Need EASY Coop Ideas (Materials already on hand are listed)


6 Years
Apr 30, 2013
Hi! My husband and I are planning to get some pullets soon. (We want to get 6.) I had chickens when I was growing up, so I know the basics but am trying to decide on a layout to house them.
Here's what I have on hand already:
1) a 10X5 chain-link dog lot with a swinging, latched door. It is 6ft high.
2) A plastic dog kennel. For a medium sized dog, the entire box is plastic with slits for ventilation. It used to have a metal grate type door that broke so that is no longer on it.
3) Some scrap wood. Mostly plywood.
4) Tarps

Here's what I know so far:
I am definitely going to use the dog lot. I am definitely going to buy some chicken mesh to go over the top. I would prefer not to have to bury any wire since we hope to be able to move the dog lot around some. Was considering attaching chicken wire at the bottom as well, coming up slightly on the sides and all the way under it to create a "floor" - since we do have lots of coyotes in our area. Would love to know what you experienced folk think of this idea. I do plan to cover one end of the dog lot and down slightly over the sides with a tarp to provide some weather protection.

Aside from that - I'm at a loss! My husband and I have very little carpentry skills but are eager enough to be willing to attempt to build a coop of some sort but it needs to be SIMPLE. I have looked online and can't find anything to fit the bill...? I want something to put inside the dog lot. I had friends (chicken keepers) tell me there was no need to build a coop, I simply needed some nesting boxes. (They suggested plastic TOTES...?) (But then they would have no "house." Do they need one?

Sorry for the long post but I desperately want to use as much as I can of what I have on hand and would like for the entire thing to be fairly portable so we can move it around.

Thanks so much!!



6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
I can't really give advice because I'm new and still have no coop for my chicks but I do know that you should use hardware cloth instead of chicken wire, chicken wire will not help in keeping critters out

Best of luck


10 Years
Jun 7, 2011
Taylors, SC
Your geographic location would help us plan.

The small dog kennel is large enough only for nesting boxes.

If you want to protect the movable run from diggers, you might consider getting some 2 foot tall chain link fence. That could be rolled out on the ground and hooked to the bottom of the run when you get it in place.

You could take a look at some of the coops featured in the section of the site to see how simple and complex some of the coops are. Chickens need food, water, and shelter. Simple will work for them.

Some folks have build coops from pallets. If you look around, you may find them two or three at a time a many businesses.

You might score a wooden shipping box from a motorcycle, watercraft, ATV dealer.



6 Years
Apr 30, 2013
Hi Chris! Thanks for the reply! We are in Western NC - mountains. Weather is pretty mild although predators will be a problem, I'm sure. Thanks for the idea about motorcycle dealers, will definitely stop by and ask!



8 Years
Aug 18, 2011
Welcome to BYC!!! Without a doubt the BEST place to learn about chickens.

I would suggest that you go to the "Learning Center" tab and the to coops and just browse through all the wonderful and creative coop designs there. You'll get LOTS of great ideas and can contact the people who built them to get details on what they did.

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