The Garden Coop Walk-In Chicken Coop Plans

The Garden Coop chicken coop plans give you the foundation — and the freedom — to build and customize a beautiful, secure walk-in coop for up to 8 backyard chickens. Or customize to keep more. Details in the tabs below. . .


Consider adding:

Hardware Quick Kit for The Garden Coop Walk-In Chicken Coop

Spend less time shopping, get exactly the parts you need, and focus on building an amazing coop for your backyard chickens. (U.S. only.) Shipping is included!


This highly functional design is more than a chicken coop. It’s a central part of your garden. From how it looks to how well it protects, The Garden Coop makes keeping backyard chickens more effortless and joyful.

Key features of The Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop design:

  • Keep up to 8 hens or customize for more
  • Ample ventilation and light
  • Measures about 9.5’w x 5.5’d x 8’h (2.9 x 1.7 x 2.4 m), outer dimensions. Henhouse: 15 sq ft (1.4 sq meter). Run: 52 sq ft (4.9 sq meter).
  • Walk in through the full-sized door
  • Spread your wings in the roomy run
  • Know your flock is safe with a 360° barrier against rodents and predators
  • Easily modify to suit your flock, climate, and needs — or to house other critters like quail, ducks, rabbits, pigeons, and more
  • Hardware Quick Kit available (U.S. only)
  • Built with pride. . . by you!

About The Garden Coop chicken coop plans:

  • Instant download
  • 45+ pages of illustrations, photos, and step-by-step instructions
  • Written for beginners, with simple cuts and techniques
  • Includes full tool and material lists
  • Features extra details, photos, and construction tips based on years of customer feedback
  • Purchase includes both U.S. (feet/inches) and metric (millimeters) versions
  • Compatible with iPad and other PDF-friendly mobile devices
  • Satisfaction guaranteed
  • Click here for free plan previews: U.S. | Metric

Efficient design. Integrated chicken coop and run.

You can think of The Garden Coop as a box within a box — a raised henhouse that opens into a secure enclosed run, or yard. Building your chicken coop like this has many advantages.

For one, it puts the henhouse at a comfortable height for access and cleaning. You can hang your feeder and waterer beneath to save space. And the full footprint of the coop is available for the chickens to scratch around, relax, and make the best compost your garden has ever known.

But one of the biggest advantages of The Garden Coop’s integrated design is that, since the run is fully secured, you can leave the opening between the henhouse and run open all the time. So your chickens are free to come and go as they please — and so are you. No having to let them in and out each morning and night.

Less waste. More coop.

It was important to us when designing The Garden Coop that we use easily accessible materials — and show you how to make the most of each one. The plans tell you exactly what you need to buy or gather, then exactly what to do with it. So you get a gorgeous, professional-looking coop at a more modest do-it-yourself price.

Build a chicken coop — and make it your own.

The Garden Coop has been built by backyard chicken keepers around the world since 2008. When you set out with these plans, you enjoy the benefit of the collective knowledge, ideas, and examples of this community of builders.

Paint it your kids’ favorite colors, repurpose salvaged building materials, collect rainwater, keep bees in an adjacent run, generate solar electricity, attach a tool rack, expand it to add bunnies, add features for quail, ducks, or pigeons — these are just some of the ways others have built upon the foundation you get with The Garden Coop plans. What will you dream up?

Doors galore.

Kids like — okay — love, love, love gathering eggs from the little egg door at the front of the henhouse, and the full-sized door lets them easily walk into the chicken coop to help with feeding, watering, and cleaning. There’s even an access and cleanout door to the a waist-high hen house inside the run. How to build these doors is all explained in the plans.

Make the henhouse a home.

The henhouse gives plenty of space for the hens to roost indoors when they choose. It’s also where they nest and lay the freshest, richest eggs you’ll ever eat. You can play with the configuration of the roosts to fit the number of hens you have.

