With so many chicken coop ideas, it can be hard to choose just one. There are many pros and cons to each style. But today, we want to focus on the not as popular lean-to. What makes them so great? Are there any downsides? Let’s explore why build a lean-to chicken coop.
What Is A Lean To Chicken Coop?
A lean-to chicken coop is a small coop and run designed with a flat side. The flat side is fit flush with buildings or a fence to save space in your yard. Most lean to chicken coop design includes a slanted roof and small run attached.
Pros Of A Lean To Chicken Coop
There are many pros to building a lean-to coop. Below we have a few of the most striking reasons you should consider one.
Many lean-to coops are cheaper to make than traditional chicken coops. You can make them yourself from recycled materials and repurposed wood. And since they are for smaller flocks, it cuts the costs of building materials.
Another great pro of the lean-to is that they are fast to build. Whether buying pre-made or designing your own, they are simple enough to put up within a day. And the quicker your coop is set up, the faster you can get your flock.
There are many lean to chicken coop plans online. And the excellent part about all of these plans is that they are customizable. You could easily add a door, window, or vents where needed. You can also customize how tall or wide your coop is if you have an awkwardly sized space. There are endless possibilities to what you can do with your lean-to coop.
Our fourth pro to why build a lean-to chicken coop is that it can coordinate with your buildings. No matter where you are putting your coop, you can design it to match the style of it. If you are placing it against your house, you can paint it the same color. Or, if you are putting it against your shed, you can coordinate the design and colors. Or you can even place it against a fence with matching patterns.
The most significant advantage of a lean-to chicken coop is that it saves a lot of space. Your coop will blend seamlessly into your yard and won’t look out of place. And depending on where you place it, you might not notice it at all.
Fantastic For Any Sized Flock
Since the lean-to chicken coop is customizable, they are great for any flock. If you have only a few birds, you can get a small coop. Or for large flocks, you can just as easily make one that is for them as well.
Buy Or Build
Another great pro is that if you aren’t handy, you can buy a lean-to. These coops are not as customizable, but they are convenient. But if you are handy, there are countless free chicken coop ideas online.
Permanent Or Removable
If you decide later to move the lean-to, you can do so easily. Moving into a new house or upgrading to a new structure is no problem for a lean-to chicken coop. But if you wish to make them permanent installations, you can do that by creating a concrete base. The versatile abilities here make them perfect for any family.
Some flock owners decide later to build a stand-alone coop. And instead of starting all over again, you can use the coop you already have. With a few adjustments, you can make the coop and run larger and free-standing. With a simple design, you don’t even have to be too creative to get this done.
Keeps Them Close
And finally, if you place the coop close to the house, it keeps your flock close. You can more easily keep an eye on them throughout the day. And should they be in any danger at night, you will know immediately. Having your flock that close will give you a sense of security.
Cons Of a Lean-To Chicken Coop
While there are many reasons, a lean-to is a great option. There are some bad sides to having them as well. With a little planning, these cons could be resolved, especially if you are building your own. And some are a little harder to get around.
If you live in a homeowners association that allows chickens, you might want to look at the rules. While it is not as common for HOAs to allow chickens in the first place, some do. They might have strict regulations on where you can place the coop. You might get away with a lean-to on your shed, but not the house or fenceline. Checking the rules and regulations first will save you a lot of hard work and time later.
With some manufactured coops, it can be hard to make them predator-proof. You will have to install more hardware cloth and be cautious of placement. And if you live in more rural areas, keeping chickens too close to the home can be a bad idea. Not only will they attract more rodents, but also snakes and sometimes predators.
Some lean-to chicken coops are hard to clean. If you are buying a pre-made coop, make sure that it has easy access for cleaning and collecting eggs. If you are designing the coop, don’t forget to include a door in the blueprints. Having access to the entire coop without killing your back will save a lot of time in the future.
How To Make A Lean To Coop
Now that we know why build a lean-to chicken coop, we can talk about designs. A lean-to chicken coop design is much like any coop. With just a few modifications. Here are a few things that are different about the lean-to:
- Only three sides are needed since one side is against a building or fence.
- Slanted pitched roof to prevent damage.
- Runs are usually made from lattices.
Building a coop from online blueprints are easy enough. Or you could get a little experimental and design your own. Here are a few steps to determine what you need to create/modify your coop.
Step 1: Determining Size
Before you get too far, you need to determine how large of a coop and run you need. A coop needs to have 2-3 sqft per hen, and runs need 8-10 sqft per hen. So now that you have an idea of how large you need, you should measure the ideal space for your lean-to.
Step 2: Designing The Run
A lean-to chicken run takes very little to design. All you need to do is designate the appropriate space needed for a run. Since lean-to coops only have three sides, most people only create them in a rectangular shape. You can use either lattice or fencing depending on your style. And if predators are an issue in your area, you might want to reinforce the inside with hardware cloth. That way, you have protection without compromising beauty. And don’t forget to add a door for easy care and cleaning.
Step 3: Designing A Coop
Coops need to have two main components nesting boxes and a roost. Your coop should have one nesting box per every four hens where they lay their eggs. Nesting boxes can be creative, simple, or repurposed. There are so many possibilities to choose from.
The other part of the coop is the roost. This is where your chickens will sleep safely at night. Your roost should be at least 10 inches per hen that you have. You can make your roost from a large branch or a 2×4. There are benefits from each of these, but your chickens might prefer one over the other.
And you should always add a door to the coop as well. Entrances to coops make collecting eggs easier, cleaning faster, and checking on hens better.
Step 4: Bedding
Bedding inside the coop is essential for so many reasons. It gives your hens something to scratch around in, absorbs feces, and makes cleaning easier. There are many types of bedding that you can use. And each type of bedding has its benefits depending on your climate or using the deep litter method. No matter what type of coop you make, be sure to plan on your ideal bedding in mind.
Step 5: Roof Design
Now that you have all the sides planned, you need to design your roof. A lean-to chicken coop roof is slanted to prevent water and ice accumulation. But to make the perfect sloped roof, you need to do a little bit of geometry. Your roof will be in a right triangle shape. You need to have a 2-inch rise for every 12 inches of span. This formula will give you the perfect slope to your roof.
Most people cover the roof in shingles. But some opt to give the coop more natural light and cover it in clear plastic. You could even do a hybrid of shingles and skylights. You could be as creative as you want here.
And There You Have It!
Why build a lean-to chicken coop? Because they blend seamlessly into your backyard. And since they are relatively cheap, you can have one built in no time. There are so many benefits to a lean-to. What are some reasons that a lean-to chicken coop is the best for you?
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!