Pawhut 71" Wooden Backyard Henhouse Chicken Coop Kit

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by melannrob, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. melannrob

    melannrob Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2016
    Minnesota, USA
    Okay, so I felt that I was so inept at constructing a coop from scratch that I bought a cheap kit off of Amazon. I was able to finish it quickly and move it into the garden. The girls love it :), me not so much :(. I was more disappointed with the result than I thought I would be.

    I did make a video of how I put it together to try and show/help those to see the real thing than just pictures.


    I just completed a few small modifications to let the girls be able to climb into the henhouse and to keep the roof on!

    I am planning on putting it up on bricks so it isn't sitting on uneven dirt that can be dug under. I am also planning a chicken garden design so the girls can be in the garden during the day, and in the chicken coop at night only.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions for improvements? I am trying to figure out how to gain easier access underneath the henhouse for cleaning purposes without crawling into the chicken run.
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    That coop is going to be very, very small for 4 birds. They grow quickly too.
  3. mollymoore

    mollymoore Out Of The Brooder

    May 29, 2012
    I am working on my kit too! I went with one made by Innovation Pet called Coop & Feathers Large Hen House. It's not very big at all, which is great because I live in town and only want a small flock. I think yours is really cute! If there's enough roost space for all your birds, but you feel the run area is lacking, you can add on an extension to the run. You could just use 2x2s, a staple gun, a few screws and 1/2" hardware cloth. That's what I plan to do as my flock will need to be inside their home until I am back from work. My first flock was lost to opossum attacks since I lacked carpentry skills to build a secure coop and run.

    I saw the Pawhut ones online, but the one I bought was in stock at Rural King. Mine has some color sprayed on it, but it's not weather proof at all, so I've been priming all the wood. I found a mildew resistant exterior paint I will use for topcoat. Bricks would be good around the bottom, it would help keep the wood from being saturated when it is wet outside. I plan to use some patio stones for the perimeter of mine. I think it will save me from weed control right next to the coop as well.

    What sort of little garden are you going to make for them? Are you going to frame it out with some sort of wire screen so they can't pull the roots out? It sounds really neat! I've heard marigolds are edible and make the egg yolks in laying hens' eggs especially colorful. I hope to do some of those in a window box and/or chicken flower bed covered with plastic garden fencing.

    I'd love to see more photos of your build and chickens enjoying their new home. I like your objective and honest review of the kit. It's very helpful.
    Last edited: May 10, 2016
  4. Tumbling K

    Tumbling K Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 5, 2015
    if you are going to let them out of the coop, then I'd enclose all of the sides, even the door, but put a solid cover over it, place additional roost bars. I'd also move the nesting box down towards the bottom and patch that hole. I'd also hinge the back of the coop to open fully, for ease of access. one last thing, the ramp is too steep.

    I agree, even as a roost area only, what is shown, will most likely be too small for 4 birds.
  5. melannrob

    melannrob Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2016
    Minnesota, USA

    I realize that. But, the coop description originally said it would hold 6 to 8 birds, so I thought I was safe. Sigh....
  6. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2015
    Walla Walla WA
    I had a small coop like this that I kept three chickens in. Then chicken math hit and I needed a bigger coop :) now I have nine. I have some suggestions. First, paint the coop. Second don't even bother trying to use the pullout drawer. Just put a bunch of pine shavings in there. My chickens did not roost on the bars, I gave them a couple branches and they used to those. Or they just slept in the bedding which I kept at least 6 inches deep, deeper in the winter.
    If they use the scoop only for sleeping or laying eggs it might work out. If it is placed in a relatively sheltered area that would help also. You can put hardware cloth under it, keep the food in the water outside and not in the coop itself. And take the divider out of the nesting box. And drill a few more holes up high for ventilation. Heat kills, much more than the cold. They will easily stay warm enough in there in the winter but it will get too hot very quickly in the summer. I put mine under a shade tree and kept the door open it during the summer heat. But I would not plan on getting more than two years out of it.
    I am not much of a builder either, luckily I found a friend that could build me a coop. I can make some modifications but I could not build it from scratch. You have some time to figure out what your next coop will be like.
  7. melannrob

    melannrob Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2016
    Minnesota, USA

    I love your coop! I think your kit is bigger than mine. I love the color in the picture. But, I am sure it would need alterations of some sort to fit my needs still.

    I put the coop in my fenced in vegetable garden which is 75 feet by 30 feet. I let the birds free range during the day and keep them in the coop at night. It works out well. I am making sure to fence off plants that I don’t want them to eat, but they can eat all the weeds and bugs to their hearts content.

    I did post a video of my chicks using their coop for the first time. This is by no means a recent updated video. But, I show a little bit more of the final construction. You can view it below.

    1 person likes this.
  8. melannrob

    melannrob Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2016
    Minnesota, USA
    Why would you want to put the nesting boxes near the ground? All the coops I see have them elevated. I also don't know why you would want to enclose all the sides as the chickens need plenty of air movement, especially during this hot summer we have had. Temps have been up near 100 this year several times, which is very rare for my region!

    Actually, I fixed the ramp issue. I glued asphalt and the chickens do just fine. I have been leaving the back door open for extra air movement during the day and they "hop" half fly up there no problem. I noticed they now started "flying" into the coop from the run now and skip the ramp altogether after I put fresh feed in their trough. I did make some modifications to make the coop better and so far so good. You can see an update in my latest video.

  9. melannrob

    melannrob Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2016
    Minnesota, USA
    I am beginning to wonder if chicken math is going to hit me too! This has worked out a lot better than I thought raising my own chickens and the family loves them. Problem is, I would need a bigger garden to expand my flock. ;)

    I sealed the coat like a person does with a wood deck. It seemed to work. I just couldn't find a paint color that matched the green asphalt roof.

    I also see the issue with the drawer. I am using it as a pullout, but it is not my favorite. I did what you suggested and put down a thick layer of pine shavings. Boy did they love that! They still use the roosting bar in there, which I am surprised. But, they rather bed down in the shavings more than anything else. I put a thick layer of straw in the run and they bed down in that, too.

    So far, no animals have attempted to get at the chickens. We haven't had an animal break into the garden yet with the fenced in area and for a varmint to get through that and then get into the coop would make more of a chore for them then what my neighbors have set up. They have lost a chicken here and there so far this month, but my four are still doing just fine. I make sure they are let out of the coop at 7am and they go in voluntarily at night when it starts getting dark. I think it works out well. They aren't picking on each other and no major chicken fights have broke out. I also keep the back door open when it is hot. Before a storm comes I make sure to shut it so the bedding doesn't get wet. We have had some severe storms go through and everything has stayed together and kept the birds dry.

    I wasn't sure if this chicken thing would work out for us, but it has gone way better than expected. Now, I am ready to invest in a more permanent coop and will build it from scratch. Looking back I wish I had done that in the first place, but one can never know how a project will turn out. I have plans formulated for my girls' new home in the works!
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You can stick a concrete block(or something) under the end of the ramp to reduce the angle make more usable.

    Yes, you fell for the tiny coop thing, many do...but it will make a great isolation/growout coop if you keep it out of the winter weather.

    Go big and tall on your new build...I like 6-8 sqft per bird in the wicked winters where thy may spend days on end in the coop.

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