How to Build an Easy, Inexpensive Chicken Coop

Backyard chickens are becoming increasingly popular, both as pets and as egg producers. However, buying a chicken coop can be expensive and finding the perfect one to meet your needs can be difficult. Building your own chicken coop using PVC pipe is fairly easy and allows you to set up your chickens’ new home without much expense.

Chicken
Chickens without a coop are at risk of predators, including neighborhood cats and dogs.
credit: tarmofoto/iStock/Getty Images

Body Frame

Measure three PVC pipes into four 3-foot sections. Cut these pipes using the PVC pipe cutter or hack saw.

Measure and cut five 17-inch lengths of pipe.

Select one three-way corner connector. Insert a 3-foot length of pipe into one of the openings. Insert a second 3-foot length of pipe in a second opening, at a 90-degree angle to the first pipe. Insert the free end of each pipe into an end opening of a T-connector.

Insert a 3-foot length of pipe in the opening of either T-connector that is a 90-degree angle from the first pipe. Connect a four-way cross connector to the end of the pipe. Complete the square with a fourth length of pipe.

Insert a 17-inch length of pipe into each connector, in the opening opposite the longer pipe. Attach a four-way cross connector and a T-connector to the lengths of pipe, opposite the connectors of the same type. Complete the rectangle with a 3-foot length of pipe.

Insert a 3-foot length of pipe into each connector, in the opening opposite the previous pipe. Attach the center opening of a T-connector to the pipe in the same row as the previous T-connector. Attach a three-way corner connector to the second pipe. Complete the rectangle with a 3-foot length of pipe.

Make a second side panel, using steps 1 through 6.

Attach the two side panels using a 3-foot length of pipe in the free openings of the three-way corner connectors.

Roof Frame

Measure and cut eight 1-inch lengths of PVC pipe. Insert one piece into the free opening of each connector. Attach one elbow connector to the free end of each 1-inch pipe. Turn each elbow to face what will be the center of the coop.

Measure and cut 10 34-inch lengths of pipe. Insert a 34-inch length of pipe into each of the elbows at the corner of the coop.

Connect the pipes at the corners using three-way corner connectors. The free opening of the connectors should face the center of the coop.

Insert a 34-inch length of PVC pipe into the free opening of each elbow connector in the center of the coop. Connect the pipes at the center of the coop using two four-way corner connectors. The free openings of each connector should face the ends of the coop.

Complete the roof frame by attaching the connector at the outside of the frame to the nearest connector at the center of the coop, using a 34-inch pipe. Connect the two center connectors using the last 17-inch length of PVC pipe.

Wire Covering

Place the wire at the top of the coop, so that the outside edge overlaps the PVC pipe slightly. Allow the wire to fall freely to the ground, along the outside of the frame. Use the cable ties to attach the wire along the top of the coop, connecting them at approximately 6-inch intervals.

Pull the wire taut, reducing the amount of sagging as best as possible. Connect the wire to the top of the body frame using the cable ties at approximately 6-inch intervals. Connect the wire to the outside edge of the frame in the same manner. Cut the wire at the bottom of the frame, leaving enough to overlap the pipe slightly. Wrap the wire around the bottom pipe and connect it using cable ties, as above.

Cover the remaining ends of the coop, on both sides, repeating steps 1 and 2.

Center the narrow edge of the wire at the top of the coop, overlapping the wire at each end. Attach the wire to the top of the coop and to the existing wire covering using cable ties at approximately 6-inch intervals. Cut the wire at the bottom of the frame, leaving enough to overlap the pipe slightly. Wrap the wire around the bottom pipe and connect it using cable ties, as above. Repeat on the opposite side of the coop.

Measure and cut a piece of wire to fit each end of the coop. Attach using cable ties at approximately 6-inch intervals.

Finishing

Measure and mark a rectangle 17 inches wide by 23 inches tall at one end of the coop. Cut the opening into the wire.

Measure and cut a rectangle of wire 19 inches wide by 25 inches tall. Center the piece of wire over the opening. Attach it to the coop using evenly spaced cable ties along one side. Complete the door with two spring hooks or other closures.

Cover one end of the coop with the tarp to provide shade for your chickens. Connect to the wire frame using cable ties. Cut the tarp and punch holes along its edges as needed to fit it.