Simple Chicken Coop

Springer

Member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
BX2680 LA344S EA 55" Grapple, Stump Bucket 48 Box grader, Disc Harrow
Jul 21, 2021
87
49
18
Tiger, GA
We just got into the Chicken egg business. Have 9 Rock Barred hens in the basement that I'll have to coop in two weeks.
We are giving 3 or 4 to the kids (they already have 6) and the rest will be ours. We live secluded on an 18 acre hill in the north Georgia mountains and are pretty much preppers so adding eggs to our larder seem right.
We also picked up our two neuts of honeybees yesterday (~110K), so we are back into bee honey business.

I'm looking for simple plans for a 6 to 8 hen house. Not the Taj Mahal or Waldorf. Just a coop that I can walk in.
I just rebuild my two-car stand-alone garage and I have most of the Masonite that I pulled off and replaced with OSB, so I have a lot of materials.

I'm pretty handy and have built entire buildings. Just looking to speed up the process.
 

GreensvilleJay

Well-known member

Equipment
BX23-S,57 A-C D-14,58 A-C D-14, 57 A-C D-14,tiller,cults,Millcreek 25G spreader,
Apr 2, 2019
9,815
4,016
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
I like the idea of the hen house being in the middle of TWO 'pens'. Alternate using them every other year.
 

pigdoc

Active member

Equipment
G1800S L2500
Aug 19, 2022
275
204
43
SE Pennsylvania
Have had backyard layers for many years.

My coop has a 4x8 inside area with a solid floor, perches, a window that opens, and access to nesting boxes. The floor is insulated with 2" styrofoam. It has an 8x8 outside run with no floor. It is movable. I built a system to lever the coop onto two wheels and roll it to a clean, unused area on a regular basis (every couple of weeks). I found that foam-filled motorized wheel chair wheels are the most durable. Google "chicken tractor". This size coop is plenty for 12-15 hens.

A few features in a coop that i can't live without:
1. Movable. If not movable, then your chickens will be perpetually living in mud, and your eggs will always be coated with mud. Ideally, you have some scrub ground you can place your coop on, because chickens will tear hell out of a lawn with their scratching.
2. Nest boxes accessible from the outside, so that you don't have to enter the coop to gather eggs.
3. Floor level door across an entire end, so that you can push soiled bedding out. Hinge this door at the top edge. Confine the birds to the outside run, open that door, and just push the soiled bedding out.
4. Because my coop never sits on level ground, the feeder and waterer are suspended from the ceiling, so that they hang level.

I don't try to molt my hens, I just let 'em lay continuously until they're spent. [A hen will lay about 500 eggs before she's spent.] In Northern latitudes, hens will go out of lay when the days get short. We use supplemental light on a timer to keep 'em in lay all winter.

If you worry about predators (like I do), you can't really let your hens range free, unless they're supervised. They will naturally go to roost when the sun goes down. Then, just close the door on them, and rest easy. The biggest source of loss is predation. After that, it's impacted crop or choking. Chickens are horribly glutinous, so don't dump all your kitchen waste in for them at once. Carrot ends are the worst for choking.

We sold all our spend hens about a month ago, and I haven't repopulated yet. Waiting to see what bird flu does this spring. My pullet supplier is in a quarantined zone right now...

I'll take a couple of pics of my chicken tractor...stay tuned.

-Paul
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

pigdoc

Active member

Equipment
G1800S L2500
Aug 19, 2022
275
204
43
SE Pennsylvania
Here are a few pics of my chicken tractor:

i built it of used lumber and steel (for the roof). I paid $0.25/sheet for the roofing. The floor on the inside is repurposed semi-trailer lining (1/4" high-density polyethylene). Slick when wet, but easy to clean. The perches are just broomsticks. The siding is off-the-shelf stuff from Lowe's, and the most expensive (and heaviest) component. The main structural members are four horizontal 12-foot treated 2x4s, which can be seen framing the outside run. They run all the way to the corner posts at the back wall and are notched into them. The coop is plenty heavy. A guiding objective should be to minimize weight for a movable coop. Still, I can move mine without mechanical assistance, and I'm not a big guy.

IMG_0715.jpg

Clean-out door

IMG_0716.jpg

IMG_0721.jpg

Nest boxes

IMG_0719.jpg

Inside
IMG_0723.jpg

Lift/move system: Ready
IMG_0722.jpg

Lift/move systm: Lifted
IMG_0724.jpg

Lift/move system: Detail IMG_0715.jpg IMG_0716.jpg IMG_0719.jpg IMG_0721.jpg IMG_0722.jpg IMG_0723.jpg IMG_0724.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: 6 users

Lencho

Active member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
B7100hst
Jan 21, 2017
407
85
28
NM
Hi Pigdoc,
nice job on the wheels! We had “chicken tractor” coops for many years and moving they about is key.
 

