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Basic Chicken Coop Plans


The Garden Run plans show you how to build secure run extensions that connect to your coop and safely expand your animals' yard.

Fox-Proof Chicken Run Enclosure Plans

The Garden Run series lets you easily create, customize, and extend a secure outdoor habitat for your backyard chickens, cats, rabbits, or other small pets. Build a single module, or combine them for more space and limitless possibilities.


Key features of The Garden Run series:

  • » Includes 3 unique designs that work separately or together (see below)
  • » Fully predator proof with lockable latches and tough hardware cloth all around
  • » Carefully designed to simplify building, optimize materials, and reduce cost and waste
  • » Optional corrugated roof fits the two smaller designs — plus The Garden Ark!
  • » Works with any coop or hutch — for chickens, rabbits, cats, ducks, and more
  • » Built with pride. . . by you!


About The Garden Run plans:

  • » Available for each design or as a complete series
  • » Complete series plans include 80 pages of illustrations, photos, and step-by-step instructions
  • » Written for beginners, with simple cuts and techniques
  • » Include full tool and material lists
  • » Include both imperial units (feet/inches) and metric units (millimeters)
  • » Compatible with iPad and other PDF-friendly mobile devices
  • » Single-design plans start at $12.95. Or get the complete series for only $34.95. Satisfaction guaranteed.
  • » Bundle with a set of coop plans and save!



LOOK INSIDE THE PLANS. Download a free preview of The Garden Run
chicken run plans to see exactly what to expect.




Add a little space. Or a lot.

The three designs in the series link to each another — and to our coop designs — seamlessly. In fact, they’re just as easy to connect to any chicken coop, hutch, existing run, or housing with the instructions provided in the plans.

Purchase the plans for each separately, or bundled for a cost savings:



Quarter-height module on The Garden Run coop extensionsThe quarter-height design stands about two feet (0.6 meters) tall, including the base. It hinges open at the top and lets you enclose the most yard with the least amount of materials (see dimensions below). And it makes a great brooder or grow-out pen for chicks, a secure enclosure for your vegetable garden, and much more.

It’s also a good height for connecting other modules to each other and connects directly to just about any coop or structure. For many setups, this is the place to start. (By the way, all the connections are explained in the plans.)


HALF-HEIGHT WITH GARDEN TOPHalf-height chicken coop extension module


The half-height design stands about four feet (1.2 meters) tall. It has a wide front door that opens outward and a specially designed permeable rooftop garden bed, ideal for growing succulents or small herbs.

Now, the garden top isn't a roof. Any rainwater that is not held by the soil or sipped up by the plants eventually drains into the run below, just as it would if the top were open-air.

This module will connect directly to The Garden Coop or The Garden Loft as is. To connect directly to our smaller coops, either leave off the garden top or raise the coops up a bit so that their roof overhangs clear the height of the garden top. You can always connect this module to your housing via a quarter-height module as well.


WALK-IN WITH PERGOLAWalk-in module for chicken coop extension with pergola top


The walk-in design is a full-height module that stands about seven-and-a-half feet (2.3 meters) tall. The people door opens outward for easy entry.

You can train vining plants up the side and over the pergola to provide beauty, scent, and shade — even vegetables. There are many options inside for adding perches and other interesting features for your pets.

If your coop or hutch doesn't have a roof overhang (something like the Eglu, for instance), you could connect it directly to the walk-in module. If it's small enough, you could enclose it within this module. Otherwise, you would connect your housing via a quarter- or half-height module.



The optional corrugated roof is described in two sizes and fits the quarter- and half-height modules (not the walk-in module). It's a shed-style roof that can be built with polycarbonate panels or other corrugated roofing material. Instructions are included when you purchase the plans for the quarter-height module, half-height module, or the complete set. . .

How to build chicken coop and run roof

Again, The Garden Run is not intended to be your animals’ primary shelter, but having some cover over part of their enclosed run — either permanently or seasonally — can offer shade in the summer and more space to roam when it’s raining or snowing.








Secure. From the bottom up.

Each Garden Run design is built on a foundation that protects your pets from digging pests, raccoons, foxes, and other predators while elevating the structure and holding a good amount of bedding.

Secure predator-proof floor of chicken run hardware cloth


If you prefer, you can leave the modules open at the bottom and set them directly on the ground, on skids (like The Garden Ark), or over a garden bed. Or you can raise them on blocks (like The Garden Coop and The Garden Loft) with hardware cloth trenched or flared around the perimeter.



How's it growing?

From the start, it has been our goal to design structures that allow your animals and gardens to live in harmony. The garden top on the half-height design does this exceptionally well. It's part herb garden, part green roof, and it provides shade while elevating flowers or succulents to where you can enjoy them more.

Green roof chicken coop run extension


The pergola on the walk-in design is another example, where foliage can flow up and over to shade your pets while softening the line between structure and garden.

