Every backyard chicken needs a place to call home. Here's a step-by-step guide to providing yours with an attractive A-frame coop – built by your own hands!
By Reader's Digest
The aim of a coop is to protect chooks from cold winds in winter and extreme heat in summer plus supply timber perches for roosting and boxes for egg laying. Position the coop under a tree for shade and cover the floor with straw, timber shavings or sawdust, especially underneath perches.
TIP Birds that roam are less likely to develop problems induced by boredom, such as egg eating and pecking.
This coop is built from reclaimed 42 x 35mm and 42 x 19mm oregon.
Recycled 100 x 15mm hardwood fence palings are cut to clad the floor, walls and back door with chicken wire used to cover the front door and the front part of the coop.
Use galvanised fasteners to prevent rust, with 50mm x 8g timber screws to assemble the frame, securing the floor and wall palings with 40 x 2mm nails and attaching the chicken wire with 12mm U nails.
Step 1. Build the A frame
Secure the base rails against the sides with the middle rail 600mm from an end. Secure the uprights over the rails, cutting the ends at an angle, attaching the ridge and cutting the middle uprights to fit. Cut and secure the door stiles and head.
Step 2. Lay the floor
From the end, position the floorboards along the base sides, securing with nails and cutting notches on the ends of the last board to fit around the middle uprights.
Step 3. Make the doors
To build the door frames position the sides against the base and top, securing with screws. Use tin snips to cut chicken wire, securing it to the front door with U nails and securing the back door boards with nails.
Step 4. Attach the cladding
Position and cut the front and back walls, securing to the uprights and door frame. From the top, secure the side cladding to the uprights with nails then attach the capping. Keep the boards butted tightly against each other.
Step 5. Install the wire
Cut chicken wire to fit over the sides and front, ensuring there are no gaps or protruding wires, securing to the frame with U nails. Hang the front and back door on pairs of galvanised 40mm hinges and add gate hooks and eyes for latches.