You can leave the floor of the henhouse bare, paint it, cover it with sand or deep litter, or line it with linoleum for easier cleanup. Because the henhouse is raised, it’s at a comfortable working height for keeping things tidy. We simply brush the chickens’ droppings and used litter down into the enclosed run to begin composting with the rest of their bedding.

We also offer a free online tutorial showing you how to build external nest boxes for your chicken coop.

The freedom to come and go — for your chickens and for you.

The outer perimeter of The Garden Coop is fully secure, with bolted doors and hardware cloth trenched down on all sides of the chicken run. So the opening between the henhouse and run does not need to be closed at night.

Building your chicken coop this way takes some extra planning and work up front, but it beats having to go out every night to close your hens in (and every morning to let them out). It also allows your hens the choice to roost in the outer run at night, which our flock prefers almost year round in the Pacific Northwest.

As for the placement of the ladder, there are two orientations discussed in the plan. Many people like it to come up through the hen house floor, because it’s tucked out of the way. Others prefer to have the chickens’ ramp come up the side wall of the henhouse at the rear wall of the coop. This gives you uninterrupted floorspace in the henhouse, which becomes more important the larger your flock. It also may provide some advantage at preventing updrafts in colder climates.

The point is, you have plenty of options. And that’s the great thing about building your own chicken coop — you get final say on how to do it!

Roosts where you want them.

There are also several options for where to mount a roost in the enclosed hen yard (run). You can use a branch for a roost or a two-by-two or two-by-four. Figure that each chicken needs about ten to twelve inches of roost space.

Assembling the coop can be mostly a one-person job, but your family, friends, and neighbors will probably want to get in on the fun. Several aspects of The Garden Coop design make it extremely predator proof, including trenching down the hardware cloth around the coop. If your friends offer to help you with this part of the chicken coop construction process, be very nice to them.

The chicken coop that’s part of your garden

Grow vines or pole beans up the side of the run for extra shade (and food) in the summer. We’ve grown pole beans, star jasmine, and hops. Hops is a perennial which vines aggressively, but can be cut back every year. It also did an excellent job providing summertime shade for the chicken coop.

Why stop at one coop?

Most chicken keepers will only ever need one chicken coop to start and sustain their hobby. But if you ever want a second coop — to expand your flock, brood chicks, separate out a broody or sick hen, or to add the function of a mobile tractor to your existing walk-in coop — The Garden Coop pairs perfectly with our other designs.

And if you want an easy, elegant way to add secure space to your chickens’ day yard, check out our plans for The Garden Run modular enclosure series. These designs let you add a little or a lot, while creating new ways to blend your chickenkeeping with your gardening.

Frequently Asked Questions

It would help for you to have used a circular saw and a cordless drill before. You should also know how to use a tape measure. And a hammer.

If you have those skills down and you work safely, you should have no problem building this coop. The plans are written for beginners. All the cuts are simple and straight. . . come to think of it, there are only two cuts in the whole plan that are not at a right angle. There are no complicated joints either. There is some digging involved, and some wrestling with rolls of hardware cloth, but you won’t need any special skills there, just maybe an extra pair of hands. You can do it!

Estimate $1,000–$1,350. Prices will differ by region and by store. If you get what’s on The Garden Coop materials list new at 2024 Home Depot prices, you’ll pay around $1,200 USD pre-tax (about the same as 2022). 

Here’s the approximate (January 2024) cost breakdown by category, in USD:

  • Lumber, plywood, and siding: $410
  • Hardware: $245 (see our optional Quick Kit to save on this)
  • Roofing: $190
  • Hardware cloth: $220 (Worth comparison shopping for. Check with farm/feed stores or wire distributors in your area. They sometimes stock bigger rolls, which may be more economical. Often you’ll find a deal on Amazon too — see our Buyer’s Guide for links.)
  • Miscellaneous (caulk, plexiglass, cinder blocks, etc.): $65
  • Wood treatment, paint, or sealer of your choice: around $90

There are many ways to save on — or add to — this cost. You may find a more economical roofing option for your chicken coop if a transparent roof is not critical to you. (Clear PVC, which has a wavy profile, is much cheaper than polycarbonate, though far less durable. Steer clear of it.) You can make decorative door pulls and handles out of wood scraps or hardwood branches, instead of buying new metal ones. You could use sheet siding instead of individual siding boards, OSB instead of plywood. You can salvage materials from another project. . . 

