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How to build a chicken coop

Owning chickens can be very beneficial. Not only are you supplied with fresh, free-range eggs, but your garden can also benefit from reduced insects and weeds, and the added bonus of regular fertiliser. They're also very cute and entertaining!

With all the benefits chickens bring into your life, building a safe, comfortable home is essential. Building a custom chicken coop is crucial to keep your curious birds warm, dry and protected from predators.

We’ve put together a step by step guide to show you how to build a chicken coop. If you’re not up to the challenge, then take a look at our cost to build a chicken house guide or contact a handyperson today.

Essential considerations for building a chicken coop

Before you begin you will need to consider some key factors:

  • Make sure you have enough space for roosting and the number of nesting boxes you require
  • Make sure you factor in the strength of your coop to keep your hens safe from predators
  • It is important that your coop will be well ventilated with no drafts
  • Position the coop so that it’s in a shady area on dry ground with effective drainage
  • Always use non-corrosive and non-toxic materials to keep your hens safe
  • Allow at least three square feet for each hen and five square feet for free-range hens
  • Make sure you have the correct expertise and tools to take on the project yourself. Hiring a professional will give you peace of mind that your coop will last for years to come and ensure the finished coop looks great

how to build a chicken coop

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What tools do I need to build a chicken coop?

Before starting, make you have the correct equipment to build your chicken coop.

  • Electric stand saw
  • Spirit level
  • Sandpaper
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Measuring tape and pencil
  • Extension cords
  • Paintbrush
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How to build a chicken coop step by step

Follow the below points to learn how to build a chicken coop step by step:

Step 1: Build the frame

  • The frame makes up the chassis of your coop
  • Ensure your frame is level by measuring on a flat surface and making sure both diagonal measurements are equal
  • Attach the sides using four connecting battens, inside of every joint
  • You will then need to screw the battens and frame into place from inside the battens

Step 2: Build the roof

  • Create your roof trusses by attaching with screws on a 45-degree angle, forming baseless triangle.
  • Attach these to your frame with screws positioned above your vertical battens
  • Next, you will need to fix the ridge rail
  • Attach the large and small ridge rails between your roof trusses. Ensure there is a three inch part of the rail on the right-hand side
  • Finally, use screws to attach the roof trusses and ridge rails

Step 3: Frame and roof panels

  • Using 2 OSBs (Oriented Strand Boards), trim to size
  • Smooth rough edges with sandpaper
  • Countersink and attach both roof panels to your side battens and roof trusses
  • Begin panelling. After fitting the side panels, attach the floor panel to the frame with screws
  • Cut the coop openings from the attached panels, including nesting boxes, a coop door and a hole for cleaning access

Step 4: Finishing touches

  • Cut the battens to size then start making the coop doors using two horizontal and two vertical battens
  • Use a horizontal batten and cover each end with PVC glue
  • Attach the vertical battens to the horizontal batten ends and screw into place. Do this for both door sides
  • Repeat this to form your second coop door
  • To hang the doors, attach hinges onto the doors and the coop frame
  • Construct the nesting boxes and finish with non-toxic paint
  • Felt and shingle the coop roof
  • Then build a fence from chicken wire

building a chicken coop step by step

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How to build a chicken coop and runhow to build a chicken coop and run

Healthy chickens need a run for safe exercising without the danger of predators. This will also stop them from escaping. Please note, foxes can break through the chicken wire so it is safer to use another stronger material, for example, ½ inch welded wire.

Start with the previous step by step instructions, then follow the below stages to learn how to build a chicken coop and run:

  • Begin by digging holes for the fence posts. For security, use concrete to prevent them from moving
  • Ensure your posts are level and measure them to check they make an even shape
  • Next, attach boards across the highest point to ensure they stay put
  • Dig a trench a few inches deep between the posts, then attach the fence with u-shaped nails
  • Add a roof to the run to protect your chickens from predators that can climb and fly, such as foxes and eagles
  • Finally, add a door for access

How to build a chicken coop out of pallets

A great and affordable option is to build a chicken coop out of pallets, as follows:

  • If you want your coop to be high enough for you to walk inside, build it using two vertical pallets. For convenience use similar sized pallets
  • Working to a rectangle shape, screw the starting row of pallets onto your wood perimeter
  • Next, construct the second layer with pallets and screw into place
  • Finally, add a door and a roof to complete your coop

Key takeaways

  • Building a chicken coop will keep your feathered friends safe and warm
  • A chicken run will give your birds the space to exercise but not escape
  • Follow the steps in the previous section to learn how to build a chicken coop out of pallets
  • Always take multiple measurements to prevent any mistakes
  • Hiring a tradesperson will mean a high quality, low-risk job with a professional finish

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