Deb and Donovan from near Seattle sent in several views of their backyard chicken coop build. Look at that flower box and window! They were kind enough to share some thoughts on their experience finding and building the right coop for their needs. The rest of this post comes from them. . .
Choosing to build our own chicken coop
We were new to having chickens, and as we started researching coops, all we knew was that we wanted a predator-proof, well ventilated hen house/enclosure that would allow our chickens to access to the run on their own.
Originally, we were planning to buy a pre-built kit; neither of us are very construction-oriented, and we don’t have a lot of tools. But when we read that we only needed a few basic tools to build The Garden Coop — and that other construction-challenged people had built it successfully — we felt encouraged and got the plans.
- We added the external nest boxes (thanks for the free design!)
- We added a Plexiglas front window
- We changed the internal right wall, making two hinged doors that open the full width of the wall so we could totally access the interior hen house for easy cleaning
- We moved the chicken door to the side wall instead of in the floor
- We covered the floor with some leftover vinyl flooring
- We painted the coop to match our house as we had leftover paint from our paint job last summer (it was a struggle trying to paint around the rainy Seattle-area weather)
- We painted the interior with animal-friendly Mythic paint
Our coop is now the focus of our backyard — we have a great view of the chickens and coop from our kitchen window. We feel very proud of our accomplishment, and it is fun to show off our coop and chickens to our neighbors.
Hints for others building their own Garden Coop chicken coop
- We used 8″ x 16″ cinder blocks and laid them down vertically which gave a lot of additional stability when trenching and burying the hardware cloth
- We used 1/2-inch plywood for the internal walls so we also used it for the external nest boxes, but I think the nest boxes would have worked better with 3/4-inch plywood
- Although we made our cuts using only a circular saw, the project might have progressed more quickly if we had borrowed or rented a table saw
After six full weekends we finally finished our Garden Coop — just in time for our four chicks to move in as they turned six weeks old. Your plans helped us out so much. We and our chicks have been very happy with the results. Thanks again!
Deb and Donovan
Many thanks to Deb and Donovan for their pictures and ideas. Please leave a comment if you like what they’ve done. And check out our coop plans and kits to build your own stylish, secure backyard chicken coop or chicken ark.