Monday, June 25, 2012

Chicken Coop: Part Two!

Today I am excited to share with you the run plans for the chicken coop!!! Ana White and I worked together to figure out  a simple yet strong set of plans. Here in Central Ohio we have a growing Coyote and Raccoon population so strength was very important. The run plans are designed to use 36" wide chicken wire and makes almost zero scraps!

When I went to make this run I ran into one problem; locally I was not able to get a hold of 36" wire in a length longer that 25 feet! Now that could have been wasteful considering that we needed close to 100 feet! I decided, on the spot, to modify the plans to use 24" wire. I also dropped the run size from 12 feet long to 10 feet. IF you can find 36" wire I recommend sticking with Ana's 12' run plan (the more space the merrier). If you want or need a 10' run you will actually need to buy 2 extra 2x4x8's plus 1 extra 2x6x8 to accommodate the narrower wire.  

Now for the fun part; details and photos! This run is essentially two side walls connected with 2x6 rafters, with double doors on the end. What I love about this run is that it is so easy to add to any existing structure and can easily be increased in height if you need.

The walls are connected using 2 1/2" Kreg Kote Screws. Once you have one wall complete it is easy to just lay the boards for the next wall right on top of the first so you don't have to re-measure it all. Check out how huge these bad boys are! Seriously, the size of a small car!

Now since I was doing a lot of pre building at my home and transporting it to my sister's house I went ahead and built the doors. I totally underestimated the size of these things! They are huge and so great for getting in and out of the run to clean and what not. 
If using 36" wire your doors will look like this.

If using 24" wire you will need to add a piece of material in the center of the opening as seen here (I used scrap 1x3's).

I pre-stained everything before assembly. We also went ahead and attached chicken wire to the insides of the side walls. You will use A LOT of staples! I bought T50 staples. They worked great. Do yourself a favor and buy two boxes because you can't use too many.

Then we raised the walls onto the pre-leveled foundation and attached the 2x6 rafters. It helps to have a lot of hands for this part. After all of the rafters and front and back ground 2x6's have been attached you can move onto your doors.

I recommend this hinge set plus an extra lock for the bottom. You probably won't use the spring that comes with the set but for $7 a set it's a bargain.

The final step is to climb on top to attach more chicken wire. You could attach it from the underside or use one long piece from side to side (about 18 ft sections) but we chose to put it on top to help keep its strength against animals, snow, and maybe even children!

Tips for working with chicken wire: wear gloves and if possible long sleeves and pants. It is easy to cut with sharp wire cutters. We were going to use long sections (this is the reason that 25' lengths of wire would have been wasteful) but decided that taking more steps in cutting and attaching would result in easier attachment and less pain from wrestling with 18 foot lengths of wire (ouch, sharp!).

So there it is! A chicken coop run, DIY'd for under $200, in two days time. More photo's and posts to come with inside finishing details!

Now to appease the critics before they start commenting; it is advisable to add hardware cloth around the first few feet of the walls for extra protection. It is advisable to bury chicken wire around the entire perimeter.  And for those of you who were concerned about ventilation, on a 90 degree day it was plenty cool with adequate air inside the coop. And the chicken door will be changed to allow for opening from inside the coop during daily feeding. And of course we will be installing chicken wire to the windows. :)


  1. Can I ask why you did not use chicken wire on the bottom? Thanks Amber

  2. Do you mean around the bottom of the run? If so, we were simply pressed for time. We went ahead without doing any buried wire with the thought that if needed my sister and her husband could go back in and add that later. As far as I know there has been zero pest issues to date, even in a heavily coon/coyote populated area.


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