~ Welcome to Buttercup Hill and my 8x8 coop with yard ~
Building a functional home for your flock doesn't have to cost much. If you know someone in the wood reclaiming business
don't be afraid to ask if they have any unmarketable material you could get cheap or for free. My coop is an example of using
this method in combination with as many other materials I had on hand that could be reused.
My total cost after purchasing the stain to paint it was under $120.
Materials for this 8’x8’ coop:
Foundation corner stones- from an old barn that was torn down.
Floor posts – 6 pieces cut from an old barn beam.
Frame and Floor - used plywood and 2 x 4’s.
Roof joists – used pallet wood rescued from a burn pile.
Outer shell and trim- old barn wood and slats from the walls of an old house that was torn down.
Door – from a cabin that was demo’ed.
Roofing - discarded galvanized and tin roofing (a bit rusty and holey, but a spray of rustoleum paint and some dabs of liquid nails fixed that).
Skirting – tin roofing.
Old window frames.
The yard (6’ x 12’) was made using old landscaping ties for posts, barn wood to brace.
Purchased new: hardware cloth, 50ft. poultry wire, fencing staples. ***one saw blade (see note at conclusion).
I wanted a walk-in style coop and yard. Since I live in a windy area, I started by making sure
the location I selected was sheltered from the brunt of winter storms. Window placement assures
maximum winter sun.
The plans for my coop was simply my ideas jotted onto a piece of paper.
The first chore with using reclaimed wood is getting the wood ready for use. That means pulling
all nails from the wood and cutting away any unusable sections. Stacking by similar length
and width saves you from digging through an unorganized pile for what you need.
And now the project begins:
After building a square frame for the floor and measuring the height needed for the base posts,
the barn beam was cut to the needed post sizes and attached.
Next, the frame was placed on the 6 foundation stones and leveled.
Then, plywood was added for the flooring and the wall frames were constructed with 2x4's and screwed into place.
Next, two walls were boarded to add stability to the structure. Then the pallet wood roof joists were installed, as it's
early summer and showers can happen unexpectedly. This makes it easy to toss a covering across the overhead beams
to protect the flooring from getting drenched.
The other two walls were boarded and a pop door crafted on the side where the
yard will be.
I wanted big windows for plenty of ventilation in summer and lots of sunshine
in the winter months. The salvaged window panes shown here were fitted with
hardware cloth for use in summer. Predators out, cool summer breeze in.
For winter a glass-paned window saved from a demo'ed house will fit the frame
on the left perfectly.
For the yard, landscaping ties were buried 2 feet into the ground, leveled, and braced
with gravel. The top was then framed and slatted with pallet wood for roofing.
The bottom boards were buried to deter digging predators. For the yard door we just used
plywood since it was some extra material we had on hand. Poultry wire was stapled to the
outside of the landscaping ties and the brace boards to complete the yard.
Two 25 ft by 4 ft rolls is all it took. Roofing is salvaged galvanized corrugated tin. I was about
2 inches shy of tin material, so I made quick use of an unused section of gutter left from downspouting
my front porch. Fashioning an end cap with it to cover the gap worked like a charm! Two perches
were added in the far corners of the yard and a dusting pit of fine dirt, sand and DE.
In the back of the coop a hatch door was added. It is level with the floor inside and swings
up for super easy cleaning. I left the wall stud in place, as a shovel fits through on either
side of the stud just fine.
The base was skirted with small pieces of what was left of the tin roofing. It is buried about a
foot into the ground and nailed to the base. A few extra boards were added to the back, under
the roosting area, to allow some extra warmth.
Inside the coop:
Roost of 2x4's and a smaller one in back for my little Buttercup hens.
*Update: I found the roost boards needed to be lowered a bit as my larger breed hens
got bigger and heavier. Twenty-five to thirty inches seems to be ideal for larger breeds.
I now use straw for floor cover. It's b-r-e-e-z-y here on Buttercup Hill, as a pine chip
littered yard doesn't look so good. The weight of the straw keeps it inside the coop where
it belongs when I open the coop door :)
Nesting boxes were made from scratch. No plans, I just winged it with plywood
and a vision. It's pretty much a box divided into eight 12x12 nests, mounted on
a pallet then attached to the wall studs.
The roof of the nest box is angled to prevent the chickens from roosting on it.
It is set lower than the roosts, too.
Inside view of pop door. We used eye hooks to run a nylon rope to a hole
drilled through the front of the coop. The door is just a piece of board weighted
with a smaller piece of wood that also serves to stabilize the movement in the
simple slotted frame.
Shown here newly completed prior to staining the wood.
My flock seems to be very pleased with their new home.
All finished with a nice coat of tinted stain to protect the wood.
I also did a bit of paint trim in black to the window frames, hinges,
and door pull. I'd like to replace the door turns with heavy duty
vintage latches sometime soon.
This project was quite fun in the making. A heads up though! You have to be diligent in removing
nails from reclaimed wood before you cut it, or you'll end up with a dulled or broken blade and a
spark show that rivals Independence Day.
***So, um, you can probably scratch that new saw blade purchase off your own list. Unfortunately,
my list required it.
Also be mindful that some boards from reclaimed stock may have odd edges or curvature that won't
fit tightly together. This is why the slat strips came in handy for the outside. Too drafty isn't good for your
I don't think there's anything I would change about my coop now that it's finally finished. It's rustic
looking, has all the functionality I wanted for my birds, was very affordable, and it's nice to know that
new life was hatched from materials destined to be tossed.
~Thank you for viewing my coop project~