Tongue and Groove walls for coop


5 Years
Apr 29, 2014
Hey all, this is my first time raising chickens, my first coop build and my first post. I'm currently in the process of re-purposing my old front step into a coop. It's a 4'x8' step that's only a few years old, but it's time to replace it as it was just slapped together when we built the house and doesn't fit our landscaping plans. So I have a few questions that I haven't been able to answer with searches on the site.

First question is do I need to cover the floor? Currently the floor is just 4"x1" decking with enough spacing to drain. I see a lot of roll out flooring in a lot of the coops on here and I'm wondering if I can get away with just the decking.

Second question is..... I plan on using 6"x1" pine tongue and groove boards as my walls over 2"x4" wall. Should I be using plywood and covering with the pine, or is the 1" thick pine enough? I'm thinking it's more than enough myself as lots of coops are made with only 1/2" plywood, but would like to lean on your experience.

Last question is... How much headroom should the chickens have under the coop if I leave the space accessible to them? The deck is a little low, and raising it may not be the best option. Just curious what I can get away with. Also, is it a good idea to give them access to under the coop, if I don't cover the decking with something that won't drain?


7 Years
Feb 28, 2013
NW Hills of CT
Welcome to chicken farming! There is no right way to build a coop, each one is different, and you will learn from experience on what works best for you, your location, the local weather etc. I am assuming the coop is small, and you won't be walking into it. In that case, the floor just needs to be sturdy enough to support the chickens, and strong enough to keep predators from digging through from underneath. Consider the ability to clean it when deciding on material. Wood is plenty strong, but can accumulate and absorb all the gunk from the chickens. Many people cover the wood with linoleum flooring which makes cleanup much easier.

Walls made of 1" pine should be plenty strong. Consider the predators in your area, and what could try and get your chickens. Short of a bear, 1x6 boards should be fine. Make sure you nail them securely to the 2x4's, as animals can try and rip them off the frame. Deck screws would be more secure than nails.

If the coop is raised above the ground, a minimum distance would be 18". 24" would be better. This assumes standard chicken breeds, bantams would require less height. Consider your ability to reach in and clean the coop, get the eggs, add bedding etc. You may want to build it higher for your convenience. A counter top is 30-36" high, and that might be easier for you to work in the coop. Access under the coop is good, as it makes double use of the same space and provides shade. Some people hang their waterers and feeders underneath the coop. Just make sure you can get under there to refill them or retrieve them if they get knocked over or unhooked.

Load pictures of your progress. Makes it easier to offer suggestions when we can see what you have already. Good luck!

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