The New Standard of DIY Chicken Coop Plans!

A reliable and roomy chicken coop provides a lovely safe home where your feathered friends can flourish. In this article I will cover everything you need to know about DIY chicken coops, including how you can successfully build one.

chicken coop

Chicken coop size

Most breeds of chickens require 3-4 square feet of space coop per bird. However, this applies if the chickens have outdoor space where they can run during the day. 

On the other hand, if there is no outdoor range space available or you plan to keep the chickens in the coop all the time, each chicken will need about 8-10 square feet of space in the coop. Providing your chickens with enough space helps keep them happy, plus the coop won’t get smelly too fast.  The ideal chicken coop size for your flock will depend on how many birds you intend to keep and how you plan to raise them.

Location of the Coop

Choosing a suitable location for your chicken coop is key to your chickens’ health, happiness, and safety. While there is no right or wrong location for a coop, you want to keep your chickens close so you can keep an eye on things, but not close to your house or your neighbour’s because of the nasty smell and noise. Considering that you will need to visit the coop at least twice a day — to let them out and again into their coop — you don’t want to set it too far. 

The best chicken coop location should provide a good balance of sunshine and shade. Of course, your chickens need shade, but not day long. They also need a good flow of air. Depending on the spot of your choice, you may want to create a wind break. This can go a long way to ensuring the comfort of your chickens. The idea is to choose a safe and comfortable location for your flock.

How much does it cost to build a chicken coop?

Lumbering

The type of wood you choose for your chicken coop impacts the overall cost. Softwood is a budget-friendly framing material and costs  $2-$3 per board foot, depending on quality. Even so, pressure-treated lumber remains a common choice because it is rot-resistant and prevents insect infestation. Pressure-treated lumber is readily available on the market and costs $7-$10 per board foot on average. 

Redwood is an excellent choice if you have a budget, and costs about $10-$12 per board foot. Whatever your choice, you should be able to make a coop of entirely lumber or pair your boards with plywood or mesh.

Fasteners

The hardware that goes into your chicken coop depends on the design and size of the coop. To construct a typical coop, you can expect to spend about $20 – $50 on fasteners.

Flooring

Chicken coops do not necessarily need to have floors. However, depending on where you live or where you are building your coop, a foundation can help keep your birds safer from predators. 

Plywood is an excellent choice for flooring; it is easy to install and care for. However, it tends to absorb odours and could be chewed by some predators. If you still consider plywood, it costs about $10-$20 per sheet. You can also install vinyl or wooden board flooring, which costs $2-$8 per square foot, while wooden flooring costs about $7-$8 per board foot. 

If you live in a region where predators pose a serious threat, a concrete floor would be the best. At around $110 per cubic foot poured, concrete flooring is expensive but keeps all predators away.

Walls

Mesh is a common choice for chicken coop walls. If you choose to go with mesh, a roll of good-quality mesh costs about $30-$40. Depending on the size of your coop, you may need more than one roll.

Other walling options that you may consider are plywood and corrugated tin. Either option costs roughly $10-$20 per sheet.

Roofing

Roofing a chicken coop is no different from roofing your house. You can use metal sheets, plastic sheets, asphalt shingles, or plywood for roofing your coop, depending on your preference. Depending on the size of your coop, you can expect to spend about $70 to upwards of $200 on roofing.

Chicken Run

Unless you intend to keep your chicken entirely indoors, you will need to provide a safe space for them to explore. 

Chicken runs are effortless to construct as there aren’t a lot of details that go into their structure — posts, mesh or hardware cloth, and a roof. Depending on the design and size, you can expect to spend $100-$300 to construct a typical chicken run.

Fencing

A good fence provides a way to contain your chicken and helps keep most predators from attacking your birds. Fencing is an excellent alternative to building a chicken run, especially if you have a big flock. 

With fencing, you can fence a portion of your chicken around the coop or use the fence around your property to contain the flock. If all you want is a simple fence to keep your flock in bounds, you can expect to spend about $300 to upwards of $1,000 on fencing.

Posts

Posts are very crucial in building a chicken coop fence. How much you spend on posts depends on how many you need to erect a fence. Posts cost $15 to over $100, depending on the size, materials, and type. 

On average, building a backyard chicken coop costs between $300 and $2,000. The actual price depends on several factors, including the size of your coop, the quality of materials you choose, and the style of your coop. A sophisticated coop will cost higher than a simple design coop. If you are relatively skilled, you will have fun building a coop. 

DIY chicken coop from pallets

Pallets offer an easy way to construct chicken coops. What’s more, they are more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than most options. Building a chicken coop and using pallets could save hundreds of dollars. 

Typically, a brand-new pallet costs between $9 and $12, meaning you might spend less than $100 to build a sizable coop.

