The #1 Backyard Chicken Coop


Chickens are fascinating animals.

They are easy to keep, sustainable and help keep our environment balanced. On a larger scale, farmers use them to help prepare their soils for planting for instance, help eliminate insects and pests (like ticks on their cattle), and help replenish nutrients in the ground. On a smaller scale, suburban families raise chickens for their eggs and meat.

The vitamins and minerals in freshly laid eggs, as opposed to supermarket eggs are simply beyond compare. The nutritional value in the two kinds of eggs are worlds apart, so without a doubt, backyard chickens are important for wellness as there is:

Far less cholesterol (1/3)

About Us

Beautiful Cochin Chickens

Much less saturate fat (1/4)
Much more vitamin A (2/3)
Twice the amount of omega 3 fatty acids
Three times the amount of vitamin E and
Seven times the amount of beta carotene.

So the number one thing you should consider when building a backyard chicken coop is keeping your flock safe and secure. This way, your birds will be way happier, healthier and lay eggs more consistently.

And, as always, be mindful of the laws and regulations about keeping chickens in your county.

So why not consider a mobile chicken coop design?


My name is Michael from Fast Chicken Coop Plans.

And as a Tradesman living in the suburbs, I’ve discovered chickens leave very little carbon footprint, I personally believe in mobile chicken coops, or chicken tractors. These are not only one of the easiest coops to build, but the easiest and safest ways to free range your chickens.

After all, this could also be the ideal answer to:

Buy Mobile Chicken Coop

Mobile Chicken coop with Run and built in laying box from Amazon

1. Protecting your investment in your flock
2. Providing you with eggs you know are genuinely fresh, as well as
3. Supplying hormone free meat and eggs for your family.

But what’s even better is…

Combined with coop portability, protection of your flock, cost effectiveness of construction and the use of non-toxic materials, mobile chicken coops make perfect sense. Because if your chickens are safe and well protected, then egg and meat production will be plentiful for all size families on many levels.
So I will consider the construction of our chicken tractor carefully and look at a sturdy mobile chicken coop design. First off let’s look at…

Providing small scale chicken runs for your coop

Like all animals, adequate room should be allowed for the chickens to move around in and exercise. The amount of space required for your flock depends on the size of your birds. However a manageable size mobile hutch allows you to move the coop daily, or whenever your chickens require fresh pasture.

Being able to easily move your chicken coop by one person is a great advantage. Particularly if being moved by a female or by children. Of course the size of the coop will be determined by, and in proportion with, the number and size of birds you intend to keep.

Ideally, each chicken should have at least two square feet of room for each adult bird. So if you allow for about 5 to 10 square feet, then this will give your birds adequate free movement.

Let’s not forget…

In the right conditions, one chicken produces 3 to 5 eggs weekly. So look at how many eggs your family requires each week and build a chicken coop appropriate for the number of chickens you wish to run. Quite often, just one or two birds is enough to keep a small family in fresh eggs.

Contact Us

Ameraucana Rooster

The truth about roosters

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a rooster if you want unfertilized eggs. Roosters are only required if you want to breed chickens or keep them as capons. A capon is a castrated rooster and more suited to some specialized poultry markets.

Sturdy materials for building a chicken coop

When a chicken tractor is built with untreated 4 x 2s, the hen house part of the coop is sturdy, affordable and easily built. You’ll find this wood in lumber yards or home improvement stores.

Plywood is an excellent material to use for a nesting box.

Building materials for your coop

Materials from your local hardware store to build your coop

Building materials from your local hardware store to build your coop

1. Next, you’ll want appropriate wire to keep out both air borne predators (like hawks or owls) and land based predators (like racoons or snakes). Materials to think about are poultry netting and hardwire cloth. This allows robust protection, adequate lighting and good ventilation.

2. PVC pipes can be used in the framework rather than using timber. However if your coop is too light, then it will be in danger of blowing over in strong winds.

3. Ensure the coop has rain resistant roofing. Be mindful of too much iron or the coop will become too hot in summer. PVC or polycarbonate roofing panels offer a lightweight alternative.

4. One and a half inch dowels will work well as a roost. This wood is light, easy to handle and once again, you can purchase it from lumber yards or home convenience stores.

It is important for the hen house roof to be slanted so rain doesn’t drip onto the chickens. The animals will then also be provided with adequate ventilation.

