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Backyard Chickens' Guide to Coops and Tractors: Planning, Building, and Real-Life Advice [Kindle Edition]

Members of Backyard Chickens.com
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Keeping chickens isn’t just for farms! The backyard chicken revolution has coops popping up in neighborhoods all over. Home-raised chickens provide a great source of superior, organic eggs that are as close as your backyard. Chickens also make good pets and provide free fertilizer—and lots of fun. Backyard Chickens Guide offers plans and photos for 16 custom coops built by real chicken owners, (including three portable designs known as tractors). Read their stories and learn from their experiences, then head out to the backyard to start your own flock.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Established in 1999, BackYardChickens.com has become the #1 destination for peeps looking for information on raising chickens in any urban, suburban, or rural backyard. The site boasts a very active community forum, and section on raising chickens and over 450 coop designs posted on-line.

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best source for chicken coop plans August 24, 2011
By Mike
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just received this book and I have to say that I wish this had been published two years ago when I built my coop. I scoured the internet for basic chicken coop plans and came up empty. The one's I found were either for large flocks or were simply impractical. This book highlights 16 basic backyard coops which can be built by the beginner to expert. It's full of color pictures of each coop's construction as well as a measured drawings and supply lists. I highly recommend this book for people looking to build their first coop.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars nice book but needs tweeking February 21, 2012
By robert
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this book has nice plans however the one i chose to build had 10 cuts listed that were to short causing me to pre cut all my material to then find out that ten pieces were to short for the roof that was needed for the plan. i had to purchase another 5, two by tens to complete the coop. the amount of wood needed is not broken down into a purchase list either so you have to wing it(just a cut list). some other materials needed werent even mentioned at all i.e. siding for my coop. at times the plan i chose got extremely frustrating to build due to the plan not being written down in a constuction type way. if you purchase this book-good luck.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice for small coops September 28, 2011
By Gale W
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is very nice with very detailed illustrations and even better, color pictures of the building progress of each coop. The coops are all kind of small but many of the ideas in them can be used for larger coops. In my opinion (and maybe this is because I'm getting old) the print is too small to read comfortably and would be easier to see on a white or barely off-white background instead of the wood print that it's on. So I admit I have not read much of the text because it gave me a headache to try (and I do a lot of reading-but apparently with bigger print and lighter backgrounds). If it had improved readability I would have given it 5 stars, even though we only saw one coop that would have been big enough for our 12 chickens.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty much all free info on BYC December 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Everything in this book is available free on backyard chickens forum site. Waste of money. Also, no plans. Just people's pics while building. I'm unhappy.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Pictures but not very practical December 31, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The stories and pictures with each coop are great, but when it comes to actually planning to build one, this book fails. Each coop has a “cut list” which lists different cuts of boards and the quantity you’ll need of each one, but doesn’t have a total quantity of lumber, hardware, or other miscellaneous items you’ll need to build the coop. This would make shopping/ordering the materials WAY easier as opposed to adding up the entire “cut list” and guessing from the pictures what else you’ll need.

There are no instructions on the framing, construction, or carpentry techniques needed to build the ornate coops in the book. I guess the author assumed folks who want coops are also General Contractors?

This is a great reference book for ideas on different coop designs, but the plans for each are inadequate for the amateur backyard builder.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Book but with Flaws May 28, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an overall nice book. My issue is that the book includes an extensive "cuts list" but doesn't actually give you a "purchase wood/supplies" list making it very difficult to get what you need in one trip out. But it does provide a nice set of chicken coops.

I really wish that there were more chicken tractor designs presented. Nearly all of the ones in the book are for stationary coops.

I wish also that there was more space devoted to protecting chickens from predators (there is a bit, but the author assumes you know some basic things that many readers might not know).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! March 27, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have gone through this book at least 6 times. Every design has a great write up and good tips on construction and housing chickens. Each design has a great 3D and plan views, plus bill of materials nicely labeled. Even updates from the owners on what they would do differently the next time. This is a great book! I took the best of each design and used Google Sketchup (free version) to make my own composite design. Easy as pie. I also recommend viewing the website backyardchickens dot com. Real people writing about real life on the farm.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book for those who are building their own coop and plan to do so in a conventional manner. Many choices of size and shape with construction details and bill of materials are given. In my case, the purpose of this purchase was to generate some ideas for my own coop that I need to build, and that it did, though I'm not sure there was any unique idea that could not be found on the Internet. The chicken tractor I am building is using PVC pipe and fittings for the framework so as to be very light yet strong, and there was no example in this book that could help me with PVC and the unique structural characteristics that PVC brings. My design is incorporating a solar powered motor to move the tractor slowly throughout the day, along with a solar powered door to open at dawn and close at dusk. I am also incorporating a feeder and waterer that can be serviced from outside the coop. My ideas are a little "outside the box" I know, but for me as a retired engineer, that is part of my fun. This book offered little in "outside the box" thinking yet still was able to generate some ideas for my coop.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book, arrived on time.
Published 1 month ago by MICHAEL S. MILLER
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
very good on giving me ideas to build off of
Published 2 months ago by Harley Medeiros
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very informative!
Published 2 months ago by C. Grant
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Find
I found the chicken coops I really like. Just have to put two together.
Wish the plans were more specific for people like me who have never built anything. Read more
Published 3 months ago by art martin
4.0 out of 5 stars and I am glad I own it
I didn't go with any of the plans in this book, I did review them and used them to come up with my own. I would recomend this, and I am glad I own it.
Published 3 months ago by William Bolt
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book great directions
Am going to love building my coop. The materials list is a HUGE help to a novice. The pictures are great. I love the comments from the people and the blow by blows. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Pamela Mineo
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this one!
I bought five or six books about building chicken coops and this one was by far the best. It has 16 or so detailed plans of building different style chicken coops and lists all... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Lvmypit
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
A wonderful reference. Great pictures, wonderful background stories. Definately a great reference for someone toying with the idea of starting with chickens.
Published 14 months ago by Carol Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought it as a Gift
I bought this as a gift for my in-laws, and they immediately picked a favorite plan, customized it to fit exactly their needs, and built it that week. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Alana
5.0 out of 5 stars Backyard chickens
I purchased this book in the hope that it would help me to design a chicken coop that would be neighborhood friendly. Has great ideas in it.
Published 15 months ago by Laura L
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