How to Build a DIY Chicken Coop with an Outdoor Run

roaming area for chickens

The house for your chickens can be as simple or fancy as your imagination and budget permit. Below is a plan of a DIY chicken coop that I’ve built, you can modify the size to your own needs and likes. A chicken coop is essential for many reasons, including shelter from drenching rain, strong wind, extreme heat, or when it’s too cold. Also, it protects them from predators and keeps them comfortable in a familiar space. Which in turn will make them better layers, and you would have a more convenient place to collect the eggs. These are only but a few of the benefits when you build your own chicken coop with an outdoor run. 

There are lots of benefits when raising your own chickens. An average American household wastes over $1,500 of food per year. A lot of this food can go to chickens instead. And in return, you’ll get eggs that are more nutritious than the store-bought. Also, you can use chicken manure and eggshells to organically fertilize your garden. And if you got kids, they will love you even more, when they would spend hours feeding and helping you take care of those birds. Chickens are easy to take care of: they need food, water, some space to roam about, and an area that gets cleaned ones in a while. We had chickens for many years and we love it!

Before building a coop you need to determine where should you put a chicken coop in your backyard. There are lots of factors to consider like sunlight, shade, chicken run, and distance from the house.

You also might be interested in DIY glass incubator that I made, to hatch quail and chicken eggs.


Time to Complete

40 hours

Total Cost

$1100

Skill Level

Advanced


Chicken Coop PDF

$6.00

This PDF download includes Cut Diagrams, a List of Supplies, and 3D illustrations with detailed steps to build the project. Measurements are in imperial and not metric. Does NOT include SketchUp/CAD files.

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Chicken Coop

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Tools for this project

Material List

Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size.  See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.

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Dimensions

DIY Chicken Coop Dimensions

Step 1 – Clean and Level the Area for Foundation

The location of the chicken coop can often make or break a novice chicken keeper’s experience. You don’t want it too close to the house or being out in the open in the heat of the sun all day. It’s nice to have a location that has morning sunlight and afternoon shade. Placing a chicken coop under the tree helps keep the coop cool during the hot days and fertilizes the tree. 

The area where I decided to place the chicken coop was in the back of our backyard that had sloping ground. I had to dig and move a lot of dirt to level the ground. I placed the coop on the side of the tree that had sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon.

Clean out any debris and move the dirt to make the area leveled. Use a long level or a straight 2×4 with a level on top to check the level of the ground

moving dirt for DIY Chicken Coop
leveling ground for DIY Chicken Coop

Step 2 – Layout Concrete Form Tube at Each Corner of Foundation

The foundation of this chicken coop will be 78″ in width and 96″ in length. You could always adjust these dimensions to your needs, but the concept of the project will be the same. This foundation will sit on concrete that will be poured into 8″ round tube forms. 

First, measure and mark 96″ x 74″ rectangle on the ground. The measurements 96″ x 74″ are to the center of the form tubes. Then at each corner dig 8″ deep holes that are 8″ in diameter. Take an 8″ form tube and cut four pieces to 10″ in length. Insert the tube into the hole having the top of the tube raised above the ground by 2″. Make sure that you have 96″ by 74″ dimensions to the center of the form tubes. 

Next, mix concrete and pour it into the tube having the Simpson strong tie strap standing up inside the tube, as shown in the picture. While the concrete is still fresh adjust the Simpson straps if necessary to get the 96″ measurement between the straps. Also, make sure the Simpson strap is positioned 5 1/2″ high from the top of the tube. If the straps for some reason end up higher, you could always cut them down with sheet metal snips.  

pouring concrete for the chicken coop
concrete form tube for DIY Chicken Coop

Step 3 – Build Foundation Framing

This chicken coop that I’ve built was made from mostly scrap wood that was going to be thrown away. My parents replaced a decaying patio cover in their backyard and gave me the old lumber to use it on my DIY projects. I cut out the old rotten sections of the wood and used what was still good. That’s why you’ll see in the picture that some 2×4 are different colors and smaller sections of plywood on the foundation. 

