Disclaimer: Check with your local laws, governing agencies and HOA’s before building and owning any farm animals.
Jamie and I have always joked about the idea of having chickens.
We were recently walking down our neighborhood sidewalk to grab our morning coffee from starbucks and noticed one of our neighbors had a few chickens running around his backyard. Jamie mentioned how cute they were and how badly she would love to have chickens, so a few weekends ago I started planning.
First, pick out a location of your coop: I chose a corner of the yard that we weren’t currently using for 2 main reasons, noise and smells. Also consider building on LEVEL ground, I spent a day digging out a 10 ft rectangle to level off the ground.
The second thing I did was find a plan online that I liked, something practical, easy, looked nice and would be inexpensive to build. The total cost for this build at a 5’x10′ coop should be around $500.
I found this photo online, thought it was simple enough and laid out my materials list.
Mostly used 8′ 2×4 studs for construction (some were reclaimed wall studs). Also used two 10′ 2×6’s for front and back of base, and two 12′ 2×4’s for front and back edges of of roof. Nesting box is made from plywood. Roof is metal over 1/2″ plywood.
Screws, framing nails and caulk hold it all together.
Used a cordless drill, Pneumatic Framing nailer (optional), skill saw, sawhorses, and tape measure / levels for the most part — pretty simple tool layout.
Some things to keep in mind:
Make sure your foundation is secure, some folks use cement blocks (see below) and build on top of these to insure that other animals can’t dig under the pen and eat your chickens. I did not do this because our yard is fenced in and we do not have a dog.
Here are some photos of the build:
You can see the amount of land leveling off that I had to do. I used my fence to support the back of the coop, helped save on some lumber. Very simple to frame it out.
Still framing out
This was all completed in a day, framed out and rafters for the roof put on. 1ft difference between the front and the back for drainage on the roof.
The roof was very simple, I measured and cut 1/2 inch plywood to match the rafters and screwed it down.
You can see the roof panels above and below that I purchased from home depot, you can cut these to fit several different ways. . .but one way is to use tin snips or you can watch my video below on cutting steel roof panels using a metal cutting blade on a rotary saw.
After cutting all your metal roofing, screw it down with these guys:
I framed out some old windows we had laying around from updating an old house. You can usually find these along with doors similar to what I used on craigslist.
We framed out our roost and nesting boxes next
This is a photo after we started installing the siding material. We chose this stuff:
Jamie started caulking and painting.
I cut out some doors and added some simple hardware that was purchased at Home Depot.
Finally we filled in the open areas with hardware cloth instead of chicken wire.
I like the look and strength of hardware cloth (It is more expensive) but could mean the difference of life and death for your chickens. – Total cost – $60 at Home Depot.
In the end, Jamie added the planter boxes, I’ll update this photo when it’s finished being painted and the flowers are planted in the boxes 🙂