Our first chicken coop was functional, but left a lot to be desired. We learned a lot from our first little coop, and we put what we learned into our second, bigger chicken coop. Things we learned from the first coop, make a coop big enough to walk in, roosters are big, need a bigger door, and always plan you coop to get even more chickens. Chickens are addictive, and you will always want more. With these things in mind, we worked on designing our next chicken coop.
The first step was to acquire some wooden pallets. Wood is getting more and more expensive. We wanted to do this as inexpensively as possible, as we are cheap. I got a truck load of free wooden pallets for our chicken coop by asking around.
The wood pallets will be used for the walls later. We used some 2×4’s and plywood for the floor. First we built a 4’x8′ frame for the floor. You could use pallets for the floor, but the 2×4’s and plywood was only around $25 and it saved a lot of time.
|2×4 frame for the floor|
Next we attached a full sheet of plywood to the 4’x8′ frame.
We added braces for the corners, and two 2×4 skids to the bottom since we plan on taking this coop with us when we move to the land we purchased once we get to that point of the plan.
|Corner brace for added stability|
|2 skids attached|
Next we flipped the floor right side up and placed it on blocks.
And used wood shims to level it up.
Check for level in both directions and add shims as needed.
With the floor complete, we turned our attention to the pallets. Tearing down pallets can be very difficult work. We found using a reciprocating saw to be the fastest and easiest. Simply cut the planks from the back of the pallet and nail them to the front to cover the gaps between the boards. They will have more gaps on the front than boards on the back, so a few pallets were completely tore down to give us the extra boards to fill in all the gaps.
Pallets come in many different sizes, so it is necessary to match up sizes. We used 4 pallets of one size for the bottom of the walls and 4 of a smaller size for the top of the walls. Once we had all 8 wall sections fabricated from pallets, we began attaching them to the floor.
Once the bottom layer of the side walls were attached, we built a 2×4 frame to the inside of the coop for stability.
The two frames on the ends were made to attach doors on each end. One for the chickens and one for us.
Next we attached the four pallets for the upper walls.
A few homemade trusses to hold up the roof.
A layer of plywood, tar paper and shingles to complete the roof.
We used several scrap pieces of plywood for the end walls. Here you can see the hole for the human door. We learned from the last chicken coop that it is very handy to be able to walk into the coop.
The other end wall was also plywood. The chicken door slides in groves at the top and bottom of the opening. With a handle on the end of the door to grab hold of, it slides open and closed.
For windows, I simply didn’t cover half of the spaces on one of the top pallets. (One pallet done this way, did not allow enough light into the coop, so we opened up slats on one of the pallets on the opposite side of the coop.)
The completed coop with both doors attached and open.
|The completed coop.|