Pergola chicken coop run extension plans






Connect, configure, and create.

The possibilities are yours to explore. The best place to start is to decide what you want to build and how it will connect to your coop, hutch, or other housing. The plans include instructions for framing the connection on your housing and adding a pop door, if needed.


Add an enclosed run to your stand-alone chicken coop, built level or on a slope. . .

How to attach run to The Basic Coop


Extend your walk-in coop with a pergola and a raised herb garden. . .

Add enclosed run chicken yard to The Garden Coop


Dock your mobile chicken tractor to a more spacious yard with gardens. . .

Attach a fox-proof run to The Garden Ark mobile chicken tractor


Or create a varied outdoor habitat for your housecats or other small pets. . .


Whatever your vision, The Garden Run is a flexible way to realize it. And it looks and functions beautifully to keep your animals secure.

Of course, as with all our plans, there’s as much fun in building to the specs as there is in making the designs your own. So feel free to use the ideas, techniques, and sample configurations in the plans as a jumping off point for your own creativity!


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



Buy them together or one at a time. Here's what you get.

There are two ways to buy The Garden Run plans:



If you plan on building two or more designs — either now or later — this is likely the best value. The full plan includes—

    • » detailed overview
    • » complete tools list
    • » tips on materials and techniques
    • » detailed materials lists, cut lists, and step-by-step instructions for ALL THREE modules, plus the optional roof in two sizes
    • » instructions on how to connect the modules to your coop or hutch
    • » sample configurations to get you started

You get a ton of information this way (80 pages worth!) at a nice discount over buying the sections individually. Having the full plan gives you the flexibility to create the best setup to connect with your coop, hutch, or other housing, and you can build the modules at your own pace. Bundle it with a coop plan and save even more!



If you prefer to build just one of the designs, you can get the plans for just that module. It's the exact same eBook, just without the pages for the modules you're not interested in. So you can save on costs by getting only what you need.

Note, the quarter-height and half-height only plans both include the instructions for the optional roofing.

Also keep in mind that the a la carte versions are meant to stand alone. So if you buy more than one, there will be some repetition between documents, but you can always choose to print only the additional pages you need.








WATCH: Our chickens' first foray into The Garden Run

We have since added perches, grazing frames, an herb/succulent garden (on top of the half-height module), a small roof, and vining jasmine. Yet even without those features, you can see that the hens are very much engaged in the run right from the start, moving from one "room" to another to forage together or separately.




More views of The Garden Run chicken coop extensions

Pergola atop The Garden Run chicken coop yard

Angled perches positioned at different heights make life more intersting for your flock.

Perches in The Garden Run chicken coop extension

The quarter-height unit (show with roof) attaches neatly to The Basic Coop, so your chickens can safely come and go from their henhouse as they please.

Quarter-height module run attached to The Basic Coop

Plans to add on to your chicken coop

Grow herb garden on chicken coop roof

Chickens crunching away at bok choy in the Peck-It-Clean Veggie Feeder, mounted to the door of The Garden Run. . .

Chickens eat bok choy from veggie feeder

The succulents are happy on top of our half-height module. . .

Green roof on chicken coop run

And the vining jasmine grows wild atop the pergola.

Pergola top on chicken coop run



» See more photos and videos of The Garden Run and our chicken coop designs.








Questions about The Garden Run:




How skilled do I need to be at building?

The Garden Run is designed for beginners on up. If you know how to use a circular saw and a cordless drill, you're more than halfway there. Even if you haven't, this is a fun project to learn on, as you can start small and add on at your own pace. All the cuts are straight between two points (no tricky angles to measure), 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 pre-tax in US dollars:

  • » Quarter-height design – around $100
  • » Half-height design – around $200 ($140 if you leave off the garden top)
  • » Optional 50" corrugated roof – around $50
  • » Optional 74" corrugated roof – around $70
  • » Walk-in design – around $260 (Try to get a good deal on a large roll of hardware cloth. See our Buyers Guide.)

This assumes standard framing lumber (not cedar or redwood). It does not include paint or any kind of wood sealer, but you can budget around $25 or more for that if you are buying it new. It also does not include planting medium for the garden top. And it doesn't factor in hardware (screws in particular) that you may have left over from another coop building project or that may suffice for more than one module. Also, add in your local sales tax.

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

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How long does it take to build The Garden Run?

If you've read through the plan, have your materials together, and allow time for painting or sealing, you could build the quarter-height design in about a day, the others each in about two days. Laying the groundwork at your site and connecting the modules to your coop/hutch/each other will take extra time.

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What tools will I need to build The Garden Run enclosures?

