45 Free Chicken Coop Plans With Simple DIY Instructions

If you are just getting started with chickens then one of the first things you need is a chicken coop.

A good chicken coop is worth its weight in gold as it will keep your chickens safe and warm.

However, chicken coops can come with a hefty price tag which is why lots of people build their own.

You would think that a chicken coop is simply a box for them to sleep in, but it does do a bit more than that and having the right plan makes your life a lot easier.

In this article we have gathered together more than 40 free chicken coop plans. We also give you hints and tips along the way to help you build the perfect coop…

The Best 45 Chicken Coop Plans

1. Downeast Thunder Farm

Downeast Thunder Farm

Downeast Thunder Farm’s chicken coop and enclosed run is a strong fortress of defense and practicality. The enclosed run features a ring of chicken wire buried two inches deep into the ground to stop predators from digging in. This is a great choice if you live in snowy locations, as there is a slanted steel roof which makes snow removal easy.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 11 Chickens
Cost: $ Size: 8 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

2. Lady Goat Coop

Lady Goat Coop

Lady Goat’s chicken coop is perfect if you are looking for something cute to put in your backyard. It has a run directly underneath which is small and compact. The run is enclosed too so you do not have to worry about letting the chickens out and locking them in at the end of the day. However, the chickens still get to roam and stretch their wings under the protection of mesh. You can comfortably house three chickens in here.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 3 Chickens
Cost: $ Size: 5 x 5 feet

Get This Plan

3. Les Kenny Coop

Les Kenny Coop

Les Kenny’s Ultimate Chicken Coop, nicknamed “The Chicken’s Mansion,” is truly a sight to behold. It is large and can hold eight chickens. It also leaves room for a customizable run, leaving the details to the flock owner’s unique needs.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 8 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 6 x 6 feet

Get This Plan

4. Rhodes Coop

Rhodes Coop

The Rhodes Chicken Coop is perfect for those who want a simple build. It has a slanted roof, making it good for rainy weather. It also includes large holes for airflow, important for the health of the chickens, and an openable back for easy access to the nesting boxes. This is best for those who are looking for a highly customizable coop. It will hold roughly four chickens and cost about $500 to build.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 4 Chickens
Cost: $$ Size: 4 x 3 feet

Get This Plan

5. Timmy’s Medium Coop

Timmys Medium Coop

Timmy’s Medium Chicken Coop is practical and simple. It has a poop table to make cleaning easy. There is plenty of airflow too and it is easy to build and not expensive. It can hold up to 8 chickens.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 8 Chickens
Cost: $$ Size: 8 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

6. The Tangled Nest

The Tangled Nest

The Tangled Nest has an enclosed run for the chickens to roam. The enclosed area has metal cloth buried ten inches deep into the ground, making it safe from digging predators. It has two doors; one for the chickens to use and a larger one for easy access and maintenance. Overall, this coop is great if you are living in an urban landscape and do not have a lot of space to keep your chickens.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 6 Chickens
Cost: $$ Size: 6 x 3 feet

Get This Plan

7. Kerr Center Coop

Kerr Center Coop

The Kerr Center is a unique design. It holds up to three chickens and is a great choice if you are looking for a movable chicken coop.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 12 Chickens
Cost: $$ Size: 7 x 5 feet

Get This Plan

8. Cathcart’s Coop

Cathcart Coop

Cathcart’s DIY chicken coop is beautiful and practical. This design has many decorative elements like picture frames and handmade curtains around the enclosed run. It uses a partial sand surrounding to help identify predator tracks. It also has three doors: one for the chickens to use, one to collect eggs, and one to clean the inside. Overall it is cheap and easy enough for beginners to build.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 2 Chickens
Cost: $ Size: 3 x 2 feet

Get This Plan

9. Instructables Backyard Coop

Instructables Backyard Coop

This design is sturdy, and safe enough to protect your chickens from predators. It has plenty of ventilation which helps to keep your chickens comfortable during both the summer and winter. This coop is very cheap and easy to build and can house three to five chickens. Overall, this is the perfect pick for you if you are looking for a cheap yet functional coop project.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 5 Chickens
Cost: $ Size: 4 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

