I’m finally getting backyard chickens! You know what that means, it’s time for another DIY project. No, I’m not using chickens as another excuse to build something new. Backyard chickens provide fresh eggs you can’t buy in a supermarket, valuable chicken manure for the garden (more on chicken poop in future posts), kitchen waste recycling, and companionship.
Now that I’ve committed myself to 365 days of chicken care, I’m on to designing my DIY chicken coop. The internet is full of chicken coop designs, most of which I found over at BackyardChickens.com. I don’t like many of the design styles, but there is so much to learn from everyone’s experience in building coops. Personally, I prefer a modern design chicken coop that will allow (1) easy access to eggs, (2) easy cleaning and maintenance, and (3) provide protection from the neighborhood raccoons.
Google’s SketchUp for DIY Project Plans
My spacial imagery skills are not great and my 3D drawing skills are even worse. I love using Google’s SketchUP tool to help me visualize and construct my future chicken coop (see above photo). The design is based off a model sold by the Colorado Chicken Coop guys for $949. After a few hours of watching the instructional videos and playing around with tools, I’ve become pretty adept in creating 3D models.
Stay tuned for more backyard chicken coop design updates. Coming up: choosing my backyard chickens with help from fellow garden writer experts Amy Stewart, Arlena Scott, Theresa Loe, Chris McLaughlin, and sourcing my building materials from local salvage yards.
What DOs and DON’Ts do you recommend for a new chicken mama?