DIY Backyard Chicken Coop – Part 2

Alright, if you missed part one of building this chicken coop then check it out HERE to get caught up to the in the build.

In Part 1, I went over the framing, making the windows, building and attaching the roofs and making and installing the nesting boxes. Lets pick up where we left off which is making the roosting bars. 

Things I used in this project:

ISOtunes Bluetooth Hearing Protection: http://amzn.to/2pEjNtv
Armor Tool Mobile Bench: https://amzn.to/2uNtib4
Trim Router: https://amzn.to/2Ybvjix
Reciprocating Saw: http://amzn.to/2sQ8EVX
ROS Sander: http://amzn.to/2qnD8R1
Framing Nailer: http://amzn.to/2nzV9rY
Pin Nailer: https://amzn.to/2IvOziJ
Titebond III: http://amzn.to/2zZIRQw
Triton Tracksaw: http://amzn.to/2qmTytb
Bessey Clamps: https://amzn.to/2YZ0Dxk
Battery Operated Brad Nailer: https://amzn.to/2IvOziJ
Piano Hinges: https://amzn.to/2XCgdSC

On the last coop I built, I ran dowels across the coop and in a ladder formation coming up from the ground and leaning into the wall.

I took a different route for this coop just because I forgot to get dowels and I didn’t want to make another trip to the store. : ) I ripped a 2×4 down at the tablesaw, then turned my blade over and cut in a chaffer on both sides of the rectangle board.

A chicken is flat footed then wraps it’s toes around like this. This chamfer will just make it more comfortable for the bird. 

Of course these bars will get covered in poop, like everything else, and I liked the idea of making a holster for them to nest in where I could take them out and clean them when I clean the coop. You can see I used some 2x4s to make this up, taping them together before cutting out the slots so that after one pass, both are done and identical.

I moved them to the inside of the coop and attached them up the wall above the lower window. I read if you place them on the same level as the nesting boxes the birds will want to sleep in the boxes instead, so these are placed just higher. This does put it out of the range that the chickens can flap up to it so later on I show how I built a ramp for them to access it. 

Next major step was siding and it will save you a ton of time if you are able to paint the siding before installing it. So that’s what I did.

I went with T1-11 siding and I went with the 4” on center panels since this is a smaller coop. I first used my larger ROS to give all the sheets a quick sanding. I’m not trying to get it buttery smooth, just take down the majority of the roughness. 

I applied a coat of primer then two coats of paint. For a paint choice, I love the traditional colors for the coop so I’m using a red. I found the best way to apply the paint to the T1-11 is to use a roller and just apply a good amount of pressure to get into the grooves.

My mom was also kind enough to be priming and painting the part on the coop that needed color, while I was doing the sheets. 

After letting everything dry for a bit, I started cutting the sheets into their needed panels. This job is made super quick if you have a track saw to use, but if you don’t then setting up a fence and using a circular saw works as well.

My folks dropped in so I grabbed my dads set of hands for a bit as this part does go easier with two people. I used a few Bessey quick clamps to hold a ledge in place for us to set the siding. Then dad helped hold it in place and move it around so that it was plumb with the coop’s framing.

Once we had it where it needed to be, I used a few more clamps to hold it down. 

Oh but before attaching it, which I was about to do….Dad suggested we use it as a template for the other side. He’s more than just a handsome face. So we took it off, flipped it over, then used it to trace out for the other side. 

When it came time to attach them, I first laid down a line of Titebond construction adhesive then set it back in place and used my nailer to attach it to the studs. After that was set, we repeated the steps on the other side. 

When I’m siding I always start with the largest pieces. With those two sides knocked out I moved to the back and started piece mealing it together. You might notice here that I messed up. See where I’m placing that piece of siding? That’s on the wrong side. I should be placing it over on the open side of the window but I had chickens on my brain and didn’t realize my oops until later in the build. Like embarrassingly long time later in the build. 

More on that later!