Safety gear

  • Garden tools
  • Tape measure and pencil:
  • Saw
  • Tools for putting in posts
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • Level and square
  • Tools for working with wire
  • Miscellaneous tools

Understanding the Basics of Housing

Many chicken breeds are relatively hardy. However, they will need somewhere to escape the elements and unforgiving weather when winter rolls around. They also need to live safely in a clean environment with enough running space. 

Here are some basic things you need to keep in mind when building your chicken coop:

Shelter from the weather

While it is true that chickens are hardy birds, protecting them from severe weather conditions is imperative. No matter the style of your coop, you want to shelter them from prevailing winds, rain, and cold, snowy weather. 

Building your chicken coop on a level high ground can help prevent flooding and mud issues, but higher areas tend to be windier, which can drive rain inside. To create a sensibly comfortable environment for your chicken where they are protected from harsh weather, try these tips:

  • Build the shed on a level ground
  • Sandbag the perimeter to keep water at bay
  • Stabilize the interior, and equip the coop with enough roosts for your chicken to comfortably sleep on
  • Provide a protected outdoor space by roofing runs to protect your flock from rain and snow
  • Monitor temperature and humidity inside the coop 
  • Add additional insulation

Remember to maintain good coop ventilation to provide a safe and comfortable environment where your chickens are protected from the elements and harsh weather. Good ventilation will prevent stagnation of moisture, ultimately reducing the risk of frostbite, mouldy bedding, and possible respiratory infections.

Protection from predators

One of the most important considerations when building your coop is how to protect your birds from the threat of predators. Coyotes, raccoons, fisher cats, dogs, and snakes are some predators that pose the biggest threats to chickens. While most predators attack hens when foraging outdoors, some may take a more conventional approach and try to break into the coop through the door. 

Raising the coop about 8 to 12 inches off the ground is advisable to protect your chickens from predators. Elevating the coop will help keep away most predators without limiting the chickens from walking underneath. This can also prevent wood rotting, ensuring longevity.

Whether you build your chicken coop on or off the ground, it is imperative to use sturdy walling materials and set it on a reinforced foundation to deter digging predators.

Space

When it comes to chicken coops, the main concerns are noise, odour, and flies. As such, when choosing a spot for your coop, you need to be considerate enough as you don’t want yourself or your neighbours to be bothered by any of these.

Chickens also like to explore and find a meal. When deciding where to build the coop, choosing a place with some natural foraging areas is a good idea. If you live in rural or suburban areas, you will most likely quickly find a location that offers foraging opportunities. Because chickens eat nearly everything, ranging from grass, insects, plants, seeds, and small rodents, they will live happily in a space where they can find all these.

Lighting and electricity

Whether or not to add artificial light to a chicken coop is a hot debate among flock keepers. Well, supplementing lighting in the chicken coop is practical and beneficial. However, before running electricity from your house to the chicken coop, you want to know the pros and cons of lighting up the chicken coop and what lighting is best for your birds.

Lighting a coop can help your chickens stay warm during the winter months and keep egg production consistent during the winter. Adequate light also helps your see everything when cleaning the coop or taking care of your birds. However, there is a catch. Electricity in the chicken coop poses a fire risk. By forcing hens to continue laying eggs, supplemental lighting could be the root cause of severe health problems.

That said, when it comes to choosing, most bird keepers agree that red lights are the best for lighting chicken coops. Red light soothes your flock, and chickens won’t continue laying eggs because they do not perceive red light as daylight. As such, using red lights in your coop can help prevent issues that result from chickens overlaying.

Ventilation

Everyone loves fresh air, and so does poultry. For this reason, every chicken coop, no matter the size, should be well-ventilated. Ventilating chicken coops allow heat, carbon dioxide, and ammonia fumes to flow out while permitting fresh air to flood the coop, ultimately helping ensure the health and happiness of your feathered friends. 

Chickens need indoor ambient air temperature of 68 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (20°C – 27°C). Ventilating their home will ensure that they feel comfortable all through. 

While ventilating your coop, it is worth noting that chicken coops need much less ventilation during colder months. In hotter climates, much ventilation is required to cool the coop’s interior — chickens handle cold better than heat. Chicken houses with organic bedding also need more ventilation than those with inorganic bedding. 

When it comes to ventilating your coop, there are a lot of options that work for most coop designs. Whether installing a screen door, designing an open wall coop, or leaving a sensible space between the wall and the gap, you will find something that works best for your needs. 

Cleanliness

Cleaning your chicken coop is one of the essential maintenance practices. Generally, if your chickens spend most of their time outside, you won’t do as much cleaning as you would if they stayed entirely indoors. 

Keeping your coop clean can go a long way to reducing the chances of your birds getting diseases. Depending on the size of your flock, you may want to consider a daily coop cleaning routine, then thorough cleaning weekly. 

To make cleaning more manageable, you may also want to consider these tips:

  • Invest in a droppings board
  • Install removable roosts
  • Use inorganic bedding, preferably plenty of sand.
  • Staple empty feed bags on the walls – removing and replacing them is more accessible than scraping poop off walls.

Cleaning the chicken coop gives your birds a clean, comfortable environment and helps with moisture control, helping ensure your chickens grow happily and healthily. 

Temperature control

Stress in chickens due to less-than-ideal coop temperatures is one of the problems many breeders have to deal with. That’s why it is essential to commit to managing the temperatures of your coop. So, how do you control coop temperature?

Depending on the breed you are keeping, you need to understand what temperature is too hot or too cold, then find ways of keeping your chickens in ideal temperatures. 

The optimal temperatures for most chicken breeds are 68°F to 75°F. For every drop by one degree Fahrenheit, it is advisable to feed each bird 1.5 g daily for added protein. When the temperatures sink too low, you may want to consider a safe chicken coop heater. 

Suppose you live in a region with huge swings between the coldest and warmest temperatures. In that case, it is advisable to build a coop whose design is optimized for temperature control and insulate it as needed. While the food you give your chickens can help them stay at ideal temperatures, you want to make them comfortable and healthy. Most expert breeders advocate for natural methods when controlling chicken coop temperatures. 

Chicken Coop Plans

large chicken coop house with run

40x20 DIY Walk In Chicken Run Plans

This coop is a perfect option if you want to raise a large flock without getting your chicken cramped. It has 108 square feet of roosting and nesting space, plus plenty of room for your feathered friends to run.

Capacity 25 chickens
Dimensions 40 x 20
Construction complexity Intermediate
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
9x42 DIY Chicken Coop Plans

9x42 DIY Walk In Chicken Run Plans

If you are serious about raising chickens, this large coop might generate your interest. The coop is beautiful to add interest to your backyard while providing plenty of space for your chickens. 

Capacity 22 Chickens
Dimensions 9 x 42
Construction complexity Easy
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
17x6 DIY Chicken Coop Plans

17x6 DIY Walk In Chicken Run Plans

For homeowners looking to add a modern and cool-looking structure right to their backyard, this chicken coop is a great choice. It is large, easy to access, secure, and properly ventilated. 

Capacity 12 Chickens
Dimensions 17 x 6
Construction complexity Intermediate
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
24x8 Walk In Chicken Run

24x8 DIY Chicken Coop Plans

Set on a hunk of concrete and mortared brick footing, this shade is very secure. It is made of pressure-treated lumber for longevity and performance. You can decorate it to your liking, even to match your home or other outdoor structures.

Capacity 50 chickens
Dimensions 24 x 8
Construction complexity Intermediate
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
12x8 Walk In Chicken Coop

12x8 DIY Chicken Run Plans

For those looking to start raising chickens, this coop is easy to build. It has an enclosed, wire-meshed aviary and a sturdy ladder that leads the birds down in the morning and up in the evening. It is slightly raised to prevent floods and other issues.

Capacity 15 Chickens
Dimensions 12 x 8
Construction complexity Easy
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
4x8 Walk In Chicken Coop

4x8 DIY Walk In Chicken Coop Plans

For those looking for a tiny yet beautiful and useful chicken coop, this elevated and sturdy coop is a perfect option. The underneath space provides ample shed where your pets and chicken can relax and hide from the rain. It has a ladder that your chickens can use when moving.

Capacity 8 Chickens
Dimensions 4 x 8
Construction complexity Intermediate
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
10x8 Walk In Chicken Coop

10x8 DIY Walk In Chicken Coop Plans

Delivering up to 80 square feet of floor space, this coop is designed for breeders who are serious about protecting their flocks. It has a cement foundation, which guarantees safety and durability.

Capacity 30 chickens
Dimensions 10 x 8
Construction complexity Intermediate
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
5x4 Walk In Chicken Coop

5x4 DIY Walk In Chicken House Plans

If you are a serious hobbyist considering chicken keeping, this shed offers a great starting point. It is designed to be well ventilated and allow enough light into the interior.

Capacity 8 Chickens
Dimensions 5 x 4
Construction complexity Easy
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
5x6 Walk In Chicken Coop

5x6 DIY Walk In Chicken Coop Plans

A small yet functional coop in your backyard can provide a home to your chickens while adding interest. This beautiful coop does just that.

Capacity 10 Chickens
Dimensions 5 x 6
Construction complexity Intermediate
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
4x8 Walk In Chicken Run

4x8 DIY Walk In Chicken Run Plans

Without taking a lot of your backyard space, this modern coop offers enough space for up to 8 chickens. The aviary is sturdy, wire meshed, and elevated to keep predators away.

