9 Years
Apr 3, 2010
Yuba City , CA
I am so depressed!

I am a total failure as a chicken coop builder! I have 5 chickens sitting in my living room and I am getting nowhere with my stinking coop! I don't know what to do at this point... should I buy something? cry? help!


10 Years
Nov 23, 2009
Deep In The Left Atrium Of TX
I swear mine took FOREVER... mainly because I kept waiting for DH to have time... and with a full time job and a full course load of college classes... suffice it to say I finally took matters into my own hands... all the corners aren't perfect, but the girls are dry, well vented and seem happy and are definitely safe so I'm happy.


10 Years
Sep 4, 2009
Boise, Idaho
Getting started is the hardest part, but you can figure it out as you go. The chickens don't care if it looks like its Martha Stewarts coop, so try not to worry. Just pick up a drill and get started!


10 Years
May 11, 2009
Cincinnati, Ohio
I have six chickens in my kitchen and a boyfriend who is a master builder... one you get him started.

I know a little about building, as do many of us here, what are you having trouble with? The base? The framing? Do you have poser tools?

Now, you certainly can buy something... but you still have to build a run unless you plan for them to free range -- and that works sort of sometimes, but if your neighborhood is small or there are lots of stray dogs and cats free ranging doesn't work well at all.

So let us know where you are having trouble and we will try to walk you through the hard parts.

It'll be fine, really,


9 Years
May 18, 2010
Semora NC - on the VA line
do not get depressed! It took me forever here to get my last project habitable if not finished...but i was waiting around searching for recyclable and free things to use for it ( a personal project more than a necissity ) but first and foremost how many chicks do you have? If its not may I can tell you a quick simple way to slap a small coop and run together that will take you the weekend to do and shouldn't cost me here more than 100$.

for a short term solution for chickens 4-12 weeks and about 8 chickens...but long term for 3-4 large breeds.

If you dont have much carpentry skills go to lowes or home depot buy 2 sheets of 15/32 (or 1/2 inch) plyboard, get them to cut them exactly in half for you. (thats 4 ft pieces...) get you a few sets of heavy duty shelving brackets (they are 90 degrees) you'll need atleast 2 for each corner (3-4 is best) I got a pack of 4 for 2$ with the screws so if they run you the same your looking at tops 8$ on that and 15$ a sheet for the plyboard around here so your at 38$ for me in North Carolina. cut you a hole in one of the boards at the bottom, and in another board a higher but narrow long hole (this will be a ventilation window and you'll cover it with hardware cloth)

a piece of tin, a tarp, PVC roofing anything you can get (me i used a PVC roof panel like they use for kids play houses - 10$ bought new for a 8' piece) as for a run, you can do whatever you want, PVC hoop, PVC box, lumber, etc...I used a PVC hoop coop design for the run, but I'm having issues with the run access area....so I'm kinda beating myself over the head on why I didn't think that part through lol. I have a cut out piece of plyboard with industrial zipties attaching it to the end (which means i either cut the zipties at moment every time i need to get into the run or just access food and water in the coop) until i finish up and figure out for sure how I want to do that access.

good luck, and don't be depressed. theres no reason you can't get a coop up soon! the first one doesn't have to be pretty. as long as its functional! then after you get the 'raising coop' as I call the first coop, you can move on to taking the next couple months to building the bigger nicer one!


11 Years
Aug 5, 2008
I feel your pain. It took me forever to finish my coop. In the meantime, you could check around for a used coop on Craig's List. Or you could get a chain link dog run and cover part of it for a coop/run. Definitely get them out of the house!


In the Brooder
9 Years
May 10, 2010
Austin, TX
Converting our un-used shed to a coop was supposed to be a weekend project - 6 weeks later, working every weekend and rushing home after work to screw in a roost here or staple some wire there, and our coop is just about ready! We also built a run. Neither me or my husband is particularly handy, in fact I have a bit more experience than him and that's just from helping my grandpa in his workshop when I was about 8.

The main thing I've realized is - the chickens don't care what your coop looks like! And thank goodness for that. As long as its not so bad YOU can't stand to look at it, I promise it'll be fine!! Ours is a little crooked, but darn it is secure! We probably used too many screws, or put the boards in at not-totally-proper intervals. We used 2x2 wood scraps and 4ft hardware cloth stapled on the inside and wrapped around it so it also has a nice 2ft apron. Predators, be darn! Once the chickens can finally move in, we might make some adjustments in the future. You can always take OUT screws and nails, add a support beam, or build it up however you need.

You probably have more foresight than I did and can see what a big project this is.
But just try to build a wooden square, and wrap it with wire! You can always upgrade/add more later. The scrap bin at the hardware store is a great place for inspiration.

If you post some pics or a description of what you have in mind I'm sure the helpful BYC posters will have great advice for you.


11 Years
Mar 29, 2009
I agree with everyone: It doesn't matter what it looks like! You can always build something temporary until you have the time to plan your stratagy or buy one. Have faith in your ability to learn new building skills!!!


9 Years
Apr 3, 2010
Yuba City , CA
I started to build one out of part of my son's loft bed set that he is not using. I think it COULD work out to be good if I wasn't so dang frustrated! I have the hardware cloth up over where the nesting boxes will be and have half of it up on the top part but no way to get to the nesting boxes from the main area. I will have to take pictures when it is light in the morning for some suggestions... If I hadn't torn up a perfectly good bedroom set to save $ I'd probably start from scratch with a plan

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