I designed a big removable panel in this back wall so I can easily access the inside of the coop and clean it out. I attached siding all around this panel, then started working on the panel itself. I can’t complete it until the trim step though so after getting the parts cut I set them aside and continued on the other sides of the coop with siding. 

I again start with the largest pieces and if you’re using tongue and groove sheets like I am, just pay attention to how you are cutting your parts so when you line two up to one another, they will overlap correctly.

I used my framing nailer when attaching to a stud, but switched to my brad nailer when attaching to the nesting boxes. Again, using some construction adhesive on the backside of all these parts. 

Before moving on to trim, I crawled inside the coop and cut in the main door (with my router) for the chickens to enter and leave. You could always cut this before hand, but I find it easier to do once it’s up.

I also did this for the lower window on the opposite side. I just used my small Triton recip saw to cut along my lines. 

Again, something you can do to simplify things…you can just make this a big square or rectangle. I added a cute roof shape to give it flare but that means angles for the trim which is the next step. 

I always find it amazing how much trim fancy something up.

You can see how that added bump out on the roof and the chicken door adds some additional work…and angles….it’s worth it to me, but both can be taken out if you want to simplify the work. 

I repeated these same steps on the other sides, saving the front drop door and the back panel for last.

Moving to the front drop door first, I grabbed my siding that will make up the door and added trim to it. As you can see, I’m attaching the trim to the siding where it’s in contact but I also left trim overhanging. This is so the trim acts as a stop for the door and also make the door look complete when it’s in the closed position.

You can see what I mean here when I dry fit it. 

Making sure the fit isn’t too tight, I move to the bottom with a few sections of piano hinge and give it a way to pivot up and down. It won’t stay closed on it’s own, but I’ll come back later with some hardware to shut it. 

It was when I moved to add the trim on the back of the coop that I finally saw my window mistake! In order to fix it, I cut another piece of hardware cloth and attached it on the correct side then threw trim on top of it.

Since I had already trimmed out the other two sides I had to rip off the trim to fix the mistake but its part of it. And it truly is, I’ve been at this for years now and I still make mistakes obviouly. It’s ok to be frustrated by it, but don’t be discouraged to the point of not fixing it and moving on. 

Alright, lets make the back panel.

I did the same as the front drop door. I set the siding in place and placed trim on top of it making sure to attach part of the trim to the panel, and leave an amount overhanging so it will catch on the surrounding siding when it’s set into place.

The last thing needed to make this functioning is a few barrel bolts. I went with four, one in each corner but another option would be to put this on a hinge and have it swing out. I liked the idea of it being completely moved out the way when it comes time to clean the coop. 

With that, I think the body is done! So now lets move onto the roof!

I climbed up with a few panels and starting at the eve of the roof, I worked my way up to the peak. Instead of precutting my panels, I just left the one side run wild then I came back after it was all done to rip one line down to cut them. I’m using left over corrugated panels from my old shop roofing job but of course you can use any material of your choice.

Ok, and now for the big job of moving this thing outside!

First some framing members were temporarily added to the coop so it could be lifted up and set on movable dollies. Then even more were temporarily added to the base so a tractor could pick it up on one side and a high boy jack on the other.

The goal is to get the coop high enough so a trailer could be slipped in underneath it. Once it clears the height of the trailer, it can be lowered back down, strapped on tightly and then delivered to site.

When I was picking out my location, I wanted it to be in shade most of the day (its hot in Texas!). I also wanted it close to the house so I could easily go out and retrieve the eggs.

I’m going to be letting my chickens free range, so I don’t currently have a run built on to my coop. However if you want to build this coop and add a run, you could very easily butt it up to the side where the door is.

My neighbor is hatching me chickens, so I should be adding them in about a month! Follow me on Instagram, if you aren’t already, where you can follow along on that progress.

Don’t forget you can get a set of plans HERE if you are interested.

That’s it for this project! Thanks for following along, and I’ll see you on the next one.