Backwoods Playpen Coop

By jasonsamko · Apr 16, 2012 · Updated Apr 23, 2012 · ·
  1. jasonsamko
    When my wife and kids wanted to buy 4 hens for eggs i figured i better start making a coop. I found this site and did a ton of research on coop design. This is what i made based on all the things i found here.
    coop is a playpen style coop 4' x 16' x 5'8" inside hieght with a 3'6"x4' hen house 2 feet up. I built it in my garage then added the roof assembly when i had it set outside on the site.We used treated 2x4s for the base and regular 2x4s for the rest of the frame and 1/2" plywood for hen house walls and floor. I painted the inside of the nesting boxes black for privacy and my kids colored and decorated the inside. We stained the whole thing and painted the trim to match the metal roof. we added 14inches of hardware cloth in the ground buried all hte way around the coop. the floor is covered with linolium, the roosts are removeable for cleaning as well as polyurethane sealed. we used 1/2 hardware cloth in seperate sections incase a bear tried to push his way in i could just replace that section as opposed to having to replace a bigger strip. the pop door is 11x14 and slides up adn down on a rope so we can open and close it from the outside. we did 3 nesting boxes on the outside for easy egg collecting. the access door has a 2x4 that is removeable for easy cleaning of the coop. we did 2 windows that i made out of 2x2 and plexiglass. there are good vents in the peeks of the roof area that are covered with hardware cloth. we also added eye bolts and eye hooks to the ramp so it can be removed for cleaning. i put in a little shef for a "hand sanatizer station" and up in the roof added a little rack for the rake, kitty litter scooper, plastic dropping pal, and sifter. we used gravel from our dirt road as a base then added a couple inches of play ground sand in the run.
    total cost was about 850ish. it was not that hard to make but since i dont have any buiding experience it took me about a week to make as i was taking my time.

    material list (pretty close as going from memory):
    2 treated 2x4x16 for base
    1 treated 2x4x8 cut in half for base
    2 2x4x16 for top
    about 35 2x4x7 studs
    4 sheets of 1/2 plywood
    4 sheets 7/16 osb for roof
    3 12 foot panels of metal roof
    2 10 foot metal roof cap
    1 bag roof screws
    about 12 1x3 furring boards for trim
    1 box 3inch screws
    2 12x24 plexiglass pieces
    4 2x2x8 for windows
    1 roll 24"x50' hardware cloth 1/2inch
    1 roll 36" x 50' hardware cloth 1/2 inch
    vynl flooring remanent peice for free
    total cost about 900.00

    extras i bought or had that made the job so much easier:
    nail gun kit with compressor and 2 nail guns and stapler (porter cable) from homedepot for 279.00...this nail and stapler kit was hands down the best investment for this job. used about 2000 staples to hold hardwarecloth, aobut 2000 nails for window frames, trim, temporary holds, nesting boxes, etc.
    chop (mitter) saw. i had one but it was pretty old and beat up so i used the coop as a excuse to buy a new dewalt saw for 209.00 worked awesome
    jig saw to cut roofing and window holes. I didnt have one bought a dewalt one for 99 bucks worked awesome for roofing, windows, etc.

    we added a ryobi tech 4 motion sensing alarm from home depot for 35 bucks to warn us and scare predators away.
    We LOVE this coop and would not change a thing so far but if i did it again i would pay closer attention to where i put the frame 2x4s so taht i could use standard size hardwarecloth and not have to cut it to fit.
    the sand in the bottom of the run is working awesome. chickens love pecking the oyster shell out of it and dust baths. For us its really easy to clean, just like a litter box.


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    MaryJanet, Dl88, MT Stringer and 7 others like this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. Stockpilejoy
    "Very nice."
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Nov 9, 2019
    Nice, Neat, and functional coop/run.
  2. Henanigan
    "My dream Coop"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Nov 7, 2019
    This is exactly what I wanted for my girls. But no one would believe me. Good on ya!
  3. N F C
    "Backwoods Coop"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Aug 17, 2019
    Nice job...both on the building and the article!


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  1. egghead77
    awsome design
  2. JillD413
    Looks amazing! Nice work for happy chicks!!!
  3. Ted_Harrell
    Beautiful coop, bet your chick babies are strutting around like they are the envy of the whole city...
  4. N F C
    Your coop turned out very nicely! Now that you've had it for a few years, any changes you'd make to it (or have already made to it)?
      Brahma Chicken5000 likes this.
  5. jykmoy
    Can you tell us more about your Motion Sensor Alarm - the Ryobi Unit. Which Dept at Home Depot carried it? How much did it cost? And, how satisfied are you with it? Am thinking seriously of getting something like that, but am not sure how they work, how much noise it will make at night, etc., etc., etc. Anything you have to say about it will be appreciated. I like your sanitizer, too! Your coop is great. Good ideas.
  6. CPrendie
    Nice coop! Sweet sleds!!
  7. jykmoy
    Thanks! That was a very helpful reply. Appreciated that very much. I have more confidence in erecting my next box now. Am in process of assembling my flooring and framework. Don't have a nail gun.....drat!!!
  8. jasonsamko
    jykmoy, I slid the nest box into the hole and nailed thru the nest box sides into the plywood of the hen house wall. then nailed thru the nest box floor into the 2x4 on the bottom. then i added plywood trim peice on the inside of the hen house to make the opening smaller and this trim peice is the full width of the hen house so i nailed the trim to the henhouse and also thru the trim into the eises and middle supports of the nest box. then i added 2 1x3 trim boards acroos the bottom on the inside to make a lip to keep the nesting box bedding in the nest box, this trim also is the whole length of the inside of the hen house wall. so i naile these peices to the the hen house wall and then nailed thru the trip into the sides and center supports of the nesting box. for all of this i used 2 1/2" 16 gauge brad nails so they hold really well. the nestbox is definelty not i think when i added the outside trim for decoration i also added some extra nails thru the trim on angles to add extra durability. it is 100% rock solid and you could pick up the whole end of the coop/henhouse by the nesting box.
    the nail guns were awesome as i could add nails anywhere super fast without risk of splitting any wood. i used so many nails in this henhouse its scary....
  9. jykmoy
    I could see how the box rests on the 2x4 which is also attached to the coop. Nail the box to the 2x4. I can understand that. Did you slide the rest of the nest box into the hole that was cut before you nailed it on to that 2x4? And, if you did, did you add any kind of trim used to attach the lip of the box to the inside (or, outside) of the coop. My imagination found it hard to "see" how sliding the box into a hole can be attached to the wall of the coop without additional "trim" or some such lip that can be attached to the wall. Thanks, also, for the tip on using linoleum on the floor of the box! You've thought of everything! Am I making myself clear with these horrendous questions???? You've been a great help.
  10. jasonsamko
    stumpy, the stapler was portercable 1" 18 gauge narrow stapler. my buddy currently has my kit to make a dog house so i dont have it handy to tell you exactly what model number.
    jykmoy, what i did with the nesting boxes was build them on the ground and make sure the roof angle was right and the roof board would close right. then i cut the hole in the hen house wall the exact size of the nesting box. I screwed a 2x4 to the hen house under the nesting box. set the nesting box in the hole and used my nail gun to nail the nesting box to the hen house wall and the 2x4 under it. this held really well and secure. then when i added the trim inside to make the inside nest box opening smaller i nailed the trim to both the hen house and the nest box deviders. I basically put nails any place that would hold it the nail i probably used 50-75 nails holding the nest boxes to the hen house. FYI i also put linolium in the floor of the nest boxes just because i had extra, but it turned out to be a good idea as we have a waterer in one nest box and they spill sometimes. it cleans up real easy. i painted the nest box black as i read somewhere on here that chickens will lay eggs in the darkest, most private part of the hen house. i also coated the roof of the nesting boxes with 12 coats of thick ployurethane as i didnt want the weight of shingles on it. (my kids need to be able to lift it). I also made sure the roof over hang extended past the seam in the nest box roof so that it would be completely waterproof.
  11. Caity
    Thanks Jykmoy and JasonSamko! Appreciate the help.
  12. Stumpy
    Wow -- so many ideas I want to use. Would you mind telling me the model number of the Porter Cable stapler you bought? We have nail guns, but need a really good stapler. I'm going to get one of those motion sensor alarms.
