A chicken coop provides shelter for your chickens and gives them a place where they can lay their eggs. This coop comfortably fits 4 chickens.
Step 1: Build a base Build a 6-by-3-foot base for the coop by constructing a frame. Screw 2 3-foot 2-by-4 boards across the ends of 2 parallel 8-foot 2-by-4s, about a foot in from the ends.
TIP: Mount the outside roost to the support on the front wall, attaching the other end to the hen house frame.
Step 2: Build frame for the side walls Construct a frame for the side wall by screwing 2 4-foot 2-by-2s perpendicularly to the ends of the base frame, a foot in from the front and back. Screw in a third 4-foot 2-by-2 between the first 2, 4 feet behind the front post. Now screw a 6-foot 2-by-2 across the tops of the posts to finish off the wall. Build another identical frame for the opposite wall of the coop.
Step 3: Build front and back wall Construct a front and back wall by screwing 3-foot 2-by-2s across the tops of both side walls, at the front and back. Screw another 3-foot 2-by-2 across the center of the front wall; this will be the outside roost support.
Step 4: Wire the walls Wrap and staple chicken wire to the front wall, as well as to the front 4-foot sections of the side walls.
Step 5: Build hen house At the same height that you attached the roost support to the front wall, construct a square frame within the unwired, back area of the coop by screwing 3-foot 2-by-2s across the insides of the rear upright boards, and across the insides of the upright boards that will frame the front wall of the hen house. Screw 2-foot 2-by-2s across the insides of the 2 unwired side walls, in line with the other boards you just attached.
TIP: If you need to make the coop larger, consider how many chickens you plan to house. A good method is to add 3 to 6 square feet per chicken.
Step 6: Make the hen house floor and ceiling Use the plywood to make a floor for the hen house across the square frame, screwing the plywood to the frame. Construct an identical rectangular ring of boards at the top of the upright 2-by-2s -- this will support the roof of the hen house.
Step 7: Construct the interior Build a nesting box using the remaining plywood; the box should about 1 cubic foot. Leave the front side open, and place the box so that the open side faces and rests up against one wall of the hen house. At a raised level, mount a 2-by-2 or piece of scrap wood across the center of the hen house to serve as an indoor roost.
Step 8: Make a door for the coop Use the circular saw to cut a piece of siding to completely cover the wall opposite the nesting box. Cut the section in half vertically, then make another vertical cut 1 ½ inches in from the edges of each half to make a hinge line on each side.
Step 9: Attach the door Screw 2 hinges across the left hinge line and 2 across the right hinge line, about 5 inches from the bottoms and tops of the doors. On the back of the right door, screw a door catch to the inside edge, shorter than the length of the door, so that it sticks out about an inch. Screw the double doors to the coop frame; on the top and bottom of the right door, attach barrel bolts, screwing the bolt catches to the frame.
Step 10: Make egg door Cut a piece of siding to fit the wall adjacent to the nesting box. Make cuts for a rectangular egg door in the middle of the siding, starting 8 inches in from each side and 4 inches from the top. Remove the door piece, flip the doorframe over, and screw door catches around the inside edges of the door hole so that they stick out about 1/2 inch
Step 11: Attach the egg door Replace the door piece in the hole and screw 2 hinges across the hinge line on one side of the door. Then screw a barrel bolt onto the other side of the door, attaching the bolt catch to the door panel. Screw the egg door wall to the coop frame.
Step 12: Build an entrance and ramp Cut and attach to the frame a piece of siding to fit the back wall, running from the ground to the roof. Cut a section of siding to cover the wall facing the open-air area of the coop. Cut a square-foot hole to serve as an entrance into the hen house. Using extra plywood or scrap wood, attach a ramp that will run from the entrance to the ground.
Step 13: Put on the roof Wire and staple the top of the coop, as well as the area underneath the hen house without siding. Attach the plastic roofing over the hen house, making sure you place it at a slant so that water will run off toward the back. You’ll be eating fresh eggs for breakfast in no time!
FACT: Modern chickens are believed to have descended from the red jungle fowl of Southeast Asia.