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Best DIY Chicken Coop Ideas For Your Backyard
Home & Garden

Best DIY Chicken Coop Ideas For Your Backyard

Make your chicken coop ideas spring to life with this helpful DIY guide to help your feathered friends live comfy and happy. Team


7 min read

March 03, 2023

You can never get tired of waking up to the beautiful clucking sounds of chickens, especially as a Californian. Whether you live in the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles or the peaceful Placerville, owning a home chicken coop is where it’s at. These feathered friends are a gift that keeps on giving. They offer a steady supply of eggs, which nowadays are seemingly worth their weight in gold. In addition, their natural fertilizer and ambient relaxing sounds provide plenty of reasons to host them in your backyard.

But raising healthy, happy chickens at home is not a walk in the park. They need a home, a place they can come back to roost, and that’s where building a DIY chicken coop comes in. Your chicken coop ideas must provide a solid structure for shelter that protects against threats such as predators and harsh elements.

It should provide a suitable environment for chickens to roost and lay their eggs. Building a functional chicken coop is a daunting procedure. However, with the right planning, tools, and materials, it can be a rewarding DIY project to undertake.

Having the proper amenities in your chicken coop will be crucial.

What should be inside a chicken coop?

Amidst your flock, you might have a Bradley Coop-er, a Hen Solo, or even Princess Lay-a ready to bring life into your chicken coop. Your chicken coop should include some essential items to create a safe, comfortable environment.

Nesting Boxes

Chickens need a comfortable and clean place to lay their eggs, so it's important to have nesting boxes inside the coop. The number of nesting boxes you need will depend on the number of chickens you have. 

Roosting Bars and Perches

Chickens like to sleep off the ground, so you should provide them with roosting bars. These can be made of wood and should be about 2-4 inches wide. Chickens like to perch and jump around, so you should provide them with plenty of perches to play on. They need room in the coop to move around, even if they are free-range.


Bedding is vital to keep the coop clean and comfortable for the chickens. You can use straw, wood shavings, or other materials. Chickens need enough space to move around comfortably. The general rule of thumb is to provide at least 2-3 square feet of space per chicken inside the coop.

Food and Water

Chickens need access to clean water and food at all times. You can use a water dispenser and a feeder to ensure they always have access to food and water.

Ventilation and Lighting

Good ventilation is important to keep the coop from getting too hot or humid. Make sure to provide plenty of air flow. Chickens need 12-14 hours of light daily to lay eggs consistently. If the coop is not getting enough natural light, consider adding artificial lighting.

Providing all these items ensures that your flock will be healthy, happy, and safe inside their coop.

How to Build Chicken Coop step-by-step

It should be noted that the measurements and the amounts of materials you’ll use may vary depending on your location and the number of chickens you want to rear. The most common materials you’ll need include pressure-treated wood, wire mesh, screws, hinges, perches, feeders, and roosting and nesting materials.

If you’re experienced with DIY projects, you’ll likely have the tools required, such as a saw, hammer, drill, measuring tape, and wire cutters. If you don’t have these items, you can grab them at a local store, rent them, or borrow them from neighbors and friends. Safety is paramount when handling these projects, so protective gear such as gloves and glasses will also come in handy for the project, especially when using powered tools. With these materials and tools, you can bring your DIY chicken coop ideas to life.

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1. Plan and design your chicken coop.

Deciding whether you need a large chicken coop or a small chicken coop is the first step. This largely depends on the shape and features you want to include. Some things to consider are the number of chickens you want to keep, the climate in your area, and the predators in your area. But for our sake, this chicken coop can host up to 16 chickens with 4 nesting boxes and a 6' run.

2. Gather all of the necessary materials and tools

Start by building the base of the coop. Using 3” ring shank nails, jolt them through the 2x4s stringers into the end of each joist to create a rectangular frame and attach 7/16" plywood to the top. This will be the floor of the coop.

3. Build the walls of the coop

Like step one, use 2x4s to create a rectangular frame for each wall and attach plywood to the frame. Cut out openings for windows and doors. Maybe consider installing an automatic chicken coop door to save yourself time from doing it manually every day. It’s not a required addition, but it’s a nice luxury to have.

