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Basic Chicken Coop Plans


The Basic Coop plans show you how to build a secure, comfortable chicken coop that's as easy on the eye as it is on your pocketbook.

Basic Chicken Coop Plans

With just a couple sheets of plywood siding, a few boards, a roofing panel, some hardware, and paint you can create an attractive, ultra-affordable chicken coop for your backyard flock. The Basic Coop chicken coop plans guide you every step of the way. . .


Key features of The Basic Coop:

  • » Sized for up to 4 hens
  • » Can be built for under $200
  • » Measures roughly 3'w x 3'd x 4'h (915 x 915 x 1220 mm)
  • » Transulcent roof for daylight
  • » Open-ceiling design for ample ventilation
  • » Efficient interior layout with two roosts, a nest box, and space for waterer and feeder
  • » Fully secure with wire mesh ceiling and lockable latches on every door
  • » Carefully designed to optimize materials, reducing cost and waste
  • » Use within a fenced-in area or free-range yard, or attach an enclosed run
  • » Works as a brooder too, making it the perfect starter coop — or one to grow with
  • » Hardware Quick Kit available (U.S. only)
  • » Built with pride. . . by you!


About The Basic Coop chicken coop plans:

  • » 45+ pages of illustrations, photos, and step-by-step instructions
  • » Written for beginners, with simple cuts and techniques
  • » Includes full tool and material lists
  • » Plan includes both imperial units (feet/inches) and metric units (millimeters)
  • » Compatible with iPad and other PDF-friendly mobile devices
  • » Only $19.95 — satisfaction guaranteed



LOOK INSIDE THE PLANS! Download a free preview of The Basic Coop
chicken coop plans to see exactly what to expect.




Keep it practical. Make it beautiful.

Inside the henhouse of The Basic Coop plansWe developed this design over the course of a few years to get everything just right, with no compromises. The design draws on our family's experience keeping chickens in a variety of coop styles as well as years of feedback gathered from customers and friends.

The spacious henhouse has everything four hens need to be comfortable. The broad front door gives you bump-free access to every corner of the coop for cleaning and care of your flock.

The side pop door opens for your hens to come and go. And the egg door (on the other side) is in just the right spot for you or your kids to collect those fresh eggs every day.



Waste less. Get more.

Building a basic chicken coopForemost on our minds in designing The Basic Coop was finding a way to use affordable, easy-to-find materials — and then making the most of each and every one.

As one example, the plans show you how to cut the walls, doors, floor, and nest box from just two standard sheets of 1/2" (13 mm) plywood siding or plywood. By not having to buy a third sheet, you save good money right from the start.

At the same time, you get more than you'd expect from a coop of this price. More space, more light, more ventilation, and — since you select the materials and build it yourself — more quality, for a stand-alone coop that will last.



Make a splash. When it comes to expressing your style, The Basic Coop is anything but basic.

Dandelion stencil on chicken coopThe walls are your canvas! Trace or freehand a design — or use a stencil to apply just what you want, right where you want it. You can make The Basic Coop stand out or blend in to your backyard garden.






Click here to buy and download plans for The Basic Coop. Scroll down for answers to common questions about this coop design and our plans. Or email with any other questions.








More views inside The Basic Coop plywood chicken coop

There are two roosts inside The Basic Coop, which also serve to support the raised nesting box. This stacked design lets you tuck a feeder and waterer where your chickens won't be tempted to perch on them, so they'll stay cleaner.

Looking up, you can see the open-ceiling design which provides plenty of ventilation, very important for your hens' health. The ceiling is secured with durable hardware cloth, the gold standard for protecting your chickens from predators. And it's covered with a translucent roof (not clear) that lets in light while providing shade and shelter. You can partially cover the ceiling in the winter.

View inside The Basic Coop chicken coop


The secure egg door opens right into the nest box, so you can gather the day's fresh eggs or just say hi to a friend.

Basic Coop hen in nest box


Place a two-by-four in the doorway to hold in the bedding. When it's time to clean it out, simply lift out the board and brush the litter down to the ground or into a shallow box or pan. There's no lip or ledge to get in the way of a simple sweep.

