- Pallet Chicken Coop
- 20 Free DIY Chicken Coop Plans You Can Build This Weekend
- 1. Classic Gardening Shed Styled Chicken Coop
- 2. DIY Sunrise Chicken Coop
- 3. Simple Upcycled Chicken Coop
- 4. DIY Chicken Palace
- 5. Easy Two Story Chicken Coop
- 6. Rustic Log Cabin Chicken Coop
- 7. Barn Style Chicken Coop
- 8. Chicken Coop
- 9. DIY Portable Mini Chicken Coop
- 10. Farmhouse Style Chicken Coop
- 11. Easy DIY Chicken Coop
- 12. Multiple Roost Chicken Coop
- 13. Simple DIY Hoop Coop
- 14. Portable Chicken Pen From PVC
- 15. Quick And Simple Backyard Chicken Coop
- 16. Scrap Lumber Coop
- 17. Chicken Coop With Shingles
- 18. Upcycled Water Tank Chicken Coop
- 19. Repurposed Trampoline Chicken Coop
- 20. DIY Upcycled Pallet Chicken Coop
- Related Content
- 48 DIY Chicken Coops – How to Build a Chicken Coop
- 9 DIY Chicken Coop Plans for Medium to Large Flocks
- 1. True Craftsmanship
- 2. Dreamy and Open
- 3. Shaker Style
- 4. Beautiful Barn
- 5. Neat and Tidy
- 6. Important Ventilation
- 7. Look at That Chicken Run!
- 8. Smart Design
- 9. Old-Fashioned
- Large chicken coop or smaller coop?
- Chicken Coop Checklist
- How to Build a Chicken Coop for Less Than
Pallet Chicken Coop
Since the pallet duck house build was a success, we decided to move our egg slaves into the yard this winter and build them a simple coop. The one thing missing in my opinion in a lot of pallet builds is insulating and outside finishes. So here is our version of a pallet chicken coop.
So I spent a couple days gathering needed supplies, and the weather was finally nice enough to get started, we decided to build the coop against the fence by the gate, it gets sun first thing in the morning before anywhere else in the yard.
I laid the base down to see how much of the raspberry bushes I needed to cut back
So I cleared out some of the canes and mowed the area down
I picked up some piers the other day
Of course the turkeys had to come see what all the commotion was about.
I set the piers on the ground
And grabbed the door frame from the greenhouse I had taken down to use as a support base for the pallets.
and screwed two of the pallets down to the base
My wife and I then started standing up pallets and screwing them down into the base pallets
The ends we stood up in place and leveled the top with the front and back pallets and screwed them into the sides
I grabbed the chainsaw
and cut out a doorway
It didn’t look to bad!
The next day I trimmed back some more of the doorway.
and framed it out with some scrap 2×4 I had laying around
My daughter was getting rid of a old side dresser she had, so not wanting to waste anything, I decided to repurpose the drawers.
So I cut out a opening on each end and put in a filler piece of wood.
and test fit the drawers
These will be used as a nesting box on one end and a poop clean out on the other, just slide them out and grab a egg or empty out the poop from under their roosting area.
I also noticed the pallets weren’t lining up properly along the front.
so I screwed down a scrap piece of wood to level it out
My shadows give me 2 wings up so far lol
So I stuck some filler pieces on top of the drawers as well to keep the insulation from falling into the drawers
and we hung some plastic on the inside to keep it from falling through the larger gaps
I picked up some mulch master, which is chopped straw, baled straw is next to impossible to find right now.
and started filling in the gaps
No one light a match!
I grabbed some shingles
and nailed down my starter course
I grabbed my shingling jig we had used on the barn and shed, it’s just a couple scraps of T&G pine we had screwed onto a piece of 1″ material and screwed some lips on the bottom.
The lips on the bottom grabs the bottom of the course below and you just shingle right along the top of the jig, no measuring, no fuss, no muss.
