Solar Backyard Chicken-Coop Building Plans


| 4/14/2016 9:48:00 AM


 

We’ve kept chickens on our Manitoulin Island homestead since 2002, and experience has taught me something that no one made clear to me beforehand. When it comes to chicken coops, a handful of smaller, semi-portable coops are better than one large, permanently anchored house. I call this approach “modularity”, and I’ve worked this ideas into some free plans you can download. 

The big problem with permanent chicken houses is that they’re always troublesome and expensive to build. Lack of flexibility means they offer no chance to reduce or expand flock size, either. You’ve got what you’ve got when it comes to coop size. Keeping chickens in one place in a permanent coop turns that area of your yard into a dusty, vegetation-free wasteland. Permanent coops are also difficult to heat with winter sun – an issue that really matters where I live in Canada.

All this is why I’ve come to prefer one or more smaller, semi-portable backyard chicken barns that can be mixed and matched in different ways. We use one to raise day-old chicks, others as production houses for adult birds.  Add another house if you want to separate some birds because of disease of bullying.



The modular coop I designed is solid and exceptionally warm in winter because of the clear, solar roof, yet also easily ventilated in summer by hinging open the roof. Simple to build, this design can be moved to new locations when needed. Individual modules can be pulled out of production for a time  to break pest cycles, and they're easy to clean without standing in poop.





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