We also offer a Hardware Quick Kit for The Garden Coop (U.S. only) that includes everything you need to build the coop except for the bulky stuff (wood, hardware cloth, roofing, paint, pier blocks, etc.). It’s priced competitively with what you’ll find locally, but it’s pre-shopped and pre-packed in one easy box. It also ships free with no sales tax added.

There’s no easy way around the cost of hardware cloth, but that’s something you DO NOT want to skimp on. (Check your nearest farm & feed stores for local deals on longer rolls, or see our Buyer’s Guide for links to it online.) Do not use hexagonal chicken wire!

Also, you certainly have some of these materials, like fence boards and two-by-fours, that you can recycle from other projects, neighbors, and so on.

What will save you money on your coop for sure is having a clear idea of what you’re building, not overbuying, and not mis-measuring and making costly mistakes. A solid, time-tested chicken coop plan will help you with that. And when you factor in the time you save by working from a well made plan, the materials cost seems like “chicken scratch.” (Sorry. . . trust me, I’m holding back.)

If you’ve read through the plan, have your materials together, and allow time for treating or sealing the wood, you could build The Garden Coop in 2 to 3 weekends. Past customers have told me this is about right, while others take their time with it, making adaptations, and for them it was a little longer.

As with any project worth doing, hopefully you’ll learn some things as you go along. There’s a good mix of steps too. That is, there are steps that are easy but give you a dramatic result, like framing the coop. There are some, like digging, that are just mindless. There are some that require more attention to detail, like the doors. Then there are those steps where you are just so excited to see it all coming together that you get into a groove and go, like installing the wire mesh or the roofing panels or whatever finishing touches you dream up. Click over to see how others are making The Garden Coop their own.

We designed The Garden Coop walk-in 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:

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Jig saw (OPTIONAL, for special curves, e.g., windows)
  • Handsaw
  • Pair of sawhorses
  • Hammer
  • Cordless power drill/driver, with various bits
  • Level
  • Wire snips
  • Leather work gloves
  • Shovel
  • Ladder
  • Combination square or speed square for marking crosscuts. (See picture, above right.)
  • An extra pair of hands, on occasion (best if attached to a strong body)

The coop measures about 9.5’w x 5.5’d x 8’h (2.9 x 1.7 x 2.4 m) at the frame, including the roof. Add a foot or two all around at the top for the roof overhang. Inside, the coop gives you just over 6 feet (2 m) of clearance (since it’s set up on pier blocks). 

The Garden Coop offers 15 sq ft (1.4 sq m) of space in the henhouse and 52 sq ft (4.9 sq m) in the enclosed run.

The Garden Coop will house up to 8 hens, or you can customize it for more. This number is based partly on the minimum space recommendations in Barbara Kilarski’s book Keep Chickens: 2 sq. ft. per hen in the henhouse and 4 sq. ft. in the run. As designed, The Garden Coop offers 15 sq. ft. in the henhouse and 48 sq. ft. in the run. That would be 7.5 chickens in the henhouse (for the sake of that seventh-and-a-halfth chicken, let’s say 8) and 12 in the run.

What a lot of minimums you’ll read don’t take into account is how the space is designed. The Garden Coop is an integrated henhouse/run, so your hens are free to move between the henhouse and run as they please. Since they’re never confined solely to the henhouse, floor space in that part of the coop is less of an issue than it otherwise would be. More critical is that your hens have adequate roost space (10-12 inches per hen), protection from the elements, and proper ventilation.

