If you know me then you also know that I love to eat, especially breakfast foods. I wanted the satisfaction of harvesting my own eggs, because if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. I could not have made this coop without the help of Renate Du Plessis.
I started off by creating a frame that was light, durable and long lasting. It is created from 2″ x 6″ pressure treated wood. I reinforced the corners with angle brackets. I did use two types of brackets but looking back, I should have used only one type. The brackets that work best for this design are the ones without the middle section. The reason is because the brackets allow for the pvc pipe to be flush with the ends of the base board. It also makes it easier to wrap the wire at the ends. After I added the brackets, I then used two screws to reinforce the wood. It will make it less flexible and more sturdy when moving it around the yard.
Next I measured the length and height of the 3/4″ pvc pipe to figure out how I wanted to harvest the eggs and give the chickens enough room to play inside. Once I got the height figured out, I attached the pvc pipe to the wood using 3/4″ clamps. I then had to figure out how to make a door which is tough using only pvc pipe. I made an internal structure that gave the coop more support and also created a door frame on both ends if needed. I used zip ties to tighten the pvc pipe together. Once everything was clamped in place, I created the door only on one side. I did this because it will give the coop more protection from predators (less points of entry). The hinges were ordered off of Amazon because they are specialty pieces that we could not find anywhere else, plus they look great and are durable. There is a drill hole to reinforce the clamps to the pvc pipe. Once the door pieces were cut to size and aligned, we used pvc glue to connect the pieces. I used the extra pieces of wood to act like a barrier on the bottom of the door and also to attach a locking system. I only drill into the pvc pipe if necessary to conserve the integrity of the material.
For the nesting boxes, I used plastic bins. You can find the right ones for your chickens and install the pipe to any width you need. My bins are 13 inches wide and about 6 inches deep. I used the inside of a Vigoro stake to reinforce the inside of the pvc pipe for the nesting boxes and roosting sections only. If you use the stake, make sure to remove the green plastic coating with a box cutter or it will not fit inside the pvc pipe. Once you align the boxes and roosting poles how you like them, glue the pipe and attach it with the clamps to the wood base.
I then added a piece of wood to the roosting poles to help the chickens balance and sleep with ease. If you only use the pvc pipe for roosting, it can cause the chickens to slip and possibly hurt themselves. Attach the wood to the pipe with the 3/4″ clamps. Now you can start wrapping your coop with the chicken wire and secure it with zip ties. I also used a staple gun to attach the bottom of the wire to the wood base. If you do not have enough zip ties or trying to make sure the wire is tight, you can use the cut ends of the chicken wire to wrap around other sections of wire. Just be careful with the sharp edges of wire when wrapping. When you have finished wrapping the entire coop, you can then add a lock of your choice to the door. Just make sure it is predator proof. Coyotes, opossums, snakes, raccoons, foxes, birds of prey and bobcats will most likely be attracted to the smell of live chickens.
If you live in an area with much larger predators, proceed with caution. In order to move the coop around, I will attach a rope and handle to the front and back of the wood base to lift and carry the coop around the yard. If you do not like that method then you can always add wheels to the coop. If you need help or have more questions, please reach out to Tyler Laborde.