That is until you drive a brad nail through your finger and your wife and daughter flip out you just chopped your arm off, lol, my daughter is still convinced I’m gonna get tetanus.
After cleaning up the blood and getting bandaged, I started back on my shingling.
Not to shabby, when I’m done, you won’t even know it’s pallets.
The egg drawer is ready to start collecting.
The next day I started on the other side, this drawer will be their poop clean out.
I stopped when I got to the top, I still wasn’t sure how I was going to finish off the ends yet.
So now I had both ends shingled, it is important to make it look visually level, there is a difference between looking right and actually being right as far as level.
Perception truly influences what our mind thinks as correct, I didn’t use a level during any part of this, if I was building something that was structural I would be concerned about true level, but since this is just a simple chicken coop, here is how to make it look right.
Take a push pin and stick it into the bottom of the shingles on one end and attach some string.
and do the same with the other side.
This is our “level” line, you can see how far the right side of the base is slanted downwards and how far off the string is from the pallets.
So I nailed down a starter course, you can see how much the doorway appears canted from the shingles.
One of the girls was not impressed by my performance
20 Free DIY Chicken Coop Plans You Can Build This Weekend
Since I was little, I have always wanted to raise chickens. There is just something so rustic and appealing about gathering your own eggs, don’t you think? I recently began thinking of buying a few chickens and getting started on my own brood, so I thought about where I would keep them.
We live in the country so you have to be sure to protect chickens and other fowl from coyotes, foxes and other animals that would love nothing more than to feast on your small farm animals.
So, I started looking for chicken coops. Of course, I want something that I can DIY but I also want it to be relatively cheap to build and I want it to protect my chickens from other animals. What I found are 20 of the most adorable chicken coops with free building plans that you can DIY in a weekend. You seriously need these in your backyard.
They are all so easy to build and many of them hold several chickens, so you have room to really get started with your chicken raising. I love projects that add function and décor to my backyard. Take this DIY brick barbecue for instance. It’s easy to build and so functional.
That is exactly what I want in a DIY chicken coop. It should be functional but also really easy for me to build by myself and if I can do it with upcycled materials, well that’s even better.
So, I gathered up 20 of my favorite free chicken coop plans to share with you. Some of these can be build for less than $50 and all of them are easy.
Plus, they offer such style and décor for your backyard.
If you have always wanted to raise your own chickens, now is your chance. Build one of these free DIY chicken coops this weekend and take a look at these 80 backyard furniture ideas that will also add style and function to your backyard.
1. Classic Gardening Shed Styled Chicken Coop
This chicken coop looks an old fashioned gardening shed and it will add lovely décor to your backyard. This one is really easy and doesn’t require you to know a lot about construction.
You can make this with boards that you have left over from other projects and even if you have to buy all of the materials, it won’t cost much. Plus, it’s a quick build.
You can definitely put this one up in a weekend.
No time to DIY? Check out Amazon’s Bestsellers
2. DIY Sunrise Chicken Coop
This DIY chicken coop is really roomy so you have plenty of space for all of the chickens that you want to raise. You also build the roosting nests and there is room for several of those. If you are serious about collecting your own eggs – and even selling them – then this is definitely the chicken coop that you want to check out.
3. Simple Upcycled Chicken Coop
You don’t have to spend a fortune at the hardware or home improvement store to gather materials to build your own chicken coop. This upcycled chicken coop is made from many repurposed materials old cabinet doors. You could even use old cabinets or pallets to build it in. You’d be amazed at the number of DIY cabinet door projects that you can find.
4. DIY Chicken Palace
If you plan to treat your chickens royalty, then they are definitely going to need you to build this chicken palace. This one has enough room for six hens or you could adjust the plans and make it bigger if needed. This is a really nice looking chicken coop that is sure to add some aesthetic pleasure to the backyard and as fancy as it looks, it is not at all difficult to build.
