Large Urban Coop - Renew, Reuse, Recycle


In the Brooder
7 Years
Aug 25, 2012
Let me preface this by stating that I am no carpenter. In fact this is the first thing I've built out of wood of any significance. We finally found a house in a little town within Indianapolis called Rocky Ripple. It's a bit of a hippy area and after seeing so many of the other home owners with backyard chickens we decided we wanted to join the club.

I figured I'd throw together a little coop and get a few chickens and call it a day. However, the ease of ordering chicks from Meyer Hatchery resulted in the purchase of 2 Australorps, 2 White Rocks, and 2 Golden Buffs. Six chickens meant my coop plan was going to be way to small so we scrapped it and went back to the drawing board.

Our original intention was to build the ever popular Wichita coop, but we also had a ton of material that we wanted to use in building the coop. We had recently taken down a fence along our front yard and wanted to use the slats for the coop walls. The previous owners of the house had a bunch of left over wood as well. After crunching some numbers and taking into account what we had I decided a regular steeple roof would be less expensive. What we ended up dong was just going through all the coops and taking elements from our favorite and throwing everything together. Except for the roof the majority of the frame is constructed like a standard Wichita coop.

Our yard is far from state and getting the base level turned out to be the hardest part. The footprint is 8X12 and I ended up burying 10 cinder blocks to place the bottom of the frame on. Log segments were buried between the blocks so there were no gaps. After hours and hours of leveling I managed to get everything pretty straight. The base is made up of treated 2X4s. For all of the other framing we just used standard studs.

A closer look at the actual "coop". Three pieces of plywood were laid over the supports and cut to fit in snug so they could be taken out later to be cleaned. We also covered them with the cheap vinyl tiles from Home Depot. They didn't stick very well so I ended up stapling them at the corners so they wouldn't come up. The window was a remnant of the previous coop I started on, which I ended up not using on this one.

Once most of the framing was done we went ahead and started priming/painting. I ended up adding more framing for the poop deck, etc. so we ended up painting as we went.

This is how it looked after some paint and getting the rafters on. I used hurricane ties to secure the rafters the the beams going across. I didn't want to get too crazy, but I was adamant that the roof be high enough that I would be able to stand up inside the run without slouching.

Another angle. You can also see where I started laying down pavers to keep things from getting muddy as we go in and out.

Obligatory shot of the girls. The previous owners left a big dog pen in the yard so we used it to let the chickens get outside and scratch around in the grass. It was amazing seeing how distinct their personalities became. The Australorps are the calmest and the happiest to be held. They'll literally let you hold them and take a nap. The Golden Buffs are pretty active and curious and a little bossy. The White Rocks are definitely the brats of the bunch. They hate being held and are hard to catch.

This is the runt of the bunch. My wife named here Lilly, but I started calling here ninja. She someone managed to get out of every brooder I built and she was the first one to discover she could fly out of the dog pen.

The supervisor. She is a 5 month old Border Collie who is obsessed with the chickens. We were concerned that she might hurt one of them, but one day the ninja got out of the pen and she literally herded her. It was pretty amazing to see. She spends half her day making circles around the coop and the other half chasing squirrels.

Back to the coop. The roof is composed of at least three colors of shingles. We got half of them from freecycle, some from my father and the rest were donated by our neighbor. We got some heavy rain from Sandy and there were no leaks. The paint colors were determined by what was sitting in the mistint section at Lowes, which ran us less than 10 dollars. The window is the best part of the coop in my opinion. I just framed it with 2X4s and had Ace Hardware cut a piece of glass to the size I needed, which ended up only running $29.00. The window is hinged and opens so it's easy to get in their and change their food/water and clean. We used welded wire for the enclosure. Ideally I would have gone with hardware cloth, but we already had the wire.

This is where it stands at the moment. The fencing is done, but I still have to add some more "trim" along the sides and back. Inside the coop is standard fare and I added a poop deck.

You can see the trim that still needs to be added in this shot. I put together a roost for the run with a left over 4x4. Right now we have a regular hinged door, but I think I'm going to replace it with a guillotine door. The run floor is going to be covered in sand soon as well.

Instagramed! The coop has taken about 2 months to complete working on it during the weekends and a couple of days a week after I get home from work. Nothing was particularly complicated and I would venture to say that anyone can do it. Anything that I couldn't figure out myself I just Googled.
I second thefishery's statement. I really love the nice touch of the hanging lanterns. :)
Last edited:
Nice job!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom