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Hen House Plans and Best Chicken Breeds for the Homestead

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Hen house plans are a necessary element of just about every backyard laying chicken flock, unless you buy a pre-made coop. In the course of our chicken research, I was offered a free review copy of “DIY chicken Coops – The Complete Guide to Building Your Own Chicken Coop” by John White at ChickenCoopGuides.com, so I decided to check it out.

More than hen house plans, John White provides an introduction to all things backyard chicken with his coop design and chicken guidebooks combination.

John's book comes as a set with four other chicken books, to cover the basic questions of the beginning chicken owner. The bonus books are:

  • How to Choose the Ideal chicken Breed for Your Flock – The Definitive Guide
  • So You Want to Raise Chickens… A Beginner's Guide
  • A Practical Guide to Chicken Illnesses & Diseases
  • Selling Your Excess Eggs for Fun and Profit

Hen House Plans for Every Size Flock

From the Cluck Carrier for 1-5 birds to the Mul-T Coop housing up to 60 birds plus a storage shed, DIY Chicken Coops has a solid assortment of chicken coop plans. There's also a small mobile brooder and a chicken run for protecting your birds.

The book opens with a discussion of chicken coop essentials, such as space requirements, access, roosts, nesting boxes, runs, litter, food, water and more and basics of sensible building design to make it easy to take good care of your chickens. Each design is presented with text and illustrations to take you through the building process step by step. John wraps up with a Q & A section covering common building questions.

From a print quality perspective, the print and illustrations are clear and bright, and I was able to open the book to lay flat for without busting the binding – always a good feature.

More than hen house plans, John White provides an introduction to all things backyard chicken with his coop design and chicken guidebooks combination.

Getting Started with Chickens

So You Want to Raise Chickens… A Beginner's Guide takes the reader from finding out if chickens are legal where you live (better to know before than after you have your flock of hens) to predator deterrents to feeds, herbs and working chickens in the garden. There are six planning stage topics to get you ready for chickens, and 16 topics directly related to chicken care.

The section on raising chicks is a little skimpy, but we have you pretty well covered for that here on the site with the post, “Getting Started with Meat Chickens“. (Meat chickens and laying hens start out pretty much the same when they are tiny, then get different rations as they grow and mature to meet their dietary needs.)

Troubleshooting Sick Chickens

A Practical Guide to Chicken Illnesses & Diseases discusses 16 common chicken illnesses. Each entry is accompanied by a quick reference diagram that shows the area of the bird affected, plus symptoms, treatment and prevention tips.

More than hen house plans, John White provides an introduction to all things backyard chicken with his coop design and chicken guidebooks combination.
Excerpt from the chicken disease guidebook

What to do with Extra Eggs

Should you be blessed with more eggs than you can use, Selling Your Excess Eggs for Fun and Profit offers suggestions for ways to sell your eggs, legal considerations and how to develop a basic business plan with optional supplementary products.

Which Chicken Breed is Best for Eggs?

Every chicken owner has their preference, especially if they've been working with birds for a while. How to Choose the Ideal chicken Breed for Your Flock – The Definitive Guide provides an overview of 17 common chicken breeds, including the following information:

  • Class
  • Type
  • Size
  • Purpose
  • Egg productivity
  • Egg Color
  • Egg size
  • Rarity
  • Climate  tolerance
  • Personality
  • Recognized varieties

John's favorites are shown in the infographic below.

Top 10 Chicken Breeds for Laying Hens, Plus a a Review of Hen House Plans for the Ladies

After reviewing the books, I decided to sign up as an affiliate for the guides, so if you use the links from my site and decide to purchase the product, I receive and affiliate payment at no extra cost to you. There's a video on John's site that features photos of several different coops built from the plans included in the book, so you can get a better idea of just how they look when completed.

The book set is a good general overview of what's needed for a backyard flock, with a good variety of coop plans to fix pretty much any situation.

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3 Comments

  1. I am interested in your information on raising chickens and building chicken houses but I live in a colder climate in Canada-Northwestern Ontario-150 miles north of the U.S. border to be exact. We have 2-3 feet of snow on average in the winter months and the coldest temps. being -40 F and the warmest winter temps. being around +35F. Snow is gone and the leaves come out the middle of May and the first snow that stays is the middle of November. Do you have any advice on raising chickens in this type of climate.

    I have raised chickens before at a previous home but needed to keep them locked up in an insulated and heated coop. This does not make it cost efficient nor a good plan for Preparedness or trying to live off the grid.

    I would welcome any advice you would have.

    Esther

    1. The correct breed of chickens can be fairly cold tolerant. My friend, Lisa, from Fresh Eggs Daily, recommends the following:

      Ameraucana
      Australorp
      Bantam Brahma
      Barnevelder
      Brahma
      Buckeye
      Buff Orpington
      Cochin
      Delaware
      Dominique
      Easter Egger
      Faverolle
      Jersey Giant
      Marans
      New Hampshire Red
      Plymouth Rock
      Rhode Island Red
      Sussex
      Welsummer
      Wyandotte

      These breeds for the most part all share some basic characteristics including small combs, fairly large body mass, and the breed originating in the more northern climates – all of which helps them handle cold temperatures far better than other breeds. Many times the name of the breed is a tip-off, as is the case of the Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire Red, Plymouth Rock, Buckeye (named for the state of Ohio) and Jersey Giant.

      You can read more at http://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2014/12/20-cold-hardy-chicken-breeds.html, where she also has links to some other articles about keeping chickens in the cold.

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