5. Easy Two Story Chicken Coop
This two story coop has so much room and it is built from a recycled two story play structure. If you have one that you can use, that is a good base for building this chicken coop.
You can check online and at thrift stores to see what they have on hand, too. The point is that this one is made from upcycled materials so there is no need to visit your hardware store for lumber.
That makes it cheaper and since you’re recycling, it’s also a green coop.
6. Rustic Log Cabin Chicken Coop
If you want something rustic for the backyard, this log cabin chicken coop is it. Now, if you have to buy the logs, this one will set you back a couple hundred dollars. If you have the logs, you won’t spend anywhere near that much to build it. Either way, you have to admit that it is a beautiful structure and your chickens are going to love living in their very own log cabin.
7. Barn Style Chicken Coop
I love the coloring of this easy to build chicken coop. The red and white give it a great rustic barn look and it is a super easy one to build. If you only need room for a handful of chickens, this is a great plan to follow. The cost will depend on what materials you have on hand but even if you have to buy them all, this one is pretty cheap to DIY.
8. $50 Chicken Coop
If you are watching a budget but still want to provide housing for your hens, this $50 chicken coop is perfect. It’s a lovely house, too and has room for a handful of hens.
You get about four square feet per hen, which is plenty of room and this one is off the ground so there are no worries of other animals bothering your brood.
If you want a cheap yet functional chicken coop, this is definitely the one for you.
9. DIY Portable Mini Chicken Coop
This mini portable chicken coop is really easy to build. You start with an igloo shaped doghouse and build the coop out from there. It’s the perfect size for three or four hens and costs less than $100 to build – if you have to buy all of the materials. It’s also a great coop for letting your chickens have their fair share of insects and other natural foods.
10. Farmhouse Style Chicken Coop
This little chicken coop has such a great farmhouse quality to it. It looks an old barn, but in miniature form. It’s a really easy one to build, too despite the architectural flair and it will look great in your backyard, especially if you want something to go along with those DIY farmhouse decorations. It also has an easy to access nesting box so gathering eggs is simple and quick.
11. Easy DIY Chicken Coop
This little chicken coop can be built wherever you need it – even on the side of a building if needed. It’s perfect for a small handful of hens and you can build it from materials that you have left over from other projects. You don’t even need that much lumber or hardware to make this one and since it’s small, it’s pretty easy to move if you need to relocate it in the future.
12. Multiple Roost Chicken Coop
If you have several hens and you need room for all of them to roost, this chicken coop is perfect. The plans are really straightforward and easy to follow and you can paint this one and make it look a mini house. Chickens will love the space and you will love how it keeps them safe from other animals.
13. Simple DIY Hoop Coop
This permanent chicken coop looks an old Army barracks and it’s really easy to build. The design is really unique and it gives your hens so much room to roam and to roost.
This one is also pretty tall so it is really easy to go in and gather your eggs.
You make this one with lumber and the chicken wire encases part of the hoop so your chickens have outside time but are completely safe, too.
14. Portable Chicken Pen From PVC
You use PVC pipe to build this portable chicken coop that can be moved whenever needed. There are wheels on the backside of this one so you can just pick it up and relocate it whenever you want. It gives your chickens plenty of outdoor space to roam and has a nice roosting area, as well. This one is pretty easy and the structure can be made from repurposed PVC pipe.
15. Quick And Simple Backyard Chicken Coop
If you only want to keep four or five chickens, this little coop is perfect. It is really easy to build and you’ll only spend about $40 on the materials if you have to buy them all.
I love the barn look of this one but you can do it in any color or scheme that you want.
Your costs for this quick and simple chicken coop include chicken wire, 2X4s and some siding – check with wholesalers or contractors for cheap damaged siding.
16. Scrap Lumber Coop
You can build this chicken coop completely scrap lumber. If you have the scrap lumber, this one is completely free to build, aside from the fencing that is. This is one of the least expensive and easiest chicken coops that you can add to your backyard and you can definitely have it built in a weekend – and have time leftover for other DIY projects, too.