Two by four hold in bedding and litter in chicken coop hen house


We designed The Basic Coop and The Garden Run enclosures to work perfectly together, so it's easy to add on a simple day run or a more elaborate secure enclosure. Add a pop door to the run (instructions included in The Garden Run plans), and you can let your hens roam even wider from there.

Basic Coop with The Garden Run quarter-height module attached


The Garden Run Chicken Run


» See more photos and videos of The Basic Coop and our other coop designs.











Questions about The Basic Coop:




How skilled do I need to be at building?

The Basic Coop is designed for beginners on up. If you've used a circular saw and a cordless drill before, that's a bonus. But if not, this is a great project to learn on. You should also know how to use a tape measure and a hammer. All the cuts are straight (no tricky angles), and the pieces come together simply. You can do it!

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How much do the materials cost?

Prices will vary, of course. What I can tell you is that if you were to buy what's on the plan's materials list new at 2014 Home Depot prices (assuming minimum quantities on hardware), you'd pay around $180-220 USD pre-tax. This does not include paint or any kind of wood sealer, but you can budget around $25 for that if you are buying it new. Also, add in your local sales tax.

Here's the approximate (2014) cost breakdown by category, in USD:

        • » Plywood/siding and lumber, $60-100 (plywood cost varies by quality)
        • » Hardware, $78 (see optional Quick Kit to save on this)
        • » Roofing, $28
        • » Hardware cloth, $13

We also offer a hardware Quick Kit for The Basic Coop (U.S. only) that includes everything you need to build the coop except for the bulky stuff (wood, hardware cloth, roofing, paint). It's priced competitively with what you'll find locally — even better actually, because you get just the amount you need — and it's pre-shopped and pre-packed in one easy box. It also ships free with no sales tax added.

A big part of what will save you money on your coop is having a clear idea of what you're building, not overbuying, and not mis-measuring and making costly mistakes. A solid plan will help you with that.

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How long does it take to build The Basic Coop?

If you've read through the plan, have your materials together, and allow time for painting, you could build The Basic Coop in about 2-4 days.

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What tools will I need to build this chicken coop?

We designed The Basic Coop stand-alone chicken coop and plan for someone with beginner-level skills. The cuts are all straightforward (no tricky angles to measure), and the tools are pretty common ones that you likely either have or can easily borrow or buy. Here's the list from the plan:

  • » circular saw
  • » power drill/driver with assorted bits
  • » tape measurer
  • » pencil
  • » two sawhorses
  • » handsaw
  • » hammer
  • » combination square (see photo) or speed square
  • » two clamps with at least a 3” (75 mm) capacity
  • » wire (metal) snips that can handle 19-gauge wire or heavier
  • » sanding block and 80-grit (or so) sandpaper
  • » paintbrush
  • » handbroom and dustpan (helpful)
  • » dropcloth (for painting)

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Satisfaction guaranteed.



What are the approximate dimensions of The Basic Coop?

The coop measures about 3'w x 3'd x 4'h (915 x 915 x 1220 mm) at the frame. Add a few inches all around for the roof height and overhang. The inner henhouse provides 9 sq. feet (.84 sq. meters) of floorspace and 48 inches (1220 mm) of roost space.

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How many chickens will The Basic Coop house?

The Basic Coop will house up to 4 hens. As with any urban/suburban backyard flock, it helps if you have only hens (no roosters) and that they have all been raised together.

Since this design is a stand-alone coop, you will also want to provide adequate space outside the coop, as this is important for your chickens' overall health and happiness. Plan on letting your hens out into a fenced-in day yard or other predator-proof enclosure for most of the day, every day. They will return to The Basic Coop to lay their eggs, seek shelter, and sleep safely at night.

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Is The Basic Coop suitable for cold climates?

Yes. More than anything, what chickens need year round is proper ventilation and protection from the elements, and The Basic Coop provides this. You can also regulate the amount of ventilation by inserting a panel over a portion of the open-air ceiling.

For much more information on preparing your chicken coop and flock for the winter, see the winter-tagged posts at our blog, Coop Thoughts.

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Does the plan include instructions for a nesting box?

Yes. The plan includes instructions for one nesting box, perfect for up to 4 hens to share. If you wanted to add another, you could stack two in the coop without using up much more space. You would need additional materials, of course, and this is not explained in the plans.

