Boisemarkers Chicken Coop

By boisemarker · Jan 11, 2012 · Updated Apr 1, 2012 · ·
  1. boisemarker
    Wichita Cabin Coop - Boise Adaptation

    Many thanks to the Baldessari Clan for posting the photos of their Wichita Cabin Coop.
    We took their idea and ran it with a very few minor changes to account for my lower level of DIY expertise.
    You can find their original coop design here.

    UPDATE 30 MARCH 2012: I've had several people ask me for plans and estimates on cost. The cost ran about $1,400 (I'm guessing) but I paid for some mistakes I made. I don't, sadly, have plans. However, if you want to view more of the images from the building so you can get more ideas, you can find those here.


    Basic footprint: 5' x 10'
    Roof dimensions: 8' x 12' (roof plywood was 3 sheets of 4' x 8')
    Front height: 7'
    Rear height: 6'

    Each section of the coop (inside coop, front door, left side) is roughly 1/3 of the overall 10' length.
    This is so that the 3' wide sections of hardware cloth (tough screen) will fit over the studs with room
    to fasten it it down with screws and washers. If the openings between the studs are more than about 34"
    apart, you'll have trouble fasting the hardware cloth.

    The only changes I made from the Baldessari design were as follows:
    • Used concrete blocks for the foundation rather than flagstones set on edge.
    • Used pressure treated lumber for the pieces in contact with the foundation.
    • Put a double layer of chicken wire and landscaping cloth down over the floor of the coop to keep out burrowing predators.
    • Created each of the frame walls and roof separately, and then stood them in place.
    • Made the nest box removable (in theory, but it's a tight fit).
    • Slightly different roof design.
    • Included a washable linoleum floor for easy clean up.
    All the other features were copied from the original design so let's give credit where it's due. Here are a few pictures from the process.

    The foundation, it turned out, had to be arranged to accomodate the existing sprinkler lines.
    What a pain. The large concrete blocks that are buried and topped with flag stones
    make it more difficult for predators to easily dig their way in.

    Chicken wire placed across the floor of the coop. This is to keep predators from digging
    their way in from underneath.

    I used bungie cords to hold the framed walls together until I could fasten them more permanently. The
    diagonal braces were temporary and were used to keep the true during the process.

    Frame walls built separately and then connected. I wasn't able to manage the
    original approach so building on the ground worked better for me. Lumber from
    my daughter's old pressure treated play set came in handy for this part. The wall on the
    right side will house the nest box and window and so is framed differently from the left side.

    Used hurricane braces for connecting the roof to the frame. We made the roof frame
    on the ground, like the walls, and then raised it into place when it was ready. That's
    definitely a two or three person job. Getting the measurements right is critical to
    getting the braces in the right places to connect the roof to the rest of the coop and
    required lots of patience and measuring things three or four times before screwing things

    Built the roof frame with the the ends and only two rafters to get it into place (much lighter) and then once
    It was up, I added the remaining rafters pretty easily.

    Take time to paint the frame before you start adding walls and wire. Otherwise you'll have
    a more difficult time of it.

    Built the floor of the inside coop, slanting it slightly toward the front to allow water to drain
    out when cleaning the inside. Attached the 1/2 inch hardware cloth (screen) with screws
    and fender washers.

    Leading (front) edge of the roof to cut down on water running under the metal roofing material.

    Completed roof.

    Need an extra support so that both sides of the door between the coop and the run are supported
    equally. Note that I had to add an additional rafter to which to fasten these vertical pieces in place since
    the existing rafter didn't line up with where the wall was supposed to go.

    Bottom hole is for the nest box, the top hole is for the window. Used old 2x6's on the back wall, and
    new 1x6s on the sides. I cut circular plugs out of the cross pieces between the rafters over the
    interior part of the coop. I then kept the plugs, put long carriage bolts/screws into the plugs and use
    them to adjust the ventilation in the coop during the summer and winter (again, this is borrowed from
    the original design).


    Framed the outside of the guillotine door both to make it sturdier and for looks.

    Measure carefully to allow slide rails on either side of the inside opening. And, remember those rails
    will need to be parallel and vertical. They need to be tall enough to accommodate the door when it is fully raised.

    This shelf will help keep birds on the roosts from pooping into the nest boxes, as well as keeping out a
    tad more light... or at least that's the intent.

    Wing nuts attached to carriage bolts allow the nest box to be removed. But it's a pain to do and I doubt
    I'll ever use this functionality.


    The piece of old gray pressure treated 2x4 is to keep the litter in the nest boxes.

    Protected the floor of the nest box with left over linoleum, and painted the inside black to keep it dark.

    Framed the outside of the windows and nest box openings.

    Rails for the guillotine door. I'm a novice so making this vertical and parallel wasn't a trivial task. If they're not,
    the door won't slide easily.

    Guillotine door design (again, borrowed from the Wichita Cabin design). However,
    I placed the lifting eye screw on the cross piece instead of into the edge of the plywood
    door itself.


    Slam strips (vertical unpainted furing strip) keep the door from closing too far when shut, thus keeping the hinges from
    tearing out. You can see the shims (small 1/4" spacers) in place to hold the door away from the
    frame while I'm making it.

    Building inspectors at work. Clamps hold the vertical lumber in place while I'm fitting it.

    The 1x6s fit into a groove routed on the back side of the 2x4 edges. Then they were glued and screwed
    into place

    Window framed.

    I was particularly puzzled about how to build the doors, never having done it before. A
    contractor friend of my suggested using shims to build it in place. I routed a groove into the
    outside 2x4s to set the 1x6 face panels in and glued/screwed them into place.
    I'm not particularly confident in my measurements so doing it this way made sure when
    the door was finished it would fit the opening.

    This door was built with the same shim/build-it-in-place approach.


