Free Chicken Coop Plans

Tropical Chicken Coop Design

Chicken Coop Plans
The structure of the coop is 4x8x8. It is 4 ft wide by 8ft long and 8ft high at its highest point. The floor of the hen house is three feet off of the ground. There is a thatched roof covering the length of the coop to keep out the rain and sun. The roofs highest point is at 8ft (in the center) dropping down to 6ft on the front side, and 7ft on the back side. This allows for a consistent air flow throughout the coop



Chicken Coop Plans (Side Views)
I designed the coop on paper, worked out the measurements and then we started putting it together after we picked up the supplies. As expected we made a few adjustments as we began to put the coop together to fit the surroundings a little better. One thing that I didn’t keep in mind was the slope that we would be working on, this eventually elevated the ‘run’ side a little more giving the hens an extra 6 inches to play around in.

Chicken Coop Supplies
• 3 4×8′ 1/2″ pieces of plywood
• 22 2x4x8′ studs
• 12 2x2x8′ studs
• 2 4×8′ roofing sheets
• 1 4×50′ roll of chicken wire
• 1 large box of 3.5″ screws
• 1 large box of 2″ screws
• 8 hinges
• 4 latches
• 4 cinder blocks
• 2 Boxes of Staple Gun Stapels
• Poultry Feeder
• Poultry Water Bottle
• Wood Shavings or Hay

Tools Needed to Build the Chicken Coop
• Drill
• Staple Gun
• Skill Saw
• Hammer
• Wire Cutters
• Tape Measure
• Level
• Shovel
• Pen or Pencil



Beneficial Garden Insects

Integrated pest management (IPM), also known as Integrated Pest Control (IPC) is a broad-based approach that integrates practices for economic control of pests. IPM aims to suppress pest populations below the economic injury level (EIL). The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation defines IPM as “the careful consideration of all available pest control techniques and subsequent integration of appropriate measures that discourage the development of pest populations and keep pesticides and other interventions to levels that are economically justified and reduce or minimize risks to human health and the environment. IPM emphasizes the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption to agro-ecosystems and encourages natural pest control mechanisms.” Entomologists and ecologists have urged the adoption of IPM pest control since the 1970s. IPM allows for safer pest control. This includes managing insects, plant pathogens and weeds

What Exactly Is IPM

ipm_yearIntegrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.

The IPM approach can be applied to both agricultural and non-agricultural settings, such as the home, garden, and workplace. IPM takes advantage of all appropriate pest management options including, but not limited to, the judicious use of pesticides. In contrast, organic food production applies many of the same concepts as IPM but limits the use of pesticides to those that are produced from natural sources, as opposed to synthetic chemicals.

IPM is not a single pest control method but, rather, a series of pest management evaluations, decisions and controls. In practicing IPM, growers who are aware of the potential for pest infestation follow a four-tiered approach. The four steps include:

How IPM Works

Set Action Thresholds

Before taking any pest control action, IPM first sets an action threshold, a point at which pest populations or environmental conditions indicate that pest control action must be taken. Sighting a single pest does not always mean control is needed. The level at which pests will either become an economic threat is critical to guide future pest control decisions.

Monitor and Identify Pests

Not all insects, weeds, and other living organisms require control. Many organisms are innocuous, and some are even beneficial. IPM programs work to monitor for pests and identify them accurately, so that appropriate control decisions can be made in conjunction with action thresholds. This monitoring and identification removes the possibility that pesticides will be used when they are not really needed or that the wrong kind of pesticide will be used.


As a first line of pest control, IPM programs work to manage the crop, lawn, or indoor space to prevent pests from becoming a threat. In an agricultural crop, this may mean using cultural methods, such as rotating between different crops, selecting pest-resistant varieties, and planting pest-free rootstock. These control methods can be very effective and cost-efficient and present little to no risk to people or the environment.


Once monitoring, identification, and action thresholds indicate that pest control is required, and preventive methods are no longer effective or available, IPM programs then evaluate the proper control method both for effectiveness and risk. Effective, less risky pest controls are chosen first, including highly targeted chemicals, such as pheromones to disrupt pest mating, or mechanical control, such as trapping or weeding. If further monitoring, identifications and action thresholds indicate that less risky controls are not working, then additional pest control methods would be employed, such as targeted spraying of pesticides. Broadcast spraying of non-specific pesticides is a last resort.


Organic gardeners know that a diverse mix of plants makes for a healthy and beautiful garden. Many also believe that certain plant combinations have extraordinary (some even believe mysterious) powers for helping each other grow. Scientific study of companion planting has confirmed that some combinations have real benefits unique to those combinations. And practical experience has demonstrated to many gardeners how to mate certain plants for their mutual benefit.

How does companion planting work?

Companions help each other grow—Tall plants, for example, provide shade for sun-sensitive shorter plants.
Companions use garden space efficiently—Vining plants cover the ground, upright plants grow up. Two plants in one patch.
Companions prevent pest problems—Plants like onions repel some pests. Other plants can lure pests away from more desirable plants.
Companions attract beneficial insects—Every successful garden needs plants that attract the predators of pests.

Winning Combinations

Roses and chives: Gardeners have been planting garlic with roses for eons, because garlic is said to repel rose pests. Garlic chives probably are just as repellent, and their small purple or white flowers in late spring looks great with rose flowers and foliage.

