How to Build a Simple Chicken Coop (Free PDF Plans!)

Free Chicken Coop Plans

Here at Simple Suburban Living, we like to keep things simple! This coop and all of the additions (auto water, feeder, and cleanout) are designed for the suburban family with limited time.

This chicken coop design is perfect for the backyard chicken keeper who wants to keep a few chickens for fresh eggs.

It’s also a great first coop for those just getting started with raising chickens. The design is simple yet functional and can be built in a single weekend with some basic carpentry skills.

What You’ll Get Out of This Free Chicken Coop Plan

The coop can comfortably house up to 8 laying hens to provide your family with plenty of fresh eggs daily.

The design takes into account standard lumber measurements, which reduces waste and cost. It’s also modular enough to be expanded to accommodate more birds in the future easily.

The easy cleanout tray makes cleaning the coop as simple as possible, with 1 person cleanups taking under 20 minutes.

This chicken coop will hold up to 8 chickens and can easily be expanded to accommodate more birds.

The coop includes a nesting box for the hens to lay their eggs and a roosting bar for them to sleep on at night. There’s also a small door that can be used to let the chickens out into an enclosed run area.

We hope that this coop brings your family years of quality enjoyment, fresh eggs, and healthy chickens!

Get your free chicken coop PDF plan

What Must a Chicken Coop Have

A chicken coop is a structure that is used to house chickens. It should have sections for the chickens to nest in, a roosting bar, and an enclosed run area.

It can be simple or complex, depending on your needs.

Nesting Boxes

A chicken coop must have at least one nesting box for the chickens to lay their eggs in. The nesting box should be placed off the ground and away from the sleeping area to keep the eggs clean and safe.

Roosting Bar

A roosting bar is a place for the chickens to sleep at night. It should be placed at least 2 feet off the ground and away from the nesting area. This helps to keep the sleeping area clean and safe.

Enclosed Run Area

An enclosed run area is a place for the chickens to exercise and explore. It should be enclosed with chicken wire or other similar material to keep the chickens safe from predators. The run can be attached to the coop or placed separately.

These are the basic requirements for a chicken coop. Of course, you can add other features as well, such as a feeder and waterer, but these are the essentials.

You can now start planning and building your own chicken coop with these things in mind!

List of Supplies You’ll Need

  1. Nails/Screws – 10d will work fine or use 2.5” deck screws whichever your budget chooses
  2. Flashing for nesting box lid (where the hinges are). I used a piece of 4” x 4’ vinyl cut from a pool toy and some construction adhesive. This ensures water does not leak between the coop wall and the nesting box lid.
  3. Hinges (7) – Various sizes – Coop door, nesting box lid, clean-out tray door, Window
  4. Latches (4) – One for nesting box, coop door, clean-out door, run door
  5. Ondura Roofing for coop roof and chicken run
  6. 2 door hinges for chicken run door
  7. 4 x 8 sheet paneling (2) – if you choose to use this to cover the exterior of the coop
  8. Exterior Deck stain
  9. Sliding door was made from scrap pieces leftover from construction. You will also need eye hooks, rope, and/or pulley
  10. Hardware cloth or chicken wire. Chicken wire is much cheaper but doesn’t look as nice and it’s a bit flimsy. Hardware cloth is rather expensive but tougher and lays flatter.

Step 1: The Base

The first step is to level an area greater than 4’ x 4’ to accommodate the base of the main coop. The base consists of 4 posts with a 2 x 4 frame to make it rigid.

The outside diameter is no greater than 4’ to maximize use of 8’ 2 x 4’s. Each post is resting on its own pad made from cheap patio stones on level ground.

Specifications & Materials for Base

Material Size Units
Post 4 x 4 x 2’ 6” 4
Post 2 x 4 x 3’ 9” 4
Post 2 x 4 x 4’ 4
OSB or plywood 4’ x 4’ 4
Patio stone (or other base block) - 1

Step 2: Coop Walls

Each wall is constructed of 2 x 4 pine (most of which came from the 70% off bin at Home Depot).

No wall is longer or higher than 4’ to make efficient use of 8’ 2 x 4’s and sheeting. The front wall contains the entryway and cleanout tray access.

The left side wall contains the chicken door entryway. The right side is where the nesting boxes will be attached. Below are the details on all four walls.

Specifications and Materials for Coop Wall

Section Measurement Units
Back Wall 2 x 4 x 2’ 9” 4
2 x 4 x 4’ 2
Front Wall 2 x 4 x 4’ 1
2 x 4 x 3’ 9” 4
2 x 4 x 3’ 1” 2
2 x 4 x 9” 1
2 x 4 x 5” 2
2 x 4 x 3.5” 2
2 x 4 x 2’ 4” 1
Left Side Wall 2 x 4 x 2’ 9” 4
2 x 4 x 3’ 5” 2
2 x 4 x 1’ 2” 1
Right Side Wall 2 x 4 x 3’ 5” 2
2 x 4 x 2’ 9” 2
2 x 4 x 3’ 2” 1
2 x 4 x 1’ 4” 3

Step 3: Nesting Box

OSB dividers were added to separate the box into the three nesting areas. The lid is made of OSB as well and is just slightly oversized to create a small overhang when closed.

I used a standard gate latch to secure the lid and a piece of scrap as a kickstand to hold it open while eggs are collected. Cut the top two diagonal supports once the box is mounted to the coop.

