East Texas Shoebox

Simple concept for a 4 x 8 coop
By biggtexx · Apr 26, 2018 · ·
  1. biggtexx
    I am in the planning phase of my coop, and have started drafting up a concept. This will allow me to calculate (as accurate as possible at this phase) the costs and materials that will be needed. I have been playing with 3D software for a while for other projects, and while I am no expert, I believe this will give me measurements as close to accurate as I can get at this stage.

    As a side note: This is all still a concept pending feedback from more experienced keepers. I do not include many of the finer details in the concept (e.g. extra support for the floor and roof, door hardware, roosts, trim around the coop walls, doors, etc.) as I was mainly trying to focus on the size, and more prominent features like the nesting box, that are for the welfare of the chickens. Any nice to haves for the owner (me) are not included at this point.

    The current idea is that the primary ventilation will be through the roof, and the at top of both the front and back walls. Since I am in East Texas, the winters are normally very mild and my main concern will be dealing with the heat (that frequently reaches 100°+ during the summer months). The good news is that I can supply plenty of shade, thanks to the towering pines on the property, and we always have a breeze blowing through.

    First, I started off with the rough dimensions of a sheet of plywood, (4' x 8') and laid out the main support structure. With this design, I will be able to use a full sheet of plywood for the floor, with only minimal cuts to the corners. I opted to go 7' tall on the main supports, so that when the roof is added, there is plenty of room for me to maneuver around with running into anything. This allows an inside height of roughly 4.5', so I can always send a kid in to do the dirty jobs if needed. :fl
    Next I moved on to the walls supports, and ventilation framing (hiding the previously shown walls in the second image in order to highlight the additions). I am still trying to determine how I will line the floor, but I am leaning towards to using Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Wall Panels (which I happen to have left over from another project). It is normally used around wet locations, such as shower stalls, and is moisture-resistant, cleanable and will not mold or mildew. That will allow me to hose out the coop floor if I ever need to do a deep cleaning. Otherwise, I will stick to vinyl flooring.
    Then I moved on to skinning the walls and adding in hardware cloth for ventilation areas. Around this time in the concept, I started to think about moving the pop door to a floor exit - but that is still up in the air at this point.

    The last structure at this stage was the nesting box, which will be accessed from outside the coop. The nesting box will have three compartments, each compartment coming in at just over 13" square. If my calculations so far are correct, I will only need 5 sheets of plywood, and have enough material left over to complete the nesting box and doors! Based on other comments I have seen here in the forums, three should be enough space for 6 hens.
    After adding an elevated roof and adding the hardware cloth under the coop, I ended up with a design that resembles a shoebox - nothing too fancy. Overall, this gives me just shy of 32 sq. ft. and enough for my planned flock of 6 hens, possibly 8...

    The next step will be figuring out the full materials list!

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Recent User Reviews

  1. SavKel&RynKel
    "Great concept"
    3/5, 3 out of 5, reviewed Jul 17, 2018
  2. Nardo
    "Great plans"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 9, 2018
    Super job of showing this part. Can you post pictures of the final product?
    1. biggtexx
      Unfortunately, this sketch only became a partial reality. We ended up building a 8 x 8 coop with an attached 8 x 8 run (8 x 16 total run area). While I did use some of the elements from this design, the final product is twice the size and has some varying elements. I will try to get some pictures and information loaded today.
  3. Texas Kiki
    "Great sketches"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jun 28, 2018
    I can't wait to see the final product!
    Have you started yet?


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  1. N F C
    Good building vibes to you! (If you're planning on having food and/or water in the coop, I wouldn't put more than 6 birds in there.) Best of luck!
      Pater est Pullis and KikisGirls like this.
    1. biggtexx
      I am thinking about adding a spot on the back wall for an external feeder and waterer, that way it is easier for the "sitter" when I need to travel.
      N F C likes this.
  2. Texas Kiki
    May I suggest you use hardware cloth instead of chicken wire and make sure you put an "apron" of this cloth around the entire bottom.
    Bring the apron out about a foot all the way around to help prevent diggers from getting in.
    1. biggtexx
      Yes, it will be hardware cloth, not the thin chicken wire (I thought I had mentioned that, I may have just thought it, lol). And instead of the hardware cloth for an apron, I will most likely use 1x1 fencing I have leftover from another project.
    2. biggtexx
      And a question for another Texan... do you see any issues with the raised and vented roof?

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