Tomatoes and cabbage: Tomatoes are repellent to diamondback moth larvae, which are caterpillars that chew large holes in cabbage leaves.

Cucumbers and nasturtiums: The nasturtium’s vining stems make them a great companion rambling among your growing cucumbers and squash plants, suggests Sally Jean Cunningham, master gardener and author of Great Garden Companions. Nasturtiums “are reputed to repel cucumber beetles, but I depend on them more as habitat for predatory insects,” such as spiders and ground beetles.

Peppers and pigweed or ragweed: Leafminers preferred the weeds to pepper plants in a study at the Coastal Plains Experiment Station in Tifton, Georgia. Just be careful to remove the weeds’ flowers before they set seed or you’ll have trouble controlling the weeds.

Cabbage and dill: “Dill is a great companion for cabbage family plants, such as broccoli and brussels sprouts,” Cunningham says. “The cabbages support the floppy dill,” while the dill attracts the tiny beneficial wasps that control imported cabbageworms and other cabbage pests.

Corn and beans: The beans attract beneficial insects that prey on corn pests such as leafhoppers, fall armyworms and leaf beetles. And bean vines climb up the corn stalks.

Lettuce and tall flowers: Nicotiana (flowering tobacco) and cleome (spider flower) give lettuce the light shade it grows best in.

Radishes and spinach: Planting radishes among yor spinach will draw leafminers away from the spinach. The damage the leafminers do to radish leaves doesn’t prevent the radishes from growing nicely underground.

Potatoes and sweet alyssum: The sweet alyssum has tiny flowers that attract delicate beneficial insects, such as predatory wasps. Plant sweet alyssum alongside bushy crops like potatoes, or let it spread to form a living ground cover under arching plants like broccoli. Bonus: The alyssum’s sweet fragrance will scent your garden all summer.

Cauliflower and dwarf zinnias: The nectar from the dwarf zinnias lures ladybugs and otherpredators that help protect cauliflower.

Collards and catnip: Studies have found that planting catnip alongside collards reduces flea-beetle damage on the collards.

Strawberries and love-in-a-mist: Tall, blue-flowered “love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena) looks wonderful planted in the center of a wide row of strawberries,” Cunningham says.

Marigolds and Melons. Certain marigold varieties control nematodes in the roots of melon as effectively as chemical treatments.

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On a recent trip back to the States to visit friends and family I have become presently surprised about how many people are waking up to the type of food that they are consuming. After visiting some friends in Dallas, we were treated to a tour of different restaurants by a good friend that focus on organic, or natural food production. Some of our other friends even have their own restaurant that focuses on using as much natural and non GMO food that they can find. This recent article on has got me thinking about a bunch of different options available to those looking to produce food in a urban setting.

Urban Rooftop Farm Gardens

By: Margaux Salcedo | lifestyle.inquirer

One of the key elements to living healthy is eating fresh produce to minimize our intake of preservatives and processed foods.

But how do we get access to fresh produce in the heart of the city? While we can go to market everyday for some fruits and vegetables, the fact is, it still takes a day from say, mangoes, to travel from Guimaras to Manila.

Fortunately, people have learned to adapt. Today’s urban farmer has created a way to plant in the concrete jungle, which allows restaurateurs and consumers easy access to fresh produce.

Called Rooftop Farming, this healthy alternative is now being done in New York, Detroit, Rotterdam, Montreal, Tokyo, and now Singapore.

Take note that this is not rooftop gardening but rooftop farming. Its purpose is commercial; planting for a community and for trade, and not just as a hobby.

Keith Loh, founder of Comcrop in Singapore, was in fact a restaurateur before he became a rooftop farmer. He noticed how difficult it was for food and beverage establishments to get premium quality produce at cost- effective prices. So he studied aquaponics and merged this with the concept of vertical farming to create his rooftop farm where crops are grown without soil.

“How can you plant without soil?” I asked. I would not believe it myself if I had not seen it with my own eyes. “Isn’t soil the source of a plant’s nutrients so it can grow?” I argued.

Apparently, what plants or crops need are water and air; the soil is just home. Proving that home is where the heart is, aquaponics allows pipes to be the home for plants, making vertical farming possible. A “fish farm” (a tub for tilapia the size of an ice cream fridge) is placed right beside the pipes and has two tubes connected to the pipes where the crops are laid out. One tube sends the plants’ fertilizer in the form of poop from the tilapia, while another tube supplies the plant with water.

It is an incredible system. The giant pipes, laid out in the shape of a giant Toblerone, comprise the farm. The farm I saw was on the rooftop of Scape in Singapore. Beneath the farm was a mall! I suddenly imagined the malls of Manila all having rooftop farms.

“With the use of aquaponics, a close-looped system is created which requires chemical-free farming practice, ensuring that the produce is also natural and clean,” Loh explains.

Today basil, peppermint, spearmint, heirloom tomatoes and leafy greens are harvested from the roof farm.

I tasted the tomatoes. So juicy! And, better believe it, these were picked straight from the farm on the roof! —Margaux Salcedo

For more info on Comcrop, visit

—Margaux Salcedo

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We have been really busy down here on the Southern Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica at Hacienda Okhra. Not only have been expanding our production areas so that we can offer fresh farm to table vegetables to the local chef’s but we also started hosting our own Farm to Table events for those who want to learn more about food production.






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