10. The Lemony Coop

The Lemony Coop

The Lemony Coop is easy and cheap to build. It has an enclosed run and is sturdy enough for the winter snow. It costs roughly $100 to build and holds five to six chickens. This is a great choice if you do not have any previous building experience.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 5 Chickens
Cost: $ Size: 4 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

11. Bless This Mess Coop

Bless This Mess Coop

Bless This Mess’s DIY Chicken Coop is a great option for those looking for an easy build. It is portable which means you can move it around your backyard regularly to prevent dead grass patches. It also has an enclosed run, giving flock owners more flexibility and freedom. The roof opens which means cleaning and egg collecting is easier. This is suitable for busy flock owners in suburban areas due to its movability and enclosed run.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 6 Chickens
Cost: $ Size: 7 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

12. Frame Coop

Frame Coop

The Frame Chicken Coop is ideal for those looking for a small, yet portable tractor. It is shaped in a triangular prism with an enclosed run directly underneath. It is a great choice if you are looking for an easy and cheap build.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 13 Chickens
Cost: $ Size: 8 x 5 feet

Get This Plan

13. Simply Easy Coop

Simply Easy Coop

Simply Easy DIY’s Small Backyard Chicken Coop is the perfect addition to a suburban backyard. It also doubles as a carrier for transporting the chickens, making it multipurpose. Additionally, it is small enough to transport around the yard. Overall, this is a great choice if you are looking for a small coop for the backyard.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 2 Chickens
Cost: $ Size: 3 x 2 feet

Get This Plan

14. Small and Friendly’s Coop

Small and Friendly Coop

Small and Friendly’s DIY Chicken Coop is functional and cheap. This coop was built with reclaimed and repurposed wood making it cheap to build. It is a great choice if you want a cheap and easy-to-maintain coop for your chickens.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 5 Chickens
Cost: $ Size: 4 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

15. Community Chicken’s Rustic Coop

Community Chicken’s Rustic Coop

Community Chicken’s Rustic Coop is sustainable and practical. It is made up of repurposed and cheap wood, making it environmentally friendly. This plan also has front opening doors for easy cleaning and maintenance. The walls are made up of chicken wire for plenty of airflow which is especially helpful in the hot summer months.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 4 Chickens
Cost: $ Size: 4 x 3 feet

Get This Plan

16. The Housewives of Riverton

The Housewives of Riverton

The Housewives of Riverton’s Chicken Coop is perfect for the beginner builder. It can be built with no to little experience in construction. It features skylights and a nest door to make egg collection easy. It also has an even larger door on the side to make cleaning and maintenance effortless. This is a beginner level build and holds up to five chickens. It costs a little more than $290 to build. It is a perfect choice if you are looking for an easy to build and attractive house.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 5 Chickens
Cost: $$ Size: 4 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

17. Hennsington Palace

Hennsington Palace

Hennsington Palace is a triangular prism shaped coop with an enclosed run. This is a beginner level build which can keep four chickens.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 4 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 12 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

18. Modern Chicken Coop

Modern Chicken Coop

This coop has an enclosed run and several different doors for easy access to the nesting boxes. It holds up to 20 chickens and is fairly cheap to build.

DIY Difficulty: Hard Capacity: 20 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 12 x 5 feet

Get This Plan

19. Littlefeat’s Feather Factory

Littlefeat Feather Factory

Littlefeat’s Feather Factory is a well-rounded coop for the backyard. It is neat and stylish. Overall, this is a great pick if you live in rainy and wet areas due to it being raised off the ground.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 6 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 10 x 5 feet

Get This Plan

20. Coop De Doop

Coop De Doop

Coop De Doop is a great choice for those looking for something sturdy. It has an enclosed run which lets the chickens to roam as they wish in safety. This design also has doors for easy access to the nesting boxes. It is also raised off the ground, making it great for areas that tend to flood. Overall it is a great choice if you are looking for a simple and basic coop.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 6 Chickens
Cost: $$ Size: 10 x 6 feet

Get This Plan

21. Trictle’s Coop

Trictle Coop

Trictle’s Chicken Coop is pretty and small. It is insulated between the walls, making it perfect for a variety of weather conditions, especially the cold. Overall, this is great if you are looking for a small yet sturdy chicken coop that will last for years to come.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 5 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 4 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

