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The Hot Headed Hen House

  1. EagleChickens
    I used a combination of new, used, and scrap materials to build the coop. The coop was also built in more of a rush than I wanted. We had bought four pullet-sized birds and they were living in a dog-crate in our garage. I did not have schematics drawn up prior to building this coop. I had an idea in my head and designed the coop as I went. Some aspects may have been better if I implemented them better, but I was building the coop by myself so I constructed it in a manner that made it easy for me to assemble myself. Other than those areas in my narrative that specify otherwise, I used screws to assemble the coop. Because of the wood quality, I often had to drill pilot holes and lubricate screws with soap. This design is probably not the best for someone that needs a complete set of diagrams. But, it may be a good starting point for someone to draft plans.

    I started with two box frames made with 2X4s that were four feet by four feet, each box with a single cross support (see photo with chickens, they now use cross support as a perch). I then made the risers, two six feet tall and two that were seven feet tall (to give the roof a pitch). Attached the box frames to the risers about 17 inches from the bottom of the risers and the other box frame I attached four feet above. The approximate measurement is 61.5 inches so that the bottom of the lower 2X4 box and the top of the upper 2X4 box are four feet apart.

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    After the framing was attached, I cut a 4X8 sheet of particleboard and cut it in half (4X4). Once I notched out the corners for the risers, I attached the sheet as the floor to the coop.

    After the floor was installed I framed out the chicken door, lying box support, and support for cleanout door. Chicken door has an internal dimension of 12X12. The laying box support has internal dimension of 36X14. The cleanout door was placed at a distance that would give me plenty of room to access the inside of the coop. On the cleanout door side there are three pieces of plywood sheet. One section of sheet where hinges are attached. One piece acted as the door. The final sheet covered the remainder of the coop side.


    After the inside of the coop was framed out I cut the more 4X8 plywood sheets for the sides (4X4 per side based on the dimensions). I measured out the chicken doorframe and laying box frame so I could plunge cut the sheeting for these items. This was not necessary, but I like the cleaner look of a plunge cut (The sheeting that I used was cheap particleboard. While I could have used more expensive material, particleboard and paint can last a long time where we live.).

    Each corner had a gap, but that was corrected with the trim. I planed on this in anticipation of using trim to cleanup the edges and improve the overall appearance of the finished product. Basically, I wanted to be able to use 4X8 sheets in the most efficient manner possible during the construction.

    I applied peal and stick tiles to the floor. My coop measurements made this really easy, Remember, everything is 4X4 and the peal and stick is 1X1. The only cutting I had to do was for the framing notches. Having tiled floors in the past, I measured out the center of the floor and marked with an “X.” I then placed the tiles working from the center out. I reinforced the peal and stick with staples (the glue on the bottome of the peal and stick is not the greatest).

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    After the coop was covered (without trim), I constructed the laying box. The external dimensions of the box are 14 inches deep, 36 inches wide, and a tapered height going from 14 to 12 inches. The bottom and sides were all lengthened by two inches from laying box dimensions that I found online to accommodate for the internal coop framing. (When tapering the sides I had to start the taper two inches in from the internal side edge).

    After the external box pieces were cut, I used scrap wood and a brad nailer to assemble the pieces. The pieces of scrap wood were placed inside the box to give the nails something to grab. Small pieces of scrap were also used to support the dividers, but the dividers were not nailed to these pieces so they can be removed, if needed, for cleaning. After the laying box was completed I attached it to the coop with screws run into the coop box framing. It is very secure!!!

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    The coop was then painted. I have to give credit to my wife for this step. I hate painting!!! If she wouldn’t have painted I think the chickens would still be in a dog crate in the garage. Two coats of paint were applied. (paint and primer in one).

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    The roof was famed out, using 2X2s, to fit snugly outside of the risers. The risers are not 4X4 wide, so I had to measure them. I included a center support to reinforce stability and give myself another attachment point for the roofing material. I then measured and cut out the roofing material. I used a corrugated fiberglass from Home Depot. The material isn’t the cheapest option, but it worked well. I was able to cut the pieces with my skill-saw without issue. To be honest, I should have used three pieces to get more overhang on the side of the coop, but, after a recent heavy rainstorm, I came to learn that the limited overhang that my coop has is working fine. I used the scrap roofing material to cover the laying box lid. The roof was attached with screws.

    I bought five 1”X3”X8’ pieces of wood for the trim. Four of them were cut in half for the corner trim. They were sanded and painted prior to being attached to the coop. I used my brad nailer to install them. With a little time and care all corners were sealed and look beautiful. As for the chicken door, I had a piece of 14”X14” sheet that was leftover from the laying box construction. I used this piece for the door. I also used the last 1X3 and some scrap to make a slide track for the door. The opining of the chicken door is 12X12.

    The external chicken run was constructed using 2”X4”X8’. I used simple brackets to assemble the frame. I used brackets because they are 1) easy, and 2) removed any need for unreasonably long screws. I also used four of these brackets to attach the external chicken run to the coop. I did this because we presently rent our house, being able to break the coop down may be necessary in the future. The far end of the run (where the door is) I installed angled pieces of 2X4 to stabilize the coop and to give the door a backstop. I used a small block of scrap at the bottom far corner for a backstop. The chicken run door was made of 2X2s. I used some pieces of scrap 2X4 to reinforce the corners.

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    [​IMG] This photo shows the brackets holding the coop run to the coop.

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    I made the chicken ladder out of 1X6 and scrap wood. The cleats hold the 1X6 pieces together and were attached with a brad nailer. The ladder was attached to the coop with metal brackets.






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Comments

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  1. EagleChickens
    I plan on making side panels for the top vents for the winter. But, in the summer the temps are in the triple digest so I wanted to make sure the ladies wouldn't bake in their coop. I lock them up at night to keep them safe. So far the coop has been working will. I need to build a better waterer and feeder, but I have time. My main goal is to make sure that the coop works well for the birds and for me.
  2. Fahmah110
    Gooid job. I especailly like the "view" and extra ventilation at the top.
  3. Aussie-Chook
    Looks terrific :)

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