I need HELP

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by davef72, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. davef72

    davef72 In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2015
    East Texas
    My family has decided to build a chicken coop. We'd like to house 8-15 hens, for egg purposes. I've scoured the internet looking for the best design. I can't seem to find one that doesn't require purchasing plans. Are there any friendlies out there who'd like to share their coop designs?

    If so, this Texas beginner would be very, very appreciative. Thank you for your time.

    BTW...I love the following coops, but can NOT find plans for them


    David French

    email - [email protected]
    Twitter - @Coach_French
  2. appps

    appps Crowing

    Aug 29, 2012
    There is a coop section here somewhere where people have shared various designs. Try a search for coops and it should take you in the right direction.
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Just build an 8x8 shed -- or purchase one, cut out a chicken door, and add openings at the top for ventilation. . There are a lot of coops in our Coops section (brown strip near top of page) that show details of how they are built.

    If you live in the Southern part of the US, or another warm climate, you can build a three sided structure. For predator protection, you can extend this out with wire for walls Remember that chickens deal with cold much better than heat, and require good shade and breeze in summer, even in the northern US. See here:


    Most people just sketch it out on paper and adjust as needed while building. Screws are easier to remove and place differently than nails.
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Sometimes it's just easier to go to ebay and pick out a coop prefab and they mail it. We built a coop and it cost us $600 plus labor when I could have got the same thing for 3-400$ and very little labor.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I have built one $8 coop, and one free coop, both without plans.

    I simply do a great deal of scrounging.... I looked through what I had, and figured out how it could all go together.

    Your biggest constraint will be roofing material. So, first figure out what you have for roofing. For my Muscovy coop I had really old metal roofing, and for my Bantam coop I had a truck bed topper.

    My point, is you don't need plans.

    Most of the 'cute' coops, look cute because they have a great paint job. So... don't worry about bad carpentry skills.

    For Texas, I would build as big as I possibly could, and the biggest constraint would be if I could find quality wire (hardware cloth), or how much money I could pay for it. The reason for that is that Texas is HOT, you want it as open an airy as possible, do NOT build a box!

    You can some nasty chicken predators down there. Raccoons will probably be the worst, but you also have snakes, and opossums, and skunks, and dogs, etc. etc.

    You can actually forget chickens, and just build a big enclosure that will keep all of your predators out.

    Once you have a big enclosure that will keep out predators, you can then add the nice perches and nest boxes etc.
  6. davef72

    davef72 In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2015
    East Texas
    Thanks for all the replies so far. I'm such a planner, I want to do everything the right way. Never built ANYTHING in my life. I do find it interesting that some think I do NOT need a box b/c I live in Texas. I know the heat has been a concern of mine. Hoping this is a success. Thanks again
  7. yellowchicks

    yellowchicks Chirping

    Jun 27, 2014
    My Coop
    When I was researching building a coop, I saw a PVC coop "Hen Hideout", really intrigued by it but don't know where to start. I sent a private message to the owner and he was so kind by sending me all his hand written notes. I also spent $30 to buy a coop plan then try to understand all the instructions.

    I learned a lot by studying different coop designs. First by gathering different coop pictures that l like, then see beyond their looks to figure out how it was made. After awhile, you will start to see the similarities and their uniqueness, and what people often referred to as "rule of thumb" in the coop design guidelines. I studied them in detail, sketch up each face, top view, side views, etc., list out the build-of-materials, and priced them out. The process helped me to understand why it was built a certain way and how I would or would not change the design. Once I finally decide on a design, I sketched up my own plans, drawn everything to scale in CAD, look at it again in 3-D, figure out the dimension of each piece of lumber, then we built our coop.

    It was a lot of work, but once we started, their was virtually minimal design changes during construction.

    You can build the coop as simple or as extravagant as you like. As long as the birds are comfortable, they really don't care how it looks. It is the owners who are proud of their handiwork, and want to say, "Yeah....I built that!".
  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I live north of Tampa. Down here I feel the chickens are more stressed by heat than by cold. I have 2 pens that have a roost, a food bowl and a dog house for laying eggs. Those have cover so they don't get wet. Then I have 2 coops that are completely open with wire in the front. If the rare really frozen day comes along, those two coops can be covered with feed bags. Then I have 7 chickens in a shed turned coop. I think the important things to remember that no matter what you get, it's best to build in a place that's shaded by trees.

    How cold does it get by you?
  9. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    My sister lives in the Hill Country in Texas, and her coop set-up has a coop part with a roof and on three sides only half walls. Bottom part walls, top part wire. The coop's forth side is all wire and opens to a short run area, that is all wire.

    Her Chickens are let out to free range every day.

    Her coop is set up under the live oak trees.
  10. ShockValue

    ShockValue Songster

    Jan 10, 2010
    West Sound, Washington
    I've done a bit of construction (weekend-warrior type) and just sat down with graph paper and went to town. I went with a 4x8x4 coop because the way plywood and lumber is measured this reduced the amount of waste and or cutting needing to be done. For the number of birds you want I would double it as Judy suggested. 8x8.

    The coops you listed in the original post are nice, but too small for the number of birds you want.
    1 person likes this.

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