4. Attach the walls to the base using screws, and install the roof

Position each wall to align with the floor and then shoot 3” nails through the base plate into the foundation. Install windows and doors. Use hinges to attach them to the frame and add latches to keep them closed. Then use plywood to create a sloped roof and cover it with shingles or metal roofing material. Make sure the roof overhangs the walls to keep the rain out.

5. Add nesting boxes and perches inside the coop.

These can be made from wood and should be filled with straw or wood shavings. In addition, perches are essential and can be made with your 2x4s. Attach them between the studs on the front and back walls. This will allow the chickens to roost at night.

6. Cover the walls and roof and install a feeder and waterer

Use chicken wire or hardware cloth to keep predators out. 2” nails are best for securing the sheathing to each stud. Then look to install a waterer and feeder inside the coop. Keep these raised off the ground to keep them clean and dry.

Proper insulation will help your chickens thrive during harsh weather months.

Insulating the Chicken Coop

From generally mild temperatures with cool, foggy mornings and sunny afternoons to inland hotter drier temperatures, California is home to diverse climates across the state. You may not need to insulate your coop if you live in a mild climate. However, if you live in an area with extreme temperatures like the Mammoth Lakes, insulating the coop can help keep your chickens healthy and comfortable.

There are several types of insulation material that you can use, including fiberglass, spray foam, rigid foam, or even recycled denim. Choose the material that works best for your budget and needs. Before insulating, make sure to seal any gaps or cracks in the walls, ceiling, or floor to prevent drafts. Once the gaps are sealed, you can install the insulation. Fiberglass insulation can be stapled to the walls and covered with a layer of plywood to hold it in place. Each type will have its different installation requirements.

Proper ventilation is important to prevent moisture buildup in the coop, which can lead to health problems for the chickens. Provide adequate ventilation while still keeping the coop insulated.

Proper maintenance will help your chickens lead healthy lives and improve egg production.

Chicken Coop Maintenance

Your road to rearing chickens at home doesn't end with building a chicken coop. Once it is built, you have to maintain it to keep your feathered friends healthy and happy. Moreover, it will save you money on costly repairs by extending your coop's life.

Cleaning a Chicken Coop

Remove the soiled bedding from the nesting box and replace it with clean and comfortable straw, hay, or wood shavings. Clean the nesting boxes at least once a week and remove any eggs to prevent them from contracting diseases or breaking. Keep the surrounding area clean and free of debris.

Inspecting the Coop

While cleaning the coop, it is important to inspect it for any signs of wear and damage. A leaky roof, broken door or wall, and rusty floor will pose a lot of danger to your chickens. Look in corners where you may find stagnant water inside the chicken coop or mold may collect and lead to health problems. Look out for any loose nails, screws, or wire endings that can hurt the chickens.

Make any repairs necessary to prolong the lifespan of your chicken coop and ensure that your chickens are safe.

Even in urban areas, there are predators that can harm your chickens.

Protecting Chicken From Snakes and Predators in Their Coop

If you love raising your chickens in their coop, you should do anything it takes to protect them from predators. There are many ways to do this, When rearing chickens in an A-frame coop, it's crucial to ensure that you give them the best protection by burying the wire mesh 2 to 4 meters deep into the ground to create an underground security perimeter.

If you have a run in your coop, it is probably uncovered at the top. This poses a great risk, especially to chicks, as airborne predators can easily snatch them. Covering the coop with hardened wire mesh will protect them while providing enough ventilation.

Block access. To ensure that the coop is predator-proof, use strong wire mesh to cover any windows, vents, and any other openings that predators may try to use. This is suitable as it will not affect the light and fresh air entering the coop.

Like caring for any other household pet, rearing chickens in a chicken coop at home requires commitment. The first step is building a suitable coop for them to stay in. Paying attention to the weather, the amount of space, and protecting from predation is also crucial. With this guide to building and maintaining a DIY chicken coop in your backyard, you will have nothing to worry about.

Need help with a home improvement project? Get a free quote today!

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