22. Skye’s Coop

Skye’s Coop

One unique thing about this coop is its covered interior. This stops predators from digging underneath to get to the chickens. It also has a large door to make cleaning and gathering eggs easy. It is cheap to build and holds up to five chickens.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 5 Chickens
Cost: $ Size: 8 x 2 feet

Get This Plan

23. Simple Suburban Living Coop

Simple Suburban Living Coop

Simple Suburban Living Coop is a great addition to the suburban family’s backyard. It is compact, secure, and easy to maintain. There is a pull-out tray at the bottom of the coop for easy cleaning and a large door for easy access.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 5 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 4 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

24. Gopherboyfarms’ Coop

Gopherboyfarm Coop

Gopherboyfarms’ Chicken Coop stylishly looks like a barn. It has many design features, such as a porch light and plenty of windows for light. It is large enough for up to 32 chickens and it is a great option if you are looking for an attractive and large home for your chickens.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 32 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 12 x 8 feet

Get This Plan

25. Two Dog Farm Coop

Two Dog Farm Coop

The Two Dog Farm Chicken Coop is a beautiful addition to a small suburban backyard. It is built to protect chickens from larger predators in the area, such as coyotes. It is also tall enough to stand in, making cleaning easy. Overall, this design is great if you are looking for an easy to maintain chicken home, given its accessibility.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 6 Chickens
Cost: $$ Size: 10 x 6 feet

Get This Plan

26. Pallet Palace

Pallet Palace

The Pallet Palace Chicken Coop is perfect for you if you are looking for a pallet project. Its walls and flooring are made out of reused wood pallets, making the cost to build relatively cheap. It has chicken wire around the bottom of the coop’s openings to protect against predators. The chicken wire also extends into the grass to prevent predators from digging under.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 40 Chickens
Cost: $ Size: 16 x 8 feet

Get This Plan

27. Easy Coop

Easy Coop

My Outdoor Plans’ Easy Chicken Coop is perfect for you if you are looking for a weekend project. This coop is raised off the ground, making it good for areas that are prone to flooding. It also has a large window to provide airflow throughout. This is cheap to build and holds up to eight chickens.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 8 Chickens
Cost: $ Size: 6 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

28. Wilkerson’s Coop

Wilkerson’s Coop

Wilkerson’s DIY Chicken Coop is a perfect option if you are looking for a compact home. It is built off the ground to stop predators from entering. It also has a nesting box door for easy egg collection. There is also a large removable wall to make cleaning and maintenance easy and plenty of windows for airflow. It holds about six chickens and is an excellent option if you have previous woodworking experience and are looking for a sturdy chicken coop to build.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 6 Chickens
Cost: $$ Size: 5 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

29. Little Red Hen House

Little Red Hen House

The Little Red Hen House is a cute home for a small flock. It is similar in looks to a little house, with a large door for easy access and windows. Based on space, it can house up to 32 chickens. This coop is a great choice if you are looking for something that is easy to clean and looks like a house.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 32 Chickens
Cost: $$ Size: 12 x 8 feet

Get This Plan

30. Hen Haven

Hen Haven

The Hen Haven is a true paradise when it comes to chicken homes. It is spacious and tall enough to stand inside of, and has a full-sized door and windows for easy access and cleanup. It also has an enclosed run where the chickens can safely roam in the sun. Overall, this is a great design if you live in hot climates because of its good ventilation and fan.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 40 Chickens
Cost: $$ Size: 12 x 10 feet

Get This Plan

31. Courts Cacklers

Courts Cacklers

This large chicken coop looks similar to a miniature barn. It is spacious and roomy, leaving space for feeders and waterers. It also has a front porch with chairs and decorations. It houses six chickens and is a great choice if you want a large design with a barnyard style.

DIY Difficulty: Hard Capacity: 6 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 10 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

32. Creative Mom’s Coop

Creative Mom’s Coop

Creative Mom’s Chicken Coop is perfect if you are looking for a simple and easy-to-clean chicken coop. It has a hinged side wall that opens for easy cleaning and maintenance. It also has an easy to access nesting box door to make egg collection easy. It also has an enclosed run where the chickens can safely roam in. This design is a beginner level build and is fairly expensive to construct due to its high quality. It holds up to 12 chickens. Overall it is an excellent pick if you live in warmer climates due to plenty of ventilation.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 12 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 8 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

