Ms Biddy's Cattle Panel Hoop Coop

This portable cattle panel hoop coop has external nest boxes to save space inside and allow easy access to eggs.
By Ms Biddy · Apr 1, 2018 · ·
  1. Ms Biddy

    Our cattle panel coop was inspired by multiple designs, including several here on BYC. Thank you to everyone who has shared their photos and experience. It's been a big help. Since we combined ideas from several coops, we worked things out as we went and didn't have formal plans.

    Some of the materials used included:
    2x6" and 2x4" boards for framing, some boards were rough cut lumber
    1x2" strips or lath for attaching roof panels
    2x2" boards for a door
    1/4 round corner molding for finishing
    Plywood sheets
    Cattle panels
    1/2" hardware cloth
    Metal roofing panels
    Hinges for the door and nest boxes
    Latches for the door and nest boxes
    Long wood screws
    Tuftex sheet metal screws
    Brad nails for attaching the molding
    Large U-shaped fence staples
    Small U-shaped fence staples
    Hog rings and hog ring tool
    Zip ties for temporary fastening
    Eye bolts for skids
    Primer, paint and brushes

    Some of the tools used included:
    Miter saw
    Jig saw
    Circular saw
    Cordless drill/screwdriver
    Plumb bob
    Tin snips
    Measuring tape

    We used a basic 8x8' two panel design with 10' skids for dragging. The cattle panels cost $25.99 each at TSC and measure 16' long and 50' wide. To transport the cattle panels, they can be arched up inside the bed of a pickup truck, several at a time. If you're having trouble visualizing this, you can look it up on YouTube. When setting the panels in the frame, we first partially drilled in some screws for them to rest on. We then used large U-shaped fence staples to secure them.


    Since we plan to drag the coop it needed to have a really sturdy frame. Everything is secured with screws, not nails. We added corner braces, a top beam, and diagonal supports. The cattle panels are secured to the beams (front and back horizontal beams and top lengthwise beam) with U-shaped fence staples. In the front we framed in a door and in the back an opening for nest boxes. We used minimal screws to secure the door frame and diagonal braces to the bottom of the base in front. An explanation will follow. Note: The metal sitting on top is just a scrap to help us visualize the roof. Also, I didn't take any photos but we made a plumb bob with string and a rock and hung it from the top of the arch. We marked the center of the bottom board and then made sure these two matched up as we attached the framing.


    Next we built the exterior of the nest box and began cutting and piecing together sections of plywood for the back wall, attaching them to the frame and diagonal supports. For the curved edge, we traced the line with a pencil and then cut with a jig saw. Note: I chose a top opening nest box design even after reading warnings that they leak. The warnings are true and I should have listened. However, I believe a good solution will be a flexible strip of rubber that covers the length of the hinge seam.


    At this point we decided to paint so it would be done before attaching the hardware cloth to the front. We used one coat of primer and two coats of the cheap red and white fence paints from TSC. In the first photo you can see the difference between one coat on the nest box, which looks like a wash, and two coats on the wall. Two coats provided good coverage and stood up to rain within a day of drying.


    The next step was attaching hardware cloth to the front and sides. We chose the 1/2" size. A 48"x50' roll from Amazon was around $68, including shipping. We attached the front sections first since we wanted the folded edges to lay under the side pieces. I wanted the lower edges to be secured down in between the baseboard and vertical supports so this is why we didn't screw those pieces in too well. We measured and cut the hardware cloth then reversed out the screws to wedge it down in there before screwing everything back in and adding additional screws. This was a little challenging but worked well. We secured it at the bottom with screws and washers. On the outside we used small U-shaped staples that you hammer in. We left several inches of overhang around the curved edges to be trimmed and folded over.

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    The side sections of hardware cloth only cover the portion of the sides that will not be covered with corrugated roofing. The pieces were easy to slip between the baseboards and cattle panels and secure with screws and washers. We did also unscrew the front corner braces to wedge it underneath. Once everything was fitted tightly we secured the front and side edges to the cattle panel with hog rings. Note: Rather than only using hardware cloth on a small section of the sides, I think it would have been better to run it the full length, going under the corrugated siding.


