FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the Happy Valley Hen House Building Guide cost and what form does it come in?

It costs just $9.99 and comes as a PDF file. Once you have paid for it, you will be sent a link to a secure website where you may download your copy. (If you do not already have an application with which to view PDF files, you can download Adobe Reader here at no cost to you.)

How long will it take to download the PDF "ebook" file that contains the Happy Valley Hen House Building Guide -- and is it available in any other form?

The PDF file for the Happy Valley Hen House Building Guide is approximately 20.6 MB in size. If you have a DSL or cable connection, in most cases it will take a minute or two to download it, but the rate of download will vary depending on the speed of your connection. 

How many chickens can this coop house?

The coop and run are large enough to comfortably house 4 or 5 chickens, depending on the size of the breed. (The chickens would, of course, enjoy being let out to run around the yard part of the time, as well.)

How well does this coop do in a variety of climates / weather conditions?

The Happy Valley Hen House is adaptable to a variety of climates and weather conditions. In warm climates and conditions, its airy windows let a breeze pass through, while its roof provides shade. When the seasons change, its plexiglass windows can be easily attached, while still allowing enough ventilation to keep the air clean and fresh inside. Also, choosing a light-colored roof in warm climates will help to reflect the son's heat, while choosing a darker roof color in colder climates will help to keep the coop warm.

What is the roof made out of?

The roof is made of plywood and is painted with glossy exterior house paint. I've read of this type of paint being used successfully to seal the hulls of boats, and I've also been told by an architect that it should work just fine on a roof of this sort. And of course, if the paint ever does peel or crack, you can simply repaint it.

How much does this coop weigh and how many people does it take to move it?

I'm not sure about the weight of the whole coop, but the end that has the lift bar is on it weighs about 93 lbs when the coop is empty. The coop can be easily rolled in a straight line over a hard, level surface (such as a concrete floor) by one person weighing 100 lbs -- but plan on two people moving it on soft or uneven surfaces, and when turning corners. (It's no-pivot wheels mean that one end of the coop must be lifted to go around turns.)

Will this coop fit through the gate to my back yard?

As noted above, the Happy Valley Hen House is approximately 2' 10 3/4" (34 3/4") wide at its widest point. Most backyard gates cover an opening in the fence of 36” so in most instances, the coop will fit through the gate. HOWEVER, the widths of gate and fence openings do vary widely, so please measure your gate and opening before your buy, if you're hoping to be able to get your coop in and out of your yard. (It's recommended that you measure the actual opening when the gate is open, rather than just the gap in the fence, as the gate itself can sometimes block part of the opening in the fence, even when it's been pushed open all the way.)


What tools will I need in order to build my Happy Valley Hen House?

A list of the tools that will be needed can be found on our 
Sample Pages page. (They are all commonly used tools, so if there are some you don't already own, you may be able to borrow them from people you know.)

What are the measurements of the Happy Valley Hen House? 

Exterior dimensions:
  • 8' 6" long x 2' 10 3/4" wide x 5' 4 3/4" tall (at tallest point)
Interior dimensions of coop:
  • 3' 9" wide x 2' 8" deep x 2' 7" to 3' 6 1/2" tall (The tallest side is divided into two sections: above the shelf (2' 2 3/4") and below the shelf (1' 2 1/2"). The shelf is set up beneath the roost to catch droppings.)
Interior dimensions of run:
  • 2' 2" x 7' 6" at ground level
  • 2' 5" x 7' 9" at 5" up from ground level (and above that)
Length of roost bar:
  •  3' 6"
All of these measurements are rounded to the nearest 1/4".

Are the measurements in the Building Guide for the Happy Valley Hen House in inches and feet or in metric units?

They are in inches and feet. A metric version is not available at this time.

How much can I expect to spend on materials for building a Happy Valley Hen House?

The total cost for materials for building my Happy Valley Hen House came to about $420. I bought my materials in Southern California (not far from Los Angeles, where prices tend to be high). I would guess that the cost would be lower in most other parts of the US.

How does this compare to the annual cost of buying organic eggs from free-ranging hens?

This chart will help you estimate how much you spend each year on eggs, based on how much eggs cost in your area and how many you usually buy:

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