feel a bit conspicuous doing this but, hey, if you can find free materials then who cares?

These few tips should result in you having a load of scrap materials, an old shed, piles of bricks or whatever. You should easily be able to build something suitable to put a few Chickens in it.

But what do I need to keep in mind when I build a Chicken House?

plot-004Chickens really aren’t very fussy birds. You just need to give them enough floor space so they are not squashed, you don’t need to build anything too big if you don’t want.

They need a water feeder. You can buy one or just stick an old bowl on the floor and fill it up. Ditto for a feed bowl. Buy one or use an old bowl.

plot-003They need a nesting box to lay their eggs in. As you can see in the photo we used old washing up bowls. We cut the front out and the job was done.

Chickens like to perch so either build a shelf like I did or just put some logs about the place.

We built or Chciken house so we can basicaly stand up in it. This makes it easier to clean out. It could just of easily been 3 feet high though with a removable top. Just use your imagination with what materials you have. Hopefully at the most you will just need to buy a few nails or screws.

We built ours from old blocks we had lying about and salvaged roof tiles. We built the door frame to the compound from tree saplings I cut down and the sturdy uprights from old beams we ripped out of the Cottage.

It may not be a thing of beauty but in a few years when we have Vines and creepers growing over it all, who would know what it even looks like.

Don’t worry about lack of building experience. As long as you can hold a trowel and stack stuff on top of each other you will make something that many Chickens would give their left Wing to live in.

For a more self sufficient future

17 Responses to “Build Chicken Houses Plans How To Build A Chicken Coop Or House”

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  1. Gill says:

    I’ve been wanting to give my chickens a bigger house for when I’m out at work. When I’m home they get the run of our small orchard but when I’m out they’re restricted to a low 3M long run. I hadn’t thought of trying freecycle or other avenues. Thanks for the great ideas.

  2. Bob Pickett says:

    I’m putting up a greenhouse for raising chickens and rabbits, as well as plants. A question, how often do you collect the droppings for fertilizer?

    • Hi Bob, we normally clean out the Chickens once a week. Some of the bedding etc then gets put on the Compost. But in reality it can sometimes be a little longer. They are fine for a few weeks between cleaning if you don’t get around to it.

      We collect up the main mess but they only get a total clean out of all the bedding once a month. Every week just do the messiest stuff and put some more bedding on top of it.

      Hope this helps.

  3. Bob Pickett says:

    What do you use as bedding? We raised chickens when I was a kid I don’t remember any bedding (on the ground). We did put hay for the nesting boxes. Is that it?

    • We use sawdust. We spread it around inside the house so droppings fall on it, we use the same for the nesting boxes.
      Straw would work just as well and we use it on occasion. It also just gives a bit of insulation. Outside of course we just add grass clippings and weeds etc for them to root around in.

  4. Diane says:

    I would like to have a couple of backyard chickens. I spent a couple of weeks caring for a friends and really enjoyed.

    I would like to know how much sun the chickens need. I have a couple of good spots, but they are shady in the summer time. That might be okay because I’m in Albuquerque and the summers get warm in the afternoon.


    • Diane

      The sun is not important really, daylight is the main thing. Shade in the summer is fine for them, think about battery hens, they get no real sunlight at all so if you give chickens outdoor space they will be happy.

  5. Brilliant ideas. I am also learning the other steps, hints, and advices in order to have a peaceful country life.

  6. Sarah says:

    Thank you for the wonderful ideas. I have a quick question if you dont mind. I have 3 hens and 3 roosters. They have all been raised together with 2 ducks. I was wondering one of my roosters my 2 year old named Bobby has shown that he is the most dominate and wont allow the other roosters to mate with my hens but they dont fight each other and none of them have spurs yet. I was just wondering if I should separate the other 2 roosters from Bobby and if I should remove my ducks from the chicken coop. They have a outside run and I go out once a day to feed and change their water and let the ducks swim in their kiddie pool. I have noticed my roosters will sometimes try and mount my ducks but the ducks fend them off. Should i separate? My ducks seem to stress out when not around the chickens but I dont want them to get hurt! I have never had chickens or ducks before so please can you help me??

    • Sarah – sorry but I don’t really know what to say. Firstly we have no duck experience and secondly I would have expected the roosters to already be fighting! One thing I would say is to watch the hens as only 3 hens isn’t many for even one rooster to bully a bit.

      But if they’re happy who knows?

      • Sarah says:

        Lol thanks. Well we have moved our ducks to a seperate coop. And our roosters seem to be doing ok seeing as how Bobby our main rooster is like twice their size lol they dont mess with him.. and he doesnt allow them to breed with the hens. But he has gotten this attitude towards me that Im not sure how to correct. I have always been afraid of hens and roosters.. so I walked out there and went to get the feed out of the coop and Bobby attacked me TWICE!! lol Now Im really scared to go out there lol I always carry a wooden pole with me just to make him keep his distance but my 2 year old doesnt understand that hes mean and Im afraid he might hurt her. Another thing is my hens are about 4 months old should they start laying?

  7. Brian Scheffer says:

    I have six grown hens and four young pullets. How do I put the young ones in with the old ones and not have the old ones attack and harass and kill the young ones. Do I really have to wait until they are full grown hens?

    • Brian, I would make some kind of divide in the coop so they get used to each other but can’t come into contact. I don’t think the pullets need to be fully grown, but I’d wait until the sizes are at least similar.