Nick Builds a Chicken Coop (With No Experience)

Updated: Feb 9

Nick and I had talked about adding chickens to our homestead from day one. I ordered our chicks from Hoover's Hatchery just after the new year, with a delivery date of March 18th. That meant getting a brooder set up and making a plan to either purchase or build a chicken coop. After shopping around for premade coops and kits, we just weren't finding anything that would hold enough chickens and be sturdy and long lasting, or they were just exorbitantly priced for the size. So we decided to build a diy chicken coop!


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Nick did tons of research and looked at different options and ways to build it and eventually landed on a YouTube tutorial by Bushradical that features an off-grid cabin build that anyone can build and afford. With that inspiration Nick decided to build an 8'x8' building on concrete piers. So here is an overview of the building process and lead up to our new chicks moving in to their permanent home on Blazing Bear Homestead.


Lumber piled up in the garage.

First things first: decide on the location. Not an easy thing to do! After some hemming and hawing we made the decision to build it near the horse shelter and under a large oak tree. This spot has a nice combination of sun and shade, visible from the house, and easy to get to. It was overgrown with buckthorn and the previous owners had piled up some dilapidated pallets and broken cinder blocks, so we had some serious cleanup to do.


Existing shelter on the left and site for new coop on the right.

Once that was done Nick started the build by deciding the exact placement of the four piers that will support the coop and getting them lined up properly.


Nick built the coop on concrete piers.

Once that was done we started putting the framing on. Nick wanted the floor to be super solid so he spaced the joists on 16".


Lucy and Dalila lending Nick a hand with the floor framing.

Once the walls started going up the project seemed to fly by!


First wall is up!

I'm so glad we decided to build it tall enough that we can walk in to the coop comfortably, that was important to me.


Two walls up, now Nick is running the roof joists.

Nick putting walls on.

Jack, Wyatt, and Lucy. For no reason.

We hit up the ReStore for windows and supplies.

Nick installed 3 sheets of metal roofing and left some overhang all the way around.


Metal roof is on!

In the picture above you can see a cool old door that we brought with us from our previous home. It is now the front door on our diy chicken coop!


It's a thing now... a real building.

We wrapped the coop and enclosed the space underneath with chicken wire.

Custom made stairs and one window installed.

I purchased some drinker cups on Amazon and installed them on a food safe bucket so my chicks will never run out of clean water. It works really well!


Chicken waterer made with a 5 gallon bucket.

We built the attached chicken run with some maple found on our homestead and added chicken wire all around. I added 12" lawn staples to the bottom of the wire and drove them down into the ground to help prevent animals from digging through and we added netting over the top to prevent attacks from above. Safety first!


Chicken jungle gym I made with found saplings.

We moved the chicks in and they love it! They were getting quite cramped in the brooder pen.


Our flock on move-in day, they love it!

Once they grow a little more we will add real roosts for them to sleep on at night, and some nest boxes for egg laying.


Cuckoo and Wheaton Marans checking out their temporary perch.

Protected run installed!

Another feature to make chicken keeping more simple is this homemade automatic feeder. We picked up a plastic storage bin with a flip top lid and added curved PVC pipe to allow them to eat as much as they'd like and never run out.


Homemade automatic chicken feeder.

It was so much fun watching them get more and more brave as they ventured further from the coop a little bit at a time.


The flock's first ventures outdoors.


Hattie the Hen, a Welsummer, enjoying the front steps of her coop.

The coop isn't 100% finished, but it is doing its job and looking good doing it. Our little hens are happy and that's what really matters. I'm so proud of Nick for making this project happen! If we can build a chicken coop with no experience, you can too.


Some of the gear and tools used:

BOSCH Circular Saw

BOSCH Reciprocating Saw

BOSCH Hammer Drill

GREATNECK Hand Saw

METABO Miter Saw

METABO Framing Nailer

OX TOOLS Carpenter Pencils

SWANSON TOOL CO Speed Square

MASTERFORCE Leather Tool Belt

MASTERFORCE Padded Suspenders

Drinking Cups for Chickens

Food Grade 5 Gallon Bucket

Chicken Wire

PVC Elbow






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