Once the concrete dries, take a 96″ long 4×6 board and place it between the two Simpson strong tie straps. The Simpson straps should be in the center of the 4×6. Attach the strap to the 4×6 with deck screws or nails. Place the second 4×6 on the other two concrete tubes and attach the straps. Make sure that the front and back width of the foundation frame is the same measurement. From one side to the other of the 4×6 you should have 78″. 

Now take 2×6 board and cut six pieces to 77″ in length. First, place and attach the two boards on concrete tubes along the perimeter of the frame. Then fill in the remaining foundation area with 2×6 boards that are 16″ apart. Attach these boards using a galvanized face-mount joint hanger for 2×6 nominal lumber. 

building foundation framing for the chicken coop
DIY Chicken Coop foundation framing
Simpson strong tie attaching to foundation of DIY Chicken Coop

Step 4 – Cover Foundation Frame with Plywood

Take 3/4″ plywood and place it on top of the foundation frame and attach it with nails or screws. 

Again, I used scrap plywood for this project so you’ll see in the picture smaller plywood piece instead of two large sections. 

placing plywood on the foundation of the chicken coop
foundation for the DIY Chicken Coop

Step 5 – Build the Left and the Right Walls of the DIY Chicken Coop

Each wall consists of a bottom track, top track, and the studs. Assemble the wall flat on the floor and then raise it up in place. Take 2×4 boards and cut 7 pieces to 72″ in length. Then place 96″ long top and bottom track on the floor and attach them together with studs that are 16″ apart from center to center of the stud. Then raise the wall and set it in place on the right side of the coop. Screw-in the wall to the foundation. Repeat this step to build the left wall and then attach it to the left side of the foundation. 

building walls for the chicken coop
wall for DIY Chicken Coop

Step 6 – Build the Back and the Front Wall

The back wall is built similarly to the sidewalls but shorter. Cut two pieces to 71″ in length for the bottom and top track. Then cut 5 pieces to 72″ in length for the studs. Assemble the wall with nails and then raise it and attach it to the foundation and to the sidewalls. 

The front wall will have an opening for the door. So the bottom track will only be 39 1/2″ in length and the top track will be 71″ in length. Cut three studs to 72″ in length and one stud to 73 1/2″. Attach the three studs on the left side of the front wall to both upper and lower track. The 73 1/2″ stud on the right side will only be attached to the top track. Position the wall in place and attach it to the foundation and the sidewalls. The section of the wall where the door goes will not have a bottom track. 

building wall for the chicken coop

Step 7 – Build the Roof Trusses 

The roof trusses consist of two diagonal 2x4s and one horizontal 2×4 that holds the diagonal boards from sliding apart. 

Take 2×4 board and cut two pieces to 54 1/2″ in length with a miter cut on one end at 25 degrees. If you want to change the slope of the roof then you’ll need to change the angle of the miter cut. Place these boards on the floor with both miter cuts touching each other and nails in Simpson strong-tie truss connection plate joining both boards. Next, cut one 2×4 board to 41 1/2″ in length and nail it horizontally. This will hold the trusses from sliding apart. Make sure that the horizontal board is below the roofline. Next, measure 10″ from the bottom of the truss and cut out a 3 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ notch. The wall’s top track will be placed inside this notch. Repeat this process to build 4 trusses. 

building a truss for the chicken coop

Step 8 – Attach Trusses to the DIY Chicken Coop

Start by attaching the trusses from the back of the coop. The notches on both sides of the truss should slide over the top track of the wall. Use a screw from below the top track to secure a truss to the wall. Space out the trusses 24″ apart. The truss in the front of the chicken coop should have the horizontal board on the inside. You might need to attach a temporary 2×4 on top of the trusses to hold them together. 

attaching trussing of the DIY Chicken Coop

Step 9 – Build a Roof Overhang with Fascia Board

The overhand with fascia boards will be attached at the front and the back of the chicken coop. The purpose of the overhand is to protect the walls from the water and rain getting inside the coop. 

