Thinking about raising chickens? . . .

What you need to know about chicken coop plans

I thought it was time to have a look at chicken coop plans you can download from the Net. Some of the plans are free, and some I purchased, to find the most promising-looking ones.

Over the years I have constructed a number of portable chicken coops and 'chicken tractors', and have also retrofitted existing buildings with chicken coops for our egg laying flock.

As always, I never recommend something I haven't bought or tried for myself.

Review criteria for the plans


What I am mainly interested in is the quality and completeness of the plans. Here are the criteria I used to review the plans:

  • Readability of the plans. Are instructions clear and detailed? Can the plan be easily followed, by a builder with perhaps minimal experience in reading plans?

  • Comprehensiveness of the plan. Does it cover every phase of siting and constructing your coop? Is there a list of materials provided? Is there a 'tools required' list?

  • How good are the graphics?Are they easy to read with dimensions clearly marked? Do they detail every step of construction, including joinery? Do they include actual pictures of the completed coop?

  • Ease of construction. I prefer to stay away from complicated joinery and intricate design details when I can. (I am the acknowledged master of 'half-fast' carpentry.) How easy will this coop be to build by someone with minimal-to-average carpentry skills?



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    The Free Chicken Coop Plans

    To start with, here are some plans that are free to download from the net. There is a plan for a backyard coop suitable for raising a few laying hens, as well a larger coop suitable for a few dozen birds.

    These free plans are the best I've found; to read a review based on the above criteria, check out The Free Chicken Coop Plans

    More Plans . . .

    Besides the free plans, I also bought and examined a number of other chicken coop plans. To see how they stack up, and where to get the most clucks for for your bucks, check out my Chicken coop plan comparison table

    Or, jump right to the best plans I found, and read my Best Plans Review page

    And, last but not least, if you want to raise a large number of meat birds to put some food in your freezer (or money in your wallet), check out the Movable Meat Bird Coop from New Terra Farm

    See also:


    Chicken coop construction: Things to consider when building your own chicken coop. Chicken coop construction

    Chicken coop ideas: Here are some more factors you need to consider when situating and building your coop Chicken coop ideas

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