Specifications and Materials for Nesting Box

Material Dimensions Units
Post 2 x 4 x 3’ 5” 1
Post 2 x 4 x 4’ 2
Post 2 x 4 x 12” 6
Post 2 x 4 x 1’ 3” 4
OSB or Plywood 1’ 3” x 4’ 1
- 2 x 4 (top support braces) 1
Plywood Cut this lid just about ½ larger than the opening of the top of the nesting box 1

Step 4: Roofing

The roof is fairly simple, with 4 2X4 trusses spanning from front to back. Each truss is notched out to rest on the front and back walls.

The top is covered with OSB with as much overhang as you would like. The roofing is made of corrugated roof panels to fit over the OSB roof.

There are special nails that go with the roofing panels and foam caps to close of the rigged ends as well.

Specifications and Materials for Roof

Material Dimensions Units
Post 2 x 4 x 6’ 4

Step 5: Cleanout Tray

The cleanout tray is one of the best features of this design. The tray slides in and out along the floor of the coop through a small access door under the main access.

The tray is made of scrap 2X4 cut into 1.5” strips and some OSB. I used deck stain to seal the wood and protect it and some cheap stick-on linoleum tiles on the inside of the tray.

Specifications and Materials for Chicken Tray

Materials Dimensions Units
1.5” x 1.5” x 3’ 5” 2
1.5” x 1.5” x 3’ 5.5” 2
OSB or Plywood 3’ 8.5” x 3’ 5” 1
Vinyl Tiles Cheap stick on types to cover inside of tray Depending on tile size vs tray size

Step 6: Final Touches

Once the core of the coop is built the outside can be covered with whatever material you choose.

I used a cheap paneling I found at Home Depot and then stained it with deck stain to protect it. You can also use plywood, pallet wood, or any other material to cover the coop.

I cut in the access door and cleanout tray door with a jig saw once the paneling was secured. I also later cut a small window above the nesting box and made a simple flap opening with an old hinge.

You can use any hinges and door latches that you choose for the main door, nesting box access, and cleanout access. Now, on to the chicken run!

Step 7: Chicken Run Framing

The chicken run gives our little egg producers some nice space to hang out during the day with plenty of cover for rainy days.

I have also converted this into a mobile chicken tractor to keep them contained and let them get fresh scratching ground.

The run starts with a 2X6 frame that is an 8’X4’ rectangle secured with deck screws. Next, the 5’ and 6’ wall supports are installed vertically from the base frame.

Supports are attached around the middle perimeter of the walls. The full cut list with dimensions is below.

Three of the base corners get a diagonal support brace and one on the perimeter supports as well. The top of each wall also gets a horizontal support for the overhangs on each end to later support the trusses.

Trusses are installed in-between the top horizontal wall supports and topped with 1X4 runners.

These runners are there purely to give something for the Ondura roofing to attach to.

The above materials were used to flush the walls for attaching the hardware cloth and are not needed if you intend to use chicken wire instead. Although some may be needed to provide a mounting locating for the door.

These “filler” studs go between the base and side horizontal support to allow the hardware cloth a flat place to be stapled without leaving gaps.

They also run from the top wall horizontal support to the middle support as well on each corner of the run.

Specifications and Sections for Chicken Run

Sections Dimensions Units
Base 2 x 6 x 8’ 2
2 x 6 x 3’ 9” 2
Front walls 2 x 4 x 6’ 4
Back Walls 2 x 4 x 5’ 4
Front middle perimeter support 2 x 4 x 5’ 3.5”
End perimeter supports 2 x 4 x 4’ 2
Rear middle perimeter support 2 x 4 x 7’ 9” 2
Front and Rear top perimeter support 2 x 4 x 8’ 2
Rafters 2 x 4 x 3’ 9”
Roof runners 1 x 4 x 8’ 4
Corner base braces ~ 1’ 10” 2 x 6 or 2 x 4 3
Corner middle perimeter brace ~ 1’ 7” 2 x 4 1

Step 8: Chicken Run Door

The coop door is made of 2X4 studs with a cheap version of a pocket hole connecting the corner braces together.

You can toenail these or angle screw them together as well. A staple gun can cover the door with chicken wire or hardware cloth.

The Final Product

After you’ve followed all these steps and put together all the parts needed (as per the instructions above) for this chicken coop, this is what you’ll get as the end product:

Side view:

Angled view:

Additional Tips

  • Building a chicken coop is a great way to recycle lumber and other materials that you may have lying around your shop or garage.
  • If you don’t have all of the tools listed above, you can probably get by with just a circular saw and a drill.
  • You can use chicken wire or hardware cloth to create the chicken run. Just make sure that it is securely fastened to the frame of the coop so that your chickens cannot escape.
  • Make sure to paint or stain your coop before you assemble it. This will make it much easier and will help to protect the wood from the elements.
  • You can buy pre-made chicken doors or make your own out of plywood. Just make sure that they are big enough for your chickens to get in and out of the coop easily.
  • You can use any type of wood for your chicken coop, but we recommend using cedar or another rot-resistant lumber. This will help to extend the life of your coop.
  • Be sure to clean your chicken coop regularly to prevent the spread of disease. We recommend cleaning it out once a month.

Final Thoughts

Building a chicken coop is a great way to provide your family with fresh eggs. And it’s a fun project that the whole family can help with!

Just follow the simple steps above, and you’ll have your own chicken coop in no time.