17. Chicken Coop With Shingles
This DIY chicken coop has shingles that are made from recycled aluminum cans.
The coop itself is really easy to build and how cute are those shingles? You can build the entire thing in just 10 hours and it only costs around $40. If you have soda or beer cans on hand, you already have your shingles.
If not, check with friends and family and have them save their cans for you. There are so many wonderful ways to recycle aluminum cans.
18. Upcycled Water Tank Chicken Coop
You can turn an old water tank and a few pallets into a great little chicken house. The house itself is already built on this one so you save time. You just have to add the extras, the nesting box and entry for the hens to get into the house. It’s a genius idea and one that will save you both time and money, if you have access to an old water tank, that is.
19. Repurposed Trampoline Chicken Coop
An old trampoline can be turned into a very roomy chicken coop, and this one saves you money if you have a trampoline that you are no longer using. You can often find these online for really cheap, too from people who just don’t use them any longer. You just have to build the nesting box and set up the wire to keep your hens inside.
20. DIY Upcycled Pallet Chicken Coop
Those old pallets that you have lying around waiting on a DIY project will come in really handy when it comes to building your chicken coop.
This is one of the easiest coops that you could build and it’s really cheap, particularly if you have a stack of pallets that you can use. The pallets make it so easy to put together.
Your walls are already built – you just have to frame them in and add your nesting box.
48 DIY Chicken Coops – How to Build a Chicken Coop
Courtesy of Amy Whyte
Backyard chicken coops are popping up everywhere! If the idea of raising chickens has piqued your interest, but the thought of building your own chicken coop seems overwhelming or too expensive, you’ve come to the right place. We promise: It's easier than you think to build a home for your flock.
Check out these real life DIY chicken coops for fun and easy chicken coop ideas, plus simple step-by-step tutorials, and even chicken coop plans you can buy. From small to large coops, rustic barn-shaped coops to pretty cottage-style coops, these chicken houses offer tons of chicken coop inspiration.
As you’re designing your dream coop, remember, no matter the style or size, every chicken coop needs to include basic essentials such as nesting boxes, a roosting bar, and a feeder and waterer to ensure your flock stays happy and healthy.
If you have the space, consider adding an enclosed run to give your hens a spot to stretch their legs while staying protected from predators. Design details hinged lids will give your coop character and easy function, while your choice of paint color or features such as shutters or a salvaged door can help match it to the overall design of your own house.
(And if you decide DIY isn’t for you, no fear! Check out these ready-to-go chicken coops you can buy right now, as well as these barn and farmhouse style coops. Then get your coop outfitted with all of the necessary accessories with our chicken coop buying guide.)
Once your coop is in place, it's time to bring in your new fine-feathered friends. To help you decide what chicken breed or mix of breeds is right for you and your coop, check out our guide to the best chicken breeds.
If you're raising chickens for the first time, we encourage you to first educate yourselves on how to best care for chickens.
Our handy guide to raising chickens answers all your questions regarding food, safety, and even how to get those pretty colored eggs!
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Childhood Playhouse Turned Chicken Coop
Built by her grandpa in 1964, Mel Ridley’s childhood playhouse is now the happy home to Lou and her other feathered friends.
See more at @countryfirsts.
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Cottage Style Chicken Coop
Chloe Mackintosh (@boxwoodavenue) and her dad designed and built her small cottage-style coop that's home to her eight hens.
See more at Boxwood Avenue.
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Colorful Chicken Coop
Author and self-titled chixologist, Kate Richards utilized every inch of her small Los Angeles backyard for her bright and colorful 5'-by-12' stacked chicken coop and run.
See more at Drinking with Chickens.
