A Frame Chicken Coop

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A Frame Chicken Coop

How to build A Frame Chicken Coop! Free plans from Ana-White.com! DIY for less than $100!

HANDMADE FROM THIS PLAN >>

Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

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Author Notes: 

Scramble made it up the ladder yesterday.

Our girls - French Toast, Sunny, Easy and we hope Scramble is indeed a lady too - have been enjoying this simple, easy to make and portable A Frame style chicken coop for about a month now.

They had outgrown their brooding cabinet and with us living in Alaska with hawks and eagles preying in our backyards, free range is not an option.  

So in between building that fully insulated dream coop - hopefully later this summer - we needed a fast, easy, economical solution.  Something affordable but very useful and functional.

I especially loved the idea of having a portable coop - one that we could move around the yard to fertilize different areas.  After much research, an A Frame Chicken coop was the best solution.

The Ram and I built this coop in a matter of a few hours.  We spent less than $100 on the coop in total and are very pleased with the outcome.  

But I have resisted posting this plan because I felt it had one major design flaw.  

Our chickens could not get up the ladder into the enclosed part.  So every night, we would have to catch the chickens and put them upstairs with a light bulb - and for cold nights, I threw an old blanket over the top of the coop.

Yesterday was a big day for the chickens.

Scamble made it up the ladder.

And I am so excited to share with you this plan.  I know it's not the ultimate coop.  It's not super fancy or beautiful.  But it DOES allow someone on a small budget with limited DIY tools/experience to have chickens in their backyards within a few hours.  And I'm all about that!

Shopping List: 

14 - 2x4s, 8 feet long
1 - sheet 3/4" t1-11
6 total T-Strap hinges
30 feet of 30" wide chicken wire (I used 36" because I couldn't find 30" locally)
2 3/4" exterior screws
1/2" exterior staples for chicken wire
scrap plywood piece for floor of upstairs coop and ladder
Optional 1x2s for trim out if desired

Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
circular saw
staple gun
countersink drill bit
General Instructions: 

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Dimensions: 
Dimensions are shown above. Suitable for 2-4 Chickens.
Cut List: 

6 - 2x4 @ 64" (LP measurement, top end cut at 60 degrees off square, bottom end cut at 30 degrees off square)
6 - 2x4 @ 96"
2 - 2x4 @ 64" (LP measurement, both ends cut at 30 degrees off square)
5 - 2x4 @ 32" (LP measurement, both ends cut at 30 degrees off square)
4 - pieces t1-11 siding cut into 24" x 48" pieces
Optional 1x2 trim

Step 1: 

Cutting the top angle is going to be a pain - I know - if your miter saw does not cut 60 degree angles. What you will need to do is mark the angles with your square and then cut with a circular saw. Remember, it's 60 degrees off square.

Once you have your rafters cut, then you can simply attach the side support boards. NOTE: I left a 24 1/2" gap for 24" wide t1-11 - you may wish to leave a slightly wider gap for easier access to the upstairs coop - or you can cut your plywood down to fit.

Another trick here is to cover the bottom with chicken wire. These things are always easier done now rather than when you are inside the coop :)

Step 2 Instructions: 

Once you have the two walls built, just attach at base with base supports. Then attach tops with countersunk screws.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Thes are really going to add a ton of strength to the coop! And make a floor for the upstairs room. Attach from outside with the 2 3/4" exterior screws.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Now add the doors. For mine, we used two full doors, but a better idea would be to split the doors into two so accessing the different sections is easier.

NOTE: We trimmed out the doors in 1x3s for added strength and because the hinges we had required it.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Then I simply finished out the sides with chicken wire. I choose to fill in the upstairs part with boards, but you could leave open with chicken wire or even make a little egg collecting door :) .

I then added the 1x2 trim just to finish things out, but not necessary.

We haven't put wheels on the coop just yet, but I'm certainly eyeing Grace's discarded bicycle training wheels.

Preparation Instructions: 
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Room: 
Skill Level: 
Style: 

Comments

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Wow, Ana!!! You guys are so incredible about just picking a direction and running with it! I'm so impressed, once again! We have a coop on wheels that's been done for about a year, but still can't move the chickens out of the stationary one because we haven't gone to the trouble to put together the wired 'run' area that will slip over the front of our little chicken ark. :) Thanks for the inspiration to get them outside fertilizing our yard and get us done scooping poop!

Great design! I need to make one this weekend.

If anyone building this has raccoons in their area, be aware that raccoons can tear right through chicken wire. Not all will, but they can. For a bit more predator proof coop you might want to consider using welded wire, it is more expensive, but worth it in the long run. Oh, and the small square welded wire is better than the large so the raccoons can't reach in a try and pull the chickens through. Once again, ask me how I know. Hopefully you can learn from my experience.

Great job! Just an FYI, we don't heat our chickens (Were on the Kenai Pen.) and they tend to do better when kept at a consistent temp. We don't heat our girls at all. Not even in the winter. Granted our temps are more mild than yours but they don't need blankets or heaters in the summer. They will grow a thicker layer of feathers and they will huddle for warmth. We love having fresh eggs and will never go back to store-bought!

My husband and I built most of this yesterday evening. It took about 4 hours, and we still have to put in the roost floor, make an egg door, and trim out and put on the side doors. So far materials have cost just under $200, but I did buy some extra hardware cloth (not chicken wire). I've made a few modifications; I'll be sure to post pics when I'm done! This week we'll add the feeder and waterer (planning to DIY using PVC), make the ladder, and add a door at the bottom of the coop to let the chickens out to free range. We don't have chickens yet but I have begun the search. If anyone in northwest Atlanta has some who need a loving home, let me know!

