© Susan Jennifer Robson 2015
Click pics for enlargements (shown in cover photo frame below)
S.J.Robson's Woodworking Plans Volume 1
Download .pdf file - CAD $15.00
8ft long x 2ft 8in wide x 5ft high excluding blocks
2nd Edition August 2014
© Copyright Susan Jennifer Robson 2014
52 photos with instructions
33 construction drawings
framing cutting schedule
plywood cutting layouts
Carefully thought out and very detailed architectural style plans to build a chicken coop suitable for up to 6 hens. Included are photos, instructions and plan drawings for every stage of construction. Anyone who has basic carpentry skills should be able to follow the plans to build this chicken house.
The coop itself is built as a free-standing unit with its own flat roof (not waterproof). The roof for the rain which sits over the top can be styled however it suits you.
Small size and pleasant to look at
This chicken house is 8ft long, 2ft 8ins wide, and has an overall height of 5ft, plus the height of the support blocks, making it suitable for use in the back garden of a city lot. It has a design which is pleasing to the eye and should be less offensive to neighbors since it could be hidden behind a 6ft fence.
Easy to clean
Large double doors on the front mean easy access. These, combined with an inside chicken house width of 2ft 5ins, (not much wider than a kitchen counter), make the inside very easy to reach for cleaning without climbing inside. Since people do not need to go inside, the headroom can be scaled to the chicken's height rather than a human's height. Both roosts and the perch are attached with double-headed nails dropped into holes, making them easy to remove for cleaning. The floor is only one piece of plywood so there are no groves in which the dirt could collect, other than where the floor and walls meet.
Raccoon and Rat resistant
The width of the chicken house is such that it is 4 inches narrower than a standard width of hardware cloth. This is wire netting which is available from a regular hardware store and is welded at each joint, as opposed to chicken wire which is a smaller gauge wire with twisted joints. The hardware cloth is affixed under the floor of the chicken house and is bent upwards underneath the siding for extra strength. Hopefully this will stop the raccoons from ripping it off and stop the rats from chewing through the bottom corners of the chicken house. The chicken house is designed with a "lid" which lies flat on top of the side walls, and is attached with screws every 6 inches. The hardware cloth is attached underneath this "lid" and it wraps around underneath the siding as with the hardware cloth under the floor. The roof is put on separately after the "lid" is attached and just serves to keep the rain out. This way, the rats may get under the roof in the spaces between the rafters, but will still not be able to get into the chicken house. The ends of the roof are left open so anything trying to nest between the "lid" and the roof can be pushed out with a broom!
A large netting window gives good ventilation in summer, while allowing children to watch the chickens without going inside the chicken house and getting their feet dirty. In the winter, most of the window is covered with polythene or Plexiglas, with a small space at the top under the eaves for ventilation. The chicken house has lots of daylight coming inside all year round. There is an egg collecting door on the outside which opens directly into the nesting box. Children can peep in and see the hens sitting on the nest, and they can collect the eggs from the outside.
Use of inside space is maximized
The nesting box fits along one of the end walls, with the feed box and oyster shell box tucked away underneath it, against the wall. The roosts are off the ground with enough head room for the chickens to stand upright underneath, so they have 7ft of the 8ft length to run around in. The water can be put just inside the double doors for easy access to clean it out, but it is away from the feed. The nesting box has a sloped roof design to keep the chickens off it, and it is dark, cosy and off the ground which is what the chickens like for a nest.
You can add more blocks underneath if you want to get the Chicken House higher. Just don't make it so high that you can't reach the egg door! If the Chicken House is only one block off the ground, you could sweep the litter into a cat litter box. If you make the Chicken House higher, you could get a wheel barrow underneath. Keeping the Chicken House off the ground will stop the wood from rotting. It also discourages rats from nesting underneath. I had no more problems with rats once I had moved my hens into a new Chicken House about 12ins off the ground. However, I did have 3 cats, but even they hadn't been able to eliminate the rats when the Chicken House was right on the ground.
Choose your own roof style
This chicken coop has been designed as a sealed, rectangular box to make it easier to proof it against predators. As a result, the roof which goes over the top to keep out the rain can be designed to suit your individual needs. The one shown in the plans has a peaked roof, but it could just as easily have a sloping roof as shown in the video Chicken Coop Cleaning, and the video How to build a chicken run for your back yard chicken coop
Eggs collected from the outside.
The little door on the end of the Chicken House opens into the nesting box, so that you can reach the eggs. The little door is large enough to be able to clean out the nesting box from the outside.
The hens should have an outside run attached to the Chicken House. For 6 chickens, an 8ft x 8ft run should be large enough. Of course, the larger the run the better and letting the chickens run free range would be best of all. The chickens will also do wonderful bug patrol in the vegetable garden in the fall when they will enjoy cleaning up the garden area. Do give them an escape route back to the Chicken House in case of eagles, dogs etc. or put a net over the vegetable garden. They will put themselves to bed in the Chicken House when dusk falls. You will need to lock them in when dusk falls because this is when the raccoons come out to play.
Easy to follow plans for beginners
These plans consist of notes, cutting schedules for framing, plywood cutting plans, a shopping list, 52 photos with step by step instructions and 33 diagrams. The diagrams consist of framing layouts to scale, rafter layouts, how to lay shingles on a roof, 3-D interior and exterior layouts and templates for peaked roof and flat roof rafters.
Each side of the chicken house is exactly the size of one sheet of plywood on its side, which covers the base as well as the wall framing. The plywood cutting layouts have taken the kerf width into consideration, and the sizes have been adjusted so that the siding, roof, floor, nesting box, oyster shell box and feed box are cut out of exactly 5½ sheets of plywood / ranchwall siding.
Nesting Box, Oyster Shell Box and Feed Box Plans are included
The feed and oyster shell boxes are designed to tuck away underneath the nesting box.
General Building Notes
General Notes About The Chicken House
Raccoons and Other Critters Who Want Your Chickens or their Feed.
Screws and Nails
Concrete Support Blocks
Paint or Stain
Base and Nesting Box Supports
Framing Members for Walls and Roosts
Framing members for Double Doors
Peaked Roof Rafter Detail (RL)
Cutting Layout for Rafter Braces (RB)
Door Stop for Double Doors (DS)
Rafter Brace Detail
Plywood Cutting Plan 1
Plywood Cutting Plan 2
Plywood Cutting Plan 3
Plywood Cutting Plan 4
Plywood Cutting Plan 5
Plywood Cutting Plan 6
Whole Back Wall Frame with Chicken-door Insert
Trim To Secure Wire Netting Onto Chicken-Door Insert
Double-door Frame Insert
Whole Front Wall Frame
Wall Frame Assembly - Plan View
Siding Assembly, showing Roost End and Front
Siding Assembly, showing Nest Box End & Back
Metal Roofing and Cedar Shingles and Shakes
Metal and Cedar Roofing