Mareed2ks Chicken Coop

By mareed2k · Jan 11, 2012 · ·
  1. mareed2k
    The "Scratch Pad" - Murphy Coop - Purina Mills Design
    Materials list and free plans can be found here:
    I learned a lot from this site so I want to give back by showing my Purina Mills design. The chickens are for my family's enjoyment. I first purchased six assorted "pullets" from Tractor Supply (TSC) "Chick Days". Four of the six turned out to be roosters. This was very disappointing finding this out after my boys spent four months hand rasing them. We had to re-home the roosters (very easy by posting ads on craigslist). I was able to find good homes for all four of them. This left us with two. I then found a local farmer that sold me four young hens. We really enjoy them. Their names are Parker, Lucy, Cletus, Nozar, and Taylor (Swift). I updated this page 6 months later after I learned more so some of the pictures of the coop look different.
    I used OSB for the siding because I have free access to a small supply of it. I have found that if you paint it well it will last for many years. In addition, I like to dress the edges with cedar fence boards. I think it makes it look great and allows me to seal the OSB edges with caulk and make it water tight. I also added a window to the design to give the girls some light and a room with a view.

    This is the window side of the coop (above). The small silver holes are ventilation holes with vent caps. We live in Dallas, Tx so it can get very hot here. The bottom of the coop is wrapped with 2x4 wire that extends down into the ground about 6 inches. The wire is well stapled to the coop to keep out the bad guys.


    Here is the start of the build (above). The four corner posts are really two 2x4's (pressure treated) and screwed into a V. The floor of the coop as you can see is 3/4 plywood set into the 2x4 frame.


    Me and my youngest son Ryan celebrate the frame completion by dancing (above). It is very solid. Notice two of the four corner posts are shorter than the other two to create slope for the roof.
    Here is the framed roof. It is 2x4's on edge for the frame (above). The two 2x4 in the middle are not on edge but laying flat so it will "sit" on the posts and allow me to screw down the roof decking.
    The finished frame and roof (before shingles) (above). The roof is OSB with a metal drip edge. The roof also has a very nice slope to ensure good rain runoff. Also, I am beginning the framing for the siding.


    Here the framing is complete and my boys are enjoying the cool spring day (above).

    Side view (above).

    The back side showing the run (above). The brown coop is a homing pigeon coop. It is not attached to the chicken coop. If you look close you can see a white dove in the aviary of the brown pigeon coop. The chicken run is wrapped with chain link fencing and has a plank wooden roof to keep the hawks away.
    This is the front side showing the nest boxes (above). There are three of them with a hinged roof. The silver buttons are ventilation holes with vent caps. The hinges are large aluminum hinges off of an old boat seat. Also, I put a "lock" on the nest box top to keep any bad guys from lifting up the nest box top without unclipping the hook.
    A few months later I took some more pictures to show the changes that I have made (below for details):
    A close up of the hinges (above). They have a 90 degree bend on each one so they work perfectly for this application.

    A close up of the corner detail (above).

    Here is the nest boxes with the lid open (above). The lid is 3/4 plywood. It has a metal drip edge and is shingled.

    I added chicken wire on top of the welded 2x4 mesh (above). We have seen several racoons and skunks in the area and I wanted to keep them from being able to reach in and grab something. I also found it is keeping the house sparrows out.
    Another picture of the chicken wire wrapping all the mesh and chain link (above).
    I keep a wooden platform in the run for them to get up on and away from the others when they want. There is also a roost pole accross the entire run (above).
    Inside the coop I added a manually operated coop door. It is an aluminum plate inside a frame. The rope at the top goes to the front of the coop and allows easy opening/closing of the door (above).
    I added perches accross the inside of the coop at various levels (above).
    This is a better look at the perches at various levels and the door that opens/closes (above).
    I also added a large hanging feeder inside the coop (above). The waterer is sitting on a cinder block (concrete).
    This is a better look at the cinder block "heater" that I added (above). It is a cinder block that has a stepping stone on the top as a cover. Inside one cavity of the cinder block I added a light bulb. The light bulb puts off just enough heat to keep the concrete block warm. The waterer then sits on top of the concrete and keeps it just warm enough not to freeze.
    If you slide the stepping stone off you can see the light bulb inside (above). It is attached to the concrete block with a home made aluminum bracket that is screwed into the side of the concrete block. Also I drilled a hole in the side of the block to allow the electrical cord to enter. I then attached it to a bulb base and connected the electrical.
    Here is a better look at how it is attached (above). There is an aluminum plate on the bottom of the cinder block to keep any wood from coming into contact with the heat or electrical components.
    I also added a shelf to the side of the coop (above). I keep their feed and scratch in containers easily assessible when I need it. It is very handy to have the food near.
    Daily chores (above)..........

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Recent User Reviews

  1. CCUK
    "Nice build"
    3/5, 3 out of 5, reviewed Jul 19, 2018
    Good idea with the water heater.
  2. Cyprus
    "Nice little coop, could use some improvement"
    3/5, 3 out of 5, reviewed Jun 29, 2018
    Overall, your design is very nice! Two things that I would add are more ventilation and more floor space. Ventilation should be at least 1 square foot per bird. Inside the coop, there should be at least 4 square feet per bird.


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  1. Julie Speas
    Good idea on the cinder block warmer for the water. May I ask what wattage bulb did you use?
  2. AKCharle
    This is a pretty old post so I hope you are still responding to questions. I live in Alaska and have my chickies in half of my garage which is not heated. Do you think the cinderblock trick will work for me? It usually gets no colder than -20 in my area.
  3. Darkangael
    Wonderful coop you did a bang up job. The first couple pictures answered a couple questions I had.
  4. Coco Rae
    I love this design thanks!
  5. omaeve
    much cheaper than $44 dollar warmer at the feed store
  6. LissaNY
    Thank you for taking time to post your pictures inside and out. We have decided to use the Purina coop plan and I wanted to modify it with a run underneath and as an extension, but my husband would never have understood (or worked with me on it!) unless he saw a picture of one completed. You did a wonderful job!
  7. newbiechix
    The photos and added clarification you provided were great! Thank you!
  8. Tunderwood
    Hi, Thanks for all the wonderful pictures of this coop design. I have almost finished mine and I found the directions kind of confusing, plus the corners are a little funny. Thanks for the previous tips about the perches and I would like to know what you mean by the boxes being water tight. (how? what did you do different?). I live in a area that has a rainy season and can get quite wet in the spring, and I don't want to invite any wet problems. Oh and one last question are the hinges bolted, I am doing the drop down back like the diagram but I think I need to bolt my hinges otherwise the screws will pull out of the 3/4 ply.
  9. mareed2k
    Sorry for the delayed response. I was in Phoenix for spring break with the boys watching baseball spring training. To answer you question....the one thing that i would change is the way i did my perches. i put perches in several directions. This causes the birds to roost in different places each night and they tend to poop into their water. I would put several straight roosts in the middle similar to have they have the plans for the roosts. i just created my own and it did not work out that great. My nest boxes are water tight. i have heard from others who do not get their nest boxes water tight and have a lot of problems with water. just a tip. have fun and let me know if i can help anyway.
  10. woodsman34
    Thank you so much for the detailed photo's. I am a visual based guy, and these photo's helped me see how to build this. I was mainly concerned with the inside design, and I like your set up much better. I plan on making mine longer, to house more birds, but I plan to take what I saw with yours to create my plans. Great job, and thank you again for the pictures. Is there anything you would or have changed since?

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