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Picture of 4x8 Walk-in Chicken Coop

Last spring, my sister Susie got a quote from a local handyman to build a new
chicken coop and was told it would cost around $1,500 for the entire project. During one of our get-togethers, she asked if I’d be interested in doing the project for her. I jumped at it – with no chicken coop building experience, although I do have some basic construction skills. She had a couple of parameters for me to work with: 1) she wanted to be able to stand inside the coop to make it easier to clean out; 2) she wanted to house approximately 20 birds; and 3) she liked Quaker styling. With this info, I started searching my internet search for coop design ideas, helpful hints and sizing suggestions. My research turned up a recommended four square feet of coop space per chicken. I also learned about the free version of SketchUp software. I downloaded the software and started to play around to relearn some basic CAD (I hadn’t drawn anything electronically for maybe 20 years). I have to say the SketchUp software is a great tool and much more powerful than what I needed for this project. If I need to do much of this type of thing in the future, I’ll definitely spend the money on a license, it’s easy to use and quite intuitive. Given the 4 ft2 recommendation, I spent a couple of evenings designing and redesigning an 80 ft2 coop. If I say so, myself, the design was pretty impressive, given my novice status with the software and coops in general. I printed up the plans and headed to Susie’s house (about an hour away) to show the plans and get started. Shortly after arrival, I learned the plans I had created would be completely scrapped – the design was vastly larger than what they had envisioned. Argh! We chatted a bit more about what she wanted and I got started on the redesign with a pencil and ruler. An hour later, I had a basic redesign, reducing the overall footprint of the structure from 80 sq.ft. to 32 sq. ft. We got the thing down to a floor size of one 4x8 ft sheet of plywood! First off, I’m not a big ‘document my life with pictures’ kind of guy; my apologies for not having a lot of pictures from the early stages of construction.

Step 1: What Am I Doing?

This is my first Instructable, and I'm learning this as I go - I haven't yet figured out (read: have no idea) how to delete a Step that I created in the wrong spot and then moved to later in the file.

NancyK857 months ago
This is wonderful and exactly what I'm looking to build for my chicks. Would you mind sharing your plans and material list? Thanks You can email directly if you prefer
HorusCok (author)  NancyK856 months ago
I haven't heard back from you... did you receive the plans I sent via email?
NancyK87 HorusCok6 months ago
No Sir, I didn't. Checked Spam, not there either.
HorusCok (author)  NancyK876 months ago
I just sent it again. will come from CokHorus1.
There are six attachments, may be caught by some filter.
HorusCok (author)  NancyK857 months ago
Thanks Nancy.

I'll work on the plans when I have some time, no promises on schedule.
mdeloor7 months ago
This is more in the relm of being a wonderful little chicken "condo"!! You should make a little name plate for it if you can think of something suitable. What a fabulous looking little out building for your sister and her hen friends! You should think about selling the plans for this, as I'm pretty sure people would pay for them.
If I was still living in my house, & not a condo, I would definitely be looking at building this for my back yard. I always wanted a few chickens, .....and some goats!

May I ask, what is the smaller red barn next to the chicken coop? It's also very cute.

I think you did very well for your very first instructable! That, and you are an awsome brother for building this for your sister. All of us ladies should be so lucky! Cheers!
HorusCok (author)  mdeloor7 months ago
Thanks for the kind words!
The small red barn is the old chicken coop, roughly 3' x 4'. That's obviously too small for the growing flock.

I forgot to mention Emma the rooster. He was named by a neighbor kid when a fledgling . Emma's one nasty little rooster, highly territorial and aggressive.

I may just publish the plans if there's enough interest to make it worthwhile to redraw the hem. I'm not sure how to go about charging for them or what the time and cost is to get that set up. I'd likely need to set up some way to pay taxes and such, that itself might be more hassle than it's worth.
mdeloor HorusCok7 months ago
I hadn't really thought about the tax bit :( I was just so excited as to what a neat build it was!
Our former neighbors (we moved) had chickens and 1 rooster that we nick-named Cletus. I'm not sure how many others people had chickens, but Cletus sure seemed to get around!! You could hear him all throughout different areas of our neighbourhood. The owners got a kick out of it that we had named him. Seemed to make his crowing at dawn more of a friendly wake-up call for us than a nuisance noise ; )
We did the same thing with a very loud dog in our new neighbourhood. We nick-named him "Baskerville" as in the Hound of The Baskervilles. Actually missed him when he and his owners moved away.
The former coop looks like it would be a great size for a dog house depending on the interior layout. maybe for your sisters very own Baskerville hound : )
dr_aplet7 months ago
This looks like a great coop. I like having the nesting boxes outside so they cant roost above them and do their business in them. also there are numerous designs of automatic doors. i have built mine around using a irrigation timer to control linear actuators to open and close the door to make a critter proof door that will automatically close alleviating the need to always check on them at dark. One thing I saw is that the roosting poles were outside. Do they roost outside?
HorusCok (author)  dr_aplet7 months ago
Thanks for the feedback.
The the entire pen area is covered to keep the pen from becoming a chicken mud wrestling pit when it rains. The chickens do roost outside when it's warm. There are also plenty of roosts inside.
Automation of doors and egg collection systems were outside the scope of the project.
Kink Jarfold7 months ago
I think you did a great job on this. --Kink--
seamster7 months ago
Well done on the coop! This is a great instructable too. Very nice work, all around! : )