BUY KATE'S BOOK
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Country Living's Chicken Coop Plan
Measuring 29 sq. ft., our charming 4'4″-by-7' Country Living Anniversary Chicken Coop features louvered gable vents, two roosting dowels, and a hinged roof on the nesting boxes.
Purchase the Country Living Anniversary Chicken Coop plan through Our Town Plans.
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Chicken Coop with Vintage Appeal
Thanks to a saved stash of architectural salvage, what started as a simple chicken coop quickly grew into a “fit for an antiques dealer” home for Amy Whyte’s flock of 15.
See more at @amycwhyte.
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Charm-Packed DIY Chicken Coop
A pretty blue upcycled door is one of many salvaged elements Jess Parker incorporated into her “Mint Homestead” chicken coop. The interior is planked with old barn wood, the roof is reclaimed corrugated metal, and an old shipping pallet is now a welcoming porch. For an added vintage accent, she topped the door with a vintage awning she found at an estate sale.
See more at @whimsicaltreasuresdecor.
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Cape Cod-Inspired Chicken Coop
This Cape Cod-inspired structure belonging to photo stylist Heather Bullard (@heatherbullard) is prettier than most human dwellings! You can build Heather's “Chez Poulet” for your own chickens using stock building materials and hardware from the home improvement store.
See more and order plans here.
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Church-Inspired Chicken Coop
Situated behind her circa-1850s Kentucky home, Shannon Latham’s (@littleenglishclothing) 5'W-by-10'L-by-4'H “The Chicken Church” was inspired by a centuries-old local church, Pisgah Presbyterian Church, and hand-built by Amish craftsmen.
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Chic Black Chicken Coop
A dark stain elevates the wood planks of Karen Bertelsen's stylish chicken coop, while elongated door handles and house-worthy sconces deliver even more high style.
But she also made sure the function matched the style with lots of components such as an exterior nesting box (which the chickens have access to from inside the coop) and tucked away storage components.
To keep her coop predator proof, Karen installed Rare Earth Magnets on all the doors.
See more at The Art of Doing Stuff.
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Well-Appointed Chicken Coop
A standing seam metal roof and board-and-batten shutters (not to mention the shiplap walls inside!) bring tons of farmhouse detailing to Caroline Scott’s enviable chicken coop.
See more at @wildfeatherfarm.
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Silo Chicken Coop
An unused grain bin finds a second life repurposed as a unique chicken coop. The attached large enclosed run gives the chickens plenty of outdoor space.
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House-Inspired Chicken Coop
Matthew & Alysha Sneed looked to a farmhouse they spotted in Country Living for inspiration for their cozy chicken coop that is complete with windows and a front door. Using scrap wood and windows and a door from a second-hand store kept costs down.
See more at Sneed Acres.
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Room for All Chicken Coop
Deep in the heart of Texas, this dream-worthy large chicken coop—with more than 900 sq. ft. of run space—keeps Erin Schaefgen’s 50-plus chickens in scratching bliss.
See more at @threelittleblackbirds.
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Well-Appointed Chicken Coop
Fashioned after the guest cottages on her Mississippi farm, Callie Richardson's (@thewhitemagnoliafarmhouse) 140-square-foot chicken coop boasts shingled siding and a pair of barn-style sconces. The spacious coop includes a potting area in the front half, while the 14-foot vaulted ceiling makes for plenty of room to incorporate roosting bars and nesting boxes for her flock of 12.
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A Tony Chicken Coop
With its thatched roof and decorative oeil-de-boeuf frame, this plaster-wrapped beauty by Tone Alexander (@tonealexander) references Cape Dutch style. The large chandelier provides a fun, unexpected finishing touch.
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Pretty and Simple Chicken Coop
Antiques dealer Christi Wilson (@thebrownshed) designed a pretty backyard coop that both complements her own farmhouse and provides function with easy cleaning.
The 8'-by-12' structure (with an attached enclosed run of the same size) is divided with the front area providing space for feed and supplies and the back area housing the nesting boxes and roost.
