I made this little chicken barn a few years ago to house 3-5 laying hens in my back yard. I'm in town and had to design a "pretty" one to keep people from having a chicken coup (ha ha). This one was inspired by some Kansas barns I've seen. I spent about $40 when fully completed. Chicken wire, some 2x4s and damaged siding were the costs. Damaged siding is half price at my local lumber store. Other things used were scrap wood from old bathroom cabinets, leftover hardware, paint, and wood from house projects, and lot of scraps and hardware from a condemned house down the street (I got permission to take things before they bulldozed it.) Shingles were given by my neighbor leftover from roofing his garage.

There are some basic rules for designing and running a good healthy chicken shack:
1. Adequate floor space per bird.
2. Dry with good ventilation.
3. Temperature control.
4. Predator protection.
5. Keep it clean + fresh water/food = happy & healthy birds.

Many towns actually allow up to 5 chickens but no roosters. Check local rules on this if you plan to build. If you do get chickens in town, be courteous to the non-chicken majority so the rest of the city chicken people don't get punished through politics and zoning.

I submitted pictures of this coop to someone who was working on a coops book a while ago and they included a picture of it in "Chicken Coops, 45 Building Plans for Housing Your Flock." By Judy Pangman

Sources for my chicken knowledge:
"Building Chicken Coops" Gail Damerow
The City Chicken, http://www.thecitychicken.com/
Backyard Chickens Forum, http://www.backyardchickens.com/f/
FeatherSite - The Poultry Page, http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/BRKPoultryPage.html

I recently posted another coop, a chicken outhouse with a beer can roof at diylife.com

Step 1: Floor Space, Framing, and Nest Boxes

My floor space includes the exterior run. I knew I wanted 3 heavy egg layers, so from the charts I used 10 square feet per bird rule. There are different suggestions in different books/guides; this link has a pretty good chart: Virginia Tech Small Scale Poultry Housing PDF.

I built this 18" off the ground to create a shady part of the pen underneath the coop.
The floor is 2x4s framed like a little porch 3 feet by 4 feet sitting on 4x4s attached with many 3" screws.
The walls are just under 4' tall and I used 3" screws to put together the 2x4s. 4' walls are a good dimension because siding and plywood come in 4'x8' sheets.

I framed in nest boxes here. I think a rule is one box per 3-5 laying birds. They like dark, comfy places to lay. Making the boxes the size of a 12" dust pan works great when cleaning the coop. Lots/all books suggest elevated boxes, but these floor boxes have worked great for three years now.

Avoid treated lumber inside the coop or where they perch; the toxic stuff can affect the birds (ie. sickness/death)

About This Instructable


511 favorites


Bio: Dad and hubby, paleo food enthusiast, solar energy, boating, making stuff, melting stuff, and raising chickens.
More by robbtoberfest: Ford Escape Tailgate Fix Giant Acorns Forge a Paper Sword
Add instructable to: