So, you’ve decided your Southwest Colorado dream home is just not complete without some chickens.  You know you need a sturdy coop for three reasons:

  • Shelter from the elements
  • Protection against predators
  • Ease of caring for the flock

There are a few approaches to creating a home for your two-legged family: buy one, purchase plans and build one, reuse an existing structure, or design and build your own vision of what a modern chicken coop should be.  Here’s some input to consider—maybe one of these ideas will click for you.

Buying a Chicken Coop

There are plenty of chicken coops you can buy online—admittedly they usually require at least some assembly.  Check out big box stores like Lowe’s and Tractor Supply; even Walmart offers options.

Ordering Online Plans

A good middle of the road strategy might be to seek plans online that fit your aesthetic.  Here’s one with farmhouse appeal, and one for people who favor a Cape Cod look.  The best online sources will include complete instructions and a supplies list—a bonus is an accompanying video.

Reusing the Unexpected

One idea we love is to repurpose a structure into a home for hens.  We’ve seen old silos, playhouses, and furniture used as the base for chicken coop.  We love this idea: converting an old swing set frame into a hen house!

Going Completely DIY

Even if you go completely DIY, from sketches to finished product, it’s still a good idea to spend time online.  This can prompt you to think about how much square footage you need, whether you want a raised floor, how to attach an attached outdoor run and so on.

Creating a chicken coop is a great small project to tackle for someone who’s handy, or wants to be.  But there’s another option—choose one of our HBASC members to be your builder.  La Plata and Archuleta County contractors and carpenters are often very busy, it’s true, but this could be a sweet project for one with a few hours of downtime occasionally or who has enclosed space to use in winter.  Let us know if we can recommend someone!

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