Here's the story of how I built my little backyard chicken coop. I decided to use found materials as much as possible, which was probably a mistake in hindsight, as it ended up taking more time and not saving me all that much money. The frame was built with pallets salvaged from my office alleyway.

I sort of got the walls squared up and put some supports underneath. Just getting to this stage took much longer than it should have. I was figuring out a lot of things about the design as I went along and kept revising my plans. My inspiration came from online photos and the basic guidelines in my chicken book.

There was a bunch of lumber in our barn and I found these cool old tongue-and-groove floorboards for the coop floor. They fit together pretty nicely. Too bad you'll never see them because the floor is always covered in several inches of wood shavings and chicken droppings!

When I had the coop finished to this point, Jenna helped me carry it out of our garage and up the hill to its final resting place, beside the ramshackle deck. It was unbelievably heavy. The tiny legs I had used snapped right off so I put on more substantial treated 4x4s.

And here's the finished product, covered with the cheapest siding I could buy at Home Depot. I've been doing some tweaks ever since the hens moved in, but the basic shape is as complete as it ever will be. We cleared out most of the rotted wood planks and turned the old deck area into our new enclosed chicken run. It's not perfect but it was a fun project, and it works!

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