I’ve kept 8-9 hens (standard breeds) in my Garden Coop successfully for years. In 2011, I asked customers on our Facebook page how many chickens they keep in theirs. Of the 39 responses, it was a pretty even distribution:

  • 8+ hens: 12
  • 6-7 hens: 11
  • 4-5 hens: 11
  • Less than 4 hens: 5

As with any sub-/urban backyard flock, it helps if you have only hens (no roosters) and that they have all been raised together. If you have an extra fenced-in day run to provide, your flock will appreciate all the foraging/grazing space they can get. And if you want your Garden Coop to be larger or smaller for any reason — by all means go for it. It’s a flexible design, and you’re in control!

Yes, yes, and yes. More than anything, what chickens need year round is proper ventilation and protection from the elements, and The Garden Coop provides this.

Some things to consider for cold winters. . . 

  1. Go with the side-entry option on the ladder as well (described in the plans). This will limit updrafts and give more uninterrupted floor space in the henhouse.
  2. Assuming you get a lot of snow, the roof panel manufacturer may recommend that you overlap the panels at two crests instead of one, and add a bead of silicone caulk at the overlap to prevent melting snow from seeping through at the seams. The caulk alone should do the trick, actually, if you’d rather not buy an additional panel to cover the width you’d lose with those multiple overlaps.
  3. Add extra siding around the run — either seasonally or permanently. Some wrap with plastic or a tarp (see links below).
  4. Partially cover the ceiling on the henhouse. The ceiling is hardware cloth (open-air) with the roof above. This allows plenty of ventilation in all seasons, which is especially important in the winter. You can partially cover that area in the winter with a loose, thin panel of plywood, setting it over the area where they roost, but you don’t want to close it in entirely. You could frame in an insulated panel if you prefer, making sure not to close in more than 1/2 to 2/3 of the ceiling.
  5. Here’s our four-part series on winter chicken/coop care. And here are all our posts tagged “winter” so you can see what others are doing (and where).

If you’re in an especially hot or tropical environment. . .

  1. You can lay some shade cloth over the hardware cloth ceiling to create even more shade from above.
  2. Grow vining plants or install permanent or temporary siding to shade the run from the afternoon sun.
  3. Consider adding ventilation in the henhouse walls.
  4. You can also keep the larger henhouse access/cleanout door fully open when it’s especially hot and/or muggy. Or add a fan.

For high-wind areas, see this post on how to anchor your coop and further secure your roof panels

And for any climate and season, keep the chickens’ access hole at the top of the ladder clear at all times so they can enter and exit the henhouse as they need to.

The predators and pests you have to deal with will vary, but let’s stick with two for now: rodents and raccoons. Rodents will look for any hole to crawl through to get to the chickens’ food, and they can squeeze their bodies really small to do it. The Garden Coop is completely enclosed, top and sides, with 1/2-inch (13 mm) hardware cloth. Anything wider, like poultry netting or rabbit fencing, will not keep rodents out. Anything smaller, like 1/4-inch, could be too brittle. The mesh is buried a foot or more down in the ground on all sides, making tunneling a tough prospect for even the most determined rodent. (There is also a “no-dig” method for preventing tunneling in The Garden Coop plan.)

Raccoons are a different story. They will dig, pry, and even undo a latch to get into your coop. Unlike rats and mice, they don’t want your chicken feed. They want your chickens. That’s why it’s important to staple the hardware cloth properly and to use the right kind of latch on the access door and the egg door. In many cities and suburbs that require a permit to keep chickens, a rodent-proof design is a must.

Yes. The plan does include specs for two nesting boxes that fit inside the henhouse at the left side. Each is accessible from the egg door. Two boxes should be plenty for up to 8–10 hens (they only go in them to lay eggs). 

If you’re interested in adding external nest boxes to your chicken coop, see our free exterior nesting box plans for guidance. (Review these plans before framing your coop, as it will alter how you frame the left wall of the henhouse.) 

Cleaning the henhouse is done simply from the waist-high door inside the coop. Just brush the litter down into the enclosed run and add fresh bedding. How often depends on the season and how often your chickens roost in the henhouse. You can paint the henhouse floor or top it with a layer of linoleum flooring to make cleanup easier.