33. Cozy Cottage

Cozy Cottage

The Cozy Cottage is a colorful and small chicken coop perfect for a small flock. It has an enclosed run for the chickens to roam around in. It also has several access doors which makes for easy cleaning and access. It holds two to three chickens and is a great choice if you live in areas with a hot climate due to the large amount of ventilation the design offers.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 3 Chickens
Cost: $ Size: 4 x 3 feet

Get This Plan

34. Raymond’s Coop

Raymond Coop

Raymond’s Coop is a great choice for those wanting an elegant and rustic design. It features an enclosed run for the chickens to wander about in and is tall enough to stand inside of. It also has a full-sized door and a roof hardy enough for snow and rain. Overall, this design is great if you are experienced in woodwork and are looking for a stylish, yet sturdy option.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 5 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 10 x 6 feet

Get This Plan

35. A Grade Eh

A Grade Eh

A Grade Eh Canadian Woods Coop is attractive and functional. It has plenty of windows and openings for airflow throughout the inside of the coop. It also has insulation to conserve warmth and protect the chickens from the cold in the wintertime. This is not too difficult to build but is time consuming to build alone. It holds up to 20 chickens and is a great option if you are looking for a hardy and well-rounded home.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 20 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 10 x 6 feet

Get This Plan

36. Brian Chicken Coop

Brian Chicken Coop

This is a sturdy design. The coop is lifted off the ground, stopping predators from digging underneath. It is also surrounded by chicken wire to further stop predators from sneaking in. It also has an enclosed run, letting the chickens roam in a safe space.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 8 Chickens
Cost: $$ Size: 6 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

37. Shed Coop

Shed Coop

A great choice for those looking for a non-traditional design. It is very shed-like, with long walls and a slim width. This coop has a full-sized door and is tall enough to stand inside of, making cleaning easy. It is also cutely decorated with two hanging flower plants on the outside. It holds six to eight chickens.

DIY Difficulty: Hard Capacity: 11 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 8 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

38. The Mulligan

The Mulligan

The Mulligan is a large chicken coop similar in looks to a little house. It has a set of double doors and is tall enough to stand in for easy cleaning and access. It also has large windows for plenty of airflow and light. It has an enclosed run where the chickens can roam without worry. It is an intermediate level build and is not too expensive due to the use of an old shed for the structure. Overall, a perfect pick if you are looking for a pretty home to keep your medium sized flock in.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 40 Chickens
Cost: $$ Size: 16 x 8 feet

Get This Plan

39. Woodshop Mike’s Coop

Woodshop Mike’s Coop

Woodshop Mike’s Chicken Coop gives off the energy of a relaxing farmhouse on the weekend. It has a full-sized arched doorway, making access easy. It is also tall enough to stand in, so you don’t have to strain your back moving around. It holds about 10 chickens and is a good choice if you want a farmhouse-themed design and have a medium sized flock.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 8 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 5 x 5 feet

Get This Plan

40. Tarter Farm’s Coop

Tarter Farm’s Coop

Tarter Farm’s Coop is a large design – it holds up to 40 chickens. It is perfect if you have a large flock and are looking for something unique.

DIY Difficulty: Hard Capacity: 40 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 16 x 8 feet

Get This Plan

41. BarnGeek’s Chicken Coop

BarnGeek’s Chicken Coop

BarnGeek’s Chicken Coop is the image of a classic farm chicken coop we all know. It is small and compact, saving space in the field, yet also functional and roomy enough for feeders and waterers. This design is a beginner level build and it is inexpensive to build since it is made from leftover project wood. It houses 8 chickens and is great if you own a medium sized flock of chickens.

DIY Difficulty: Easy Capacity: 8 Chickens
Cost: $ Size: 6 x 4 feet

Get This Plan

42. Wichita Cabin Coop

Wichita Cabin Coop

The Wichita Cabin is a gorgeous and long-lasting chicken coop. It is tall enough to stand in, making it easy to clean the inside. It also has plenty of openings for airflow and is secure against predators. This coop is best if you are looking for an attractive yet well-rounded plan.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 17 Chickens
Cost: $$ Size: 10 x 5 feet

Get This Plan

43. La Cage Mahal Coop

La Cage Mahal Coop

It houses chickens and it also stores chicken supplies, such as cleaning tools and feed. This coop has an enclosed run and is tall enough to stand in. It also has plenty of doors, making cleaning and maintenance easy. This is an intermediate level build and comfortably holds four chickens.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 4 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 10 x 5 feet

