So you’ve finally decided to embark on a free-range chicken business adventure. You’ve reviewed all of the ROI benefits, you have space, and you’re confident you can sustain it for the long term. But where do you start? While free-ranging simply requires ample space for a given number of chickens with free range nets set up within the perimeter as protection and fencing among others, building chicken coops is also necessary to provide your chickens the proper environment to grow.
Designing chicken coops is one of the more engaging activities you can indulge in when you are starting a free-range business. Online, there are hundreds of do-it-yourself (DIY) ideas from poultry raisers here in the country and abroad and all you have to do is pick one that suits your fancy (or better yet, that of your chickens).
To help you out, here are three noteworthy DIY designs that can serve as good coops for your free-range chickens.
Small DIY Chicken Coop
Ideal for poultry raisers who do some free ranging in the urban areas, a small chicken coop for a few chickens will do the job for a limited space. You may either use this coop as a nursery for chicks that are coming out from the brooder before you set them outdoors to free-range, or as a permanent one for one to two medium-sized layers, as well as a perfect coop for your backyard hens.
Design the sidings and roof using wooden picket fences and screws with a cubic measurement of 2 x 4 x 5 feet for two to three pullets. Slip inside nesting boxes and allot a door space so you can also use it as a brooder. Use free-range nets not more than 2 inches in mesh size as sidings to allow proper ventilation inside. Lastly, use steel panels as roofing then secure them with brackets and you have yourself a cute and functional chicken coop.
Easy DIY Coop
For no-nonsense free range poultry raisers, this coop is best for a smaller flock that seeks some cozy shelter and egg-laying spaces.
For your materials, you’d want to run to your nearest hardware store and buy some plywood for your sidewalls (enough for a 2 x 4 feet frame). Cut two 2 x 4 feet and another two 2 x 2 feet non-resistant lumber at 60 inches lengthwise each for your horizontal rails that will run between your sidewalls. Bevel each 2 x 4 top rail at about 66 degrees then install 2 x 2 rails between the bottom corners of your sidewalls.
For your flooring, cover the underside with about a half-inch mesh size free range net to protect your flock from predators. On top of your free range nets, cover half of the flooring with removable plywood to make it easier to clean or replace.
Use galvanized yero roofing panels measuring 45 inches lengthwise and install them with screws. Make sure to leave a 3-inch overhang at the front and back of the coop so your chickens can easily access the front of the coop as opposed to a deeper overhang.
DIY Living Roof Coop
Doing more than just a functional chicken coop is also possible in the DIY free range universe such as a living roof which you can decorate and practice your plantito or plantita skills with. A green roof where you can grow vegetables or plant herbs that you can use to treat your chickens if they come down with common illnesses.
Of course, what you’d want to consider when designing a chicken coop with a living roof is its weight (around 60 kilograms per two square meters); a functioning structure with a waterproof layer, drainage, soil container, and plant layer; and a roof frame with easy access for cleaning. As to what materials you’ll build your living roof with, you may use recyclables around the house such as plywood, timber, organic soil, and shade nets among others. Make sure you have proper space under the coop house for your chickens’ dust baths and shades while also preventing rats or mice from attacking the coop floor.
You may also use quality free range nets as cladding for the sides of your living roof and coop to allow proper ventilation for both your chickens and plants. Place it at the highest point of your coop’s sides for proper airflow with a 120 x 100 cm dimension as the most ideal. Lastly, build an access ramp so you can get to your living roof easily to do some maintenance, planting, or harvesting once your plants have produced.
In all of these DIY chicken coops, you can clearly see that free range nets are the most essential material you’ll need. Don’t just go for low-quality nets and look for durable and reliable world-class polynets like those provided by Philippine Ranging Nets. You may choose to buy products via cash on delivery with reasonable shipping rates nationwide.
Know more about Philippine Ranging Nets and our quality free range nets and poultry products by sending us an email at [email protected] or by calling +63977 007 0228 for orders and more information!
Philippine Ranging Nets provide Filipino-made multi-purpose nets mainly used for free ranging chickens and other poultry. Trusted by top-breeders, PRN’s top quality affordable ranging nets are available nationwide.