Howdy, I decided to write up this instructable as I was rather pleased with the results of my darn near free hen house and run.

I set out with the following goals, Use as much reclaimed materials as possible and make the house easy to move.

The resulting coop achieved both goals, I only had to purchase 2 lbs of screws, a box of staples, 2 lag bolts, and a 25 ft roll of poultry net. I am sure I could have bartered for these materials locally on craigslist but I was running out of time and the chicks were getting too cramped in the brooder I borrowed.

From the following you will understand that when I couldn't find a material I bartered or borrowed with buying being the last step. For the base I found a really nice 3ftx4ft pallet that a load of paper arrived on, I salvaged my door hardware from the dumpster behind work, sheet wood from a dumpster of a company that crates airfilters, 2x lumber from pallets/construction waste, and the tin was reclaimed from a section of fence that was storm damaged on my property. All wood is recycled reclaimed or otherwise re-purposed pallets/trash.

I went with a coop/run model instead of an all in one as I could eventually swap out the 10 ft run for a longer run, and to facilitate easier moving. The 2 pieces are held in alignment with some brackets that were originally used to hold up cubical sections to the wall however U shaped Deck brackets will work as well.


1x - drill with #2 Phillips driver and a nut driver suitable for roofing screws. Or a screw and nut driver set.

1x - Saw for cutting wood, Manual cross cut/circular with wood blade/jig saw/reciprocating saw

1x - tin snips, or a sawzall/jig saw with a metal cutting blade. I used tin snips and recommend the sawzall or jigsaw if working with tin ignore if using asphalt shingles.

1x - tape measure, 25ft,

1x - straight edge, I used a metal 12 inch ruler

1x - right angle gauge, Anything to help you ensure a right angle I used a specific locking protractor with straightedge. But a business card would work in a pinch

2x - pens 3x -pencils I dont know what happened to them but they kept walking off.

1 - T50/heavy duty staple gun (If it uses T-50 staples it is a HD gun)

Materials List, As Built (I scrounged most of my wood before building scrounged or purchased)

1lb box - 1 inch drywall screws

1lb box - 3 inch drywall screws

4- 3ftx8ft pieces of painted roofing steel. I reused the screws that held the tin up originally however the drywall screws will work. 2 pieces were cut down to 5 ft length 2 pieces were overlapped for the 10 ft run. Adjust for your dimensions.

8 - 3ft 2x4

2 - 5ft 2x4

2 - 4ft 2x4

7 - 28 inch 2x4

2 - 18inch 2x4

6 - 12 inch 2x4 scrap blocks for the nesting box frame.

4 - 10ft 2x4's

3 - 4x8 sheets of 1/2 inch sheeting (this is an estimate if buying due to the scrounged strand board)

5 - 3 inch door hinges

2 - 1 x 3 inch deep hinges (for the lid to the nest box)

Various pieces of 1"x4" boards ( I used 2 pallets worth of 1x strips for my trim work.)

Various pieces of 2x scrap for blocking/reenforcement etc.

Various truss plates, 6 inch nails/screws, or scrap tin to join the run sections together

1 box of T50 1/2 inch or deeper staples.

1 window, I used a piece of scrap lexan 28" x 24" that was left over from replacing a garage window pane.

To easily move the above about I made a lawn tractor trailer that easily slides under the house or run if tilted back. I unfortunately don't have any pictures of this setup in action. But Ill Sketch it out to give you an idea of what I did.

2 - 8 inch cart wheels, Available from tractor supply or from a junk lawnmower

1 2"x4"x6'

1 2"x4"x8'

2 2"x4"x6"

Step 1: On Your Mark, Get Set...

I began the process with Sketching out a small hen house to keep a flock of 3-4 Hens. An adult hen requires about 3-4 ft of space (less if free ranged) So it lead me to measure a pallet 4 hens x 3 square feet per bird = PALLET for the floor space. Pallets are easy to move, strong, and best of all usually free.

Gather your materials and tools take inventory of what you have and wether it is in a suitable condition to begin assembly. I like to lay everything out so I know what I have and where it is to prevent looking for things elsewhere. In the mean time between sketching and waiting for the paper pallet to free up I started scrounging other refuse wood to use for the frame and sheeting. Luck worked out so the door hinges were just sticking out of the work dumpster saying save us...

Awesome! I should make one like this for my pet rabbits. It would probably suit.
<p>Correction to my previous comment. I think this guys Hutch is a far better project for bunnies. <br><br>https://www.instructables.com/id/Kid-Friendly-Rabbit-Hotel/</p>
<p>It would make a great Rabbit Hutch, one thing I would change for the bunnies is to use a layer of hardware cloth on the bottom to keep them from burrowing out. I would also put a few pieces of strand board as pads so they don't hurt their feet on the wire. <br><br>I used to have a rabbit hutch about 12 ft long that was divided in to thirds. We would keep one rabbit in each compartment with their own food and water and nesting boxes. They didn't have the house as I kept them in the garage with a heater in the winter and a window A/C in the hottest parts of the summer. </p>
<p>ZSTHORIAN, fantastic coop you've built there, especially since you went heavy into reduce, reuse and recycle. I'm all for that. I even like free better. I also like the way you move it around with your lawn tractor. If I might add one thing though, it would be in the way of strengthening the run and coop. A triangle is the strongest geometric shape known to man and I would incorporate some of them into this build. It's not too late to do it now. See my photo of what happened to the tractor I built when a thunderstorm came though one night and you'll understand why. I'll certainly take my own advice next time, too. Keep up the good work!</p>
<p>Geez, glad to see your birds were Ok. I actually debated about an Aframe. The hen house is solid I can jump on it and im 250 lbs The Run was basically to keep them safe if I could not get them the hen house before dark due to working late or traffic etc. I usually move it around behind the house so that straight line winds will hit my house house first. That and My house shades it from late afternoon sun and a stand of trees shade it from morning sun. <br><br>I like your suggestion and adding a couple X braces midpoint in the run would add extra rigidity and provide the ladies more roosting space. The only thing I worry about is that they would get bummed out as they like to fly from the door of the house to the end of the run then back again. </p>
<p>This is such a luxurious chicken coop! Also, if you're looking for a different solar panel, Brown Dog Solar has a 20% coupon for Instructables members right now :) https://www.instructables.com/community/20-Discount-to-BrownDogSolarcom/</p>
<p>Thanks for the complement. Ill have to check them out. </p>
<p>Oh in the sketch I annotated a Solar panel and a muffin fan. My panel was not strong enough for the fan so I am still sourcing another solar panel. </p>

About This Instructable




Bio: Howdy, I am a bit of a tinker gnome. I like playing with hardware/technology along with making stuff I want out of old stuff ... More »
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