    There's a shelf under the highest (rear) roost that can be removed. It's intended (we'll see if it works) to catch a lot of the
    poop before it falls onto the floor. Not yet convinced it will work that well but I guess we'll see. UPDATE: It works so well that I only have to clean the coop out every six months or so if I clean the board off every week.

    Bent a support strap into a slot shape to hold the ramp fittings which were themselves created out of corner braces.

    Corner braces on the bottom of the ramp fit into the slot below the ramp door.

    Used non-skid flooring strip on the ramp and spaced the rungs about 4.5 inches apart.
    Now that the hens are installed, they seem to be having no problems with the
    ramp given the non-skid surface and the spacing of the cross pieces.

    Used single plexiglass pieces for the windows.

    Installed an easy to clean linoleum floor. Yeah, I know. Overkill. But I hate cleaning activities.


    Installed a removable kick board in a slot that is flush with the front door to
    keep litter from falling out when the door is opened. Again, thanks to the
    original design for this idea.

    Finished! Installed decorative cross pieces on the windows but used single sheets
    of plexiglass so the cross pieces serve no functional purpose.

    Finished view from the other side. The lumber resting on the foundation will
    have to be painted later, in about six months, after it has had time
    to cure and dry out.

    My wife created a ceramic rooster art piece to place on the side of the coop.
    This is, sadly, the closest these hens will ever get to a rooster. It
    measures about 1.5 feet square.

    Again, an intense heartfelt thank you to all the designs which led to the
    successful completion of this project. And a particular thank you to the
    Baldessari Clan in Wichita, Kansas for the primary design features.

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Recent User Reviews

  1. N F C
    "Very Nice!"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Mar 24, 2019
  2. rbnk1
    "nice coop"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 18, 2018
    nice planning, layout, predator proofing, love the man door...good job!


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  1. Lkcoop66
    What a beautiful job. I am using parts of a lot of different coops to help remodel my old coop since I have more chickens.
      Fox2112 likes this.
  2. Troy6671
    Wow! Super! I love it!
  3. chickwhispers
    Very well done!
  4. JacobMaxwell
    Absolutely beautiful coop.
  5. Cheryl1948
    You should be very happy with yourself. Your coop is gorgeous and very classy. Your chickens won the lottery!
  6. smarsh
    very well done, good looking, well built, a lot of pressure on the chickens to live up to their abode.
  7. BYC Project Manager
    Congratulations, we've chosen one of your pics for the Chicken Coop Picture of the Week. Thanks for posting your coop design & pictures to our "Chicken Coops" pages! You can find more info about the CC-POW here: CC-POW Process
  8. Sam3 Abq
    How did the chicken wire under the run vs. around the perimeter of the run workout for you ? I like your approach and want to use that on our coop (another version of the WCC).
    Thanks - Sam
  9. Sam3 Abq
    How many hens do you have ? Most at one time ? Thanks.
  10. scampisi
    Thank you for posting so many wonderful photos. My husband built one copying yours and the
    Wichita coop. We love it! Many thanks!!!!! : )
  11. flrn
    Love the chickens you picked for your coop. Could you tell me what breed they are?
    Thanks! I'm still in the process of building my coop, but it looks a lot like yours.
  12. milamber84906
    This may be a stupid question, but for making the windows, how much of a gap did you leave around the windows to make sure they opened smoothly but still shut tight?
  13. lesgo54
    very nice setup, thanks for sharing
  14. Dawnrenae
    I'm seeing this coop in my own yard perty quick!!!
    I was wondering, would putting this little castle on casters hurt anything?
    I don't know if moving my Bird yard on wheels and moving them around weather pending etc will bother the birds. Any thoughts?
  15. jjjjjmommy
    Beautiful coop! I had a question about the run area. What type of material do you have on the floor of the run?
  16. boisemarker
    I believe the paint was Devonshire (green). As for the brand, I'm working from memory here but I think it was a Benjamin Moore latex.
  17. fajita
    Can you please tell me the color/ brand of paint that you used on your coop? Thanks!
  18. sluggospud
    Great execution of a wonderful design.
  19. ShaggyB
    This design is great, just what i'd like to build. I's love to get the materials and plans if possible. [email protected]. Thanks
  20. swissequipped
    I love your coop. I just got chicks for the first time and need to build a coop. The link for the original plans at the top of your page is broken. Is there any chance you could send me a copy or a link. [email protected]
    Thank you
  21. Bufforpington12
    Can I get a list of materials and the plans. Chicken Coop looks great!!! I would like to build one. I have 6 hens and 1 rooster.Thanks
  22. melissahov
    This coop is perfect! Could you please send me the plan? My email address is [email protected]. Thanks so much!
  23. TheDirtyChick
    I am having trouble seeing the top pictures, I love the way that it looks though and would like to incorporate your design into my final design. Can you email me the completed picture? And the supply list as well. Thank you so much for your inspiration!!!
    [email protected]
  24. lorihujcs
    I am interested in doing this plan, after searching for coops this really looks like a well constructed and functionable one. Would you be able too supply me with a material building list and dimensions of the coop. my address is [email protected] I appreciate your time. Thanks, Rick
  25. redhuntingpoodl
  26. redhuntingpoodl
    I have to tell you, after sitting here for over 3 hours looking at pics of chicken coops on the web, yours is one of the best ones I have seen! I really like it and would love to know more about how to acquire the plans. We just moved to a farm and would love to have our first chickens and vegetable garden. Thanks so much
  27. RevMcMaple
    I love this idea. Do you have any basic floor plan measurements for this? I'm a first time coop builder, but the Wichita design is awesome, and you have done some amazing changes to it, that I would love to play with.

    Thanks, in advance!
  28. threlkeld
    can you give me an estimate of your expenses /materials for building this coop??

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