Here at the
Simple Suburban Homestead we like to keep things simple! This coop and all of
the additions (auto water/feeder/cleanout) are designed for the suburban family
with limited time. The coop can comfortably house up to eight laying hens to
provide your family with plenty of fresh eggs daily. The design takes into
account standard lumber measurements which reduces waste and cost. The easy
cleanout tray makes cleaning the coop as simple as possible with one person
cleanups taking under 20 minutes. For the full video series on building the
coop please check out our YouTube Playlist here. We hope that
this coop brings your family years of quality enjoyment, fresh eggs, and
The first step
is to level an area greater than 4’ X4’ to accommodate the base of the main
coop. The base consists of 4 posts with a 2X4 frame to make it rigid. The
outside diameter is no greater than 4’ as to maximize use of 8’ 2X4’s. Each
post is resting on its own pad made from cheap patio stones on level ground.
Step Two: Coop Walls
Each wall is
constructed of 2X4 pine (most of which came from the 70% off bin at Home
Depot). No wall is longer or higher than 4’ to make efficient use of 8’ 2X4’s
and sheeting. The front wall contains the entryway and cleanout tray access.
The left side wall contains the chicken door entryway. The right side is where
the nesting boxes will be attached. Below are the details on all four walls.
Step Three: Nesting Box
OSB dividers were
added to separate the box into the three nesting areas. The lid is made of OSB
as well and is just slightly oversized as to create a small over hang when
closed. I used a standard gate latch to secure the lid and a piece of scrap as
a kickstand to hold it open while eggs are collected. Cut the
top two diagonal supports once the box is mounted to the coop.
Step Four: Roofing
The roof is
fairly simple, 4 2X4 trusses spanning from front to back. Each truss is notched
out to rest on the front and back walls. The top is covered with OSB with as
much over hang as you would like. The roofing is made of corrugated roof panels to fit over the
OSB roof. There are special nails that go with the roofing panels and foam caps
to close of the rigged ends as well.
Step Five: Cleanout Tray
tray is one of the best features of this design. The tray slides in and out
along the floor of the coop through a small access door under the main access.
The tray is made of scrap 2X4 cut into 1.5” strips and some OSB. I used deck
stain to seal the wood and protect it and some cheap stick on linoleum tiles on
the inside of the tray.
Step Six: Final Touches
Once the core of the coop is built the outside
can be covered with whatever material you choose. I used a cheap paneling I
found at Home Depot and then stained it with deck stain to protect it. You can
also use plywood, pallet wood, or any other material to cover the coop. I cut
in the access door and cleanout tray door with a jig saw once the paneling was
secured. I also later cut a small window above the nesting box and made a
simple flap opening with an old hinge. You can use any hinges and door latches that
you choose for the main door, nesting box access, and cleanout access. Now, on to
the chicken run!
Step Seven: Chicken Run Framing
The chicken run
gives our little egg producers some nice space to hang out during the day with
plenty of cover for rainy days. I have converted this into a mobile chicken
tractor as well so I can keep them contained and let them get fresh scratching
ground. That is not covered in these plans but if you would like more info
check out the YouTube video series here. Remember, this
is a general guide with the style that I chose but don’t be afraid to change
anything you want along the way! For the full video walkthrough please check
out the video here.
The run starts
with a 2X6 frame that is an 8’X4’ rectangle secured with deck screws. Next the
5’ and 6’ wall supports are installed vertically from the base frame. Supports
are attached around the middle perimeter of the walls. The full cut list with
dimensions is below. Three of the base corners get a diagonal support brace and
one on the perimeter supports as well. The top of each wall also gets a
horizontal support the overhangs on each end to later support the trusses.
installed in-between the top horizontal wall supports and topped with 1X4
runners. These runners are there purely to give something for the Ondura
roofing to attach to.
The above materials were used to flush the walls for attaching the hardware cloth and are not needed if you intend to use chicken wire instead. Although some may be needed to provide a mounting locating for the door. These “filler” studs go between the base and side horizontal support to allow the hardware cloth a flat place to be stapled without leaving gaps. They also run from the top wall horizontal support to the middle support as well on each corner of the run.
Step Eight: Chicken Run Door
The coop door is
made of 2X4 studs with a cheap version of a pocket hole connecting the corner
braces together. You can toenail these or angle screw them together as well.
The pocket hole I used is detailed in the video. The door can be covered with
chicken wire or hardware cloth using a staple gun.
Material and Cut List
-4X4X2’6” post (4)
-4’X4’ OSB or plywood (1)
-Patio stone or other base block (4)
Back wall –
Front Wall –
Left Side Wall –
Right Side Wall –
-2X4X 3’5” (1)
-2X4X 4’ (2)
-1’3”X4’ OSB or Plywood
-2X4 top support braces (2) custom cut once box is in place
-Plywood lid, cut this lid just about ½ larger than the opening of
the top of the nesting box
-3’8.5”X3’5” OSB or Plywood
-Cheap stick on vinyl tiles to cover inside of tray.
-2X6X8’ (2) - Base
-2X6X3’9” (2) - Base
-2X4X6’ (4) – Front walls
-2X4X5’ (4) – Back Walls
-2X4X5’3.5” - Front middle perimeter support
-2X4X4’ (2) – End perimeter supports
-2X4X7’9” (2) – Rear middle perimeter support
-2X4X8’ (2) – Front and Rear top perimeter support
-2X4X3’9” – Rafters
-1X4X8’ (4) – Roof runners
-2X6 or 2X4 (3) - Corner base braces ~ 1’ 10”
-2X4 (1) – Corner middle perimeter brace ~ 1’ 7”
-Nails/Screws – 10d will work fine or use 2.5” deck screws whichever
your budget chooses
-Flashing for nesting box lid (where the hinges are). I used a piece
of 4”X4’ vinyl cut from a pool toy and some construction adhesive. This ensures
water does not leak between the coop wall and the nesting box lid.
Where the subdivision meets the country! This blog chronicles projects, tips, and ideas on how to live in suburban America faithfully, sustainably, organically, and happily using today's technology. We are homesteading as much as we can on this little plot of land we have!