Whether you’re interested in raising chickens for the very first time, or simply looking to update or replace your old coop, you’ve probably discovered that there are a ton of options out there – perhaps too many to wade through in one sitting. We’ve come up with a short list of some of our favorite chicken coop designs that you can actually build yourself. Some include full plans to work from, while others may just have step by step photos. Make sure before selecting a plan, however, that it is of sufficient size to house the number of birds you plan on keeping. The standard guideline is 2 square feet of floor space per chicken, and one nest box for every three hens. The coops below are of varying sizes, so you’re sure to find a perfect one to fit your needs!
This gorgeous chicken coop is home to six chickens in the Pacific Northwest, and was built by an emergency veterinarian with no prior building experience, using no plans at all. The main coop is 6′ x 8′, with a 10′ x 10′ roof and enclosed 3′ x 6′ cabin. Decorative elements include wind chimes, hanging flower baskets, and stained glass windows. Super-sturdy and well-protected from the elements, the owner-builder of this coop incorporated it nicely into the landscape, and the bright and cheerful paint colors really make it a work of art! There are no printed plans to follow, but a TON of photos to guide you in duplicating this one of a kind coop.
This adorable “red barn” chicken coop is stylish and functional, and another owner-designed DIY project. Overall it measures 6′ x 4′, about half the size of the Northwest Garden Coop above, with the enclosed portion measuring approximately 4′ x 4′. Home to five hens, the coop features a double nesting box, linoleum floor for easy clean-up, “quilt barn” design painted doors in front, tiled roof, and tree branch steps on the ramp leading down into the open area of the coop. This is a perfect little coop if you plan on having just a few hens.
Tip: On project page, click on plan photos, then right-click and select “view image” on popup, then zoom to view full size.
Home to four beautiful hens, this masterpiece was created using a blend of two designs found in a book by BackYardChickens.com. Built on a 5′ x 10′ predator-proof base, beauty features a double nest box, clear polycarbonate roofing panels, repurposed knotty pine paneling from the 70’s, and a full-size screen door that makes entry into the outdoor pen area easy. We love everything about this chicken coop – the simple color scheme that blends well with the environment, the garden trellis on the right side, and even the see-through roof that allows the chickens to sleep under the stars!
Built to last, this 6′ × 3′ raised coop rests on cedar posts set in concrete footings, has an enclosed area beneath and is surrounded by a larger, fully-enclosed aviary. The aviary allows the chickens to be outside the coop unsupervised, yet still protected from any outside predators. As is the case with many home-built chicken coops, including several featured in this article, this coop is built using a mix of repurposed materials and new materials, helping to keep costs down. Rather than incorporating a built-in nesting box in the design, the owners turned an old wood crate into the nesting box and located it inside the coop. The project page for this coop includes a link to an infographic you can print out, with dimensions and supplies needed.
You’d never know that this chicken coop was designed and built by a novice coop-builder, so thorough, well-thought-out, and well-documented was the entire process. Built on a poured-concrete footer with a PVC drainage system, the 12′ x 6′ structure features a raised indoor coop area measuring 4′ x 6′. The “floor” of the entire structure is made up of a layer of gravel topped with a layer of sand. Linoleum flooring for the inside coop was used to make cleanup easier, three nesting boxes jut out from one end, a rain gutter runs along the roof’s edge, and the entire coop is trimmed out so precisely you’d think it was built by a pro. A palace, indeed!
This adorable yellow “Country Charm” chicken coop is charming, indeed! The red door and the white trim give it tons of curb appeal – we almost want to move right in! The indoor area of this coop measures approximately 7-1/2′ x 7-1/2′, and includes six nesting boxes along one wall, with convenient flip-down doors on the exterior wall. The big screened-in windows prop open for airflow during the hot summer months, and a rope and pulley system opens and closes the small chicken door on the back of the coop. The front porch is even covered to help keep the mud and snow away from the door. This guy thought of everything!
From HGTV Gardens, this raised-coop enclosure offers room for six chickens and features a walk-in run, built-in storage, an observation window, external egg collection and a simple design easily customized to suit any style. We prefer the rustic/farm style shown, with the barn red paint and the crossbuck designs on the doors (and that adorable flower box under the front window!) but the plans include suggestions for a more elegant-looking chicken coop, if that is your preference. The project page includes step by step photos and instructions, as well as downloadable PDF plans.
Can’t find exactly what you’re looking for? Amazon offers numerous books on chicken coop design and building for a variety of skill levels, and BackyardChickens.com is an invaluable resource as well, with over 2500 user-submitted designs to browse through. And remember – the best designs are the ones that incorporate a little bit of yourself in them, so don’t be afraid to put your own stamp on that finished product!