Similar to the trusses, the fascia board will have the same slope. Take 2×6 and cut two boards to 54 1/2″ in length with a 25-degree miter cut on one end. Use a truss connector plate to hold the two fascia boards together. Then take 2×4 and cut 6 pieces to 10″ in length and attach them to the fascia board as shown in the picture. Position the overhang in front of the chicken coop and attach it using screws. Repeat the process for the back overhang.

building overhang of the chicken coop
attaching trusses of the chicken coop
frame for DIY Chicken Coop

Step 10 – Attach Plywood and Shingles to the Roof

Take 3/4″ plywood and attach it on the right side of the roof. Remove the temporary 2×4 from the left side and finish covering the roof with plywood. Then take roof paper and cover the plywood starting from the bottom. Overlap the roof paper by about 6″. Then attach the shingles over the roof paper, starting from the bottom working up to the ridge of the roof. 

adding plywood and shingles on the roof of the DIY Chicken Coop
roof for DIY Chicken Coop
DIY Chicken Coop frame

Step 11 – Make a Floor for the Nesting Box

On the backside of the chicken coop build a nesting box for chickens to lay eggs. First, start by building the floor. Take 2×4 and cut two pieces to 53″ in length and four pieces to 18 1/2 in length. Attach these pieces together with wood screws as shown in the picture.

frame for the floor of the nesting box

Step 12 – Attach Diagonal Support for the Nesting Box

Now take siding plywood and cut 56 1/2″ x 26″ sheet and attach it to the bottom back of the chicken coop. Then right above the siding panel attach the base of the nesting box to the studs. The nesting box should be 23″ above the floor of the chicken coop. Cut two pieces to 30″ in length with a miter cut on one end. Attach these two boards diagonally from the bottom of the base to the bottom of the chicken coop with nails or screws. See picture. Then cut 54″ x21 1/2″ plywood and attach it over the base of the nesting box.

building floor of the nesting box

Step 13 – Build Walls for the Nesting Box

Take 2×4 and cut three pieces to 16” in length and two pieces to 18” in length. Attach the 18” long pieces on the two corners of the base closest to the chicken coop. Then attach the 16” boards on the outer edge of the base. Cut and attach the 53″ x 20 1/4″ siding plywood on the backside of the nesting box. Then cut two 25″ x 22″ pieces with a sloping top, then attach these plywood pieces to both sides of the nesting box.  

building wall for nesting box of the DIY Chicken Coop

Step 14 – Install a Lid for the Nesting Box

Cut 54 1/2″ x 22 1/2″ siding plywood and attach it on top of the nesting box using two hinges. This will allow the lid to be opened for collecting the eggs. 

lid for nesting box of the DIY Chicken Coop

Step 15 – Cover the Chicken Coop with Siding Plywood

Cover the chicken coop with siding plywood on all four sides. I had the siding plywood cut shorter on the left wall just to give more sunlight inside the coop and more ventilation. I also covered the opening with chicken wire. 

wrapping chicken coop with siding plywood
DIY Chicken Coop inside

Step 16 – Build a Chicken Roaming Area in Front of the DIY Chicken Coop

I had a little bit of room to build a chicken roaming area in front of the coop. This outdoor run area could be done smaller or larger depending on how much room you have and how many chickens you are planning to keep. 

Place two concrete blocks, or bricks, 8 feet from the front of the chicken coop. Then an additional two blocks, 16 feet from the coop. Cut four 4×4 boards to 72″ in length. These 4×4 boards will be standing on the concrete block as shown in the picture. Connect the 4×4 boards on top and bottom with 2×6 boards. Wrap the roaming area with chicken wire. And finally, build a door at the front of the roaming area. You’re done with a DIY chicken coop with an outdoor run. 

DIY Chicken Coop roaming area
DIY Chicken Coop roaming area for chickens
DIY Chicken Coop

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