Retractable wheels with puncture resistant tyres is very practical to include in your design. As when the coop is in position, it lays flat on the ground. This way land based predators cannot crawl underneath and up into the coop.

The best nesting boxes for your chicken tractor hen house

Chicken Coop Accessories

A simple nesting box which you can make yourself at home

Of course it will depend on the overall size. Ideally, one nesting box about 10 inches x 10 inches for 4 or 5 hens will be an area conducive for laying eggs. Healthy birds start laying eggs at around 19 to 20 weeks. So by providing accessible nesting boxes from a young age, about 1 to 2 weeks before they start laying, lets them get used to using the boxes.

They are also less likely to start laying on the floor. Consider positioning them at about 24 inches from the floor (if possible) and make sure to build the structure away from the roosting area.

Where to position your chicken roosts

As chickens are birds, remember the natural roosts for birds are in trees. The dowels previously mentioned will be perfect for about 1 to 3 birds. This wood is light and easy to handle.

Chicken accessories

Hens on their Roost for the night

Chickens will seek refuge and safety as soon as the sun goes down each day. So they will instinctively roost as high as they can in the hen house.

Aim to position the roosts away from, and not above or beneath, the nesting boxes. Chickens will manure frequently throughout the night, and the last thing you want to be doing each day is collecting eggs with chicken droppings on them. So position your roost to one side of the nesting area. Chicken roosts placed in this way will also make the area easier to clean and more hygienic for both you and the birds.

What to use as nesting box bedding material

There are many materials you can use in your nesting boxes. However, I have provided a list of the most popular and the most effective materials.

1. Untreated Pine shavings. They are the cheapest and easiest material to obtain and use. Shavings are easy to store, are very absorbent (chicken manure is 75% water) and best of all, the chickens can move them around to settle into them.

2. Hay. Some hens prefer hay over pine shavings. However hay can be difficult to store and one big drawback is the birds crops tend to become impacted from eating it. Hay doesn’t absorb moisture too well and it also tends to go mouldy.

Chicken Coop Accessories

Straw is one material used in nesting boxes

3. Straw is similar to hay. Although straw is much harsher for the chickens to lay on and more difficult to mould to their body shape as it is made from the stalks of cut crops. Chickens will also eat straw and, once again, they will end up with impacted crops. Straw, like hay becomes mouldy, as it too doesn’t absorb moisture very well.

Something else to be mindful of is when hens move their bedding around, eggs can fall onto the floor of the nesting box and crack. So outdoor carpet fitted beneath the bedding could also be a consideration, as this helps stop freshly laid eggs from cracking.

Now you have your mobile chicken coop structure ready to build, it is really important you now provide…

Chicken feeders and waterers

Waterers

Amazon

Chicken Waterer by Harris which can be hung or positioned on the ground

Make sure your chickens can access these easily. Once again there are many designs so think about what best suits the size of your chickens and your mobile coop. If you are keeping only one or two birds, then one which fits into the coop without cramping the chickens is desirable.

Also consider adequate watering space for each bird. That is, a watering system to allow each bird easy access. Always consider the chickens watering needs. In hot weather (greater than 90 Fahrenheit), a full grown bird will drink about 14 to 16 ounces a day.

Feeders

PVC Chicken Feeder

One of many chicken feeders you can make yourself at home

Consider a design that holds about ·25 pounds to ·3 pounds daily for each bird. Also provide a feeder that allows enough space in the coop so your chickens can move about freely. You could use a small hanging feeder or even a small trough. And make sure each bird has enough room at the feeder to eat comfortably.

As you can see I could fill a book on the subject of chickens and chicken tractors. And as you can also see, raising your own small flock of backyard chickens is worthwhile and why the # 1 consideration is to keep your flock safe and secure. This is easily achieved with a well-designed chicken tractor.

A happy chicken flock is a healthy flock which is easy to keep and look after. These birds will reward you and your family with the most economical, the most delicious and the freshest eggs for many years to come. The likes of which you will not find on any supermarket shelf.

And if you like our site then please tell your friends. We also welcome your feedback.

Kind regards

Michael

From the Fast Chicken Coop Plans Team

P.S. Remember if you find our site informative then please tell your friends about Fast Chicken Coop Plans.

P.P.S. We’d also love to hear from you. Any feedback or suggestions are welcome so don’t hesitate to Contact Us…