What Not To Do Building Your Coop For The Sub Beginner

By Roxannemc · Apr 9, 2012 · ·
  1. Roxannemc
    'What NOT TO DO building your coop ...for the SUB- BEGINNER'(like me)

    EPISODE 1 ---- April 9th 2012

    Most of these coops people have on Backyard Chickens are done so well and look SOOO easy and maybe it is for most people HOWEVER some may be enthusiastic but lack basic skills.(Like ME).
    But dont be intimidated...Im NOT!!!
    .The chickens need a roof and protection but it doesnt have to be a mansion .They wont complain.

    So If you have never build a square box before then join me in my trials of how NOT to do a coop and hopefully i will save other SUB beginners like me ... some money and time

    TIP**** use STAR tip screws , not nails or phillips screws ...They go in easier( and come OUT easier if you make a mistake)

    I have 11 chickens ...I ahve read one sq foot to 2 sq ft for each...
    I really dont know what size that gives me of a coop but I think one foot across and one high and one deep a chicken?? i am hoping 4x4x4 (16 SQ FT ?) will do it for 11 because over that and i am getting into more wood .
    If it isnt enough i am building a tractor coop next.
    Maybe i will have it attach onto this coop in some way but thats for later.

    After looking at tons of designs on BYC i decided on the size then drew a picture of the building each board and door and window and where needed and how long, tall etc. and each hinge and window too
    Spent 4 days on the plans.
    .Then reclaimed all the wood i had in my shed.
    Thought i had enough for the whole coop,I was THRILLED. I would spend almost nothing!
    ,Well its been About $250 so far., and more to go.


    DONT forget that the side boards should be shorter than the front and back when building the frame.
    If you figure on a 4 x4 x4 coop then the side boards will be 4 " shorter total( not 8" like i figured)
    Also The frame stands up on the sides..the 2 " end, NOT flat on the 4 "side (where my mistake came in)
    if you measure each piece flat you will come up 4 " too short (I did this).
    . So I needed one more 2x4 t ostart over

    DO make the legs all EXACTLY one height whatever that height is
    BY the way ....did i say I have a little problem with measurements.?
    I DO "measure twice to cut once" but I am left handed, the sawdust blows in my face...so i close my eyes as i cut

    This doesnt work well for perfect cuts.(I DO keep both hands on the handles of the saw..i am not CRAZY just inept).
    And Yeah i know, I need to find that dust bag my husband had someplace.

    If you use 2 pieces of 2 x4 wood for each leg so as not to have to buy 4 x 4's for legs , you will screw them together

    If the cuts arent perfectly even lengths (like mine arent) screw them on with the eveness at the floor not the base of the coop as you can shim the gaps at the coop base..
    Put the shorter gap to the inside of the corner so you can drive some shims into the gap and they will stay better..

    *** TIP.*****...save up lots of popcycle sticks and paint stirrers and even the thin pieces of wood that they put between the boards at Lowes. They are free if you ask and work GREAT.

    So shim your legs tight. Hammer the shims in. Maybe even a little wood glue wouldnt hurt.
    You can use the paint sticks later too for the little ramp for the chickens to walk up

    One more *****TIP***** i should have put this in the beginning
    For the base frame its ok
    .The chickens can possibly be poisoned from it.
    ( I did this.)
    I Had the pieces cut in half.. i put the base on and legs on too then realized...now i have 2 1/2 pieces i cant use
    Luckily we need a dog house too.
    Back to Lowes for the regular and CHEAPER ply for the coop.

    ****TIP:***Next time i would look for a reclaimed wood store or used wood on Craigs etc.. to get what i could before buying new.
    . Paint the regualr ply wood on the outside. (not inside )with exterior paint so it doesnt rot too quickly.

    Now i think i will need to put down some plastic on the coop treated floor and then some linolium over it to keep the fumes from the chickens

    Oh and dont screw the inside frame base(4 sides) on unless you have made one whole wall of frame first.(I did this too)

    (REMINDER TO MYSELF) move the dog igloo out of the pen before you get the walls of the coop up)

    BUILDING TIME: 2 days (about 6 hours each day)..
    PRO's---I DO have a STRONG BASE with legs DONE NOW,!
    Slow i know.
    My son can built a whole kitchen wall in about 2 hours from scratch ...
    BUT the coop IS getting done.(See below)
    The tops and bottoms of the "inside" frames are sitting on the base in the photos. I realized i didnt get enough 2 bys for the vertical sides.. oh well.....BAck to Lowes!!!
    Episode 2 coming soon[​IMG]

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Recent User Reviews

  1. Nardo
    "Only a start"
    3/5, 3 out of 5, reviewed Aug 8, 2018
    Wonder how this finished up?
  2. casportpony
    "Not really an article"
    1/5, 1 out of 5, reviewed Jul 11, 2018
  3. SavKel&RynKel
    1/5, 1 out of 5, reviewed Jul 1, 2018
    Never cut with your eyes closed!


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  1. mixitup
    Just a thought, but you might want to take it out of the pen now, before it gets too heavy and bulky-no offence intended. But I did something similar a couple of years ago. Built a duck house inside the barn-then had to get it out! LOL
  2. NovaAman
    You could do a 4x8 box. That would be scrimping a little... giving them more like 3 sq per bird, but, you'd have very few cuts to make, since lowes could do all your cuts for you.
  3. NovaAman
    NO NO NO! You will not have enough room! its 4 square feet per bird. Your coop will house only 4! It 1 foot per bird for roost space, 4sq for floor space.
  4. blessedchick
    EXCELLENT! It looks like you have a great start on your coop! Keep us posted on your progress! :)

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