Coop: 3 'x 3' = 9 sq ft
Run: 2.75' x 8' = 22 sq ft
Hen Count: 2 - 4
Total Price: $164.05
After looking for a second coop (thanks chicken-math...), I realized all were out of my price range ($300-$400). I wanted to spend less than $150.
So, after seeing all of the other coop pages, I decided to build my own. Now, I am no carpenter, although I really do enjoy DIY projects. So, this is an amateur coop for sure.
I found wood crates for sale on a local classified ad to use as a starting point for my coop. The one I found was 3 foot by 3 foot ($15). If you do not have access to a crate, you can build one using 1x4s and wood paneling (plywood, etc) :
I then hammered out one of the sides to use as the door, which will make access to the interior of the coop and cleaning easy-peasy!
I primarily used 2x3s because they are less expensive and weigh less. They also make the coop easier to move. I first decided to make the frame for the roof. I cut the wood at a 45 degree angle so that when I put them together, it would be a 90 degree point. This would be the top of the roof. I then cut both pieces the same length on another 45 degree angle on the other end of the board, where the frame would connect to the coop. I didn't use an exact measurement... just trial and error! (Thus all of the small pieces cut off in the picture) :
I used a metal bracket to connect the frame together:
I then started the interior of the coop. I first marked where I wanted to put the roost in the coop (don't forget to make sure it's level):
I then screwed the piece left over from one of my roof frames as the platform to hold the roost board. I decided to put mine 8 inches from the floor and 8 inches from the wall. This should give the hens enough room to stretch their wings:
I then connected the roost onto the two platforms I had built. I screwed a 2x3 across the top of the opening to give the crate more security, make a spot to connect the front roofing frame, and make a spot to connect the coop door. You will notice I also screwed two small pieces into the back corners to make it easier to connect the roof frame to the back of the crate:
Here is the basic skeleton of the coop. I still haven't connected the roof frame:
Next I made the legs of the coop. I used 4x4s and cut them 18 inches long:
Here is a close up of a leg. I used two long screws to attach it to the coop, and then when all four legs were attached, I stood the coop up and screwed the legs in from the inside as well. You can see I also attached the hinge to the opening of the coop.
Here is the coop with the door attached:
Picture of the inside-- I have not attached the roof frames because I plan on adding windows and the nesting box first. It is much easier to do this before the roof gets in the way!
Here is another basic picture of the skeleton of the coop. I will attach the 8 foot 2x3s to the legs of the coop with a 2x3 at the end to create the run. The coop entrance will be on the front left side (looking at the picture on the right).
Next I worked on the roof frame. I created a window using plexiglass, and 1/2"x1" wood. I attached the window to the plywood using hinges. Be very careful when you go to screw the plexiglass to the wood. I cracked several before I got it right. You have to use a drill and drill out holes bigger than the pointy end of the screw, but not as big as the head. That way, the plexiglass has a better chance of staying in tact and not cracking (although some still cracked when I used this method. Eventually, I got it right. :
Now the window! I decided to use the "sliding door" method!! I made a frame, connecting the plexiglass in the same way as the window above. I then cut out a hole in the crate a little bit smaller than the frame. I created a track for the window to slide on and nailed some baseboards above the window (this creates the track). I also put on the hardware cloth behind both windows.
Because the entrance to the coop and the nesting box was about 4 inches off the ground, I decided to create a little step for the chicks.
Now, for the final touches on the roof. I decided to hang the roof 3 inches over the edge on both sides. So, I just screwed them into my two frames! Progress!!!!
I then connected the roof to the coop. Look! It's actually looking like a coop now!
Now for the nesting box. Ugh! This took FOREVER to do. Because I put the nesting box on the same side that the roof slants down on, i had to change the slope of the roof on the nesting box. This also prevented me from creating access to the eggs through the lid of the box. So, I decided to create a swinging door on the top-back of the box for access to the eggs. Here's to hoping it works when i attach the roofing material.
I then created the entryway to the coop. I used the same sliding door technique, but this time, I attached eyelets to the two sides of the door (I will attach a chain to them with a pulley system, thus making it possible to open and close the door from the outside. I also created door stoppers on the track, so that the door won't open more than it needs to, and it will remain right on the hole to close the door.
This picture shows the stopper on the track. You are looking at the door from the ground (weird picture)...
Well, now that the coop details were done, it was time to work on the frame. I honestly did this as I went. I just attached the 8 ft 2x3s to the bottom to create the floor. Then, I attached the taller 2x3s and used 2x2s for the roof. Next I will create a bit more support for the run, nail on the chicken wire, paint the coop, and put on the roof!
Here it is all painted with the roof. The only thing I added was a holding space for a 5 gallon bucket with chicken nipples, and put on the chicken wire! It turned out even better than I intended I couldn't get a picture before it sold.
The buyers were going to put 5 small hens in it, so I added another roost (not pictured).
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