We use a deep-litter method in the enclosed yard. Basically, just adding additional bedding as needed and letting everything compost in place. 

When the bedding in the henhouse is soiled, we simply brush it down into the enclosed run to begin composting along with the rest of their deep litter. I may get in there and turn the stuff in the run once a week, adding water if it’s too dry (in the summer), then remove about half of it every 6 months, taking it to a compost pile to finish decomposing.

Of course, you could do a sand floor or some other type of floor if you prefer.

If the weather is warm enough, and/or you can provide ample warmth with a heat lamp, you can use the henhouse part of the coop as a brooder for chicks. You’d have to cover the hole leading to the downramp, and you could care for the chicks from the access door inside the coop. We’ve done this, and it works quite well. You could also fashion a brooder from a cardboard box, set it up in the garage, and keep your chicks in there until they are fully feathered.

Chicks need warmth (from a heat lamp), water, food, and fresh bedding. Don’t give them too much space at first, because they get used to it and come to expect it. So if you’re using a large box, insert a divider when they’re small which you can remove as they grow. Also make sure they have room to get away from the heat of the bulb. That’s how they regulate their temperature. If they’re cold, they’ll move closer. If they’re too warm, they scoot farther away. You can search for “chick brooders” online to get some more ideas.

In my experience, the cuts a hardware store will make for you are often not the most precise. Also, there are many cuts in this plan, and while they’re simple to do with a circular saw, you’ll need to do them on site as you assemble the coop. That said, you can certainly get the store to make some cuts for you so that your materials will fit in your vehicle.

We only offer plans as eBooks in the PDF format. This lets us get them out quickly (and always in perfect condition), and it keep costs down for everyone. Some past customers whose computer setups were not ideal told me that they forwarded the file to a friend or relative to view and print. You’d be surprised how much help a dozen fresh eggs will get you.

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.

Yes to both! So whether you work in feet/inches or millimeters (or a combination of the two), our plans have you covered.

You can purchase your chicken coop plans using most international currencies and credit cards. 

Customer Reviews

Based on 11 reviews
Megan Holliday
Great Coop!

I'm very happy with my coop! I enjoyed the building process and the instructions were excellent. I was inspired by the photos on the website of the creative ways people had personalized the coop design. I added some color to mine, and an extra run out the back. My chickens are older and had been in a different type of coop but they took right to this one! I will say that it took me a long time to build - I worked on it over a three month period. However I did it mostly on my own, and I added extra steps with the staining and painting and the run out the back. In the end I was proud of my results and glad I took the project on!

Michael Cleveland
Second purchase

We really enjoy our coop. This purchase was for a friend and they really like it but they are waiting on their chicks to get a little older before they can use it.

Very satisfied

We were very happy with the plans and we love how our coop turned out. My husband did most of the work with a little help from friends and myself. We had no experience in carpentry but I think we did a decent job with the plans, we probably would have had a lot more difficulty with out any plans. It took us about a month to put the chicken coop together only because we didn’t have the time to spend so much time all at once but we worked a few hours at a time on the days we could. I would definitely recommend purchasing the hardware kit to anyone else interested we did a lot of running around trying to find all the correct hardware. We made a few changes to the plans including the external best boxes, move the chicken door so it wasn’t in the floor and we also extended the run so that the total length was 12’. We got 10 chickens this week most of them are about 2 months old. Can’t wait for the first eggs!

Sadie Clements
Great Plans!

All in all, great plans. We did modify them a little for our hot Floridian climate. If you're in the heat like we are, you can get away with a lot less plywood by not including the interior walls. We also added ventilation instead of plexiglass windows. We also simplified things by leaving the inside of the henhouse open and not including an egg door, since we can just walk in and collect the eggs. The coop colors we chose are Snowbound white and Farm to Table green. My dad and I completed it in a week, but we only worked on it intensely for 3 days. I made our lives easier by placing a wood delivery order from Home Depot. Youre going to want a staple gun for the wire, and a nail gun helped us move faster as well.

