Our inexpensive coop & chicken run!

Linda V

Jul 11, 2016
Southern Granville County, NC
We are new to this but wanted to give our "girls" the best we could afford so we got this coop kit on line, picked it up at our local Home Depot, and went from there.

We didn't care for the color (barn red) so I sealed/stained it in CA Rustic to match our backyard fence, deck and porch...it turned out nice and it's more protected against the elements now too.

We then decided to take an idea of the internet and made a great "chicken run" from welded wire fence material as it was inexpensive, easy to work with, shape and handle and would allow the sun and shade into it.

After we assembled and sealed/stained the entire coop, we made the coop into a "tractor" placed it in just the right spot in our secure backyard (5" privacy fence) and decided to make the "run" so it can be attached or unattached from the coop so we could occasionally move both to different locations a few times a year.

In the past 3 weeks, the coop and run have been in 6 different places in our yard but this weekend we realized we can NOT ever put it on the lawn....the chicken have virtually destroyed the grass to the point of no return every time.

Now they are totally on a thick carpet of pine straw and they are lovin' it! :)

They are also in the shade any where from 90% to 100% from sunrise to sunset and are having a blast pecking and scratching for bugs in the pine straw!

Because they also do that under their roosting & nesting "barn" - we had to lay down green plastic fencing material under the coop itself to keep them from flinging dirt into their two drinking cups and PVC feeder tube.
The green, plastic fencing material has 2x2" openings in it - to allow waste to pass thru it. On top of that, we laid a 1" layer of chicken nesting material as they have a 17-foot long runner to dig and scratch around in!

To ensure they would NEVER be harmed by predators (stray cats, coons, possoms, hawks) the runner is covered on the top and sides but we also shaped the run to have an 8" flat area running down the sides to keep any predators from digging under it! See photos of all this and more!

We secured the predator guards on the runner with short, super cheap, green metal fencing from HD as it goes into the ground easily and makes the predator guard stay flush with the ground. Without securing it flat to the ground - you are allowing any predator to enter the run and the coop....this is paramount for their security!

The coop was $250.00 but the rest was stupid cheap - and it all looks great!

Hope this helps other "newbies" like us to get a nice idea for a coop & run who don't want to break the bank in the process!

Our hens are Dominiques and I named them "Henrietta" and "Abigail." I keep an "egg calendar" and so far we've had 1-2 eggs every day since we got them 3 weeks ago today!

NOTE: These pics were taken before we moved them to the cool, shady "cove" area in our backyard where they no longer can destroy our lawn! When the treated lumber "tractor part" dries out - it will also be sealed and stained CA Rustic to match the rest. We added a exterior plywood roof over the pen of the coop to keep yard bird waste from entering their coop AND to support the bucket used for the gravity-fed watering system. I'm going to also paint that with the CA Rustic just to make it more attractive.

IF you have any questions...just ask and I hope my pics help you get a better idea of what I shared here. :)
Linda in NC

Wow, lots of good additions you've done to your coop. Very nice, looks easy to move too. I'm looking at your hens and I think I'm seeing a single comb? They might be barred rocks if that's the case.
We were told they both were DOMINIQUE HENS so I'm giving them the beni of the doubt. We thought about getting those until we read about the Doms and that was it!

Glad you approve and like our pimped out coop, but compared to others I've seen on the web...ours would be considered to be more like a "housing project!" We aren't chicken snobs so as long as it suits our needs & theirs....we are good to go! We had to make another modification to the nesting area this weekend. The front "wall" was way too short, so John screwed a sealed/stained piece of thin wood to make it higher in the front henceforth....the nesting material won't be "scratched" out when they are ready to lay! When they do that, the egg winds up on the bare wood....ugh! :(

Since it's kinda hot - even in the shade today...I put a sterilized ceramic bird bath (2" deep when full) on the end of the "run" so they could stand in it or bathe in it. Also...if something dreadful happened to their water tubes from the bucket - the bird bath can hold water from the rain. Supposed to rain Wed-Fri....and we leave for MAGGIE VALLEY, NC. for the Moonshine festival Thurs-Sat. afternoon so we need to feel the girls will do well on their own!

I put ice in the water bucket, gave them cold fruit from the frige and an extra container inside the under-coop area with ice cubes - in case they wanted to sip on ice water now and then.

The coop & run are in the shade 100% from 10:00 am till the next day so they are doing great in this dreadful heat wave AND have not stopped laying eggs every day either....lol! :)

Talk to you soon, Lisa...and again..thanks for the koodos on our "every man's coop"....ha ha ha!


Linda in NC
I have been looking around at Dominique combs, apparently they sit higher on the head than other rose combed breeds, so I definitely can be mistaken. I haven't had any Dominique yet so I'm not as familiar with them, sorry if I caused any troubles.

You are doing exactly what we do, build stuff how we want than tweek the design until it all works. I am still surprised at how mellow your hens are.

I water my chickens in shallow pans as well as buckets, so leaving out a few will guarantee they don't run out of it. Using a bird bath top is really clever.

Many hens scratch out the bedding, I have to replenish mine a few times a week, so that's pretty normal.

Thanks for the daily joke, isn't that the truth.

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