Our Shipping Crate Coop - finally finished!!! (pic heavy)


8 Years
Jun 12, 2011
DFW, Texas
Ok - those of you who said to plan on it taking 3X longer than you expect to build a coop - were right! I thought it would be a weekend project, since we were already starting with 4 walls, a ceiling and floor! How hard could this be? We aren't carpenters and have no experience constructing anything, so I guess that explains why it took us MONTHS to finish this. So many details....

We started with a 5x8x7 shipping crate that I got off Craigslist. It had one end that completely opened up on a full length piano hinge - very nice!


I really wanted a clear, barrel roof for light and ventilation - but, here in Texas, it's almost impossible to find a place that's in full shade all day. Otherwise, we'd have a solar oven. But our hoop coop was already set up next to an old, unused, concrete-floored pavilion - so we just unloaded the crate there and decided to connect the two with a chicken tunnel... a.k.a. chunnel.
A friend suggested that we should just wire-enclose the entire pavilion - 20x20 - but that would take a LOT of hardware cloth. I'm still gonna keep that in mind, though...

Cutout and added windows that we found in our shed attic and a Craigslist $15 french door (my DH and I were tearing our hair out at this point, so we contracted the door installation to save our marriage


Marriage saved, frustration lowered, we resume work and put in a large, screened ceiling vent (the roof panels were laid up there to keep out wind-blown rain):

Added barrel roof with screened openings on endcaps for ventilation, LED lights in the ceiling, clear corrugated roofing, and paint:

The chickens helped with the interior painting:

Inside high shelf for chicken paraphernalia, covered with hardware cloth "doors", and roost & poop deck:

Inside with vinyl-covered floor. The large back door will be great for clean-outs. Just sweep everything out onto a tarp and drag it to the veggie garden (yup, it will never be this clean again...):



I just wish I knew why the windows stay slightly open, unless we push them closed. Would mounting the hinges flush help with this - anybody know??


All in all, I'm happy with the way the coop turned out. It's well protected since it's under the pavilion, otherwise, the screened end cap vents would probably let rain blow in. We've had a couple of really gusty rainstorms, but everything stayed dry, so it works in our situation. The chickens, after checking out the chunnel, are of course not interested in the new coop. Guess I'll have to lock them inside at night for a week or so. Since this is basically a fowl-weather coop for the occasional snow, ice or heavy rain storms, I'm not too worried about it.
Many, many thanks to all you BYC'ers who have given advice and posted your pics - we would never have attempted something like this without all your great ideas and help!!

It's the physics of the weight of the window in relation to how the hinges are palced that cause them to wanna stand open a bit. It may help to take the half of the hinge that's on the outside of the window pane to move it and attach it to the side of the window pane facing up (in a plane perpendicular to the plane of the window instead of parallel).

Coop is super cool!
Very nicely done! It looks like the frame of your windows don't fit inside the casing that surrounds the opening. I have done this, not realizing the size of the opening should be slightly larger than the size of the window frame. If it's the top, back edge of the window frame that's rubbing, you can place a spacer (like washers) behind the point where the hinges attach to the coop. If its the top face of the frame, you can lower the hinges where they attach to the coop a little bit, if possible. #1 is easy, #2 will take work.
Yep this is my favorite part, which is saying a lot, because I love the whole thing.

Help me steal your idea. LOL

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