Thinking of building a coop for your chickens? Or are you thinking of getting some pet hens to lay fresh eggs?
Homemade chicken coops make it worthwhile to have even a dozen hens if you only plan to keep that many. Your coop’s still worthwhile if you have even a dozen hens living in it.
After weighing the matter over, we decided to build rather than buy a coop for our backyard hens.
We wanted two basic things from our chicken coop: It was easy to use to get the eggs out, and it was a simple, easy-care secure, and snug place for the hens. Nor did we want it to be too big so the winter keeping of warmth could be better accomplished.
Creative Ways on How to Build a Chicken Coop
It might just consume a few weekends if you’re good at this sort of thing. Then another two to three weekends to get it built.
1. Measure the Parts
Count on twice-daily drives to your local home improvement store and a completion time that stretches even the best estimations. It was an adventure undoubtedly but also a fine education in life.
After staining the T1-11 panels’ fronts, allow them to dry. Then, for every panel, measure and mark the sidewall and gable end.
2. Cut the Walls
After cutting a sidewall from the first panel with a circular saw, trim the remaining material to the gable end’s height and width.
Also, to locate the peak, mark the centerline of the gable. Put the sidewall in place so that its bottom edge lines up with the gable and draw a diagonal line from the welcome brick to the top of the centerline.
Given the circular saw, the height and width were measured at full throttle. Whatever else fierce cutting tool may fit, we make a turnover as the cut-off.
Angles are used to cut with a circular saw and then spend the rest of the time rounding those high points and marking other lines on all three sides.
3. Adjust the Saw
Supporting the walls, the 4×4 corner posts elevate the coop off the ground and out of reach of potential predators.
To cut the tops of the posts to match the pitch of the roof, use the gable-end offcut to calibrate the saw’s angle.
After positioning the scrap against the saw as indicated, rotate the blade so that the angle of the scrap and the saw bed’s kerf coincide.
4. Miter the Posts
A post should be measured, marked, and mitered so that the cut angles downward and away from the mark.
Continue this process for the remaining posts.
5. Join Posts and Sheathing
Place one gable end atop each of the two work surface posts. Drive 1 5/8-inch deck screws through the sheathing and into the posts, as indicated, evenly spaced along the length of the post.
Use a rafter square to ensure that the tops and sides of each post are level with the gable’s edges. Continue with the other posts and gable end.
6. Add Supports
To fit in between the posts, cut four 2×4 supports. As indicated, install a floor support flush with the gable wall’s bottom edge and secure it with deck screws.
Fit the wall supports flush with the tips of the mitered posts and screw them flat against the gable end.
For added strength, insert two 3 1/2-inch deck screws into the wall-support end grain and through the face of each mitered post. On the other gable end, repeat.
7. Attach Sidewall and Roof Structure
Ground level, attach a gable end to the sidewall without a door by using 1 5/8-inch screws, flushing the bottom edges.
To create a three-sided building, attach the other gable. A floor support should be cut and fastened between the sidewall posts.
By screwing through the sidewall, add a wall support positioned between the post tops and pivot to follow the miter’s angle.
To fit in between the gable ends, cut two 2x4s for the purlins. One should be fastened with 1 5/8-inch screws by the roof’s angle, midway between the gable’s peak and an eave.
After completing the process on the opposite side of the peak, trim and fasten a 2×4 ridge beam directly beneath the gable peaks.
Place the coop upright and attach the wall and floor supports for the fourth side, but leave the sheathing off.
8. Notch the Plywood
A pair of 2×4 floor joists should be cut and fastened parallel to the gable ends using 3 1/2-inch screws that are driven through the end grain and sheathing.
After determining the floor’s dimensions, cut a piece of plywood to fit. Next, as indicated, use a 4×4 scrap to mark the notches that will fit around the posts. Then, cut them with a jigsaw.
9. Attach the Floor
Proceed as indicated, driving 1 5/8-inch screws through the floor and into the supports. Next, put additional screws into the joists and through the floor.
10. Build the Door
Attach a similarly sized piece of plywood with adhesive to the sliding door’s rear.
