Backyard chicken farming is very popular today. Millions of people turn to this unique way of enjoying the fresh eggs they produce without dealing with the hassles of an overcrowded farm or the problems associated with using commercial egg-laying hens. Raising chickens has become easier with the availability of guides, books, and online videos.

However, raising chickens in backyard chicken coops poses its own set of unique challenges. Chicken coops need to be well-designed to make them comfortable, productive, and safe for the chickens. Achieving these goals can save you thousands of dollars over buying a pre-built chicken coop from a hardware store. In fact, it’s possible to build your own coop for less than half the cost.

There are many benefits to building your own coop. One obvious benefit is saving money. When you make a chicken house yourself, you’re paying a lower cost per square foot. This can translate into significant savings if you produce a lot of eggs or chickens. However, you should be aware that you’ll have less flexibility with the design elements if you decide to build your own coop.

Many people don’t realize that there are many different variations of chicken coops. One of the most popular types of cage includes a “dropbox” style. These are drop ceilings with an attached bottom floor, which allows the chickens to easily move out of the coop when the weather gets extreme. Besides, you can add extra perches, nesting boxes, watering dishes, feeders, and more to customize your backyard chicken coop to your individual needs.

Other people prefer a free-standing coop. A free-standing coop sits directly on the ground, allowing chickens to move freely within it. However, these coops are typically large in size and are not portable. If you plan on moving your coop from place to place, you’ll likely need to build a new one or renovate the old one. The upside to a free-standing coop is that you can purchase chicken supplies and build your own chicken house from scratch if you choose.

There are plenty of other styles of the chicken coop to consider as well. If you have a large area where you’d like to house your flock, you may want to consider building a large hen house or nesting area. You could also build a small portable coop for the times when you don’t have enough space to accommodate all of your chickens. No matter what style of coop you decide on, you’ll have a lot of flexibility when you build a chicken coop.

One decision you’ll need to make when choosing among various chicken coops is how many chickens you want to raise. Backyard chicken rearing is no simple task; it takes a dedicated, energetic person to rear chickens. Raising chickens can be an enriching experience if you know what you’re doing. It’s best for those just starting out to get a smaller coop so that you don’t have to feed as many birds at one time. The larger your flock becomes, the more you’ll have to feed them, and the more costly it will become to maintain their care.

A chicken coop also has to be designed with safety in mind. It needs to be strong enough to keep the chickens safe from predators, and it also needs to be constructed well enough to protect them from the elements. A well-built coop will also prevent your chickens from getting sick, which is always a good thing. You should also consider the amount of time you plan to spend inside the coop itself. If you don’t have a lot of time to tend to your chickens, you may want to invest in a bigger chicken house.

Another critical consideration to make when comparing chicken coops vs. backyard chicken coops is the size. Chickens need a place to sleep, so you must consider this when building the coop. You can find pre-fabricated coops, or you can build your own if you feel up to the task. Just keep in mind that bigger always means more weight and bulk to the coop, so if you plan on moving it around afterward, you might want to make it slightly smaller so that it’s light enough to maneuver. Keep in mind that your chicken flock will increase drastically as you add them to your current flock, so you might not want to over-filler your new area. If you have the space available, you may want to think about how large the chicken coop needs to be since that will be an important factor in determining its durability.

Mark started raising chickens when his daughter received a baby chick as an Easter gift from a friend with a mischievous sense of humor. First he had to build a small chicken coop when the chick grew into a hen.  And of course, his daughter thought the hen was lonely so he to buy a few more to keep the hen company and build a larger chicken coop.  Now he has eggs to give to his friends.