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)

I got my 4 hens a year ago and now I have a rooster. I only have one hen sitting at this time my question is this when do I need to take the rooster out of the pin and for how long? And also how long does it take a egg to hatch?
Don't need a rooster for hens to lay. You just end up with non-fertile eggs. Also, if you put a light on a timer, they will lay all year if they get 16 hours of light a day. (Same goes for plants inside. If you give plants light for 16 hrs. a day, and warmth of course, they will produce all year.
<p>You can say that again.</p>
it takes 21 days for an egg to hatch. We hatched chics in are prescool.
Don't need a rooster for hens to lay. You just end up with non-fertile eggs. Also, if you put a light on a timer, they will lay all year if they get 16 hours of light a day. (Same goes for plants inside. If you give plants light for 16 hrs. a day, and warmth of course, they will produce all year.
Don't need a rooster for hens to lay. You just end up with non-fertile eggs. Also, if you put a light on a timer, they will lay all year if they get 16 hours of light a day. (Same goes for plants inside. If you give plants light for 16 hrs. a day, and warmth of course, they will produce all year.
<p>It looks like the predators in town are not having any chickens tonight.<br><br>This is an awesome design!<br><br>Thank you for sharing to us these helpful tips on how to raise chickens in the backyard with less expense. You were very creative and at the same time saved resources by using scrap materials. </p><p>Your design is great since you have fence that will protect your chickens from predators in town and at the same time a guard puppy.</p><p><br>I will be building one for my chickens soon.</p>
Nice coop....I don't suppose I would be lucky enough for you to be in Wichita? I have built a small coop and then bought one of those rabbit/chicken coops from someone off CL. Well I have also added to my flock and need a larger coop. I love the inside of yours and the idea of building it without much cost. Are the plans all in the book you mentioned? Thanks and enjoy!!!
Thanks, I'm not in Wichita area anymore (I miss it but Colorado is nice). The book features only a picture; this Instructable is probably the best &quot;plans&quot; layout. I'm working on a 3D drawing of a wall mounted chicken coop for four hens; if you're interested I can send you that.
This design is about 75% done.
we have 3 chicens. but they keep askaping. We tried clipping there feathers but they still got oat.
Thank you very much for this article! Your chicken coop looks awesome! Also the fence for the predators is an excellent idea! I also built a few chicken coops within the last years! I uploaded a photo of my current one:<br> <br> <br> <br> I also opened a blog about <a href="http://www.buildingachickencoopinfo.org" rel="nofollow">building a chicken coop</a>! If you are interested please visit my site and leave a comment. I do not have that much articles there right now but I will write more within the next days.
Nicely done, more like a chicken &quot;Coop de Ville&quot;.<br> <br> Good blog, will post a comment there too.
i''m looking to get chickens in the next year or so, i have a nice spot that would be perfect for 2 or 3 (thats the most i want) next to my garage, but it's a little small for the one here, but it's still pretty cool
chicken COUP. i like that!
Big Chickens!!
Just finished this coop based off of your design. Thanks!
Wow!!! That looks great.
Hi there<br>Found some interesting things on this site. May be of use to people.<br><br>http://adoptingchicks.webs.com/<br>
This is perfect! i have been wanting to get some chickens but coops are way too expensive! this is also really good because we have a lot of cats in my neighborhood. we own three ourselves! so it should protect them pretty well!<br>
I'm thinking of making a Chicken Coop to house 6 outside cats this winter. I made a cat shelter last year from plans I found online, but honestly it takes up too much room on the porch. I thought a smaller version of a chicken coop would work really well. Something like 2' x 2. You think that would work or would that be too small? <br>Pam
this is a wonderful 'ible - I hope to do something like this one, one day ;-)<br><br>what a great idea! a kid and dog coop! now that's a competition winner!<br><br>
Great instructions! Just what I was looking for for my own chicken coop... <br>Compared to the usual kits, this method of yours is actually very affordable. <br> <br>Thanks for sharing this!!
I love the little storage area over the nest boxes I'm totally gonna use that. I'm in the process of building a second coop... I told hubby it's a &quot;grow out area&quot; for my new babies until they're big enough to go in with the big girls muwahaha =x<br><br>Thanks for sharing this ;)
the 5th pic has some funny looking chickens!!!
Cool<a href="http://chickencoopbuildinganswers.com/benfits-to-free-range-chicken-farming/" rel="nofollow">Coop!</a>I might try and build one like it. Thank for sharing.
&nbsp;Thanks for a great instructable. I was toying with building my own chicken coop for a while but felt time and skill challenged. In the end I found a great portable chicken coop made by Handcrafted Coops. It's an A-Frame kit model that holds 4-6 hens. Very sturdy, handsome and affordable.<br />If anyone is interested you can see it at:&nbsp;<br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial; font-size: 13px; ">http://HandcraftedCoops.com</span><br />
I really like the design of your coop and they are very affordable compared to some of the kits that are available.
i have a question about this coop.... I plan on getting two RIRS and I live in canada (very cold winters)... Is it insulated enough against such cold temperatures for my chickens to live comfortably in the winter ?&nbsp; And also is the run large enough for them ?<br /> Answer would be very much appreiciated... The chicks come in 2 weeks !&nbsp;:)<br /> <br /> <br />
It's definitely big enough for two birds. My coop isn't insulated and works well with 6 hens; winters here in Kansas are about 15 to 35 degrees Farenheit throughout a&nbsp;February day. If you insulted the walls with foam board or styrofoam and covered it on the inside to keep the chickens from pecking at it, it might just do it.&nbsp;A south facing window is a must for solar heating, but a double or triple paned one would work even better. The more birds in a roost space, the better for heat at night (but you don't want the humidity too high either from all the bird breath); so if you only have two birds, you could just make a smaller coop so their bodies heat a smaller area.

About This Instructable




Bio: Dad and hubby, paleo food enthusiast, solar energy, boating, making stuff, melting stuff, and raising chickens.
More by robbtoberfest:Dragonfly Fairy WingsFord Escape Tailgate FixGiant Acorns
Add instructable to: