Cooped up? Coop up!

“We’ve finally decided to get chickens next spring. Is fall or winter too soon to start building a coop?” —Jackie

Build A Chicken Coop In Your GarageThere are some real advantages to starting your chicken coop in the fall or winter. I know many people, myself included, who’ve built their coops in less than ideal weather. But you don’t have to get cold or soaked to build a chicken coop during the gloaming seasons. Build your coop inside. Apart from the initial steps of cutting and sanding the wood, you can prep and assemble a backyard chicken coop the size of The Garden Ark in about half the space of a typical single-car garage.

ct-tga-henhousebrooderOne big advantage to finishing The Garden Ark, in particular, ahead of time is that the henhouse can serve as your chick brooder. Simply wait to attach the roof, and you can hang a standard heat lamp from above. The henhouse makes a sturdier, more secure brooder than what most urban chicken keepers go with—a makeshift cardboard box. And your chicks will know from day one that the henhouse is their home.

If you’re building a larger backyard chicken coop, like The Garden Coop, autumn and winter are a great time to start gathering materials, particularly if you’re planning to use recycled or reclaimed wood, windows, paint, and the like. You may want to take your time seeing what you can find, then design your coop from there. Or if you’re using one of our plans, you can refine your hunt from the start based on a detailed materials list.

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