Its roomy walk-in design is ideal for six to nine chickens.
See more and buy the plans at The Brown Shed.
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Cupola Chicken Coop
Look to architectural salvage, such as this large cupola, for a one-of-a-kind chicken coop. Outfit the inside with nesting boxes and places for food and water and you're all set.
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Rustic Chicken Coop
Kristi Reed picked a rustic cabin-style chicken coop to make her chickens feel at home on her Montana ranch. Natural wood siding, iron strap hardware, and a corrugated metal roof add rustic detailing that blends with the wide-open landscape.
See more at Windy Peak Vintage.
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Carriage House Chicken Coop
Take your design clues from Happy Days Farm and incorporate design details such as x-doors, iron strap hinges, and a cupola for a chicken coop that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional. When designing their large chicken coop, owners Penny Ausley and Brittany May started with these plans, altering as needed for space and function.
SHOP PENNY'S BOOK
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Dreamy DIY Chicken Coop
Brooke and Steve Giannetti, designers and authors of Patina Farm, built a henhouse worth clucking about. When choosing materials for your chicken coop, Brooke recommends cedar wood as a great option because of its all-weather durability. It's naturally resistant to rot and insect damage, and it won’t warp when exposed to moisture.
Get the tutorial here.
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White Barn-Style Chicken Coop Plans
Two windows, a large access door, roost rails, and a hinged lid make this DIY coop a winner. The detailed 31-page plans seal the deal.
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Colorful and Homey Chicken Coop
When we first saw this brightly painted coop, we only had one question—can we move in? With colorful shutters and a picket fence, these lucky chickens live in high style.
Get the tutorial and order plans at TrevorMade.
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Chick Brooding Cabinet Coop
While this upcycled vintage cabinet isn't quite large enough to be a full chicken coop, it's the perfect spot for brooding your backyard chicks. Just replace door insets chicken wire to a vintage armoire.
Get the tutorial and plans at Ana White.
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DIY Chicken Coop Signs
This Georgia family didn't stop at just designing their own large chicken coop—they added DIY decor as well. Bonus: The cute “On the Farm” sign lists the fun names of all the resident chickens, from Rosie Mae to Hazel.
Get the tutorial at Redeem Your Ground.
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Cheery Yellow Chicken Coop
Thanks to some bright yellow paint and blossoming flowers, this cheery coop—it even has its own window boxes—looks a tiny house.
Get the tutorial at Backyard Chickens.
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Red Barn Chicken Coop Plans
A classic red barn-style coop is a welcome addition to any farmhouse backyard. The downloadable—and cheap!—plans for this one are easy to follow.
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Petite and Pretty Cedar Chicken Coop
There's a lot to love about this backyard coop for four chickens—the pastel trim details make it as pretty as it is functional.
Get the tutorial at Backyard Chickens.
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Repurposed Swing Set DIY A Frame Chicken Coop
Give your old swing set's A-frame structure a new life as a chicken coop by attaching sheets of metal roofing and covering it with mesh netting.
Get the tutorial at JoJoChooks Blog.
9 DIY Chicken Coop Plans for Medium to Large Flocks
Do you have a flock of chickens that are growing in size? If your chickens have outgrown their small coop or if you're thinking of bringing home a large flock of chickens, you'll need a quality chicken coop that's large enough to keep all of your chickens safe at night. While you can definitely buy a pre-made coop, you may be able to save some money by building your own coop.
Are you looking to build a DIY chicken coop for a dozen or more backyard chickens? Well, you're in luck because we've compiled nine medium chicken coop plans with complete material lists and step-by-step instructions so you can make the hen house of your dreams.
Check out these DIY chicken coop plans below!
For chicken supplies, visit walmart.com.
1. True Craftsmanship
Medium chicken coop plans by The Barn Toolbox for up to 12 chickens.
