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The Chicken Coop Manual

A comprehensive guide to small flock housing, for backyard chicken flock owners and small scale commercial operations.

When we started our flock, we looked in vain for chicken coop plans.  Most poultry books discussed breeds, feeding, health, egg production, etc.  But none of them offered detailed coop plans or options. At most, they offered a page or two of general housing information, as if "one size fits all".  We built our first coop in that vacuum of information. We quickly learned that first shelter was far from ideal.  Then we built another coop based on what we'd figured out so far.  That one did better, but still we had some lessons to learn.  More than a decade later, and several coop designs down the road, we've learned a lot about how many different issues affect poultry coop success.

Since then, we've helped new flock owners develop their own chicken coop plans. We were happy to help, but giving them all that information all at once was often overwhelming.  Yet we knew that choosing chicken coop plans was only part of the process.  Owners needed to consider a lot of other factors before building a coop.  That's when it occurred to us that a book would be the best way to communicate all that information.  So we wrote a book about chicken coops:

The Chicken Coop Manual is a comprehensive reference manual for all issues related to creating and maintaining successful poultry housing.  It has four sections: 

Section I covers these poultry-housing topics:

  • Chicken Coop Size
  • Feeders and waterers
  • Roosts
  • Nests and Egg Laying
  • Brooders for Chicks
  • Working conditions, Efficiency, Sanitation
  • Protection from Weather
  • Vermin Control
  • Predator Control
  • Disease Control
  • Heating and Lighting
  • Supplemental Heat
  • Supplemental Light
  • Bedding and Waste Management
  • Fixed or Mobile?
  • Chicken Tractors
  • Pre-Made Chicken Coops
  • Durability

Click here to read an excerpt from Section I

Section II describes the pro's and con's of eight different chicken coop plans, all using conventional stud construction:

  • Plan #1: Hutch-type Coop For 8-16 Birds
  • Plan #2: 20 to 30 Bird Family Flock Coop
  • Plan #3: 25 to 36 Bird Coop
  • Plan #4: 25 to 40 Bird Coop
  • Plan #5: 40 to 50 Bird Small Farm Coop
  • Plan #6: 50 to 80 Bird Small Farm Coop
  • Plan #7: 100 Birds Farm Flock Coop
  • Plan #8: Field Shelter for 100 Bird Farm Flock 

Click here to read an excerpt from Section II

Section III provides information about twelve alternative shelter ideas, where materials or buildings intended for other purposes have been successfully used as poultry housing:

  • Car Canopy Shelters
  • Greenhouse/Hoop House Shelters
  • Truck Bed With Canopy
  • Shipping Crates and Containers
  • Livestock and Horse Trailers
  • Cattle Panels and Tarps
  • Metal Erector Frames with Tarps
  • Pallets
  • Rebar Frames
  • Chain Link Dog Kennels
  • Geodesic Domes
  • Converted Barn Stalls

Click here to read an excerpt from Section III

Section IV provides a wide range of additional resources, such as books, websites, and articles which all touch on flock housing and management.

Click here to read an excerpt from Section IV

The Chicken Coop Manual is intended for:

  • People who want a small poultry flock, but weren’t sure what sort of shelter they’d need.
  • Folks who already have actual chicken coop plans or firm design ideas, but had specific concerns about design details.
  • Individuals who must comply with local regulations, zoning or neighborhood covenant rules and must choose a coop that will meet those requirements.
  • Mentors for ag-related youth clubs such as 4H and FFA, and want a comprehensive guide to help students/participants design and build coops which will function well.
  • Teachers who are covering small scale poultry production in the classroom
  • Local or state regulators who are tasked with updating regulatory code for small scale poultry ownership within their jurisdictions, and need a guide for best-practices housing, waste management, disease control, and pest control.

Purchase Options

PDF Format, via Paypal, for $9.99

The PDF format is 83 pages long, 8.5" x 11" size, full color, with a hyperlink Table Of Contents. The PDF file will be available for instant download as soon as payment is confirmed via Paypal. Note: After you have received confirmation from Paypal that your payment has been successful, you will see a hyperlink on the Paypal page for "Return To Frog Chorus Farm".  Click that link to go to the instant download page.  If you leave the Paypal page without clicking that link, please Contact Us so that we can send you the link manually.  That followup may take up to 3 full business days. Print or Kindle Format, prices vary

(current list prices as of March 2017 are $6.99-$9.99 for the Kindle version, and $26.49 for the New print version; used copies also available)

We are delighted to offer our book in both Print and Kindle format via  All we ask is that folks post a review of our book once they've read it.  The price will vary according to format and condition (new vs used).  Note: If you would like to order a case of printed books for your school, 4H/FFA club, feed store,  poultry club or other group, please Contact Us for wholesale pricing.

Goals for The Chicken Coop Manual

We sincerely hope that new flock owners will find answers to all their chicken coop questions within this manual.  We hope that they share with us their eventual chicken coop plans, and how well those plans worked for them.  

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