Patrick Walker
Easy and awesome

The directions made the build simple. The fact I could buy the hardware then just hit Home Depot for the wood was great. It took me 3 days, half focused on and off here and there. I cheated and used a staple gun because the chicken wire was lammmeeee. Super happy with my purchase, would suggest to my friends.

Ordering & Delivery

It is your responsibility to make sure that any project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation. The information and plans offered on this site are offered AS IS for information and entertainment purposes only.

The Garden Coop LLC makes no warranties or representations of any kind concerning the accuracy, suitability, or safety of the information contained on the site or in the plans. By using the information or ordering the plans you expressly acknowledge having read and understood this disclaimer and the waivers contained in it, and you agree to hold The Garden Coop LLC, its owners, employees, and agents or anyone else who has been involved in the creation, production, or delivery of this site or the plans harmless from any damages or injuries of any kind to you or any person that might result from your use of or reliance upon the information or from any errors, omissions, or other causes.

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Unless otherwise noted, The Garden Coop LLC is the legal copyright holder of the content on this website and in the plans. Content is intended solely for the use of the purchaser, and may be printed for personal use only.

No images or content from this website or the plans may be published, resold, shared, or distributed without written consent from the copyright holder.

Keep in mind that we’ve priced the plans for personal use only. If you’d like to build our designs to sell, please contact John, the designer, directly. If you feature a coop or run built with one of our designs (even if modified) online or in other marketing materials, please use your own photography, credit the design as “Built using design plans from,” and link to the web address (

Thanks! And contact John with any questions.

Once your payment is processed, you should be taken to a “thank you” page that has a secure download link to your plans. You will also receive an automated email from us containing your download link(s). Click on the download link and save your plans to a memorable location on your computer or device.

If you have an active spam filter, please add “” to your safe senders list before purchasing. If your confirmation/download email does not appear within fifteen minutes of your completed purchase, please check your junk mailbox.

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We ship our chicken coop hardware kits via USPS Priority Mail. Please allow 1–2 days for processing and 2–3 days for delivery.

We ship poultry nipples, brooder bottles, veggie feeders, and coloring books via USPS First Class. Please allow 1–2 business days for processing and 2–3 days for delivery.

We ship bucket nipple waterers via USPS Parcel Select or Priority Mail depending on cost, which varies by destination. Please allow 1–2 business days for processing, 5–7 days for Parcel Select, and 2–3 days for Priority delivery. 

International orders will incur additional fees, and delivery times will vary based on destination and carrier. 

For linked items purchased through other sites (e.g., Amazon), the shipping timelines and policies of that site/marketplace apply. 

We want you to have the best coop and products for you and your chickens.

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, let us know within 30 days, and we will arrange a return and refund.

For digital downloads (e.g., coop plans), email to let us know that you would like a refund, and we’ll send instructions. 

For kits, waterers, and other tangible items, please open and inspect your items right away! In the event that your item arrives with parts missing or damaged, you must let us know by email within seven (7) business days of receipt. In the case of damage, attach a photo to your email clearly showing the extent of the damage, if possible. We’ll make it right or arrange a refund.

You may return items to us in new, complete condition within 30 days of purchase for a refund of the purchase price, less our initial shipping costs. You will not be charged a re-stocking fee, but you are responsible for return shipping costs.

Email us first to let us know that you’d like to make a return, and we’ll send you further instructions. We’ll issue your refund once we’ve received your item.

For linked items purchased through other sites (e.g., Amazon), the return policies of that site/marketplace apply. 

Make sure to follow all manufacturers’ instructions when using tools, materials, or equipment — and use the appropriate protective devices when building, such as work gloves, eye and ear protection, boots, etc. Secure your work as you build. Know what you can handle physically as well, and work within your limits.

Remember, do-it-yourself doesn’t have to mean all by yourself. Share the fun of building with your friends, family, and neighbors!

See what others are building with these plans:​