How To Build A Chicken Coop
One of the things I really wanted to get when we moved to the country was chickens. I really wanted to have our own farm-fresh eggs and I was interested in raising chickens for meat as well. When we decided to get some laying hens, we went and looked at the pre-made chicken coops at some of farm supply stores. I was blown away by how expensive they were. I mean, I like farm-fresh eggs, but I don’t 500 dollars like them. So we decided to throw a coop together using as much stuff as we had on hand. We did have to buy a couple things (some 2x4s and some plywood) but otherwise, we tried to build it with as much recycled materials as we could. We worked on it in the evenings after my husband came home from work for a couple weeks and on the weekends. It was actually a great family project. The kids loved helping and the sunsets weren’t such bad company, either.
DIY Chicken Coop:
First, we gathered as much usable wood from our shop and laying around on the farm as could. We had torn out a worn down deck, so we had a lot of 2×6 and 2×8 boards laying around and a bunch of 2x4s leftover from other projects. Everybody got in on it. Who knew that carrying wood could be so much fun?
We used the old decking material as the base attached to 4×4 posts. The old deck that we had torn out had been built on 4×4 posts set onto concrete blocks. We just used the same posts and blocks and built our chicken coop on top of that. We used 2x4s, both new and leftover to build the wall supports. and roof. We made our chicken coop four feet tall at the back and six feet tall at the front. We even salvaged as many old screws and nails that we had laying around to build it. Like I said, we were trying to go cheap.
We sided the coop and put on a roof with plywood. We bought windows from the local Restore place for five bucks each.
Next, we cut holes in the plywood for our windows and installed them. We used a piece of metal roofing that my husband’s dad had hanging out in his shop and we spray painted it red.
Then we sided the coop with leftover flooring. We had recently put wood flooring on the entire first floor of our house, so we had a bunch of boards leftover. We attached them with a nail gun and coated them with stain to protect them from the elements.
We built the doors out of flooring as well. We decided to go with dutch doors so that the top could be left open to add ventilation in the summer. We built the chicken door out of flooring as well.
Like I said, the sunsets weren’t so bad while we were working, either 🙂
We put dog kennel panels around the coop. We buried wire fencing around the outside at a 90 degree angle so that predators couldn’t get dig under the fence. We also put wire fencing over the top of the chicken yard to protect from flying predators. The wire fencing isn’t all that attractive, but we haven’t lost any chickens to predators so it must be doing its job. We let our chickens out to free-range on the afternoons that we’re home, but this protects them when we’re gone and at night.
We also had some problems keeping their food dry in the winter. I tried putting their food inside the coop, but that was just a messy disaster. My husband built a little shelter for their food so it wouldn’t get all wet and mushy (which made it get all gummed up in the feeder).
We use a five gallon waterer with a heater in the winter. I don’t have to worry about them running out of water and the water doesn’t freeze: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016AFYT4Q/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
My husband also built a stand for the girls’ nesting boxes using leftover 2×4 pieces. I used some plastic tubs from Walmart for their nesting boxes so that I could wash them out if they got nasty. For the life of me, I don’t know why we built them four boxes since they all insist on taking turns laying in only one box. But they have options if they ever decide to use them.
I got a remnant piece of linoleum and cut it for the base of my chicken coop. That way, when it gets really gross in there, I can just take it out and spray it down. I use wood shavings on the ground and in the nesting boxes. I put them in the compost bin when I clean out the coop. We also just attached some 1×2 boards for them to roost on. I had read that you don’t want to use too wide of a roosting board and these are just the right size for them to curl their toes around.
So there you have it, that’s how we built our little chicken coop on a budget. It works pretty well for us and we didn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for it. Anyone with some basic carpentry skills could throw this together. If you know how to cut wood and use a screwdriver, you’re golden.