Free Chicken Coop
Plans for Ark and Run for 12 Chickens with Diagrams
Our easy to follow free
coop plans can be followed to
chicken ark and run for up to 12 poultry from wood and
for your homesteading flock or just if you wish to keep some backyard
chickens or city
The principle of the combined chicken run and ark coop - which
accommodate a dozen chickens without overcrowding, especially if it be
moved from time to time on to fresh ground - will be understood from
Figs. 1 and 2.
The first of these free
chicken coop plans shows the framework to which
boards for the coop and the wire for the chicken run are nailed. Its
over-all length of 10 feet is subdivided into five "bays" or panels, 2
feet long (nearly) between centers of rafters. Two bays are devoted to
the coop, three to the run.
Frame for chicken coop and run (above).
The materials used
comprise:-Completed chicken coop and run
One square (10 by 10 feet) of weather boarding 6 inches wide, for
covering in the coop.
44 feet of 4 by 1, for base and ridge.
56 feet of 3 by 1, for eight rafters.
28 feet of 3 by 1-1/2, for four rafters.
50 feet of 2 by 1-1/2, for door frames and doors.
6 feet of 2 by 2, for tie T.
45 feet of 2-foot wire netting.
Two pairs of hinges; two locks; staples, etc.
By following these free chicken
coop plans one can build the
chicken coop and run quite economically. However, the cost could be
further reduced by using lighter stuff all through for the framework
and doors and by covering in the coop with old boards, which may be
picked up cheaply if one is lucky.
Whether it is advisable to sacrifice
durability and rigidity to cost must be left to the maker to decide.
Anyhow, if the specifications given are followed, you will have a
chicken coop that will last several years.
The vertical height of the
chicken run is just under 6 feet,
the tips being cut away from the rafters at the apex. The width at the
ground is exactly 6 feet. The base angles made by AA with B (Fig. 2) are 63
degrees; that which they make with one another, 54 degrees. The rafters
r1 and r3 at each end of the coop are half an inch thicker than the
rest, as they have to stand a lot of nailing.
If floor space is
available, chalk out accurately the external
outline of a pair of rafters (80 inches long each before shaping) and a
line joining their lower ends. Then draw a line bisecting the ridge
angle. With this template as guide the rafters can be quickly cut to
Another method is to cut
one rafter out very carefully, making
notch for half the width of the ridge, and to use it as a pattern for
the rest. In any case the chalked lines will prove useful in the next
operation of pairing the rafters and uniting them by a tie just under
the ridge notch.
Cut a 4 by 1 inch notch at
the bottom of each rafter,
on the outside, for the base piece. The two end pairs have the B pieces
nailed on to them, and r3 the tie t, which should be in line with the
rafters. The other three pairs require temporary ties halfway up to
prevent straddling during erection.
The method of fixing the
frame of the door at the chicken run
end is shown in Fig. 2.
The material for the frame being 1/2 inch thicker than that of the
rafters, there is room for shoulders at the top angles, as indicated by
dotted lines. The door frame at the coop end is of the same thickness
as r1 so that no overlapping is possible. This being the case, screws
should be used in preference to nails, which are liable to draw a
sloping face out of position as they get home.
The doors for
this chicken coop are made of 2 by 2
halved at the corners. Cut out the top and bottom of the two sides; lay
them on the floor so as to form a perfect rectangle, and nail them
together. The strut is then prepared, care being taken to get a good
fit, as any shortness of strut will sooner or later mean sagging of the
door. Cut the angles as squarely as possible, to ensure the strut being
of the same length both inside and out.
A Note for your Free Chicken Coop Plans
As the door is
rectangular, it does not matter which corners
are occupied by the ends of the strut; but when the door is hung, the
strut must run relatively to the side on which the hinges are, as shown
in Fig. 2. Amateurs
- even some professionals - have been known to get the strut the wrong
way up, and so render it practically useless.
