Building Chicken Coops For Dummies (9781119543923) was previously published as Building Chicken Coops For Dummies (9780470598962). While this version features a new Dummies cover and design, the content is the same as the prior release and should not be considered a new or updated product. As the popularity of urban homesteading and sustainable living increases, it’s no wonder you’re in need of trusted, practical guidance on how to properly house the chickens you’re planning (or have already begun) to keep. Building Chicken Coops For Dummies gives you the information you need to build the most cost-efficient, safe, and easy-on-the-eye enclosures for your backyard flock. This practical guide gives you easy-to-follow and customizable plans for building the backyard chicken coop that works best for you. You’ll get the basic construction know-how and key information you need to design and build a coop tailored to your flock, whether you live in a small city loft, a suburban backyard, or a small rural farm. Includes detailed material lists, instructions, and schematic plans for building a host of different chicken coops Step-by-step guidance on how to build a coop—or design your own Accessible for every level of reader Whether you’re just beginning to gain an interest in a back-to-basics lifestyle or looking to add more attractive and efficient coops to your current flock‘s digs, Building Chicken Coops For Dummies gives you everything you need to build a winning coop!
Introduction 1 About This Book 1 Conventions Used in This Book 2 What You’re Not to Read 2 Foolish Assumptions 3 How This Book Is Organized 3 Part 1: All Cooped Up 4 Part 2: Constructing a Coop 4 Part 3: Checking Out Coop Plans 4 Part 4: The Part of Tens 4 Icons Used in This Book 5 Beyond the Book 5 Where to Go from Here 5 Part 1: All Cooped Up 7 Chapter 1: Flocking to Your Own Chicken Coop 9 Understanding the Basics of Housing 9 Looking at the Gear You’ll Need 10 Choosing Coop Materials 11 Getting Up to Speed on Carpentry 12 Constructing a Coop: The Nuts and Bolts 13 Readying the site 14 Framing 14 Putting up walls, a roof, and more 15 Adding special touches 15 Building a run 16 Hooking up electricity 16 Checking Out a Few Coop Designs 16 Chapter 2: Beginning with Housing Basics 19 Providing Basic Benefits with Your Coop 20 Analyzing the Anatomy of a Coop 21 Making Your Coop Convenient for You 23 Selecting Your Coop’s Location and Size 23 Before you begin: Considering zoning and covenant concerns 24 Looking at proximity to houses 24 Utilizing utilities 25 Digging into drainage issues 27 Understanding that yes, size matters 27 Choosing a Coop to Fit Your Needs (and Skills) 28 A-frames and hoops 29 Chicken tractors 30 All-in-one coops 31 Walk-in coops 31 Chapter 3: Gathering Your Gear 35 Putting Safety First with Essential Equipment 36 Digging Up Dirt on Garden Tools 37 Measuring and Marking Lumber for Your Coop 37 Measuring up tape measures 38 Making your mark 38 Sizing Up Saws and Supports 39 Putting In Posts 42 Digging postholes 42 Setting the posts 43 Mixing and pouring concrete 44 Framing Your Coop 45 Honing in on hammers 45 Nailing it with a nail gun 46 Pressing a screw gun into service 47 Leveling and Squaring As You Build 48 Just level with me 48 It’s hip to be square 48 Working with Wire 49 Cutting wire 49 Fastening wire 50 Checking Out Other Miscellaneous Tools 50 Chapter 4: Deciding on Materials 53 Before You Shop: Considering Recycled Materials 53 Lumbering Through Boards for Your Build 54 Sizing boards 54 Figuring out what type of board to buy 55 Knowing what to look for in a board 56 Shopping for Sheet Goods 57 Sizing sheet goods 58 Checking out plywood and OSB 58 Steering clear of certain sheet goods 59 Getting Attached to Fasteners 60 Notes about nails 60 Stuff about screws 63 Figuring Out Flooring 67 Wondering About Walls 68 Getting to the Root of Roofing 68 Researching Your Run 70 Finding your fencing 70 Picking your posts 72 Adding It Up: Estimating the Amount of Materials You Need 73 Chapter 5: Building Your Carpentry Skills 75 Measuring and Marking Materials 76 Reading the tale of your tape 76 “V” marks the spot, and “X” marks the trash 76 Chalk it up 77 Cutting Wood Safely 78 Selecting saw blades 78 Cutting board lumber 79 Cutting sheet goods 84 Assembling Materials 85 Nailing it down 85 Screwing it in place 86 Joining Pieces at Tricky Angles 88 Toe-nailing 88 Pocket hole joinery 89 Plates 90 Using Levels and Squares 91 Carpenter’s level 91 Specialty levels 92 Speed squares 93 Part 2: Constructing A Coop 95 Chapter 6: Preparing the Site 97 First Things First: Clearing the Site 98 Checking the Level of the Ground 98 Installing Posts in the Ground 99 Digging holes for footings 99 Bracing your posts 102 Mixing and pouring concrete 103 Securing Posts Aboveground 105 Mounting posts on top of concrete footings 105 Using concrete pier blocks 106 Topping Your Posts 107 Chapter 7: Laying the Lumber: Framing 101 109 Building a Subfloor 110 Framing the joists 110 Installing the decking 113 Framing the Walls 114 Laying out studs 115 Assembling wall panels on the ground 116 Framing Doors and Windows 118 The extra parts needed to frame doors and windows 118 Walking through extra framing steps 118 Raising the Wall 120 Fastening Walls Together 122 Framing the Roof 123 Getting the pitch perfect 123 Analyzing a roof’s anatomy 124 Building a roof frame 125 Cutting and attaching rafters 126 Chapter 8: Adding