For the past few years, I’ve been telling anyone who would listen that, when I bought a house, the first thing I’d do would be to get chickens. True to my word, I closed on my house in February of this year, and come March, I was the proud owner of 12 adorable baby chicks. However, buying chickens is the easy part—building them a coop proved to be much more of a challenge, taking way more time (and money) than I ever anticipated.
On one hand, building a home for your chickens really isn’t that hard—they don’t need a ton of space, and there are lots of DIY tutorials on how you can build one from scratch or upcycle a shed and other existing structure into a coop. That said, there are a lot of little things to think about as you go, including where your coop will be placed, how big it needs to be, how you’ll keep predators out, and so on. I learned a lot of this on the fly, so I’m passing on my top tips in hope that you’ll be a little more informed as you jump into chicken ownership.