Capacity 8 chickens
Dimensions 4 x 8
Construction complexity Intermediate
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
4x10 DIY Walk In Chicken Run

4x10 DIY Chicken Run Plans

With basic tools and woodworking skills, you can build yourself a beautiful unit where your chicken can stay safe and sleep comfortably. This chicken coop is functional, sturdy, and can be decorated to match other structures.

Capacity 10 Chickens
Dimensions 4 x 10
Construction complexity Easy
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
4x12 Walk In Chicken Run

4x12 DIY Chicken Coop Plans

A sizable yet beautiful chicken coop is a dream of passionate bird lovers. This intricately designed coop delivers 48 square feet of floor space, which is enough for up to 8 chickens. Its spacious interior and cabinet-style door offer access when collecting eggs or cleaning.

Capacity 8 Chickens
Dimensions 4 x 12
Construction complexity Intermediate
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
5x10 Walk In Chicken Coop

5x10 DIY Chicken House Plans

Elevating chicken coops helps minimize most issues while deterring predators. This simple coop is designed to provide a safe and comfortable environment for your flock. You don’t need any special skill to build it.

Capacity 16 chickens
Dimensions 5 x 10
Construction complexity Intermediate
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
4x12 Chicken Run

4x12 DIY Chicken Run Plans

For breeders living in hot weather regions, this coop is designed to offer solid ventilation, which is important for keeping your birds cool. The coop is curved to be sturdy and portable.

Capacity 10 Chickens
Dimensions 4 x 12
Construction complexity Easy
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
5x6 Gambrel Walk In Chicken coop

5x6 DIY Chicken Coop Plans

If you want a chicken coop that you can easily match with other outbuildings, then you might want to build this one with a gambrel-style roof. It is designed to look great in any space and provide a safe home for your chickens.

Capacity 10 Chickens
Dimensions 5 x 6
Construction complexity Intermediate
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
4x8 Gable Walk In Chicken Run

4x8 DIY Chicken Run Plans

This plan has enough floor space to hold up to 10 chickens. The nesting box is attached on the side and has a small door that can be easily opened to give access to the box. You can easily pick eggs and clean the nesting box through the side door.

Capacity 10 chickens
Dimensions 4 x 8
Construction complexity Easy
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
30x15 Walk In Chicken Run

30x15 DIY Chicken Run Plans

If you are a serious chicken breeder, this coop can serve you just well. It delivers a floor space adequate enough for up to 50 chickens. The entry door is nice, flexible, and convenient, giving you easy tasks to cleaning and picking eggs.

Capacity 50 Chickens
Dimensions 30 x 15
Construction complexity Intermediate
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
4x10 Walk In Chicken Coop

4x10 DIY Chicken Coop Plans

The shade is sizable enough to accommodate up to 10 chickens. The coop has an access window that you can use to check on the chicken without opening the door. There is a sizable nesting box that extends outwards for easy cleaning and egg picking.

Capacity 10 Chickens
Dimensions 4 x 10
Construction complexity Intermediate
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
7x6 Gable Chicken Run

7x6 DIY A Frame Chicken Coop Plans

Designed as an A-frame chicken coop, this coop provides enough floor space to hold up to 6 chickens, and it is suitable for anyone who is starting to keep the chicken. It has two easily accessible nesting boxes with outer doors for picking eggs and cleaning.

Capacity 6 chickens
Dimensions 7 x 6
Construction complexity Easy
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
3x4 walk in chicken coop

3x4 DIY Chicken House Plans

It is sizable enough to accommodate 3 to 5 chickens without any problem. It has a properly furnished main access door, a viewing window, and strong hinges to ensure the security of the birds.

Capacity 5 Chickens
Dimensions 3 x 4
Construction complexity Easy
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
4x4 Walk In Chicken Coop

4x4 DIY Chicken House Plans

Designed to hold a maximum of 6 chickens, this is a cool chicken house with a ramp-style door to make it easy for your chicken to get back into their coop. It has outer doors that give access to nesting boxes, making it easy and convenient to access the boxes when cleaning.

Capacity 6 Chickens
Dimensions 4 x 4
Construction complexity Intermediate
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
2x4 Walk In Chicken Run

2x4 DIY Walk In Chicken Run Plans

Capacity 6 chickens
Dimensions 2 x 4
Construction complexity Easy
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
2x4 Walk In Chicken Coop

2x4 DIY Walk In Chicken Coop Plans

Capacity 6 Chickens
Dimensions 2 x 4
Construction complexity Easy
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
8x15 Chicken Tractor

8x15 DIY Chicken Tractor Plans

Capacity 8 Chickens
Dimensions 8 x 15
Construction complexity Intermediate
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean
5x13 Walk In Chicken Tractor

5x13 DIY Walk In Chicken Tractor Plans

Capacity 8 chickens
Dimensions 5 x 13
Construction complexity Easy
Access level Easy to access
Easiness to clean Easy to clean