Building my first chicken coop was a challenge. I had never build a structure before. I am also a tiny bit of a perfectionist and I detest when I make something to later wish I had done it differently. So I took a lot of time and put a lot of thought into how I wanted my chicken coop to work. I did research on What makes a good chicken coop. I drew up lots of plans, threw them away and drew more.
I had some supplies on hand already. I try to reuse/re-purpose items as much as possible. I hate wasting things, money included. I wanted this coop to be the best coop possible for the smallest amount of money.
I consider myself a handy person. I do much more than I used to before I got over my irrational fear of power tools, that most women seem to have. But I confess, I was nervous to build this coop.
All of my plans were thrown out the window when I found this at the thrift store.
I know, right!
Seriously, weeks of planning, OUT THE WINDOW.
Now some people, like my husband, would look at this armorer and think “Man, that is ugly!”. But a chicken person would go crazy once they saw the inside:BAM! How can you NOT see nesting boxes?!
My husband couldn’t see the potential but I went with it anyways. I redrew the plans and then I got to work!
Here it is painted. Still ugly??????
First things first, the foundation. I’m worried about predators around our homestead so I wanted my coop build up off the ground. I’m also, admittedly, cheap and decided that I wanted to use the fence as one of the walls of the coop (free wall!). These things helped me to decide that I wanted one roof for the entire coop and pen. Which gave me the base of my foundation.
I decided where I wanted to position the coop and installed the 4×4 posts. I had never installed posts before. I dug the post holes with a post hole digger, installed, leveled and braced the posts. Then cemented them in.
Proud of my post work.
I measured the pitch I wanted for the roof and marked the angels on the posts. My husband cut them for me. After that I installed the support beams for the roof and floor.
The next step was the floor of the coop. It took a little finagling (because I built it off a crooked fence) but I got it done.
Then came the walls. I had a few items I had been saving to use on the coop. I basically built the walls around the items. One was the face of an old kitchen cabinet I had found on the side of the road.
I measured the width of the cabinet and installed two 2×4 posts that width apart from each other, from the floor of the coop to the ceiling, where I wanted the cabinet positioned.
I decided to spend a little extra money to have a good roof over the coop. We live in a heavily wooded ares and I was afraid of limbs and branches falling on the coop. I also only want to build this thing one time, so a good roof will keep it dry and help it last longer.
The roof was special ordered and I had to wait for it to come in before I would install the cabinet. It took about 2 weeks but it was well worth the wait. I installed the roof in about an hour by myself. I siliconed the screws to make a water tight seal.
Finally, the cabinet was moved into place. I tacked trim, to both the cabinet and the coop, around the connection point.
After all 4 walls were solid I climbed into the coop and stapled in bright aluminum bug screen and then stapled 1/4″ hardware cloth over it. I was sure to use heavy-duty staples and hammered them in to set them nicely. I them checked for any protruding nails or staples that my birds could possibly hurt themselves on and set them as well.
The final touches like safety hooks and a perch, for access to the nesting boxes, were added. As well as adding a door to the pen and enclosing the pen with chicken wire.
It took me about 2 weeks to build the coop and I have made a few improvements since then. This was a fantastic experience for me. I have always known that I could do anything I put my mind to. My Mom taught me that I was just as capable as any one else and I could do anything a man could do. But believing that and actually doing it are two different things. I built this coop entirely by myself (minus my husband cutting the 4×4 posts because he was worried I would hurt myself 🙂 ). It was hard work and it wore me out, but I did it. Now I feel like I can build anything! (Insert Super woman photo here!)
Left side optional chicken door
Left side door interior view
Observation window/center door
Chicken’s coop access door with stained glass above
Center chicken door/main coop access from pen
Center door/observation window
Right side door
Right interior view
No coop is complete without stained glass windows.
Do you have any questions on building a coop? I’m no expert BUT I FEEL LIKE ONE! 🙂