We designed The Garden Run series and plans for builders with beginner-level skills. The cuts are almost all simple cross cuts (no tricky angles to measure), and the tools are common ones that you likely either have, can borrow easily, or buy. Here's the list from the plan:

  • » circular saw or miter saw
  • » power drill/driver and a few drill bits
  • » tape measurer
  • » level (helpful for larger configurations)
  • » pencil
  • » pair of sawhorses
  • » handsaw (helpful for quick cuts)
  • » hammer
  • » combination or speed square
  • » a couple clamps with a 3” (75 mm) capacity
  • » wire/metal snips for 19-gauge wire or heavier
  • » sandpaper or a power sander
  • » paintbrush
  • » dropcloth
  • » ladder (for the walk-in module)
  • » pneumatic stapler, with compressor (optional, but helpful for larger configurations)
  • » heavy-duty staple gun, with staples (optional, for securing landscape fabric to garden top)

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Satisfaction guaranteed.



What are the approximate dimensions of The Garden Run designs?

  • » The quarter-height measures roughly 5'w x 3'd x 2'h (1525 x 915 x 610 mm).

    Footprint: 15 sq. ft. (1.4 sq. meters)

  • » The half-height with garden top measures roughly 5'w x 3'd x 4.5'h (1525 x 915 x 1370 mm).

    Footprint: 15 sq. ft. (1.4 sq. meters)

  • » The walk-in with pergola measures roughly 6'w x 6'd x 7.5'h (1830 x 1830 x 2285 mm).

    Footprint: 36 sq. ft. (3.3 sq. meters)


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How many chickens are The Garden Run designs suited for?

That depends on the breeds, your climate, whether there's a rooster in the bunch, and so on. My best advice is to offer at least 4 square feet per hen in the run, and more if you have it to spare.

The interesting thing about The Garden Run is that, if you build multiple modules, they break up the space a bit and create options for perches, which extends your hens' usable space vertically. When we added our configuration of four modules to our coop, we in effect reduced the area of yard that our flock was used to having. Yet they have been far more engaged, calm, and happy (not sure how else to describe it) within The Garden Run. And you can always add a pop door to the outside to let them free range.

Most days, they wander around together and congregate in the same "room." Other times, you'll see them each in their own corner or space, taking dustbaths, foraging, grazing, or resting.

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Can I use these plans to create an outdoor enclosure for my house cats?

Absolutely! The Garden Run is not just for chickens. Any small animal that's housed for its safety will enjoy the added space — and the variety of spaces — that an outdoor enclosure like The Garden Run offers.

Cats like to explore, perch, and observe, and The Garden Run gives them a secure way to do just that. The walk-in pergola module, in particular, lets you add stumps, scratches, and perches at several heights, so your cats can rule the roost!

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Is The Garden Run suitable for cold climates?

Yes. Do keep in mind that The Garden Run is outdoor space and is not intended as your chickens' primary shelter. That said, the garden top and optional roof will help keep snow and rain out of their yard, making the space more usable in winter months than an open yard would be. You can fashion other coverings and put wrap or siding on the sides as needed.

One other advantage is that it keeps your chickens (rabbits, etc.) secure from the hungrier, more determined predators that winter can bring. For much more information on preparing your chickens and their coop and run for the winter, see the winter-tagged posts at our blog, Coop Thoughts.

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How do you clean out The Garden Run, and how often?

Each design has convenient access for cleaning, either from the top or the side. How often you clean it out is up to you. I prefer to let a nice deep litter build up, which takes a long while. The bases of the modules are intended to hold a good amount of bedding/compost.

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Satisfaction guaranteed.



Can I get the lumber 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 you never know. In any event, the cuts in these plans are all straightforward. If you feel you need help, consider hiring 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.

If you order the complete set of The Garden Run plans, be forewarned that they are 80 pages(!) long. You'll appreciate the detail, and you can choose what to print and when. Maybe print on the back of scrap paper if you have it.

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

Yes. Because our 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 Garden Run plan. And do you accept international orders?

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

You can purchase your chicken run 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 and run designs and plans.

Just click here to send us an email!








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What They're Saying About
The Garden Run Modular Run Plans


Chicken Brooder Run Plans

"Just finished the quarter-height run module to use as a grow-out pen for the chicks. It was very easy to build, and will fit onto our Garden Ark when I'm ready. Very pleased with the versatility of the design! Hard to capture how spacious it is in a picture."
—Karen E., Maine




Chicken Run Pergola Plans

"We followed your design for the walk-in pergola module, expanding the layout a bit, and attached it to The Garden Coop. We are delighted with the way it turned out. An unexpected bonus is that it has totally solved our problem with boredom in our small flock. The girls run back and forth to explore and scratch in all the new areas. It is great fun to watch. Thanks for your innovative ideas!"
—Susan and Pat, Upshur County, West Virginia




Basic Coop and Garden Run Chicken Coop Plans

"We made The Basic Coop with the quarter-height and half-height Garden Run designs for our four chickens. The setup has worked well and kept them all safe."
—Laura, Northport, MI






Built The Garden Run? Send in a picture and let us know how it went!







Satisfaction guaranteed.





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