My husband and I built this coop over 3-4 weekends. We found that the Kreg system of joinery was by far the fastest and easiest way to connect all the parts. No overlapping joinery was required and the joints are as strong as could be. If you position the bored holes to the inside of the coop, you'll never see any of the screws from the outside. If toenailing the structure together is your preference, that’s fine, but the directions will assume that you’re using the Kreg system. You can modify these plans making the coop larger or smaller depending on your needs. We created a small angled roof portion on the side to allow for an adjacent tree branch and to create a more interesting design. This also allowed us to create a smaller area to separate sick or young chicks if necessary by having extra wire mesh on hand and building a small door on the side.
For clarity the term “Coop” is referring to the enclosed area where the chicken’s sleep and nest. The term “Run” is referred to the screened area below. Pictures and plans are all included. Good luck!
Pressure Treated lumber - 1 @ 2 x 6 x 12
3 @ 2 x 6 x 8
Rebar 10 @ #4 (1/2") x 3'-0"
4 sheets of 1/2" plywood,
12 pieces 1x 6 x 8" Tongue and Groove boards,
8 - 1x 4x 10' lumber for door frames
1 Gallon Exterior Stain
Roofing Material such as asphalt shingles
Hinges, hasps, locking downrod.
Handles for the doors and coop drawer.
Lid support for Coop window
Coop door opener, timer, channel, 12v battery, solar battery charger, see link below.
Kreg Coarse exterior screws, mostly 2-1/2" but smaller for doors.
Staples for wire mesh
- Pick a high spot on your property with not too much direct sun, if possible.
- Dig a trench to accept the cinder blocks and place them with the holes facing up. Fill them with dirt and compact. These will prevent predators from digging under.
- Place the 2x6 treated sill plates flat on top of the cinder blocks and secure by drilling 1/2” holes through them and hammer 3/8” rebar through the plates and cinderblocks, deep into the ground. We used 1/2” x 3 foot pieces. Secure the ends of the pieces together with the Kreg screws, remember to pre-drill the Kreg angled holes before installing.
- Construct your exterior walls using the Kreg Joinery system and join together.
- Continue adding walls, dividers and roof rafters according to the plan. I made a groove in the frame to accept the Tongue and groove panels of the coop. There are other ways of doing this that are much simpler. The roof rafters were notched at the wall frames. Add the blocking for the coop ventilation holes last to fill in the roof to wall gaps.
- Build your doors to fit the openings. Build the nest lid from 1x3's and plywood.
- The nest door is heavy when covered with asphalt shingles. After completed, run a small rope from a hook eye in the lid, onto a fixed pulley attached to the uppermost rail of the wall above, through a hole into the coop, through a pulley attached to the roof of the coop compartment and down tied to a number of small barbells. These weights will move up and down when opening and closing the lid. The weight will require trial and error. I believe we used 6 pounds.
- The two nest dividers are placed within cleats mounted to the nest frame so they are removable. That makes for easier cleaning. They are, of course, cut to fit the angled nest door above.
- The sheet metal drawer was custom build by a local shop and cost me $25.00. This also makes cleaning the coop very easy. Face it with a pine front and attach a handle.
- The ramp from the run to the coop is attached using two angle irons that are bent to a sharper angle and screwed to the underside of the top of the ramp. They slide into a gap on the coop wall that is made by securing a 3/4”x1”x12” piece of wood with spacers to the area just below the door. Being careful not to conflict with the door’s channel.
- Create the chicken’s coop door’s channel by cutting a 1/4” x 1/2” rabbet along the length of the pieces that surround the door. Making sure to make them long enough to accept the door when it is fully open. The bottom of the door should also have a channel to make it difficult for the predators in case they are able to gain access to the run. We used a piece of ABS plastic for the door. It slides better than a plywood door would. You could also by the whole assembly. See the link below.
- We used a solar powered battery from Harbor Freight to power the automatic coop door and the timer. Wiring can be tricky but very doable. Here is a link to the door hardware. https://www.amazon.com/Automatic-Chicken-Coop-Door-Accessories/dp/B07JKD7KNG
- Staple 1/2” x 1/2” wire mesh all over the Run walls, the coop ventilation holes, and the coop window. You can cut a small slit in the window wire to allow for the lid opener. We use this to keep the window open for better ventilation. Do not skimp with “chicken wire”. The holes are too large.
- Cover the roof with 1/2” plywood, roofing paper and any roofing that you have. A local roofer provided us with extra asphalt shingles that he had on hand. We also added a drip cap around the perimeter of the roof and nest lid, before the roofing. This will prevent the rain from getting under that plywood.
- We installed a rain gutter along the lower length of the roof but that’s optional.
- Tree branches make the best roosts. We installed them in the coop and the run. The supports can be made from 4x4 squares of plywood with a hole to accept the ends of the roost and attached to the walls.
- If using the deep litter method, fill the run with pine shavings. We change out that litter annually and hose down the coop. Usually done in the heat of summer.
- The coop also gets pine shavings but that is cleaned every few days.
- Don’t forget to name and display it proudly.