I built this coop two years ago and have been very happy with it. After looking through several coop design books and not finding anything I really liked, I sat down and designed my own. I wanted something for 4-6 hens, that was easy to clean, protected from predators since I have no fence around my yard, and that combined a raised bed for the hens to fertilize, with easy access to eggs and food containers, Oh, and it had to be economical and easy to build.
My coop is 4'x8', which includes a 2' nest/food bumpout with access lid, and the rear door opens up fully to expose the floor under the roost for cleanout. The coop is raised up about 2 feet, so I simply open the rear door and rake everything into the compost pile, then add new straw. Very simple and very clean - never smelly. The run is 3'x8' and is interchangeable with the garden area. The hens supply the fertilizer, so all I have to do is push the run to the other side, fluff up the soil and plant the new garden. I can do this again in the fall for a second planting.
This design has worked out beautifully, and I have no complaints. I used cedar 4x4 posts on used bricks for the base, 2x4 frame and 3/4" exterior 4'x8' plywood for walls. I vented both sides with hardware cloth, used corrugated plastic for the roof, and 2x4's and chicken wire for the run. I hang a light inside for extending daylight hours.
There are two 2'x2' openings from the coop into the run so it can be switched back and forth, and two nests and food container inside the access door. A hanging water bowl at the end of the run makes it easy to add water by garden hose. I have drawings, but the design is so simple they really aren't needed, and my lovely hens seem very happy with it.
Recent User Reviews
"What a cool concept!"
- 3/5, 3 out of 5, reviewed Jul 15, 2018
I love that you made it on top of your garden and that you can slide it from one end to the other so that you can switch between sides being fertilized!
I am guessing that the run part is detachable and you just re-attach it on the other side after you slide the coop down.
I would have liked to see the drawings of the plans. What is obvious for some, isn't obvious or simple for others.
I also am concerned that you used chicken wire. Despite the name, chicken wire does not keep chickens safe from predators, it just keeps chickens in, not predators out. Hardware cloth would make your coop more secure.
Thank you for sharing your coop and innovative idea with us!
- 4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 7, 2018
Your idea is very interesting and creative. I wish you had shown how the run slides from one side to the other as well as the inside of your coop. To be honest, the run doesn't look very secure from predators, since you used chicken wire, but overall very innovative!