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The One Where I built a Chicken Coop

CHICKEN COOP PLANS NOW AVAILABLE!

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Chicken Coop Plans
“Honey, if we get chickens, you could build the coop.” Challenge accepted.

That was how it all began. For me this was initially just a fun project, but before long I realized the impact this would make on my kids, from organic food to sustainability and environmental impact.

As with all my projects, I began by planning. We researched all about coop styles, chicken runs and chicken care. Over the course of several days all our ideas merged into the final design for our coop. Although technically large enough for over 12 chickens, our little flock would live very comfortable in this “chicken condo”.

Chicken Coop Plans

Every good project begins with a good foundation, and a good helper. The floor of the coop will be raised about 20″ above the ground both to deter predators and to give the hens a shady place to hang out during warm weather.

As with most of my projects, I do tend to overbuild a little bit but I really don’t want to deal with structural issues so I used 4×4 legs that I will prop up on blocks to level and prevent rotting, and 2×4 framing.

Click on the menu above or go to Chicken Coop Plans to start your coop.

Chicken Coop Plans

The walls were a little tricky and took a lot of pre-planning to get the windows and door frames exactly how I wanted them. These two walls include two small windows on front with the chicken door, and a larger window and human sized door on the side.

I used 2×2’s to frame the walls. 2×4’s would have been more expense, a lot heavier, and sacrificed interior space. And I think 2×2’s will be plenty strong for this application.

Chicken Coop Plans

The framing went very quickly thanks to my air compressor and nail gun. A little geometry and I was able to design and construct the roof trusses myself. The peaked roof will not only look cute but allow for some perch room for the hens.

You can also see the initial stages of the “nests”. Generally nests can support 2-3 chickens each which is more than enough for our needs. These nests will have a hinged lid allowing us access from the outside for easy egg collection.

Chicken Coop Plans

I ended up choosing metallic roofing for this project. Not only was it relatively inexpensive, it was super easy to install, and very water proof.

I also used 3/8″ sheathing to wall in the framing. Again, trying to use 3/4″ sheathing would have been overkill and a lot more expensive. I designed the coop specifically to be 48″ wide, 72″ long, and 48″ inches high (not counting the attic). This made it super easy to use 4′ x 8′ sheets of sheathing with practically no waste.

I started by clamping a solid piece in place then using a pencil to trace all doors and windows from the inside. Then I took it down and installed 1/2″ hardware cloth over all windows. When I’m done, this will be a safer place to live than our house. Then I used my jig saw to cut out the doors and windows and permanently installed the wall sheathing.

It is super important that the coop remain ventilated but still dry on the inside for the chickens’ health. To that end I am wrapping the exterior in tar paper before installing any siding. All joints are covered so we should be good.

Click on the menu above or go to Chicken Coop Plans to start your coop.

Chicken Coop Plans

Here is the fun part because we get to start the finishing touches. I used cedar shingle to cover the exterior walls. Very quick and easy with my air compressor and stapler. My miter saw made quick work of shingles along the roof line. I also used some 1×2 furring strips and white paint to add some pretty nice looking molding around the base, windows, and doors.

Chicken Coop Plans

I lined the interior with marmoleum, a non-toxic, waterproof material that will allow me to wash out the coop periodically and protect the sub floor. The marmoleum extended along the floor and about 6″ up on all sides creating almost a bath tub which we then filled with pine shavings.

Periodically we will rake through the shavings which will keep it looking and smelling clean. Then twice a year we will replace all the old shavings. The cool thing is the old shavings go straight into my compost bin full of chicken droppings that are great for compost.

Chicken Coop Plans

Finally, we painted the shingles, added the doors and decorative window shutters including some cool black hardware.

I also used some 2/2’s and some old pallets to create my fun white picket fence chicken run. The run is also enclosed by hardware cloth making the only access points through locked doors. Nothing bigger than a lady bug is getting in here without permission.

Welcome home, chickens!

Click on the menu above or go to Chicken Coop Plans to start your coop.

Chicken Coop Plans

 


Here are some of the tools and supplies I used in this project. If you are interested in one, take a look. You get a fun product, I get a fun commission. Thanks!

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