As indicated, glue the 2×2 rails to the assembly’s sides so that they are flush with the door and fasten them with 2-inch stainless-steel nails.
Insert an eye hook into the center of the top edge of the plywood.
11. Add the Pulley System
Using 2x2s twice as tall as the door, create a track for it. Using 1 5/8-inch screws inserted through the exterior of the gable wall, fasten them to both sides of the opening.
After positioning the door in the opening, secure it in place with 1 5/8-inch screws by attaching 3-inch-wide plywood strips to the tracks.
Before hanging a pulley on a hook from the overhead beam, drill a 1/2-inch-diameter hole through the wall support above the eye hook.
As demonstrated, thread the clothesline through the opening, fishtail it around the pulley, and knot it around the eye hook.
13. Tie the Rope Off
Thread the clothesline around the additional pulley that has been added to the other end of the beam. Secure a marine cleat to the clean-out door’s internal post.
After the door has opened by pulling the rope down, tie a loop in the rope that, when fastened to the cleat, will keep the door open.
Next, fasten the clean-out door’s hardware and hinges before screwing it into position. To serve as a doorstop, screw a 2×4 to the coop’s interior wall on the latch side.
14. Make the Frame
Construct a case that fits beneath the angled roof by cutting plywood for the top, bottom, and vertical walls.
To create an upper and a lower row of nesting boxes, nail plywood strips across the bottom and halfway up the front of the frame, as shown.
15. Add the Nesting Boxes
Make plywood floors for the three upper nesting boxes, and nail them in place through the plywood strip and the sides.
To support the perch, cut three 2x2s four inches longer than the depth of the frame. Attach each upper box beneath the floor using 1 5/8-inch screws.
Segment the 2×4 so that it is the same width as the frame, and insert 3 1/2-inch screws through it and into the 2x2s, as indicated. Adhere to plywood blocking beneath the upper nesting box floors for additional support.
16. Install the Nesting Boxes
To support the bottom perch, cut two 2x4s and fasten them to the coop floor using 3 1/2-inch screws.
Use additional screws to fasten the 2×4 perch to the ends of the supports. Nesting boxes should be positioned atop the perch supports.
As indicated, screw through the sides of the box and into the posts. After attaching the egg-retrieval door and its hardware to the sidewall, use 1 5/8-inch screws to secure the sidewall to the coop.
17. Add the Trim
Attach the PVC cellular rake boards with nails so that they are 1/2 inch above the sheathing. After this, put PVC trim between the rake boards on top of each sidewall and fasten it firmly.
Proceed to measure, cut, and install corner boards using the same method. For the roof, cut two rectangles of plywood and insert 1 5/8-inch screws through them and into the purlins as indicated.
18. Nail on the Shingles
Attach with a roofing paper layer. Use roofing nails to secure the asphalt shingles, starting from the bottom.
Cut four 6-inch square blocks (beveled to shed water) and four 14-inch lengths (to use as pads) from 2×12 stock.
To keep the coop from sinking, nailed the blocks to the ends of the posts and slid a pad underneath each block. Construct a ramp leading to the sliding door out of the leftover 2×12.
In regions with lower temperatures, heat lamps can provide comfort for hens when the outside temperature falls below zero.
Employ an electrician to run electricity to the coop and to fasten the lights so the hens can’t topple them.
How Much Does a Coop Cost?
Because a DIY coop is made to order, it’s challenging to estimate costs; however, we’ve included some examples below:
Ordinarily, basic pre-built coops cost $200 to $300 or more when bought online. Look through Craigslist for old sheds or used coops; if you’re patient, you’ll find good deals as people move.
A structure can frequently be repurposed. Rather than building a new one, convert an existing shed, small barn, or doghouse.
It’s not always about cutting costs. Prefabricated coops are typically not as strong or long-lasting as one you construct yourself from lumber.
Of course, you can cut costs if you can locate pallets and reclaimed wood. The two most expensive components are the metal fabric and the hardware. Visit nearby locations that are disposing of wood to save money.
With all the information given above, we are sure you can comfortably make your chicken coop and grow your farm to your taste.