Summary: Hoop Coops based on the designs of the Dutch Hollow Hoop Coop and Raincreek Pottery Hoop Coops.
Last year, I completed my permanent coop that we refer to as the 3B's Chicken Palace. I knew I was going to need a place to raise my young chicks this year and I couldn't afford to build another permanent coop. And, so I started looking around for a portable coop that would be fairly easy and cheap to build. And, I came across the hoop coop. And thanks to the great writeup by lklik, I saw I could build a coop for about $200.
This year, instead of buying chicks, I let my hens hatch them out and ended up with about 48 or 49 chicks. So, I needed to build two of these. Since my hens went broody about 6 weeks apart, I built one coop about 6 weeks ago. And, I just completed the second today. This was my material list for one coop:
(2) 50"x16' Cattle Panels from Tractor Supply
(1) 16x10 Super Heavy Duty Tarp from mytarp.com
(2) 2x6x10 pressure treated boards
(2) 2x6x8 pressure treated boards
(1) roll of wire (plenty enough for both coops)
(1) box 2.5" deck screws
(1) box medium fence staples (plenty enough for both coops)
(1) box small fence staples (plenty enough for both coops)
(1) screen door spring
(1) pair of hinges
(1) hook and eye for the door
(4) Eye bolts
(1) roll of 1 in chicken wire (plenty enough for both coops)
(1) roll of rope (actually had this rope left over from hanging my son's swing)
So, this is what I did.
First, I wired together the two cattle panels. And then, I cut the 2x6x10's so that they extend about 3/4" beyond each end of the cattle panels. This way, the 2x2's will be on center when you build the frames to enclose the ends. (Also, I learned on this that when you wire the cattle panels together, you want to do it so the wires are facing up. That way, once you flip over the panels which we'll do in step 3, the wires will be facing down and you can use them to wedge the cross supports against them.) You can also see Chicken Shack 1 in the background here.
I then used one of the 2x2's as a spacer and stapled the fencing to the boards. I then flipped everything over. This way when you make the hoop, the panels are pressing out on the board instead of pulling on the staples. One I had everything flipped over, I then formed the hoop by lifting in the middle of the panels. As I did, my father walked in the boards on either end until a hoop was formed. I then screwed the 2x6x8s on the ends. Then we moved the hoop into the garage where the floor is level. We checked square and then put in corner braces.
Then we started building the back supports. First, we put in the middle support. One of the things we learned from building Chicken Shack 1 is to use the medium staples to secure the supports to the cattle panels. We also made sure that we pushed up against the panel instead of pulling the panel down to the support. If you try to pull the panel down to support, you will find the spring in the panels will eventually pull the staples out.
We then put in the cross pieces.
Then, we spun everything around because of constraints of my garage door and we built the supports for the front of the coop.
This was as far as we got the first night. The 2x2's you see in the middle of the coop are ones that we used to lift it and move it out of the garage. It took us about 3 hours to get to this point.
The next day, I built and hung the door and began to enclose both ends with chicken wire.
Over the next several days, I continued enclosing the ends with chicken wire.
I drilled holes at the corners for the eyebolts that will be used to drag the coop around the yard. Once I had both ends full enclosed with chicken wire, my wife and moved the coop up over the hill, lifting it with 8 foot 2x2's run through from side to side.
We then stretched the tarp over the coop.
I used a 2x2x8 on either side to secure the tarp to the bottom 2x6. This way the tarp is fully secured but I'm not drilling through the tarp. I am thinking about using these a greenhouses in the spring as I'll be moving the pullets to the permanent coop as soon as they start laying (I cycle my flock out every year) and so won't be using them during the winter or early spring. Therefore, I wanted to be able to remove the tarp fairly easily.
My son checked things out.
And then we moved the chicks into their new home.
I hung the feeder from the cattle panels You can also see the roosts I built in the background.
Thankful this project is done. Now, to build my duck house....