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Coops for Non-Carpenters

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kriswrite, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. kriswrite

    kriswrite In the Brooder

    Dec 30, 2010
    I've been reading up on raising chickens for some time (and remembering how we cared for them when I was a kid), but we're really stuck on the coop. Neither my husband nor I are carpenters. At all. But ready made coops or kits are sooooo expensive. Can anyone offer advice on where to find EASY instructions for making a coop? I've been eyeballing chickenDIYGuides, but I tend to be skeptical of those sorts of sites.

    Any advice is most appreciated! Thanks!


    P.S. In case it matters, we're looking at starting with 4 chickens and I don't think we need special considerations for cold winter weather. We rarely go below the 20s here.

  2. maizey

    maizey Songster

    ive been eyeballing the ready made shooting houses for sale on about every other street corner in my area. I think with a few minor modifications, they would make a dandy coop and they are less than ready made coops price wise.. at least the ones ive seen are. Ive seen, wood, metal and plastic ones and im wishing I would have picked one up before dh.. (who is also not a carpenter but tried really hard) made my small coop.. it has a few..um...flaws. Hes a marvel at most everything else... just not carpentry.
  3. pharmchickrnmom

    pharmchickrnmom Songster

    Apr 13, 2010
    Kristina--get the book Building Chicken Coops for Dummies. I wish I had it before I built my little coop as I have few skills and cant cut a straight line to save my life! It came out all right, all things considered. The book is really good and gives you 4 coops with very specific directions on how to build them. It also explains everything in real people language and gives you a list of materials you will need for each one. Look on craigslist for free or cheap materials that people want to get rid of. Thats what I did. Whatever you decide to do, build bigger! Chicken math will get you sooner or later. I keep saying that while my coop will never be featured in Better Coop and Runs, my chickens will be warm and dry and safe and they dont really care about anything other than that!!! Good luck and go for it!!!
  4. BWKatz

    BWKatz Songster

    May 22, 2010
  5. jason389

    jason389 In the Brooder

    Dec 3, 2010
    Hi all, I have seen some built out of pallets that were pretty easy and cheap to make. Pallets are every where and what was said before craiglist always has free building/scrap material on there. One of the pallet coops that was built had siding on the sides of it that matched the house and you never knew it was made from pallets.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    A large percentage of BYCers who have made their own (nice! functional! good!) coops are non carpenters, in fact for many it is their first woodworking project ever. You can do it too.

    If you browse the coop design pages and peoples' personal pages, you will find quite a lot of them that give really good step by step photo-by-photo accounts of how they built their coops. That's basically a how-to tutorial [​IMG]

    Alternatively, buy a prefab wooden shed, add ventilation and a roost and cut a pophole, and voila, it's a coop [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  7. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    You can also watch Craig's List for dog houses and sheds. Many people (myself included) have modified them and used them for chicken coops.

  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    That's great to hear that the book for dummies is a good one. I haven't seen it, yet.

    I used a book on basic carpentry techniques, that also had garden shed designs. Then I added the pop door, roosts, vents and windows. The book showed how to frame in windows, so I could place them where I wanted. Places like Home Depot, Lowes or Menards usually have a book section with little books like that. Mine had easy to read diagrams and pictures. There are also how-to websites on building sheds and basic carpentry techniques.
  9. caveman

    caveman In the Brooder

    Dec 26, 2010
    Quote:I have also recently been fascinated with people who make smaller coops out of the childrens play houses sold for around $300 new or $75 used. That seams like a pretty fun/easy coop for a small amount of birds like the 4 you are planning on.
  10. palochknldy

    palochknldy Chirping

    Jun 7, 2010
    Palo, Iowa
    We too only have 4 chickens and we buildt our chicken tractor with just some plans in our heads. Standard framing, particle board, we used Ty-Vek on the outside for some weather protection and covered it with our left over privacy fence that we cut down to look like barn boards. It has gotten to below -20 already this year and the girls are just fine in there, no lighting and definitely no heat! During the summer we had it on a garden cart so we could pull it around, and now it is sitting on jack stands under a lean to help with the winter conditions. Good luck.
    Check out my page for a few photos.

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