Women coop builders


9 Years
May 20, 2011
Any women build your own coop without much help? I'm about to start and because of my husbands work and hours I'll mostly be working solo. My Dad has offered to help but he has a lot of health issues so I'm not planning on burdening him unless it's necessary. I'm actually kind of terrified because I've never built anything. My husband wants me to hire someone because I'm pregnant with #3 and our other 2 are young. I really want to do it myself so just looking for some inspiration
Pshh, when better to tackle things like this than when you're pregnant?
That's when I shoveled all the old poop out of the horse barn we're turning into a chicken coop, clean and and reorganize all the cabinets, rearrange heavy furniture, start massive projects, and, here's the special part, FINISH them.
If you've never built anything before, maybe you could ask your Dad to lend you wisdom and guidance? Even if you have to tell him that you really want to do all the actual building yourself because you want to learn / it's a point of pride / whatever. You can totally do it! But if you don't know anything about building, and you can't have the help of your Dad, then I would either buy some blueprints, check out a library book, or something. It really isn't terribly hard.
Thanks so much for the encouragement. I agree, I seem to find BIG projects to do when I'm pregnant. I've never been the type to lay up on the couch with my feet propped up and ask for anything just because I'm growing a baby. My husband thinks I over do it and he's just really protective but he also knows I'm very head strong and when I set my mind to something there is not much anyone can do but get out of my way or help
He feels really guilty because he wants to do it for me but he works so much that there really is no way and it's just not fair since this was my idea. My Father in law was in town this weekend and he showed me a lot of stuff and helped with some measurements so I feel better about it. I guess I'm just worried about screwing something up even though I doubt the chickens would even notice. I have a month and a half before I even get them so I'm hoping that's plenty of time.
Well- then you and I are in similar boats, LOL! I *just* started working on my coop today and I have literally NEVER built anything more complicated than an IKEA coffee table. My husband cant help- he's (active duty Navy) stationed in Virginia right now and my most reliable helper just turned 5 on Tuesday. If there's anything I've learned from being a Navy wife- its how to be independent and creative!

You've got this- no problem! Keep it simple, do a lot of research, and never underestimate the power of YouTube!

Also- pick up a copy of "Building Chicken Coops for Dummies." I've only skimmed through it, but so far its been really helpful! Until late last night, I had no clue how to frame a wall for a door and window, LOL!
If you have money to play with, you might want to start with a kit. Building isn't hard but it requires tools you might not have and power tools you may not want to use around the little ones.

If you give it a go remember 3 things...

safety!!!! wear eye goggles, unplug power tools not when they are not in use, use the tool intended for the work

Measure, measure, cut!

A cut will take part of the wood... This can throw off the size of the pieces. Cut on the outside edge of the line you measure and always draw yourself a mark so you know which is your measured part and which is the waste part.

Little things like that can mess up even a simple project. A guy I knew tried to build boxes for his stereo. He ended up with three skewed and wobbly containers of various shapes. He was employed as a metal machinist, so you'd think he'd have had an easy time of it! He ended up laying boards across concrete blocks...

Good luck, and keep us posted!
I will not take all the credit, but I did a lot of the building on our coop. My husband is the only one photographed - of course because I was the one taking the pictures!
I will take all of the credit for painting, the nestbox and it's installation, the installation of the hardware cloth, vinyl flooring and the extension to the chicken run (minus digging post holes and mixing concrete). I also built a small hoop-house chicken tractor to move around the yard - my weed-removal system. Insert chickens and voila! Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of it...

It's not about whether a woman can do it. I couldn't have done it without a lot of the power tools my hubby has. Well, I could have, but as my husband would say, it would look a lot more like Sanford and Son built it. As he tells me "Babe - I love your enthusiasm!"

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Joneus-Me and my husband are both former active duty Navy. I have much respect for you because be a military wife is HARD.
I enjoy carpentry projects and built my bantam coop. I think there are quite a few women on BYC who've done their own builds.
And remember, most goof-ups are either fixable or are easily disguised with paint and/or trim. If you have access to power tools, it'll make things SO much easier. Aslo, especiall when working alone, I think it's a lot easier to frame each wall separately laid out on the ground, then once you have all four walls, put them together. And lastly...ASK FOR HELP when you need it, especially with lifting heavy things...especially since you're pregnant. Good luck and have fun!

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