Building a chicken coop in Bend, OR is really easy. You would be surprised how many people are going in this direction, especially in the suburbs given the cost of food nowadays. Outbuilders is good at making chicken coops and at a fraction of the cost, but you can build one with basic household stuff. An old shed works best, but if you want to build one, read on.

First, how many chickens are you going to house? You cannot build a coop fitted for 3 but place 10 inside. This is a home for your chickens and you want them to live happy so they produce. Once you have figured out how many chickens you are going to have, go ahead and start planning your building design.

Your building needs to be completely accessible for cleaning and for the chickens to get to ground, their nesting boxes (cubby holes) and perches. A 3 tier (story) coop is ideal. The ground floor, the egg gathering level (second) and the top (perch). An “L” shaped coop is the best shape for a coop. Try and plan your design around a door that opens up all levels so you can get in, collect or clean. If you don’t have any plans, you can find thousands online. Just Google them.

Insulation is a must in Central Oregon. We have long winters and cold springs. Insulation will prolong your chicken(s) lives. You should use home insulation, but on the cheap, you can use egg cartons, paper, blankets or cardboard as long as they are twisted or crumpled. Make sure you also invest in a heat lamp. Oh yeah, and you will need light to 1. See the eggs and 2. Check on the chickens, so plan on installing two light bulbs for the second and third floors.

There is a reason why they call it “chicken wire”. You will need this for your bottom of the design so the chickens can walk around on the ground and see the outside without feeling trapped. Make your entire bottom portion (1st floor) with as much chicken wire as you can. The more open the better.

Do some research on dropping trays. They are a blessing when installed properly. They help you clean out the coop faster and with ease. There are all kinds of designs for them. Just google it. Chickens drink water, so you will need to have a water tray and an easy way to fill it. During the winter, the water tray can freeze so give it some thought on how you will achieve that from happening. A heat pad placed underneath the water tray works really good, but can be a fire hazard.

Remember, safety first. Your chickens and your home should be the priority. Make sure you have the proper materials, equipment and a fire extinguisher handy. Heat lamps are dangerous and so are any electrical devices you place on, in or around the coop. There you go. A simple checklist of how to build a chicken coop in Redmond, OR. Good luck!

Kirk Sandburg
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