Photo: The Barn Toolbox
2. Dreamy and Open
Medium chicken coop plans from Redeem Your Ground.
Photo: Redeem Your Ground
3. Shaker Style
Large backyard chicken coop plans from Debby10s Roost for 25-30 chickens.
Photo: Backyard Chickens member Debby10
READ MORE: 8 DIY Cute and Functional Small Chicken Coop Plans
4. Beautiful Barn
Easy chicken coop plans from Home and Garden Design Plans for 18 chickens.
Illustration: Home & Garden Plans
5. Neat and Tidy
Medium chicken coop plans from Cheryl's Hen House for 18-20 chickens.
Photo: BackYard Chickens member TerriH
6. Important Ventilation
Open-coop design by Prince Tannat Woods.
Photo: Landliv This is a design by Prince Tannat Woods. Building instructions begin at Chapter Five, page 45.
7. Look at That Chicken Run!
Coop and attached run plans from Home and Garden Design Plans for 24 chickens.
Photo: Home & Garden Plans
8. Smart Design
Large coop plans by North Dakota State University.
Plans for Coop 6248 from North Dakota State UniversityPlans for Coop 6232 from North Dakota State University
North Dakota State University has many more plans for large chicken coops.
Large, simple chicken coop by Today's Plans for 32 chickens.
Photo: Today's Plans
Large chicken coop or smaller coop?
If you have the time and funds, it's a good idea to start off with a coop that's slightly bigger than you need to let your chickens grow into it, rather than having a coop that is too small.
With a large coop, you have the flexibility and space to add more chickens, to section off parts of the interior (with chicken wire partitions, for example) to separate breeds or broody hens and roosters, or even to create a brooder to separate out baby chicks from older chickens.
These chicken coop designs are designed to hold 12 or more chickens. If you are looking for smaller chicken coop designs, check out our post (most of the small plans are also free).
Chicken Coop Checklist
Remember, a really good, functional chicken coop for your backyard hens is made of non-toxic materials, is predator-proof (think hardware cloth instead of chicken wire), and is well ventilated for good airflow.
A well-planned chicken house also has easy access for cleaning and to collect fresh eggs. A good chicken coop also has the right amount of square feet per chicken of space, the right number of nest boxes, and enough roosting bar space for the number of chickens you have. Access doors will make it easier to clean the coop, and the coop will need a space for a waterer.
Nice touches to put on your wish list are an automatic chicken door, a spacious and predator-proofed outdoor chicken run, and the ability to be mobile (a.k.a a chicken tractor). Read our backyard chicken coop checklist to really make sure you cover it all.
Fresh Eggs Daily tells us,
“My rule of thumb: Build your coop a lot bigger than you think you will need. You only have three hens now By this time next year you will have 10 … or 20 … or 45 … and maybe a few ducks….. Trust me. I know! So build bigger than you need at the current time.”
My own chicken coop is a portable chicken coop. I have a small backyard flock and needed a way to move my chickens easily throughout the property. Egg collection is very easy and cleaning takes minutes each day! For a small flock a mobile chicken tractor is another idea to consider. There are two nesting boxes which are more than enough for eight hens!
Good luck on your build and on raising chickens!
Do you have a favorite coop design, or free plans that work exceptionally well? Let us know in the comments below!
WATCH NOW: How to Have the Best Tasting Eggs from Your Backyard Chickens
How to Build a Chicken Coop for Less Than $50
Contributor post written by Candice Smith
When we decided to become chicken owners, a few concerns came to mind: where to find chickens, how to feed and provide for them, and how to shelter them. And anyone else we started enthusiastically looking at brand new freshly painted hen houses.
Have ya seen how much they cost?
I longed for the four thousand dollar fancy one. You know, the one that’s barnyard red with white trim. The port hole window with etched glass of a rooster. The one with curtains and a chandelier. The automatic door that opened to a white picket fenced run. Oh, who was I kidding? I also wanted the matching red and white mansion for us, but that’s just not in the cards.
