- Manisha Lath Gupta
Sustainable Building : Chicken Coop
Updated: Apr 12, 2021
In the run up to getting the 75 chicks from Keggfarms to Aanandaa, we searched far & wide (on the internet) for a coop design. Unfortunately, there are hardly any Indian resources for building a coop. I think either we have industrial poultry farms, or we have nothing. Western designs on the other hand are all quite fancy, and pretty expensive to make. So we were left with no choice but to design our own coop. We kept a few principles in mind i) we would not buy anything from the market and ii) we would reuse all the junk lying around at the store in Aanandaa.
The biggest useable junk was these two big wooden boxes we had once used to transport some art across cities. We took the lids and nailed them on the top to create an awning for the shelters. We then made ramps leading up to them, with waste planks that came out of a temporary bridge we had constructed in 2011. And perched the boxes atop 3-4 bricks to give it a height of about 18 inches.
We then hammered in a metal angles on either side of the boxes, and pulled the wire mesh into a circle. We brought in 3 trees within the periphery so we saved some angles there, and also brought in shade into the coop.
Given that it still gets a bit cold at night, we covered half the coop with a torn tarpaulin (which we had bought for threshing our produce), and let it fall over the sides. We supported it in the centre with a bamboo stick covered with some waste coir at the top so that its not too pokey. in the other half of the coop, we put a more net like green cloth which keeps the air in, while providing a cover to prevent a wild cat from jumping in. We also left a 3 foot entrance at the front of the coop, from where we (and the hens) enter and exit.
We had some old painting stretchers lying around. We mounted these atop a pile of bricks to create perches for the hens. Apparently they like to get their feed above the ground at the end of the day.
The boxes were laid over with hay, so that the hens can snuggle there comfortably specially at nights. To keep the harsh cold winds out, we also flung some blankets and jute sacks over the fencing, which can we rolled up during the day. When it gets hotter, we plan to water the jute sacks, and that will keep this area cold. Finally, we pulled a wire from our outhouse, and installed 2 bulbs in the coop which we keep on through the night. The chicks need it to see in the dark, and not pile up on top of each other and cause a stampede.
So that is our zero budget, do it yourself chicken coop! Come visit us and see it for yourself. The coop if situated in the chicken yard where the hens step out everyday for exercise and entertainment!