Saturday | August 2, 2014

DIY Chicken Coop

Here is a quick inexpensive DIY chicken coop we built. When we ordered our chickens we hadn’t really thought much about a coop at that point. Well with everything going on I pushed it off to the last minute and I needed to get something thrown together fast. Since the pig pen went together quickly and was pretty inexpensive I decided to build our coop in the same method. So I went and picked up some cedar posts.

 

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Since my father likes animals I decided to build the coop behind his cabin. Since we are already had the cedar fencing up for the yard, I figured I could utilize that as one side of the run. So I proceeded to dig out to set the corner post

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I inserted the cedar poles and back filled the post

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I had some boards left over from the raised beds so I figured I would use the for the actual coop, I placed it so I would end up with a 8×16 run for them

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once that was placed I continued placing the cedar posts and rails

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once I had those set I grabbed some extra wired fence I had laying around and proceeded to wrap the fencing I had just installed

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once I had that all set i started cutting out the opening for the door

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I had some extra milk crates around and decided to use them for nesting boxes

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I cut out a opening to make it easier for the chickens to get in and out of

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I laid them out where I wanted to mount them and proceeded to cut out a access panel

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I screwed the boxes to the wall

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and kept stacking my wooden frames, I added a ramp for the chickens to walk in and out of the coop with

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I cut out the doorway as I went up

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and set the last box in place

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a friend of mine had cut some cedar off his land so I grabbed three poles to build the framework of the roof

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I dug some holes and placed the cedar poles into them

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since our soil has a lot of clay and with the rain we had the holes were filling up with water immediately which made it impossible and futile to compact the soil back into the holes

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so I ran down to the store and picked up some cement, 2×4′s a some metal roofing to cap off the coop

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I just dumped a bag of cement into the hole and watered it down good

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the poles were all set

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I nailed down 2×4′s to act as a ridge beam for the run

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one concern is animals crawling under the wire

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so I nailed a 2×4 across the bottom to prevent anything from digging underneath

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I wrapped the rest of the bottom of the fencing

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and dug a trench on the outside of the boards

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I went around a dumped bags of cement in the trench for extra security

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I grabbed my handsaw and straightened the cut for the door opening

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and installed a header across the opening

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I cut some boards and installed them for a roosting area for the birds

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I wanted to cut out a window opening to allow in light and fresh air

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I cut it out and installed a header to help support the metal roof

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I screwed down the roofing

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and the coop was almost complete

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I needed to make a door for the back side of the nesting boxes, I grabbed the scrap of board I had cut out and test fit to see how the swing was

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since the board was 1.5 inches thick I had to trim about 1/4 inch off the board so it would open and close properly. I also mounted some hinges and a handle

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and mounted the door, I used a scrap piece of wood as stop for the door to keep it closed

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I cut a piece of the welded wire and mounted it over their window

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I needed to make a door, so I built a frame out of some extra grade stakes I had

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I mounted some hinges and a handle and mounted the door to the coop

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and stapled down chicken wire onto the door frame

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I cut some boards and nailed them to the fence to raise the height to make it easier for me to walk around in the coop and stapled down some chicken wire

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I strung wire up over the ridge board I had installed on the cedar posts

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and extended the height all the way around the run and stapled chicken wire down to it

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I extended the wire up over the ridge beam on the other side

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where the wire overlapped I was left with a gap

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so I grabbed some galvanized wire

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and sewed the ends together

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the run is enclosed

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I needed to make a door to get in and out of the run with

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so I screwed down some boards to form a frame

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and nailed together a quick frame and stapled welded wired onto it, I hung it with some simple piano hinges

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I dug a small trench in front of the door

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and installed a scrap piece of 2×12 to keep any animals from digging underneath it

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and back filled the board

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all complete

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I cut a couple pieces of scrap wood and screwed them to the coop to act as latches for the door

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and did the same for the run door

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I attached some roosting boards for the chickens

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and nailed down one to the posts, and the coop was done

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we moved the kennel out of our living room into the coop

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and after a couple of days moved the heat lamp and let them loose

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they grew fast

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my daughter called this their ugly stage

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But they filled out their feathers fast

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In august I was walking by the coop to feed the pigs

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and noticed something was digging under the coop

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I checked and all the chickens were accounted for, so I went and grabbed a bag of cement and poured it along the edge of the coop

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later that day I was down with the pigs and looked up towards the coop and I saw a ground hog digging trying to get into the coop

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a friend said she had heard of a ground hog killing a chicken but was probably just after the feed

so I laid out a bait pile

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and sat with my air rifle, and waited

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after 4 hours of sitting in my blind it was starting to get dark, so I called it a night

the next morning I saw the bait had been hit hard by my nemesis.

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later that afternoon I was walking past the coop and could see that something had been digging out the corner of the coop

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the chickens were all sitting in the corner of the run, which was not normal, so I peaked into the window of the coop and the ground hog was in there munching away on the chicken feed. Before I could move he saw me and bolted back out the hole.

at this point I had enough, I went and grabbed a trap out of my pantry and locked the chickens out into the run so they didn’t stick their neck in the trap

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three hours later I went to check on the trap

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kvr28 1, groundhog 0

*we won’t mention the skunk incident*

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About Author

KVR

Our family relocated to Maine 17 Years ago to get to a simpler way of life. We decided to start documenting everything we do about six years ago and share it with people who are also looking to slow down a little. Thank-you for reading.

  • Badis

    I have had chickens for about 3 or 4 years now and I love it. I straetd hatching chickens for my first grade class and one year hatched a batch of 5 bantams that were so cute that I told my husband to get ready to build a chicken coop I’m keeping these. Each year I have added a few to the flock and have enough that we never have to buy eggs and I can provide some for friends. I love keeping chickens and only dream about having a farm. I enjoyed your blog nice pictures.

  • John

    This is terrific! Great photos. I wish I had this kind of ability. I would love to raise chickens.

    • http://thehomesteadingboards.com Kvr28

      you can do it john!

  • http://google James

    I had a few two years ago but I had to get rid of them because I went away for a few months. I’m using the shed I had set up for them 9 and my bantim rooster which I can got back. I’m going to let them run around in the day and inside at night so I don’t have to build a run for them. They make good pest control slugs are the major pain down here . Nice photos and DIY info how is it working out are the chickens for meat or just eggs. I do just eggs myself after you have them from chick till they start laying about three months there more a part of the family. Your post was one of the top ones I’ve checked out and I liked at alot of them to see what way to go . I’m just going to add on the side of the shed there’s a small window I put in for light in the day so I’m going to build the nesting boxes on the outside wall so I can lift the roof part up to get at the eggs. I’ll past a few photos as I start in the next day or two. Thanks again for the help.

    • http://thehomesteadingboards.com Kvr28

      you are welcome jim, would love to see some pics, we use for meat and eggs

      • Randy

        Your coop looks great Kvr28. And it doesnt look like it costed you very much will all your materials together. We are looking into either buying one already built (and wow the expence) or trying our luck once again to build our own. My 1st didnt work to good. I know nothing of farming. lol

  • ally

    How much did this all cost you? We are thinking about raising chickens!

    • http://thehomesteadingboards.com Kvr28

      A couple hundred dollars

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  • JK

    I really appreciate your taking the time, effort, and aggravation to document all this for the folks (like me) that come behind you. You sure didn’t have to bother, but you did. Thank you for your trouble and thoughtfulness.