  13. jykmoy
    I'd like to know how you attached the egg nest box on to the coop. I can see the hole that was cut to the side of the coop, and I see a board under the front end of the box (am not sure if the box is nailed to it?), but am not sure how the entire box is attached. How did you manage to fasten it to the coop?
  14. Roxannemc
    Really nice and thanks for all the photos of detailed how- toos inside. You have thought of it all!
  15. jasonsamko
    jykmoy is right. i basically mae a 11x14 door out of 1/2inch plywood scrap. the hole in the wall is 10x13 so there is a inch more dorr than hole. i made the slide frame by cutting a 1x3 lengthwise at 30 inches or something so it would slide straight all teh way up. i then nailed those now 1x1.5 boards on the sides next to the door and on the bottom under the door leaving a little slop so it slides easy. i then nailed 1x3 boards over the 1x1.5 boards to make the outer "lip" that holds the door in. I then nailed a couple scrap 1x3 pieces to the top of the door for a little more weight but dont think it was needed as the door closes easily. screws would probably work better for all of this but i had a nail gun so i used it as it was super fast and easy. hope this helps.
  16. jykmoy
    I love that sliding door, too. It looks like a 1/2" (?) strip of wood was nailed or glued on to both sides of the opening. Then, you determine how wide you want the opening to be cause that will be the board that should fit between the two strips. Once that is established, cut a 1/4" thick board that will fit between these two strips. Nail or glue a one inch wide strip on top of the 1/2" strip that will serve to hold the door and allow it to slide up and down. Of course, you don't want the door to fall off the coop, so the door will need a base on which to rest. I liked the eyelet he used on the top of the door so he can pull the door up to open, and use the weight of the door to close. Neat! (The quarter inch size board is merely a suggestion. If you decide on a thicker door, the strips on both sides will need thick enough to accommodate the board).
  17. Caity
    WOW, I love your coop! All the extras are so clever--like the hand soap and poop-scoop mount. How did you make your pop door? It's exactly what I want to put on ours, but I haven't a clue on how to make the rails so it slides.
  18. Coastal-Chick
    Love your coop!
  19. jasonsamko
    Thanks for the compliments!
    Jykmoy, as i was making it i realized it would be too heavy to move whole. so i cut it in half (you can see the short peices of 2x4 on the top and bottom right in front of the hen house where i reconnected it together). I also made the roof frame in 2 seperate 7 foot sections so i could lift them up there myself. me and my wife lifted the hen house half and loaded it in the back of my pickup truck and drove it over the the site. then with did the same iwth the run and attached them together with 2x4 and screws. then i brought the roof sections over there via truck and thru them up and screwed them down. i also did the hardware cloth at the site as well so that i could run it into the ground.
    Kay56, that alarm is soooo worth the 35 bucks. mine has been running for 26 days without recharging yet. It has warned us of a few predators and scared them off. it has also made my wife spill water all over herself when she forgot it was on one morning on her way to bring them fresh we have wild turkeys that are always in the area and its pretty funny watching them run for the hills when they set the alarm off. during the day when we dont have the alarm on the turkeys come right up to the coop and have staring competions with the hens... hens right against the hardwarecloth on the inside and the hen turkeys right on the other side.
    so far we are loving the chickens! my kids are enjoying them and learn a ton of responsibility maintaining the coop and taking care of them. im glad they talked me into getting chickens!!!!
  20. Kay56
    Absolutely love your the way I went to Home Depot and purchased one of the Ryobi alarms you recommended.....haven't had a chance to test it yet though. Great job! Thanks for sharing.
  21. IttyBiddy
    Great job!
  22. jykmoy
    Yes! I love your design. It looked awfully heavy. Did you have help moving the coop out of the garage? I'd like to build one like yours. Wonder where I can find the blueprints for one???
  23. Stumpy
    Wonderful coop! Thanks for sharing all of the details.
  24. judyki2004
    What a beautiful Coop! love all the details!!!
  25. Bogtown Chick
    So Nice. I like the kids' artwork too.
  26. pinkaliboo
    This is really beautiful. I would love to have one like this.
  27. ericbra
    Nice Coop, Thanks for sharing. I just got my first peeps about a week ago. I still need to build my coop.

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