7 Essentials for the Backyard Chicken Coop | Raising Chickens for Eggs

7 Essentials for the Backyard Chicken Coop | Raising Chickens for Eggs

Do you dream of having your own little homestead no matter where you live? These 7 essentials for a backyard chicken coop will have you well on your way to your own little piece of self sustainability.

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Raising Backyard Chickens
If you are considering taking the leap in raising backyard chickens, there are a few things you should take into account before you get started.

There are a WIDE variety of backyard chicken coop ideas and resources available. You can build your own coop from scratch, purchase a pre-made coop from the store or online, or you could turn a building or structure you already have into your very own backyard chicken coop. Whatever you choose to do, there are some necessities that you should make sure your coop setup has.

I do want to preface this by saying that I am using the word necessities lightly! Of course, you really could just throw a few chickens in your backyard or outdoor barn, make sure they have some sort of food, water, and shelter, and call it good. In reality though, your chickens wouldn’t be very happy, you’d be hunting for eggs like its Easter, and they may end up prey to some sort of predator.

There is a strategic way for you to set up your coop and their living area in order for you to have an optimal, egg-laying squad of chickens and a happy, egg harvester.

The essentials
These seven essentials are really what you need to make your chicken raising experience the easiest and happiest it can be for both you and your birds.

Just like with the different varieties of chicken coops, these necessities can be made or handled in a variety of ways. Get creative and do what works for you! Your outdoor space or run could include using a transportable coop that allows you to move the chickens to different areas of land as their feed supply is used up. Your enclosure could be made from chicken wire or from fencing. Bedding could be sand, dried leaves, straw, etc. Use what works for and your space and whats in your budget. Simply use the tips described in the following pages as a guideline!

Now lets get into the 7 Essentials for a Backyard Chicken Coop
1. Space (Indoor and Outdoor)
Inside your chicken coop, you will want to make sure that you have enough room for roosts, nesting boxes, and food and water, which will all be described in more detail below.

The most important thing to take into account is how many birds you plan on having, and how much space they will need. Usually the chickens will only be inside the coop in the evenings or if the weather is harsh. You should also consider the possibility of flock expansion in the future.

Another thing to think about is storage space, if you are planning on keeping feed buckets or any cleaning tools inside of the coop, plan for extra space. Chickens love to forage and roam free, so providing them with enough outdoor space to do so is also essential in raising a healthy flock! The more space you can give them, the better.

As with any animal if they are tightly confined it can lead to a greater chance of disease and health issues. If you have ever been around chickens, then you will know how much they like to roam around and peck at the ground, searching for bugs, plants and small animals to snack on.

If you are able to, allowing the chickens to roam completely free, around your farm, homestead, or yard, for a portion of the day can be a great option. They can be free to forage during the day and then closed in their coop/run in the evenings to protect them against predators.

Side note, who doesn’t love to see chickens wandering around?! The epitome of a beautiful country scene!

2. Enclosure
Even with free range chickens, an enclosed run will usually be the best protection against predators and/or weather. Some predators will come from above, think hawks and other birds, or below with digging: coyotes, raccoons, etc.

Take into account what animals may…

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50 Comments

  1. laurah6381 on July 27, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing! Interesting video! xx

  2. Rita Kessler on July 27, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    So cool thank You.

  3. Susan Nguyen on July 27, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    What do you do with the chickens when they get too old to lay and you’re squeamish about chicken butchering? I also heard that you shouldn’t give them potato peels and citrus?

  4. Susan Velez on July 27, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    Do you allow the chickens to wonder out side the coop

  5. Business Minded Mom on July 27, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    What do they need for a cold winter? Do you need a heater of some sort in there?

  6. Phylicia B on July 27, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    Our 3 hens just turned one year old!

  7. Jack Benny on July 27, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    There is one tip I can give you about chickens, in the winter when they’re less likely to lay eggs you can sprinkle with their feed some crushed red peppers it warms their pallets and they will lay eggs.

  8. Hailey Rogers on July 27, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    I have been wanting to have chickens for the longest time, I can’t wait until we build our house in the country and can have them! Thanks for all the awesome tips, I’m going to hang on to that ebook for sure!
    Also, a completely unrelated question; where is your t-shirt from? I have been searching for good t-shirts and I love the fit yours has!

  9. Keyla Lipo on July 27, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    We’ve had chickens for about 4 years now but still feel like there’s always more to learn. I’ll be looking at that eBook soon! Thanks for posting!!