Get This Plan

44. Hennebunkport

Hennebunkport

The Hennebunkport is more house in appearance than coop. It has plenty of ventilation for the summer months and insulated walls for the colder winters. This is perfect if you are on the fence about owning chickens and want something versatile.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 12 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 6 x 6 feet

Get This Plan

45. The Palace Coop

The Palace Coop

The Palace Chicken Coop is as grand as its name implies. It is stylish and is built to last against small storms and small flooding because it is raised. It also has many openings for excellent airflow. This is a great design if you live in humid and wet climates, such as Florida, due to it being stormproof.

DIY Difficulty: Medium Capacity: 24 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 12 x 6 feet

Get This Plan

46. Debby’s Roost

Debby Roost

Debby’s Roost is the perfect project if you are experienced in building coops. It is built similarly to a “saltbox” style house, with an uneven and sloped roof. This coop is large and very spacious, however it is a difficult build. It can hold up to 32 chickens and overall, is great if you have a large flock and have space for them to roam.

DIY Difficulty: Hard Capacity: 32 Chickens
Cost: $$$ Size: 12 x 8 feet

Get This Plan

Should You Build Your Own Chicken Coop

Chicken Coop Plan

Building your own chicken coop will allow you to design and build exactly what you want or need. Admittedly you can probably buy a cheaper kit at one of the big box stores, but they usually do not last very long.

When you build your own you can make sure it is tailored to you and your birds. A couple of examples:

  • Raised up Coop: You could raise your coop off the ground for easier access for you.
  • Bantam Coop: You could make a thin and tall coop with high roosts as they love to fly.

If you already have an existing structure, such as a garden shed, then you can very easily convert this into a coop for several chickens. You will need to add roosting perches, some nest boxes and a pop door and you are basically done.

Occasionally you can find large wooden shipping boxes for sale for around $40.00 or so. Depending on the size of the box and your chickens, this might be suitable for bantams or a few standard hens.

With a few modifications it will make a perfectly acceptable coop for your girls.

If you use recycled materials such as pallet wood you can keep your costs really low.

How To Plan The Perfect Chicken Coop

There are several things to consider when planning your coop build.

Safety is the number one issue to spend a lot of time thinking about. The coop needs to be as predator proof as possible.

Remember that many predators are diggers so you need to dig a trench and bury your hardware mesh as least six inches deep with an outward facing apron of another six inches. You should also use hardware mesh on the windows to stop predators getting inside the coop.

Next up, you will need to consider the size of your coop.

This will depend somewhat on the size of your chickens. Bantams take up less space than standard hens and larger breeds such as Brahmas and Jersey Giants require even more space and consideration. The minimum space requirements for chickens are listed here:

  • Bantams: 2 square feet per chicken in the coop and 4 square feet per chicken in the run.
  • Standard: 4 square feet per chicken in the coop and 8 square feet per chicken in the run.
  • Large: 6 square feet per chicken in the coop and 10 square feet per chicken in the run.

If you had 4 standard hens then the total space required would be a 16 square foot coop. Remember that some of this space is going to be occupied by the feeder, drinker, and perches, so build a little larger if you can.

The location of your coop is also something to think carefully about.

You do not want it where a strong wind could tip it over or blow it away, nor do you want it in an area that is prone to dampness or flooding. The ideal spot would be on level, dry land with good drainage. The coop windows should face south to maximize solar gain.

Finally you will need to consider the perches and nesting boxes.

Chickens do not require much in the way of furniture, but they will need a strong perch and a nesting box.

Your perches can be made from a 2×4 inch piece of wood cut to size, or you can use sturdy tree branches. They should be secured to the coop so they do not fall over.

For the nesting boxes you will need one box for every three hens. Nesting boxes should be lower than the roosting perches otherwise you will have hens camping in the nest boxes overnight pooping up a storm. That means you will have to clean the nesting boxes daily!

Chicken Coop

Tips To Build The Perfect Chicken Coop

1. Planning

Do not be intimidated by being unable to read building plans!

Lots of people struggle with understanding math, right angles and angled cuts – I know I do! Sometimes it does not matter how long you look at the instructions, it just won’t compute in your brain.

That is ok though.