    We attached the door and didn't like the gap we saw at the bottom so we added an extra board to make a better threshold plus a small lip that acts as a backstop and keeps it from swinging inward against the hinges. You can see the unpainted threshold in the second photo.


    I cut a small section of hardware cloth to cover the opening at the top front of the coop, folding over the excess and securing with small U-shaped staples and hog rings. Then we began attaching our corrugated panels. These were cut with a Sawzall from salvaged pieces we had on hand. They have existing holes and other imperfections, oh well it adds to the charm! We attached them to the cattle panels with back strips made from 1x2's and metal roofing screws, the kind with rubber washers. Aka tuftex screws.

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    As a finishing detail we put in some 1/4 round molding around the rear and side edges to seal gaps and hold the bottom edges of the corrugated panels securely in place. We painted it before attaching with brad nails. We added large eye bolts to all four ends of the skids for attaching chain or rope. The coop ended up being too heavy to pull by hand but moves easily with a pickup.

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    A few more finishing touches. Safety latches for the nest box. Rounded corners on the corrugated sheeting. Roosts, a feeder and a horseshoe for good luck. I made a horizontal nipple waterer with a 2 gallon reservoir.

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    We still have some touch up painting to do and I'll be putting in a dust bath and a dispenser for oyster shell and grit. We're considering a wire skirt to prevent digging from outside.

    Were we to do it again, I would choose a back opening nest box and extended the hardware cloth for the full length of the sides. This would have made it more secure against small predators, which could maybe squeeze under the corrugated metal sides.


    In this photo you can see the day pen we made with 7 ft plastic deer fencing. It is attached to 8' metal t-posts and can be moved with the coop.


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Recent User Reviews

  1. 21hens-incharge
    "I still love this design."
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Feb 14, 2019
    Thanks for including the process pictures.
    Yours is one of the stupidest I have ever seen.
    1. Ms Biddy
      Please don't fix the typo because it's kind of hilarious At least I hope it's a typo!! Thank you for reading the article!
  2. Wendy Case
    "Love, love, love!!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jan 24, 2019
    I have a hoop run constructed hastily last Fall when we acquired our flock!
    We had quite a few ranch panels (4'H x 16'L) per panel and these would have to attach to a repurposed 10x10x6 dog kennel now coop!
    We stood up the panels the full 16ft on both sides of the coop and then bowed three panels and attached them to the 'walls' apex metal roof we'd constructed over the dog kennel. I truly WISH I'd seen your post right before we constructed this. SO many ideas!! We don't have a center roof support, but we do have two posts securing the panels within the run. The run is mainly covered with tarps and looks like a covered wagon..... And that's got to change!! I have no idea how we'd put the metal roof on mine but I'll definitely be working on a plan to do this. And on the sides to.
    Your coop is amazing and DEFINITELY an inspiration/motivation to get mine looking pretty and not like a shed gone wrong!
    Thank you so much. By summer there will be major changes in mine! Mainly to get rid of the tarps!!!


    1. A12AD21F-27FF-4183-8A06-8FAA0F7C500D.jpeg
    Ms Biddy likes this.
    1. Ms Biddy
      Repurposing can be challenging but is worth it in the end. I'm so happy our coop is getting your wheels turning. Best of luck!
  3. N F C
    "CP Hoop Coop"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Oct 8, 2018
    Good article showing how a cattle panel hoop coop was built.
    Ms Biddy likes this.


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  1. grnidone
    I LOVE this coop! I want to make a hoop coop because it looks easy to build, but was concerned about tarps in the strong Kansas wind. This solves that issue!
      Ms Biddy likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. grnidone
      Mostly it's the CONSTANT wind. It's always blowing at least 15 to 20 which rubs a tarp into tatters in about 2 months. Yes, we sometimes have crazy wind storms, but it's the constant that I'm more concerned with.
    3. grnidone
      Also, how did you attach the 1x2 backstrips to the cattle panels before you put the outside tin roof on?
    4. Ms Biddy
      Attaching the roofing was a two person job, working from the bottom up. We predrilled the holes where we wanted them, then I held the 1x2's in place from the inside while the screws were attached on the outside. I pressed the wood toward the screws until they "grabbed" then they tightened up nicely on their own. It was actually pretty easy and holds the roofing in place snug.
  2. Astro1989
    If it is not to much to ask, what is length of the vertical 2×4s on top of the 2x6. Also, is that a 2×6 Or 2×4 At the top of the coop?
      Ms Biddy likes this.
    1. Ms Biddy
      Thank you for reading the article :) There actually aren't any 2x6's shown, they're all 2x4's but we used some rough cut lumber. The ones that look smaller are normal 1 1/2 x 3 1/2" size and the bigger ones are 1 1/2 x 4" or 1 3/4 x 4". Cattle panel coop designs are very forgiving and the width and roof height are flexible. The visible length of the vertical 2x4's in front is 5' but of course there are a couple more inches that you can't see where they attach behind the bottom board. If you were to build this with standard 2x4's and 2x6's you would just need to adjust the length of the verticals or adjust the roof arch accordingly.
      Astro1989 likes this.
  3. techbsmith
    Very well done!! Looks like a great place for some spoiled chickens :)
      Ms Biddy and Curnow like this.
    1. Ms Biddy
      You hit the nail on the head, lol! Thank you!
      techbsmith likes this.
  4. littlecollier
    This is amazing! We inherited a hoop structure (solid sides used as a shed currently) that is very similar in construction ... I think we could repurpose using some of your ideas. Can’t wait to give it a shot - Your post is such an inspiration! :love
      Ms Biddy likes this.
    1. Ms Biddy
      That is so sweet! Good luck with your coop :)
  5. ChicKat
    Well done!!
      Ms Biddy likes this.
    1. Ms Biddy
      Thank you!
  6. Abriana
    Great job! Looks very secure and safe. I love it!
      Ms Biddy and N F C like this.
    1. Ms Biddy
      That's very kind of you!
  7. jthornton
    Excellent build. How many chickens do you have and where do they roost at night?
      Molpet and Ms Biddy like this.
    1. Ms Biddy
      Thank you! Right now just 6 in this coop and there are roost bars on either side of the nest boxes. I may replace them with a ladder style roost.
    2. jthornton
      Ok, I see them now. Do some sleep in the nest boxes? A horizontal roost above the nest box would make them want to be up there to roost. I love how you re-purposed materials like the roofing.
      Ms Biddy likes this.
    3. Ms Biddy
      Repurposing is the best! Yes, they tried sleeping in the nest boxes the first night but I moved them and they haven't done it again. I'm keeping an eye on them and may add a high one like you described.
      jthornton likes this.
  8. Eggscoozme
    Very nice! Will be using some of these ideas for waterfowl coop soon to be built. Love the curved roof. Especially needed here with all the snow we get. We have to do the 1/2" hardware cloth as well or juvenile opossum get right through that 2" x 4" welded wire openings. Thank You for Sharing!
      Ms Biddy likes this.
    1. Ms Biddy
      Thank you! I hope you'll post photos when you're done.
  9. paintedChix
    Always love seeing new ways to build hoop coops. Looks awesome and thanks for sharing.
      Ms Biddy likes this.
    1. Ms Biddy
      Thank you! I love seeing different hoop coops too. They're really fun to customize.
  10. Nardo
    Awesome, it looks like it was fun and I know the chickens like it.
      Ms Biddy and N F C like this.
    1. Ms Biddy
      Thank you, they really do!
  11. sumi
    Congratulations, we've chosen one of your pics for the CC-POW. 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
    1. Ms Biddy
      Thank you, I appreciate it!
  12. N F C
    Thanks for sharing your coop build story!
    1. Ms Biddy
      You're welcome! Thank you for reading it.
      N F C likes this.

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