Do you have a flock of chickens that are growing in size?
If your chickens have outgrown their small coop or if you're thinking of bringing home a large flock of chickens, you'll need a quality chicken coop that's large enough to keep all of your chickens safe at night. While you can definitely buy a pre-made coop, you may be able to save some money by building your own coop.
Are you looking to build a DIY chicken coop for a dozen or more backyard chickens? Well, you're in luck because we've compiled nine medium chicken coop plans with complete material lists and step-by-step instructions so you can make the hen house of your dreams.
Check out these DIY chicken coop plans below!
1. True Craftsmanship
Medium chicken coop plans by The Barn Toolbox for up to 12 chickens.
2. Dreamy and Open
Medium chicken coop plans from Redeem Your Ground.
3. Shaker Style
Large backyard chicken coop plans from Debby10s Roost for 25-30 chickens.
4. Beautiful Barn
Easy chicken coop plans from Home and Garden Design Plans for 18 chickens.
5. Neat and Tidy
Medium chicken coop plans from Cheryl's Hen House for 18-20 chickens.
6. Important Ventilation
Open-coop design by Prince Tannat Woods.
7. Look at That Chicken Run!
Coop and attached run plans from Home and Garden Design Plans for 24 chickens.
8. Smart Design
Large coop plans by North Dakota State University.
North Dakota State University has many more plans for large chicken coops.
Large, simple chicken coop by Today's Plans for 32 chickens.
Large Chicken Coop or Smaller Coop?
If you have the time and funds, it's a good idea to start off with a coop that's slightly bigger than you need to let your chickens grow into it, rather than having a coop that is too small. With a large coop, you have the flexibility and space to add more chickens, to section off parts of the interior (with chicken wire partitions, for example) to separate breeds or broody hens and roosters, open the possibility for free range chickens to explore your homestead, or even to create a brooder to separate out baby chicks from older chickens.
These free chicken coop plans are designed to hold 12 or more chickens. If you are looking for smaller chicken coop designs, check out this post. (Most of the building plans are also free.)
Chicken Coop Checklist
Remember, a really good, functional chicken coop for your backyard hens is made of non-toxic materials, is predator-proof (think hardware cloth instead of chicken wire), and is well ventilated for good airflow.
A well-planned chicken house also has easy access for cleaning and to collect fresh eggs. A good chicken coop also has the right amount of square feet per chicken of space, the right number of nest boxes, and enough roosting bar space for the number of chickens you have. Access doors will make it easier to clean the coop, and the coop will need a space for a waterer.
Nice touches to put on your wish list are an automatic front door, a spacious and predator-proofed outdoor chicken run, and the ability to be mobile (a.k.a a chicken tractor). Read our backyard chicken coop checklist to really make sure you cover it all to maximize your outdoor space.
"My rule of thumb: Build your coop a lot bigger than you think you will need. You only have three hens now By this time next year you will have 10 ... or 20 ... or 45 ... and maybe a few ducks..... Trust me. I know! So build bigger than you need at the current time."
My own chicken coop is a portable chicken coop. I have a small backyard flock and needed a way to move my chickens easily throughout the property. Egg collection is very easy and cleaning takes minutes each day! For a small flock a mobile chicken tractor is another idea to consider. There are two nesting boxes which are more than enough for eight hens!
Good luck on your build and on raising chickens!
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This post was originally published in 2017.