  10. Konstance Leigh on July 27, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Be kind to these sentient beings!

  11. Nicole Dufour DuRocher on July 27, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    What do you do when the chickens stop laying eggs eventually?

  12. poolfield2 on July 27, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Probably the 8th thing I would add is a dustbath.

  13. The Still LIfe Photography on July 27, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    What advice could you give to homes that have cold winters and really hot summers? Do they have heated and cooling coupes? Asking for a friend… 🙂

  14. Lynn James on July 27, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    My daughter has chickens and does very well with them, I believe she started with a dozen and then added more, she also can not let them loose for long because of the road she lives on. She has a great coop that she has added on to herself, she really enjoys taking care of them, when they go thru periods of not laying eggs and they will do that on and off she calls them free loaders lol. They are funny they love her and always want her to pick them up for hugs as if they were cats.my daughter has always been like Dr. dolittle with animals and children. She runs a dog daycare from her home and she also trains dogs.she has quite a following.I’m very proud of her!

  15. Emma Payne on July 27, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    I’d love to have chickens, husband won’t let me 😢

  16. Lynn Younger on July 27, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Lisa, I am very excited about this built, as I too would love to have a couple of hens. I read that hens love herbs in their nesting box, I would love to see you do a hands on video using herbs in the coops!

  17. De Wende on July 27, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Is your A frame you are talking about building by any chance a chicken tractor? My husband built 2 chicken tractors. Both of them you can pick up the one end and roll it so the chickens can get a new patch of grass. One is just a standard chicken tractor that we use for our meat birds, and the other one has a coop that he built on the top of the chicken tractor for our egg layers. Great video, always like watching your videos 🙂

  18. Buffy Tipton on July 27, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    I have the room, I just don’t have the right plans for a easy to make coop. Any ideas?

  19. When In Idaho on July 27, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    We love our chickens. We have 7 layers and lots of this Springs chicks (they should start laying in the next 5 or so weeks!). We like a variety so we have lots of different breeds). You didn’t mention a dust bath, they are important for helping the chickens keep clean (sounds counter productive!) and keep mites and other things off of them. There are other things (like acv in their water, etc) but I think then we would be rabbit holing and not sticking to the very basics 🙂 Have you seen the book "The Homesteaders Herbal Companion"? It talks about natural ways to have healthy chickens (among other things). I believe the author (Amy Fewell) is also writing a book all about natural chicken keeping!

  20. dcat0603 on July 27, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Great info! We are wanting to get some chickens!! Perfect timing.

  21. Cassandra Jed on July 27, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    I love this post! We decided last month to get chickens this spring (in Australia), so I have just started researching everything we need to know! This post plus the ebook will be so useful – thankful! We are considering getting some different breeds like bantams and polish chickens – do you have any thoughts on the best breeds to get? Thanks so much <3

  22. Cindy Urban on July 27, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    We have had chickens for 9 or 10 years. I have learned a lot. I would love to have our chickens free range, but we have many predators and have lost them because of it. We have them in a very large run and we through in food scraps and compost so they can dig around and find bugs.

  23. ArmindaHeart on July 27, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    We have chickens! We are currently dealing with bird mites, these tiny creepy crawly bugs that suck the blood of the chickens. It’s been tough getting rid of them because they’re inside and outside the coop. We use DE to dust them with and the coop and nesting. But we love having chickens!! So many benefits to the home, family, and garden 👍👍👍

  24. Sara Archuleta on July 27, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    The guy over at High intensity Health youtube channel feeds his chickens meat! He said they love it!

  25. The Gilbert Fam on July 27, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    I want chickens but our town doesn’t allow them in city limits. Hopefully when we buy a house outside limits we’ll get some.

  26. Cajun Belle1 on July 27, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    I like to add organic apple cider vinegar into my chicken’s water a few times a week. I also add food grade DE into the feed and nesting boxes. My must have is a metal cat box cleaner scoop. I use it every morning to clean the chicken poop out of the pine shavings in the coop. Works great!

  27. Jessica Johnson on July 27, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Been thinking of getting chickens but I hear that ducks are easier to keep and their eggs are delicious as well.

  28. Anderson Silver on July 27, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    The background of this video is so peaceful and beautiful.

  29. Barb O on July 27, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    I really like this series of videos this week – I’m a city girl wishing she lived in an area that I could have chickens! Luckily I have access for fresh eggs but one day! Keep up the great content for those of us who wish for farm house living!!

  30. michelle schweizer on July 27, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    I’m getting some soon!

  31. Joy James on July 27, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    Yes! I have been waiting for this video. Thank you so much!

  32. Jordan Bouwers on July 27, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    One little known tip for chickens is that they shouldn’t eat raw potato skins, but if you just boil them for a few minutes on the stove, then they are good to go!

  33. Gail’s Bookish Things on July 27, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    I’d like to have chickens in our backyard but I don’t think St.Peters allows it. What are the main predators?

  34. Haven of Bless on July 27, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    My chickens have a whole barn to roost in and they prefer to roost all next to each other. It’s really sweet

  35. Norma Lopez Ingle on July 27, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Wow I had no idea the care that was required for the chickens.  I live in Denver Colorado and they now allow us to have chickens.  I also lived in Florida about 4 years ago and we would see wild chickens all the time roaming around in Ybor I always worried about them lol

  36. Emily McClain on July 27, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Love this! Chickens are so fun and even make great pets for children and kids in return learn about responsibility. My first pet on our farm as a child was a chicken. It was the best. Look forward to the update on the new A Frame coop you guys are thinking about. My husband and I will be building our over the winter to get ready for a spring brood. So exciting!

  37. Sarah Lovemore on July 27, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Thanks for this video, great intro to chickens. Ive always wanted to know though, what happens if you need to go on holiday … What happens with the chickens?

  38. Rebekka Hay on July 27, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    We recently had a fox attack and lost several chickens including our favourite chicken that we bred ourselves. .. 🙁 So now we have put up an electric fence, it is absolutely worth it, so the chickens can roam around the garden. Our chickens love watermelon (not just he rinds), fresh berries, yoghurt and fresh sweetcorn.

  39. Sandy Lunden on July 27, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    I would love to have chickens. I know it’s almost an art to do it right. Great video Lisa ☮️❤️☮️

  40. Micki A on July 27, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    Yes!! I want chickens!! 🐓
    My kids keep asking for a pet and I told them the only animal I will consider is chickens 🤣
    Thanks for sharing this!! ❤️

  41. Nancy Lynn on July 27, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Love it when i open utube to find a new video in the morn!
    Please dont forget the sourdough starter video. Lol

  42. cie w on July 27, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    For the water bucket, what did your hubby use at the bottom so the water doesn’t keep leaking? Can you show us the bottom?

  43. HikeGardenTravel on July 27, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    You can get poultry netting for some outside time. Omlet has a cool portable setup. Love your coop. We’ve been poultry owners for 7 years.

  44. claire mccarty on July 27, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    Loved this 😁

  45. Niki P on July 27, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    We have 57 chickens! It started with 4, only 3 years ago and we just keep getting more, haha! We love farm fresh eggs and so do all our friends. It’s a nice little side income too.

  46. Antidepressknits Podcast on July 27, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Just a thought on the avocados. I don’t have chickens, but I do have parrots, and parrots cannot safely eat avocado because the persin in the skin and pit is highly toxic to them. There is also some persin in the meat of the avocado which is toxic to parrots, but I don’t know about chickens. Could explain why your hens won’t eat them, though.

  47. Momma From Scratch on July 27, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    We just built a coupe 2 months ago and had mama and her chicks. Then she started attacking them and we gave her away and it was fine and now we think one might be a male because it started crowing yesterday but it looks like a girl. We haven’t gotten any eggs yet but we should we a few weeks as they are now 2.5 months old. There fun and the kids like them. We give them scraps and meal worms plus feed of coarse . We added a brick bath for them since it’s hot and they love it. Showing my hubby the ebook. He put down neolium in the inside part to easier clean it

  48. Suzanne Grissett on July 27, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    Love love LOVE this video!!!! ❤️❤️🐔🐔🐔

  49. Icy Icy on July 27, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    Chickens need a way to escape predators, I would suggest rungs each one higher than one before, up to tree or other high perch. Much like a ladder, where they can hop and fly to safety.

  50. Anne McKenzie on July 27, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Lisa! Love your videos. We have chickens, too. Love all your suggestions. I would add one more… Our birds begin to molt late summer through mid to late fall. Growing feathers requires additional protein. I add protein to their daily diet; Chick Starter and I’ll also throw in the gophers our cats bring home. I know that sounds yucky but I found that suggestion through Joel Salatin’s site.

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