So, I moved on to my next best idea for housing, online blue prints. Yes it’s true. There are thousands of free online blue prints offered for any style and price point. Even as low as eighty dollars.
I decided to make my own. It does take someone who knows their way with a saw and the right materials, it can easily be done and done well! So that’s what we did. I picked my inspiration. A picture of a coop I wanted to emulate.
We have four laying pullets soon to get their title “hen”, once they turn a year, and I wanted them to enjoy their home.
You want to make sure you choose a coop that is appropriately sized and adequate enough to house your hens comfortably. That means enough space. About two to four square feet per hen.
It also needs to be warm enough for cold winters and cool enough for hot summers. Ventilation is very important.
My husband and I chose to take a weekend and build our own. Our budget was about one hundred fifty dollars for supplies, but we only ended up spending around thirty dollars. Can you believe it? No lie! You’d be amazed if you looked around your home as well, at what you can use and what is lying around just waiting for a DIY (Do It Yourself) project.
When we looked around we found lumber, screws, nails, liquid nail, hardware, paint, even shingles. Everything we needed to get started. I sat down and drew up my plans. Ok, they weren’t plans more a square with lines that ended up looking a preschool picture, but my wonderful husband did an amazing job deciphering my drawing.
Folks, I give you the coop base. Where it all started. I had run to the hardware store for some staples and on my way back a huge pile of “rubble” caught my eye on the side of the road.
Someone had decided to throw away their dated yellow 1960’s kitchen cabinets. I searched through the pile and spotted the one I wanted. A sturdy kitchen cabinet that was to become my nesting box area and egg retrieval.
Did I mention they were free?
I came home and proudly announced my find. My husband was pretty impressed. I started by taking the backside off and scrubbing it down. Once it was attached to the base my husband added a few outer walls.
It turned into this.
Next, we decided we needed not just one, but two nesting areas. It’s important to have one nesting box per three hens.
Though they don’t mind sharing, you don’t want over crowded boxes because it makes for fussy girls. I offered two nesting boxes enough for 6 hens and my girls still insist on using just one.
I also offer hay and shavings in these areas making a nice cozy dark area they feel comfortable laying their perfect little eggs.
Next, we added chicken wire to the bottom, cut out doors and put hinges on them. One door to get eggs, one door on the opposite side for cleaning, and one sliding door for them to come in and the run. Three doors total.
We used Plywood we had leftover from our hurricane window coverings and leftover fencing for extra protection. That’s double insulating protection.
We used a hand saw, a jig saw, and basic hand tools an automatic screw driver, a hammer, and a staple gun to achieve the cuts we needed to make.
Many people choose to have their coops close to the ground, but we chose the elevated coop. We felt this aided in the most protection from predators as well as moisture from the ground and also created a lower space that is shaded for them to gather and stay cool.
Pictured here below is the cleaning door. We used fencing for the “siding” and also fencing and plywood to double insulate the roof as well as shingles.
Next, we cut out our windows for ventilation. We decided to do two on both sides. Large enough to achieve a cross breeze but small enough to still be protected from elements. Underneath the coop we stapled chicken wire around securely.
Inside the coop, you want to provide an area appropriately spaced one foot apart for the hens to “roost” or “sleep”. A dowel works well.
Next, we needed an attached run. A safe place for them to get fresh air and scratch if they were not roaming supervised in our back yard.
How do you go about making a run? And what materials did we use? We used two twin IKEA bed frames. I knew I kept them for a good reason.
which then became this…
which then became our run. (Without chicken wire, yet.)
We added a ramp with small pieces of wood screwed in about every half foot up to the door of the coop from the run.
An afternoon putting chicken wire on everything, shingling our roof, attaching the run to the coop, and the final product looks this.
If you’re interested in learning more about keeping backyard hens, my favorite resource is “Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally”
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