If you're interested in adding external nest boxes to The Basic Coop, see our free exterior nesting box plans for guidance. While we do not yet have instructions specific to The Basic Coop, you can use the tutorial on our blog as a starting point. (You should review the tutorial before framing up your coop.)

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Can I install an automatic door opener on The Basic Coop?

Yes. You should have plenty of clearance on the pop door side of The Basic Coop for either an interior- or exterior-mounted automatic chicken coop door. I'm not familiar with all the models out there, but I'll try to confirm them here as I learn about them. Curious about a particular model? Please send me a link.

Models that should work, based on the stated dimensions of the manufacturer: ADOR1.

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How do you clean out the henhouse, and how often?

Cleaning the henhouse is done simply from the wide front door. Just brush the litter out onto the ground or into a shallow box/pan and add fresh bedding. How often depends on the season, the depth of the bedding, etc. You can paint the henhouse floor or cover it with a layer of linoleum flooring to make cleanup even easier.

Some people have success with a bed of sand instead of pine shavings or straw. In that case, you would scoop the poop out daily using something like a kitty litter scoop.

You can clean out the nest box from the egg door, or slide it out altogether for a more thorough cleaning.

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Is The Basic Coop suitable for raising baby chicks too? Can I use it as a brooder?

You can certainly use The Basic Coop as a brooder for chicks. It's perfect for it! Hang a heat lamp from one of the upper corners so that the chicks can move away from it as needed to regulate their temperature. Include a waterer, food, fresh bedding, and a low roost to train them on after a couple weeks. You can search for "chick brooders" online to get some more ideas on how to set things up.

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Satisfaction guaranteed.



Can I get the lumber and plywood pre-cut at my local hardware store or big-box home improvement store?

You can typically get the store to make some cuts for you so that your materials will fit in your vehicle. I wouldn't expect much more. But have no fear. The cuts in this plan are all very straightforward. If you take a look and still feel you need help, enlist a local handyman/woman. They'll appreciate the work!

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Can you send me printed plans instead of the eBook (PDF file)?

We only offer our plans as eBooks in the PDF format. This lets us get them out quickly and neatly, and it keep costs down for everyone. Past customers whose computer setups were not ideal have said they forwarded the file to a friend or relative to view and print. The promise of a dozen fresh eggs goes a long way.

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Will the plans work on my iPad (or other PDF-friendly mobile device)?

Yes. Because our chicken coop plan eBooks come as PDF files, they are fully compatible with the iPad and any other PDF-friendly mobile device. Learn more at this post on our blog.

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Is there a metric version of The Basic Coop plan. And do you accept international orders?

Yes to both! The Basic Coop plan is universal, actually, so it includes both U.S./imperial and metric materials lists as well as U.S./imperial and metric measurements throughout. So whether you work in feet/inches or millimeters (or a combination of the two), this plan has you covered.

You can learn more about our metric plans for our other designs, The Garden Coop and The Garden Ark here.

You can purchase your chicken coop plans on PayPal using most international currencies and credit cards. Click here to buy and download the plans.

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We're happy to answer any questions you might have about our chicken coop designs and plans.

Just click here to send us an email!








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What They're Saying About
The Basic Coop Chicken Coop Plans


Basic Chicken Coop Plans


"We love The Basic Coop plan — simple to build, beautiful to look at, and adaptable. Thank you!"
—Sandra & John, Layton, UT





Basic Chicken Coop Plans with Attached Run


"I have very little building experience. In fact, this was the first time I had ever used a circular saw. Your plans were easy to follow with just the right amount of detail. I couldn't be happier, and the girls love their new home!"
—Rebecca G., suburbs of Philadelphia




Basic Chicken Coop Plans


"Our chicks moved in in the fall and just made it through a cold, snowy winter with no problems thanks to your cozy design. The plans were very clear and easy to follow. I actually enjoyed building it!"
—Michelle H., Durham, NC




Simple Chicken Coop Plans


"We made a few changes, most notably raising the coop about eight inches so the birds would have a place to go if they wanted to look for worms in the shade, or the rain. I also built some hardware cloth frames for the bottom"
—David and Ali M., Slidell, LA





Be one of the first in your town to build The Basic Coop for your backyard flock. Then send in a picture and let us know how it went!







Satisfaction guaranteed.





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