Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chicken Coop - Part 1

(Edit 1/8/14 - Wow! I just noticed a major spike in traffic to this blog post coming from a couple homesteading and prepping sites. Very cool! Welcome all!

I get a lot of questions about plans and construction details, so after you look over the pictures in this 4-part series please take a look at the following video for more build info: Chicken Coop Construction Info. One of the referring sites implies that this is an inexpensive coop, which is really funny to me. It was actually quite expensive to build...close to $2000. Hardware cloth ain't cheap. But maybe you can get some ideas for a coop that can be built for less.

If you're into beekeeping feel free to check out my other Youtube channel The Bee Vlog. - Bill)

The chicken coop has been under construction for just over a month now but work has been going very slowly due to lots and lots of rain, and my busy work schedule. But here's how it looks as of today. (The cross bracing is temporary and will come down when I install the siding.)

The inspiration for the design of this coop came from the Wichita Cabin Coop. I'm making several design changes, but the overall concept is the same.

The order of construction went:
  1. Set posts
  2. Build roof (clear Suntuf panels)
  3. Bury border pavers (to block digging predators)
  4. Install base boards
  5. Install brick patio (so sick of the rain and mud - I needed somewhere dry and firm to stand)
  6. Lay 1/2" hardware cloth around other 3 edges (also to prevent digging) and spread river rock
  7. Frame the hen house and nest box
  8. Begin siding and floor (present state)

I'll be installing a webcam in the middle hole in the wall. It pivots so we can get a view inside the hen house and outside in the chicken run.

Next -
Part 2
Part 3 - Complete
Part 4 - Update


  1. Looks great...can't wait to see it. Will the run be 'fenced' so predators can't get at the chickens?

  2. What kind of pavers did you use? Did you do the same as the witchita coop? Or did you only lay vertical ones in?

  3. Do you know if this cold weather suitable? I live in WV and the temps this past winter were crazy.

    1. Chickens do just fine in low temps. But if it gets below 20F in their hen house then some kind of supplemental heating should be provided to protect them from frost bite. I have a ceramic heater that is on a thermostat to keep them from getting too cold. It's a safe heater that won't cause fires.

  4. how many chickens did you build this for?

    1. I intended for it to comfortably fit 8.

  5. Where is the roost inside the coop?

    1. The roost is inside the hen house. This video shows more info:

  6. Great job! I love it. I think your coop is best for small backyard. How about the flooring? What is your suggestion about it? I need to build one because I’m planning to raise chickens too. Do you have coop plans design?

  7. Hi John,

    I stumbled across your chicken coop blog post today. Really nice job. I'm the Director of Marketing for Palram Americas, makers of Suntuf Corrugated Polycarbonate. I hope you don't mind if I post a photo of your project on our web site together with a link to your blog post and YouTube video. If so, let me know and I'll remove it. Here's a link:

    Again, Nice Job!

    Stan Schultz
    Director of Marketing
    Palram Americas

    1. Not a problem. My name, however, is Bill Catherall. John F Baker is my great grandfather. :) But I kind of like that he is now being credited for it. :)