Sparky Prep

Active member
Dec 24, 2022
177
245
43
South Florida
The very best chicken coops made for back-yard keepers, hands.down, are.made by Carolina Coops. They are very expensive, and they don't sell plans (to protect their intellectual property). BUT, they do encourage people to.watch their videos, and mimic their designs. They truly are very helpful, knowledgeable, and have a vested intrest in chicken keeping. Google them, and check out their channel on YouTube. You can learn a lot. I bought one of their coops, and I don't regret it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

rc51stierhoff

Well-known member

Equipment
B2650, MX6000, (BX sold)
Sep 13, 2021
1,953
2,148
113
Ohio
We are venturing into fowl territory this year as well. I wish ours had wheels, but it is on skid of sorts. Pullets are due soon. I am adding a little bigger run so they have plenty of room into the end though.
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

soloz2

Member

Equipment
B2601
Feb 10, 2023
73
74
18
WNY
Couple rules to go by when planning. 2 square feet per bird in the coop and 10 square feet per bird in the run.
We have 4 hens in a 4x6 coop and a 10x20 run.
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Springer

Member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
BX2680 LA344S EA 55" Grapple, Stump Bucket 48 Box grader, Disc Harrow
Jul 21, 2021
87
49
18
Tiger, GA
Here are a few pics of my chicken tractor:

i built it of used lumber and steel (for the roof). I paid $0.25/sheet for the roofing. The floor on the inside is repurposed semi-trailer lining (1/4" high-density polyethylene). Slick when wet, but easy to clean. The perches are just broomsticks. The siding is off-the-shelf stuff from Lowe's, and the most expensive (and heaviest) component. The main structural members are four horizontal 12-foot treated 2x4s, which can be seen framing the outside run. They run all the way to the corner posts at the back wall and are notched into them. The coop is plenty heavy. A guiding objective should be to minimize weight for a movable coop. Still, I can move mine without mechanical assistance, and I'm not a big guy.

View attachment 99839
Clean-out door

View attachment 99840
View attachment 99842
Nest boxes

View attachment 99841
Inside
View attachment 99845
Lift/move system: Ready View attachment 99844
Lift/move systm: Lifted View attachment 99846
Lift/move system: Detail View attachment 99839 View attachment 99840 View attachment 99841 View attachment 99842 View attachment 99844 View attachment 99845 View attachment 99846
thanks. that's a pretty guide for me since i have essentially the same materials.
 

top gnome

Active member

Equipment
b2301 w bh fel grapple back blade snow plow forks
Dec 12, 2021
458
213
43
Fundy shore nova scotia
We have had chickens several times and just got 10 pullets a few weeks ago. we now have 13 hens. I built my coop it is 4x8 with a 4x2 ft nesting boxes accessible from outside. We free ranged our chickens for years but have lost many.
I will try to get some pics next time I am out. we raised ours up about 3 ft. because we lost 8 hens in one night when a weasel got in on our old coop. we have lost chickens to several predators. minks eagles coyotes we finally ended up using a couple of 165 ft electric poultry nets and a solar6 electric fencer. we have power in the coop for the water and heat light. the forks with the b will just barely lift and move it. we have not lost any chickens since we put in the netting in January
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

imnukensc

Well-known member

Equipment
BX2380
Sep 10, 2015
617
512
93
Midlands of SC
This is mine. Run is 16x16 with half fully covered with galvanized roofing and the other half fully enclosed in 1x1 welded wire. Coop is 5x5. Have had up to 8 chickens (1 rooster, 7 hens), but only have 6 total now. They get to free range daily from about 2:30 PM until they put themselves up for the night. Auto door on run lets them out and closes them up at night. Eggs accessible from outside via drop down door, but it's easier to open back door and just reach in. If I had it to do over again, coop would be 8x8 and fully open on the south side into the run. Only predators to get into coop have been rat snakes which I just relocate a mile or so away, but hawks and coyotes have gotten a few over the years---the price to pay for free ranging. There is 1x2 welded wire under the roost. I don't scoop chicken shit. No water or electric in coop or run, but I can run an extension cord and hose if necessary.
 

Attachments

Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

top gnome

Active member

Equipment
b2301 w bh fel grapple back blade snow plow forks
Dec 12, 2021
458
213
43
Fundy shore nova scotia
Here are some pics the 13 hens seem to do all right I intended to have 10 when I built the coop the other thing that worked out pretty well is i used linoleum on the floor and up a couple of inches on the walls of the coop so it is super easy to clean
P1010153.JPG
P1010155.JPG
P1010155.JPG
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

top gnome

Active member

Equipment
b2301 w bh fel grapple back blade snow plow forks
Dec 12, 2021
458
213
43
Fundy shore nova scotia
A couple more things to think about , I do not leave feed anywhere around the coop at night. We attracted all manor of unsavory critters (rats) I feed the hens outside the coop and when they go to bed so does the food. My wife read 101 chicken keeping hacks from the library and she has many many good ideas in that book.
 

Sparky Prep

Active member
Dec 24, 2022
177
245
43
South Florida
My Coop is rodent-proof, so I feed in my run. No food in the henhouse, just to fight ants. I only free-range while I'm home. Chickens stay locked up while I'm at work. Dogs protect the flock when they are out.
 

soloz2

Member

Equipment
B2601
Feb 10, 2023
73
74
18
WNY
Food and water are kept out in the run to help keep critters out of the coop. SO had us get a feeder that requires the chickens to step on it to open so they can eat. This also keeps mice out. A big rat probably could get in, but any animal would have to get through 1/2" welded wire to get in the run so that limits size a bit.