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was curious about programs/sites to help design coop/run

  1. mdunbar12
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    Im looking to build a new coop/run for my chickens this year and i was wondering if there are any websites that have any programs that can help you design a coop/run and then tell you what kinds (and how many) materials youd need? I have a few designs in mind, but i also live quite a ways from home depot/ other stores and i dont want to have to make so many trips. So i was curious if anyone else has found any programs or sites that help with design/materials lists?

    Thanks in advance.

    -Melissa

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  1. MissChris
    Hi, Melissa,
    Just saw your post and wanted to add what I found when I was researching building coops and looking for plans myself. I found several designs available on the Tractor Supply web site. I thought I remembered that they had a main page with links to all the designs/plans, but I'm not finding that now. So here is a link to one of the designs, and at the very bottom of the page, you'll find links to other designs. They also have the individual plan building material lists available in pdf format on the pages where they describe how to build each coop. http://www.tractorsupply.com/know-how_Chicken-Coops_sunny-side-up-chicken-tractor-design

    Anyway, while I didn't use any single plan from the Tractor Supply site when I built my coop, what I did do was read through all the designs, and learned about construction in general, and applied some of the things I learned when I started building my coop and run. I used mostly recycled/repurposed material, but did buy all new hardware (got great prices on hinges etc at a local recycle building supply center!) and I used hardware cloth instead of chicken wire. The best price I found on hardware cloth was online at wayfair.com. Hope this helps!
  2. mdunbar12
    Thanks to you both for your replies and suggestions! I appreciate it..

    -Melissa
  3. aplott2
    Look up SketchUp its a Free 3d Model software and there are tons of videos on youtube to help you learn the software. You can design the coop and by using components you can create a material list. If you dont want to go that route then I would suggest either old fashioned pencil and paper and figuring it up that way or purchasing a plan from online. Just google search chicken coop plans you may even be able to find some free ones.
  4. foothillsco
    Hello Melissa,

    Unfortunately, there isn't such a program that I know of. In construction terms, what your asking for is called a "take-off". For example, you go to Home Depot with your set of plans and they build a structure like a deck or building and it spits out your list of things. I've had mixed results trying this.

    I'm not sure of your budget, but hiring a carpenter even for a few hours could knock out a lot of work. They usually come with their own tools that your average homeowner wouldn't have.

    For a chicken coop, I suggest a few drawings and then calculate what is needed yourself. What your asking for is considered pretty small shouldn't be too difficult.

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