Need plans for coop-No construction experience

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Magnolia7330, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. Magnolia7330

    Magnolia7330 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2016
    Northern California
    I am planning to get my first small flock of birds in the spring. Until then I need to start getting a chicken coop built. Our city allows for no more than 6 hens. I would like a 4x8 coop and 8x8 or 10x8 run. It depends what we can fit in the area our zoning permits. I believe we should be able to do the larger run. I was hoping to find ready made plans on the internet. I found some very thorough plans but it was only a 4x4 coop and 4x8 run-this would be too small. My boyfriend and I don't have any construction experience. Is there a place where I can find ready made plans for the size I want? I've looked in the coop section, but can't find anything specific to what I want or the break down of materials needed. Thanks for the help. If I can't find any-I may just build as I go and hope it works out.
  2. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2016
    Two coop styles come to mind. First is the Woods coop in the smaller size of 6' x 10'. That is a really nice size for 6 birds (10sf per bird), but could do up to a dozen if you packed them in. The 6' x 10' was intended to be a backyard sized coop. They could stay in there all the time if need be. IMHO, you cannot do much better than a Woods style coop.

    Second is the Wichita style, with attached run. Those are flexible as to size, but are easier to build and will also work well.

    You can do a google search on BYC for plans and ideas for either of those.

    The next part is a bit tougher. Do you have the means to hire a handy man to bang this out for you? If not, either could be done by a novice, but by the time you buy the tools you would need, you are going to pay for the handy guy to do it anyway. As for plans and materials list, a true handy guy could probably look at some nice pictures and figure it out. It's not rocket surgery.

    Whatever you do, resist the urge to buy a pre-fab commercial coop. For the most part, those are pure crapola. Their only redeeming virtue is they look nice. Beyond that, I can't think of another.
  3. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    Lots of great coop ideas in the BYC Coop Gallery. Has contact info for the builder so you can contact them for info. Where are you in Northern Cali? My 'ol stompin' ground. If below the snow line, maybe think of something cute like a converted Little Tykes Playhouse? See gallery and craigslist. You need 4 sq. ft. per bird in the coop. If below the snow line, 3 sq. ft. will do. The run need 10 sq. ft. per bird so your run dimensions look good for a 6-8 bird coop.
    Do yourself a favor and build a stand up run. Nothing worse than crawling
    thru poop in a low run to catch a bird. It's easy:
    Take 2x4's and make 5ft. wide by 6 ft. tall chicken wire covered panels. Screw the panels together with 3 inch coated decking screws.Put in a horizontal stabilizing 2x4 at 1/2 way up. ( again 3 inch coated decking screws).
    2. Now carriage bolt the panels together ( 4 1/2 inch carriage bolts with washers and nuts) or use 3 1/2 inch coated deck screws alternating sides of the uprights you are screwing together. ( 3 inch is not long enough)
    3. Set then up using 4x4 for the corners. ( 4 inch carriage bolts with nuts and washers) Where I live in PA this just sets on the ground and does not need any foundation in the ground. Thus it is a temporary structure ad does not need a building permit.
    4. Make a simple door for inside one of the panels using a smaller chicken wire covered panel. Hang it with gate hinges from your local big box store. and a sliding bolt which had holes for a lock if you need one later.
    5. Now put some 2x4 cross beams over the run and roof it with chicken wire.
    6. Go to your local store and buy a tarp of the right size to roof the run. Leaving a couple of inches overhang on each side. Now buy a couple of packets of those bungee cords with the red balls on one end. ( Walmart). carefully stretch the tarp over the roof of the run. measure down the side posts as far as needed and put in a heavy nail or C hook in the uprights. Now thread the bungee thru the grommets and around the nail. This will hold the tarp down against the roof. But the bungees will give the tarp enough "give so it doesn't rip and blow away I the wind. Take a look ahead of time.. If there are not grommets where you will need them, buy a simple grommeting kit from Harbor Freight
    7. Additional idea. if you are not wanting to fasten the chicken wire down with a bazillion fence staples, try this.
    Get 1x2's ( not plywood) and cut to length to fit perimeters of panels. Tack the wire down so it is taut. Then place the 1x2's over the edges of the wire and screw them down fastening all to the edges of the panels. Use 2 1/2 inch coated deck screws. you will be screwing into the 2 inch edge of the 2x4 panels.

    Karen in western PA, USA
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  4. Magnolia7330

    Magnolia7330 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2016
    Northern California
    Both of these replies were very helpful. Thank you. I will be looking up those style coops. Also, it was helpful to know what kind of screws and bolts to use-this wasn't something I thought about, but know I would when staring at the many options available.
  5. feralhound

    feralhound Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 21, 2016
    Jax, FL
    This is the plans I sort of followed to make my 4x8 coop, and I've personally never really did much construction other than a simple outdoor cat enclosure. it's just for the coop, not run though. I put mine on concrete blocks to raise it off the ground so when I do get my run done my chickens can still get under the coop for shade ect as they please :)

    Good luck!

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