Backyard chickens are making a comeback, and here at Cape Ace Hardware, we have everything you need to build your own chicken coop. Not only do you get the added benefit of fresh eggs but keeping chickens in the backyard is a great way to teach your kids responsibility and just pure old fashioned entertainment. Here are some simple DIY tips from Cape Ace Hardware on building a chicken coop.

Plan Ahead

The first thing you want to determine is how many chicken you want to have as every chicken needs at least 4 sq. feet of space. Planning this ahead of time helps you figure out how large your chicken coops needs to be and it is also recommended that you make it bigger than the recommended space so you chickens won’t be cooped in the coop. In Anne Arundel County you may keep and maintain chickens on a lot less than 40,000 square feet, but roosters are strictly prohibited on lots less than 40,000 sq. ft. For more detail head over to Anne Arundel Count’s website on chicken and duck license.

Choose the Right Materials

Depending on the design or how large the chicken coop will be, the building of it could take a weekend or possibly be a project that lasts several weeks. Although every coop is different, here a general list of materials you will need to build a sturdy coop for your chickens. Just a friendly reminder, in  Anne Arundel County, you must have an approved coop and run before having any chickens if you live on less than 40,000 square feet.

  • various sized lumber for the exterior, the interior
  • nest boxes and supports
  • ¾ inch plywood sheets for the exterior
  • tar paper (roofing)
  • aluminum paint
  • shingles
  • metal sheeting for the roof
  • an assortment of hardware, Perspex, Plexiglas or acrylic sheeting for windows
  • mesh, wire or cloth to protect permanent openings from predators
  • installing sliding windows will discourage birds from roosting on them
  • select building materials that are easy to clean and disinfect

Don’t forget your construction materials, if you don’t have these all – ready then you will want to stop by Cape Ace Hardware’s tool department and pick up the following.

  • measuring tape
  • hammer and nails
  • screwdriver and screws
  • drill
  • framing square
  • saw

At Cape Ace Hardware we carry the tools, and most of the materials for you build your own chicken coop, no matter how simple or grand. Don’t forget, when you visit us and have any questions our helpful staff is here to assist you. Good luck and make sure to send us a picture of your project once you are done to our Facebook page!