The idea of building a hen house to start chicken farming at home and developing a construction plan for it came out of the ambition to one day wanting to eat eggs and perhaps also meat from chickens, which were kept naturally and species-appropriately at home. In a barn that takes all the wishes of the chickens into account and at the same time makes it easier for beginners to look after the chickens and the barn. We did not find a hen house that met all our requirements and was easy on our wallets. So we developed our own stable.
The “Build Your Own Hen House” Project
A hen house is nothing you build yourself just like that.
Projects of this kind take days or even weeks and will cost several hundred euros. A lot of planning and organizing is necessary, but it will be worth it. Not only because the own wishes and requirements can be implemented, but also because the building itself, as well as the finished object, will give much joy – if everything has been well thought out and implemented.
Our special wish was to design and construct a mobile hen house with space for six normal chickens and a species-appropriate housing on the own property. Because of our knowledge about the principle of alternating pasture we agreed that it must be a mobile hen house. This idea had to be taken into account in the planning. The chicken house must remain stable despite its weight when moving, and the right place had to be found for the device of the tires and transport rods. Because only a well-functioning leverage effect makes the transport of the barn possible.
Besides mobility, the cleaning of the hen house was also one of the main topics, when developing a construction plan. All areas of the hen house should be as easy to keep clean as possible. Therefore, it is necessary to be able to walk in the chicken house in order to be able to reach everything you need.
Before building a chicken coop, one should ask oneself a few basic questions in order not to lose the desire for this project over time. Neither in the project “Build your own hen house”, nor in relation to the actual inhabitants of the stable.
- Do I have what it takes to keep chickens? Think of the work in progress, holidays, but also costs, etc. – they are living animals!
- Where do you want the stable? How much exercise can the chickens be given? What about the neighbors?
- Which chicken breed would you like to keep with which motives? Eggs, meat or the preservation of a rare breed; perhaps also for the children, a small herd of a dwarf breed?
- How many animals do you want? Starting from at the latest approximately 10 hens a cock should “organize” the herd.
Before Building the Hen House…
- … there are some preparations to be made. Just starting out in the blue usually goes wrong and the trouble can be great if mistakes occur afterwards that are either time-consuming or can no longer be corrected at all.
- In any case, you should get organized before building a hen house. You might develop a building instruction yourself or get a building construction: A plan is important as a rough guideline. At least to record your own wishes and ideas and not to lose elaborate solutions.
- The next step is to find a workshop or another suitable place to build your own hen house. Undoubtedly covered, so that the materials and tools are not attacked by the weather. Instead of a real workshop it can also be a garage or a cellar, which is equipped for it.
- Can the hen house be left unfinished for some time, if there is no time to work on it?
- Is there enough space at the workplace to store the material and the tools?
- Equally important is a good work surface. Sawing and drilling on the ground will get on your back in the long run and will not allow relaxed working. A good worktop with enough space to work on is more advisable, a work area with a vice would be ideal.
In our construction plan for building your own hen house (on Gartenhühner.de), you will find a list of the necessary tools as part of the instructions. You should have the following tools in your assortment in any case:
- A chop saw: For easy shortening of boards.
- An embroidery saw: For the cutting of cut-outs
- A drill or, even better, a box column drill: To drill holes for corner posts. A column drill is only necessary if no auxiliary block is used. This provides more safety when drilling with a simple machine.
- A cordless screwdriver: Makes the screwing together much easier.
- Drill bits: In different sizes.
- Metal scissors, metal saw, metal drill: Among other things for editing the grids.
- Tacker: For fixing the grilles to the wood.
- Emery paper: For finishing the wooden parts, also to prevent injuries to the chickens.
Tools can also be hired in many DIY stores.
Once all the preparations have been made, the purchasing material part can start. Again, it is advisable to compile a list in advance. Just like a list of all tools, we have included a list of all necessary materials in our instruction manual for a mobile henhouse.
Important tips for purchasing materials:
The purchase of materials itself will take time. That’s a time you should afford. If you want to build a chicken coop yourself, you usually also want to save costs. A price comparison in different markets can be very useful.
Not every DIY store has all the necessary materials in its range. Visiting the markets in advance without buying anything can provide the necessary information and overview.
Is your own car big enough for all materials? Do you might need to rent a trailer or a van? Some DIY stores also offer this option on site.
A good tip is also, to always mark the purchased components for the henhouse directly while they are in the shopping trolley. This makes it much easier to find the right parts during construction later on.
Check the dimensions of the woodcut! This avoids unpleasant surprises at home, during construction at the henhouse. The wood parts should always be cut lengthwise to the fibre.
There are many other questions to address here:
- Why should I pre-drill?
- How do I drill exactly at right angles?
- Can I glue end wood?
- What has to be considered with adhesive connections?
- How do I choose the correct screw length and thickness?
Taking those tips into account, you will be set for starting to plan your self-constructed hen house.