Summary: 8′x8′ ft footprint and over 6′ tall! Large, light weight, easy to move with 1 person and about $200 to build!
Getting our first chickens meant building our first coop! I wanted a tractor format but something I could walk into and stand up in. At 6’2″ I don’t bend over easily and my height meant BIG coop for only 6 chickens.
I found an idea of a Hoop Coop shared by Rain Creek Pottery that I liked and looked like it would suit my needs perfectly. This hoop coop tractor design would allow my birds the comfort of a large enclosure and access to fresh grass/bugs daily and is light enough I can move it by myself without help.
I’m still in the construction phase and I’m about 70% done! Here’ my progress thus far, see the Rain Creek Pottery link for detailed photos.
- (2) 2x6x8 – pressure treated boards
- (2) 2x6x10 – pressure treated boards
- (2) 50″x16′ Cattle Panels
- (16) 2x2x8
- (4) Eyebolts
- 10×16′ High Grade UV and Arctic rated tarp
- (4) small baskets (nest boxes)
- Box of fence staples (medium)
- Box of fence staples (small)
- Box of 2.5″ screws
- Cable Ties
- Screen door spring
- 1″ chicken wire
I cut the 2x6x10 down so there was 2″ beyond the cattle panel on each end an stapled the daylights out of it
I opted to flip the whole thing over before bending so the stapled part would be to the inside of the coop.
The next part was a learning curve. When putting up your frame make sure the area you’re working on is level! When I moved the coop from outside to inside the shop for the night I noticed how off my door frame was! Thankfully it was an easy fix and I found it before I started putting chicken wire up.
Looking MUCH better, frame is up the panels are feeling much more secure and don’t wobble any more and can even support my weigh leaning up against them.
This is where I’ve left off. Apparently I still am daft and can’t find level but it’s a house for chickens and not for me so it’s good enough for who it’s for. I’ve chicken wired the back opening, chicken wired the front, the door, 3 hinges used, a nice latch that I can use a snap on to secure easily, and my screen door spring so the door always closes and can’t accidentally be left open.
Inside dimensions are 8′x8′ so it has the potential to house many more than my 6 chicks.
Corner bracing. I used the scraps from the 2x6x10 cut in half as the brace. Also note the bolt and nut in the corner.. That’s to the Eye bolt so I can hook ropes on to drag it easily. I opted NOT to use the eye screws because I’ve had issues with them pulling out in years past. Also note how I kept the cattle panels to the inside of the coop. This way when they are bent the stress of the panel is not pushing against the staples.
This is how I’ve been attaching the 2×2′s onto the cattle panels. This photo shows a roosting perch that is angled.
Here’s the finished inside! Nesting boxes, with 2 roosting areas.
Here’s the underside of the nesting boxes so you can see what I did to brace it. I used 2 screws (one front one back) of each nesting box to secure it to the 2×2′s.
I bought a GREAT UV and Artic rated tarp with rope reinforced seams from MyTarps.com… I highly recommend them, great service, they even found a better way to ship to me and refunded me the difference. Great customer service and I got a high quality Made in the USA tarp!
Close up of how I secured the tarp to the footer boards and to the back using a large washer and screw. Note, by keeping the cattle panels to the inside of the board this process was very easy and will generate less wear on your tarp!
That’s it! The coop is done! Time to drag it out of the workshop and into the pasture. It’ll be a few more weeks until my chicks are old enough to enjoy their new home.
Speaking of the Chicks… here’s a video I took of them yesterday They are about 3-4 weeks old now.