What is the capacity of your henhouse? Could you have a couple more chickens in it?

You might freerange if you sewed those jackets for them that they fall out of when a hawk picks them up by it! The collar extends up over their necks like Elvis with his collar up, and when they get picked up by the quilted jacket, they sag down under it and their wings fall out of the armholes. The hawk is left with nothing but a quilted jacket...unless he comes back, I guess. Then the chicken wouldn't be wearing her jacket. Hawks might figure this out!

Aloha Ana!
I'm really digging this A-fram coop design of yours, but am wondering if you have any ideas on how to easily convert it into a tractor with wheels and a handle? I have a few ideas, but wondering what the logistics look like in your mind.
Looking forward to hearing back from you.
Mahalo,
Eri

Two weeks ago we lost 4 of our chickens to a hawk or fox. I've been crawling the internet looking for something we can use as a tractor and it seems that adding two wheels to the back of this coop should accomplish this. We're going to try to build the coop this weekend. Will update on cost and time once done. Thanks for posting!

Did it this morning! Took 7 hours after getting the materials. Few notes:

- Cutting the 60 degree angles correctly represented the most significant preparation component.
- Biggest time eater was the cloth wire. I got durable cloth and stapled it on the inside.
- It is much much heavier than expected.

Modifications:
- I added wheels to the back for use it as a run/tractor.
- I split the doors into four, two on each side, which required trimming using 1x3s for strength and to accommodate the hinges.

Cost about $150 total (material purchased at Lowes)

I am planning to build this coop this weekend with a couple modifications already in mind:

-I will be using 1x3s for the side support boards and bottom base supports.
-2x3s for the rafters and floor braces
-Finish out the upstairs before dealing with doors.
-Adding handles, which used to be wooden curtain rods, to be installed underneath the upstairs support beams
-I will be using two pieces of a shipping crate for the doors, so they will jut like eaves over the middle support board.
-And lastly, I plan to make a door on the wheeled end so the chickens can come and go if they ever have a chance to free range.

Made this chicken coop. We did ours in hardwood and used marine ply for the roof. We also split the doors (so 2 each side) and did the triangular door to the egg section. We also put a door at the bottom to make it easier to let them out and free range. It turned out more expensive and it very heavy but we managed to pull it along with the ride on lawn mower!! The 3 bantam hens are in there and have already made themselves at home. Thanks for the plans!

It turned out really nice; thank you! But...

This chicken coop took forever to build.. my boyfriend and I did it in a couple days maybe 6 hours each day. I'm impaired when it comes to building anything and scared of power tools. It did turn out really nice, but it was not an easy project. I'm really surprised that we didn't kill each other with the saw or drill. I know a few times I thought about hitting him with a 2 x 4 for making fun of me because I couldn't figure out how a support board fit into the frame or because I was putting the hinges on backwards. He cut one of the boards short though, ha! But I can't use a t-square and wanted to pitch it over the fence.

He'll read this and laugh I'm sure.

It was a really good project though, and maybe after he was done saying the B word a million times our relationship is actually better than before. :)

Great design, like many others I made a few modifications ... doors for upstairs and downstairs, and a fixed corrugated metal roof. curtain rod for roosting.

I have a question about egg laying. We have three young chickens all different breeds, they are now right about at the age where they should start laying, horrible timing too as it is now getting really cold! The upstairs has a nice straw layer for them, and they sleep up there. They do use the roost occasionally but not at night as far as I can tell. Did anyone add any kind of nest box? I assumed that the whole upstairs would be the nest/egg area (this is our first time having chickens). It fills up with poop pretty fast so we clean it out regularly and replace the straw. Also threw in a few golf balls to send them a message that they should start laying up there. Thinking about putting a heat lamp in too.

Trying to be patient. Am I doing it right??

Great design, like many others I made a few modifications ... doors for upstairs and downstairs, and a fixed corrugated metal roof. curtain rod for roosting.

I have a question about egg laying. We have three young chickens all different breeds, they are now right about at the age where they should start laying, horrible timing too as it is now getting really cold! The upstairs has a nice straw layer for them, and they sleep up there. They do use the roost occasionally but not at night as far as I can tell. Did anyone add any kind of nest box? I assumed that the whole upstairs would be the nest/egg area (this is our first time having chickens). It fills up with poop pretty fast so we clean it out regularly and replace the straw. Also threw in a few golf balls to send them a message that they should start laying up there. Thinking about putting a heat lamp in too.

Trying to be patient. Am I doing it right??

Hi Ana, this is wonderful post. Thank you for sharing. Raising chickens is very hard, and most of the people don't know anything about raising them and building proper chicken coop. Your plans looks wonderful. I built my own chicken coop with another plans which is very good also. People who want to see different plans can look at this diy chicken coop plans too.You are doing excellent work with this website. Thank you again.

Hi Ana, this is wonderful post. Thank you for sharing. Raising chickens is very hard, and most of the people don't know anything about raising them and building proper chicken coop. Your plans looks wonderful. I built my own chicken coop with another plans which is very good also. People who want to see different plans can look at this diy chicken coop plans too.You are doing excellent work with this website. Thank you again.