Free Chicken Coop Plans and Covering The Ends Of The Coop
The ends of the chicken
coop should be covered before
erection, while it is still possible to do the nailing on the flat. The
run end is boarded right over, beginning at the bottom, and allowing
each board to overlap that below it by 1 inch. The board ends are flush
with the outer sides of the rafters. When boarding is finished, cut
(with a pad saw) a semicircular-topped run hole, 14 inches high and 8
inches wide, in the middle of the bottom. Any structural weakness
caused by severing the two lowest boards is counteracted by the two
grooved pieces in which the drop-door moves.
Odds and ends of weather
boards should be kept for the door
end of the chicken coop, which requires short pieces only, and is not
boarded below the top of b2. The door may be weather-boarded to match
the rest of the end, or covered by a few pieces of match-boarding put
The two base pieces, b1
and b2, and the ridge should be marked
off for the rafters at the same time. All three are 10-foot lengths of
4 by 1 wood, unless you prefer the ridge to project a bit, in which
case you must allow accordingly.
Stand all three pieces
together on edge, and make the marks
with a square across the tops. Allow a distance of 4 feet between the
outside faces of r1 and r3; halve this distance to get the center of
r2; and subdivide the distance between r3 and r6 so that each rafter is
separated from its neighbors by an equal space, which will be 1 foot
Number the marks and
continue them down the sides of the
boards with the square. There should be a mark on each side of the
place to be occupied by the intermediate rafters, to prevent mistakes;
for it is obvious that if a rafter is fixed on the left side of a
single ridge mark and on the right of the corresponding mark on the
base, the result will not be pleasing.
Free Chicken Coop Plans and Erecting the Hen coop
The services of a second
pair of hands are needed here, to
hold while nailing is done. Nail holes having been drilled in the tops
of the rafters and in the base pieces, the ends are stood upright and
tacked to the ridge at the places marked for them, and after them the
intermediate rafters, working from one end to the other. Then tack on
the base pieces, b1, b3.
Get the ends quite
perpendicular, and nail a
temporary cross strut or two on the outside of the rafters to prevent
shifting while the final nailing up is done.
Free Chicken Coop Plans and Covering The Shed
Sixteen boards, 4 feet 2
inches long, are needed for each
side, as, owing to the overlap of one inch, each tier covers only five
of the 80 inches. The ridge is made watertight by a strip of sheet
zinc, a foot wide, bent over the top and nailed along each edge.
Free Chicken Coop Plans and Waterproofing
All the woodwork should
now be given a coating of well-boiled
tar, paint, creosote, or some other preservative, worked well down into
the cracks. Creosote and stoprot are most convenient to use, as they
Free Chicken Coop Plans and Netting
When the preservative has
dried, fix on the netting with
3/4-inch wire staples. Begin at the base on one side, strain the
netting over the ridge, and down to the base on the other side. Be
careful not to draw the rafters out of line sideways. The last edge
stapled should be that on the roof of the coop.
On left, elevation of end of run; on right, door for run.
Note for your Free Chicken Coop Plans
When driving nails or
staples into a rafter or other part, get
a helper to hold up some object considerably heavier than the hammer on
the farther side to deaden the blow. Lack of such support may cause
damage, besides making the work much more tedious and difficult.
Free Chicken Coop Plans and Finishing Off
The doors to the chicken
coop are now hung and your chicken
coop plans are finally paying off! The doors are also fitted with
buttons and padlocks. The stops should be on the doors, not on the
frames, where they would prove an obstruction in a somewhat narrow
opening. Perches should be of 2 by 1 inch wood, rounded off at the top,
and supported in sockets at each end so as to be removable for
cleaning; and be all on the same level, to avoid fighting for the
"upper seats" among the chickens.
A loose floor, made in two
pieces for convenience of moving,
will help to keep the fowls warm and make cleaning easier, but will add
a few dollars to the cost.
The inside of the chicken
coop should be well
whitewashed before fowls are admitted. To prevent draughts the
triangular spaces between the roof boards and rafters should be
plugged, but ample ventilation must be provided for by holes bored in
the ends of the coop at several elevations, the lowest 2 feet above
Handles for lifting may be
screwed to the faces of b and b2
halfway between the door frame and the corners.
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