What style of coop would be best? I pretty much have no skills

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by catlvr976, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. catlvr976

    catlvr976 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 5, 2007
    Near Meadville, Pa
    Hello. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas as to the style of coop that would be so easy to put together that someone like me could build. The only things I can build are those pre-drilled types of furniture that you can buy in WalMart. LOL

    I live in NW Pa, so we get snow in the winter, it can be pretty warm in the summer, and my yard can get somewhat soggy from the rain (certain spots of the yard are really bad). I wanted to keep about 5-6 chickens.

    I've checked around on craigslist, but haven't been able to find anything. I don't think I could recycle a dog house for the number of chickens I want to keep. Haven't even been able to find a used kid's playhouse, either.

    So, if anyone has any ideas, I'd greatly appreciate it. I also have VERY limited tools as well. I have a miter saw, I have a drill (but I don't like to use it). Could one just nail pieces together?

    Maybe there is no such thing that is this ridiculously easy to build. I like the idea of those Catawba tractors, I'm not sure if anyone here has seen those, but that looks so terrifyingly hard.

    I don't really know anyone around here that could help me build one either (we just moved to this area a couple months ago). I'd really like to have chickens and I know my kiddos are just dying to help raise some.

    Thanks again!!
  2. turney31

    turney31 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2008
    palestine texas
    Search ugly coops! There are tons of ideas for creative building. Not ugly at all to me....Best of luck in your endeavor. Welcome to BYC!
  3. gdplum

    gdplum Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 9, 2010
    Go to Craigslist....advertise for someone to help you build the coop...when he (or she) arrives, work with them...that way, you can acquire some skills. I am sure someone in your area has an old coop they would like to get rid of....place your own advertisement in Craigslist ...LOOKING FOR CHICKEN COOP. Let your imagination work for you.
  4. therifleman

    therifleman Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2008
    western nc
    Good morning,
    I don't know your budget. But with the purchase of a circular saw, about $120 for a good one. And a hammer and nails. Maybe a level.
    You will have all the tools necessary. With a little imagination you will be amazed at what you can do. There are lots of plans online if you can't come up with something on your on. If you still think your in over your head, a good carpenter could probably build a 6 chicken size coop in a day. Maybe two. Might get pricey though. I think some of the best values out there are the out door building kits from home improvement centers. Probaly they have reasonably simple instructions. Good luck no matter how you go.

    RMBGKY Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 29, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    Even though I built the house I live in and my barn and my chicken coop and any other structure I want, I am still a mediocre carpenter. I put things together then realize I did something wrong or forgot something then have to tear it apart and redo it. I have one piece of advice, don't nail anything. The best investment I have made is a good battery powered drill and various length screws. I typically buy the star driver type. It makes the work go slower but you will be thankful when that inevitable tear apart happens.
  6. catlvr976

    catlvr976 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 5, 2007
    Near Meadville, Pa
    RMBGKY, too funny. I wouldn't think you're mediocre if you built a house!

    I mentioned that catawba coop. I like that and judging from the pics they have of how to do it, I might be willing to buy it and try it. They tell you the tools you need (I have everything but that jigsaw, which I'm assuming is for those handles). Part of me thinks I might be able to do it, but I fear the saw and I can't use that drill to save my life. Plus I don't even know how to change the bit. That's pretty bad, considering I actually LIKED wood shop when I was in school. What happened?? LOL

    I will do a search for the ugly coops and continue looking on craigslist. Maybe I could even talk to someone at the feed store around here. I live in the country and there are tons of farms around here. There's got to be somewhere I could find an old coop or something!
  7. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm a really bad carpenter, but I did manage build all the structures our cluckers needed. While I agree with Chris about the circular saw, (It'll save you a lot of work) I'd suggest that you buy a cheap one from someplace like Harbor Freight for starters. That way, if you only use it once you aren't out a lot. If you find that you're using it a lot and it quits on you you can always than go out and buy a better one. I do prefer screws for parts that are under stress. but most stuff I stick together with an air powered stapler and long staples. Quick and easy, and you can get those from Harbor Freight pretty cheaply too.

    As for what the coop looks like; First the cluckers don't care. They just need a little shelter and someplace to lay. They aren't much into style.

    Materials; I'm into found lumber, mostly pallets. Free is always good.

    You have to decide, but I'm not convinced that a coop is a necessity. Here's what I gave ours and they seem quite happy with it.

    A floor, a roof and three walls. Knocked it together in about 2 hours. Shade in the summer and someplace to get out of the wind and weather in the winter. I did go back later and hinge the roof because they lay in it during colder weather.

    To see all of our "outbuildings" go here:


    I went way overboard on the nesting boxes. There are 12 hens and they all use the same one. [​IMG]

    One more note; I had no fancy plans. Just a general idea of what I wanted/needed and knocked it together. Hope this helps and encourages you.

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