Walls, Doors, Windows, and a Roof 129 Putting Up Walls 130 Fastening plywood in place 130 Cutting out openings 132 Working with other materials 133 Building a Basic Shed Door 136 Making Your Own Window 139 Topping Off Your Coop with a Roof 140 Hanging out your shingles 140 Conquering corrugated panels 145 Venting Your Coop 146 Chapter 9: Building Creature Comforts 149 Finalizing Your Flooring 149 Coming Home to (a) Roost 150 Location, location, location 150 Roost requirements: Making your roost out of different materials 152 Securing and supporting your roost 153 Feathering a Nest Box 154 Designing nest boxes 154 Building nest boxes 156 Other options: Buying or repurposing nest boxes 157 Ramping Up 157 Chapter 10: Assembling a Run 161 Framing a Simple Run 162 Working with Wire Mesh 164 Sizing up, measuring, and cutting the wire 164 Fastening the wire to your posts 165 Adding even more wire 167 Chapter 11: Plugged In: Basic Electricity for Your Coop 169 Calling a Pro to Run a Line to Your Coop 170 Buzzing About Outlets versus Switches 171 Receptacles (also known as outlets) 171 Switches 173 Letting There Be Light 173 Deciding whether to include artificial light in your coop 173 Properly placing the right amount of lighting in your coop 174 Choosing fixtures 174 Warming Up to Heaters 176 Falling for Fans 177 Part 3: Checking Out Coop Plans 179 Chapter 12: The Minimal Coop 181 Vital Stats 182 Materials List 182 Cut List 183 Shelter floor 183 Front wall 184 Back wall 184 Right and left walls 185 Roof framing 186 Nest boxes 186 Assembling the Coop 187 Chapter 13: The Alpine A-Frame 191 Vital Stats 192 Materials List 192 Cut List 193 Shelter floor 193 Gable 1 (nest box side) 194 Gable 2 (run side, interior) 195 Gable 2 (run side, exterior) with run door 196 Roof panel 1 (fixed side) 197 Roof panel 2 (hinged door) 198 Nest boxes 198 Roost 199 Run panel 1 200 Run panel 2 with door 201 Run gable 202 Assembling the Coop 202 Chapter 14: The Urban Tractor 205 Vital Stats 206 Materials List 206 Cut List 207 Tractor base and shelter floor 207 Left wall 208 Right wall 209 Front wall 210 Rear wall and chicken door 210 Run posts and framing 211 Cap plate and roof rafters 212 Roof, fascia, and gables 212 Access door 213 Nest boxes 214 Run door and chicken ramp 215 Assembling the Coop 216 Chapter 15: The All-in-One 221 Vital Stats 222 Materials List 222 Cut List 223 Skids and floor skirting 224 Shelter floor 224 Right wall framing 225 Front wall framing 226 Left wall framing 226 Back wall framing 227 Exterior wall sheathing 228 Run framing 229 Roof framing and rafters 229 Roof, gables, and fascia 230 Shelter access door and slam strips 231 Chicken door, slam strips, and ramp 232 Nest boxes and roost bar 232 Nest box door and slam strips 233 Front wall trim 234 Back wall trim 234 Right wall trim 235 Left wall trim 236 Run access door 236 Assembling the Coop 237 Chapter 16: The Walk-In 243 Vital Stats 244 Materials List 244 Cut List 245 Skids and floor 245 Front wall framing 246 Back wall framing 247 Right wall framing 247 Left wall framing 248 Front wall sheathing and trim 249 Back wall sheathing 249 Right and left wall sheathing and trim 250 Roof rafters 250 Gable ends and soffits 251 Roof, gable overhangs, and fascia 251 Access door 252 Chicken door 253 Nest box door 253 Nest boxes 254 Roost 255 Assembling the Coop 255 Part 4: The Part of Tens 261 Chapter 17: Ten or So Things Novice Coop-Builders Would Have Done Differently 263 Make the Coop Bigger 264 Make the Coop Taller 264 Consider the Location More Carefully 265 Don’t Cheap Out on Materials 265 Use Screws Rather than Nails 266 Elevate the Coop Off the Ground 266 Make the Doors Wider 266 Consider How to Clean the Coop 267 Make the Nest Box Easily Accessible 267 Paint the Coop Before Assembly 268 Reinforce the Run Underground 268 Chapter 18: Ten or So Cool Ideas to Trick Out Your Coop 269 Electricity 270 Solar Power 270 Running Water 270 Storage Space 271 A Quarantine Area 271 An Automatic Feeder and Waterer 272 A Removable Droppings Pan 273 Wheels 273 A Retractable Roof 273 “Air-Lock” Doors 274 Automatic Door Closers 274 A Wireless Weather Station 274 Index 277
Todd Brock has written for HGTV's Landscape Solutions andGround Breakers as well as DIY Network's Fresh from the Garden. Dave Zook owns Horizon Structures, which makes custom chicken coops. Rob Ludlowis the owner of BackYardChickens.com, a top source on chicken raising. Rob and his family raise a small flock in their backyard.
Choose your coop's best location, size, and style Construct a coop from the ground up Add solar power or electricity to your coop Build a safe enclosure for your backyard flock Whether you have a small city loft, a suburban backyard, or rural farm, this friendly guide gives you easy-to-follow and customizable plans for building a cost-effective backyard chicken coop. You'll not only be able to construct a safe habitat, but you can also provide creature comforts for your flock, put together a run, and plug in with electricity. You'll get basic construction know-how and key information to design and build a coop that's easy on the eyes and tailored to your flock. Inside… The dirt on essential tools The skills to build like a pro Tips for prepping a coop site Adding walls, doors, windows Pointers on building roosts Adding electricity to a coop Helpful schematic drawings Fun ideas to decorate a coop
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