You just need to get a plan and simplify it or draw your own. It does not have to be complex and it helps to think of it as just a box. Build your box big enough and make sure you have 4 square feet of floor space for standard chickens and 2 square feet for bantams.

2. Location

The location of your chicken coop is very important and there are several things to consider.

Do you want it near your house or further away? If you are disabled or have difficulty with mobility, then you may want to put it close to your house. Ideally, the site you choose should be level, dry and sheltered with some shade from the midday heat. You should always consider your neighbors too.

3. Costs

Most people want to build their own chicken coop to keep costs down.

One of the best ways to do this is to recycle.

Old heat treated pallets can be used to make some good coops – this saves money and helps the environment. Building sites or dumpsters are goldmines for finding lumber and useful objects.

Do not sweat the small stuff as chickens do not care if the corner is not square or the perch is recycled wood! All they care about is if their needs are met. If you can build them a weatherproof shelter that is draft free then they will thrive and supply you with lots of lovely eggs.

The most expensive part of the build is likely to be hardware (screws, nails, latches and bolts). Sometimes you can buy surplus at yard sales or barn sales – I have been fortunate to find lots of hardware this way.

4. Asking for Help

If you are building a large coop then you should consider asking for help in putting it all together. Projects like this can take time and more than one set of hands. Ask a friend or a handy neighbor if they could help. You can pay them in eggs when your ladies start laying!

Common Mistakes When Building Your Own Coop

Small Chicken Coop

By far the most common mistake is building the coop too small!

When you get your chickens, there are good odds that eventually you will want more. So you should build accordingly and make the coop a little larger than you need.

The next mistake is not spending the time and money to deter predators and keeping the flock safe. You will need to get good locks that are tamperproof. You should also spend more to buy hardware mesh instead of chicken wire.

Remember when designing your coop to keep it simple. Lots of coops are very hard to clean and unnecessarily complex. You need something simple with removable perches, nesting boxes that open up, and poop trays that are easy to remove.

Another common mistake is not providing any ventilation.

A coop needs good ventilation to help prevent problems such as frostbite and respiratory issues. Cooler air will be at the bottom of the coop. This air gets warm and moisture laden then rises to the top of the coop where it should be allowed to flow outward through a vent.

Finally, you should consider accessing the coop.

The pop door for the chickens should open on the side facing away from the worst weather. This will help to keep the coop dry and prevent snow, rain or debris from getting into the coop. The pop door should have some means of securing it at night too. This can be an automatic door or a simple lock.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a beginner build their own coop?
Absolutely.

I have built 8 chicken coops, one rabbit house and a goat shed! Make your own plan and keep it simple. The chickens won’t care what it looks like as long as it keeps them warm and safe.

How long will it take to build a chicken coop?
That will depend on you.

The average is about one week depending on how much time you can devote to it and if you need help.

What wood should I build my coop with?
You can use lots of different types of wood to build your coop: recycled pallet wood, exterior grade OSB sheets, or white pine. Make sure to use durable woods on the exterior so it does not crack during the winter.

Summary

Hopefully the thought of building your own coop is not so daunting now.

You can take one of these chicken coop plans above and modify it to suit you and your chickens.

Just remember to keep it simple.

The only ones you have to please are your chickens and really, they are pretty easygoing.

Whether you are designing and building your own or buying something ready made our list should help to make things a bit easier for you.

If the idea of following building plans terrifies you then maybe you have a friend or a neighbor that is a handy DIY-er, ask them to look over your idea and see if it is sound.

Keep it simple, have fun, and remember, you can do this!

Let us know which coop plan you built in the comments section below…

Chris Lesley Bio Picture
Chris Lesley has been Raising Chickens for over 20 years and is a fourth generation chicken keeper. She can remember being a young child when her grandad first taught her how to hold and care for chickens. She also holds a certificate in Animal Behavior and Welfare and is interested in backyard chicken health and care.

4 Comments

  1. Thank you for this! Of course, I’m actually going to use this article to house the eight opossums I’m fostering before they outgrow their kennels, but this is honestly a lifesaver.

  2. I have a coop I built, and my concern is if I have enough ventilation. I have two 3” round soffit vents on one side at the bottom corners. Then two more same vents on opposite side as high as I could get them. Is this enough? I also have a fan circulating air inside coop.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*