The book Poultry House Construction by Michael Roberts provides “a DIY guide to building poultry houses and allied equipment.” I built the ten hen house from the plans in this book and would recommend this book of plans to anyone wanting to build their own chicken coop for a small flock.
This book is clearly written by someone who cares about chickens and making keeping them as easy as possible. The design of the coops in the book include many features that help the chicken keeper maintain the flock. Features such as large clean out doors and nest boxes with outside access.
The ability to access the nest box from the outside is one of the best features of the ten hen house. Collecting eggs is something that must be done frequently, usually at least two times per day. That is why making egg collection as easy as possible is so important.
The large clean out door makes the chore of cleaning out the coop easier as well. If you are going to keep chickens, you need a manure management plan. Poultry House Construction even offers tips on this topic as well. It recommends cleaning out the coop every four to six weeks. I use a wheel barrow to haul my chicken litter off to the compost pile.
These kind of features highlight another benefit of the book. The book contains an introductory housing criteria section that contains tips on building coops and shelters for poultry. It is this kind of thoughtful design that separates a well designed chicken coop from a basic plywood box.
Another benefit of Poultry House Construction is that it contains designs for useful items beyond basic chicken coops. For example, a design for broody boxes is provided that would be useful for hatching out your own baby chicks. Plans for a show box are also provided, enabling birds to be transported in style.
Basic Format of Poultry House Construction
All of the plans in this book are presented in a similar manner. There is a paragraph explaining the features and benefits of each design. Next, one or more black and white photographs of a finished example of each design are provided. Finally detailed two dimensional drawings of each design are shown. The drawings show the dimensions of the lumber and important details needed to build each coop.
The format makes it easy to browse through each design and decide if it is something you would like to build. Once you settle on a design, the drawings can be studied to determine the level of effort and material needed to build the design.
Poultry House Construction Plans Provided
This book contains plans for more than just chicken coops. All of the following designs are included.
- Duck Nest Boxes
- Internal Nest Boxes
- Broody-Bantam-Rabbit Coop
- Broody Boxes
- Anti-broody Coop or Sin Bin
- Trap Nest Box
- Show Box
- Bantam House
- Eight Foot Run
- Six Foot Ark
- Eight Foot Ark
- Free Range Feeder
- The Eight-Hen House
- The Ten-Hen House
- Fold Unit
- The Poultry Palace
This book was very useful to me but it does have some limitations.
- No material lists. You will have to generate your own material list based on the design you choose to build.
- No step by step plans. The ability to work from two dimensional drawings is required and some previous construction experience would be helpful.
- Biggest coop is for ten hens. If you are looking for commercial scale building designs, you will have to look else where.
I would recommend Poultry House Construction to anyone that wants to build their own chicken coop. Poultry House Construction provides detailed plans to build chicken coops and other useful shelters for a small flock of chickens. The format makes the book easy to browse and the drawings enable a do it yourselfer to build their own chicken coop. The thoughtful designs will make keeping chickens easier.