Construction Materials for Building
Your Own Coop 

Lumber & Fasteners, just some of the materials for the job.

You'll Need the Right Construction Materials to Build a Chicken Coop for Your Flock.

There are some basic supplies and materials that you'll probably be using to build your chicken coop. They range from fasteners and hardware to the actual materials you'll be cutting and assembling during the process. Once you have your plans drawn up or purchased, you'll know exactly what you need. Here is a general idea of some of the materials you may use.

Nails/Screws: You will need both nails and screws for various steps when assembling your chicken coop. Choose the right fasteners to suit your building application and your coop’s weather conditions.

All nails, screws, fittings and hardware should be galvanized or plated to keep them from rusting, otherwise they turn black and leave ugly stains. 

Wire Mesh: Most chicken coops have runs that are enclosed with wire mesh. It can also be used to cover openings like vents, windows or any other gaps in the chicken coop to keep predators out. We like the mesh with the ½ inch squares much more than chicken wire. It's a lot stronger and the smaller openings offer better protection. If you can lock up your hens in the coop at night then chicken wire is fine for the run although we still recommend the smaller mesh for the coop itself.

Roofing Material: You can protect your chicken coop by using roofing shingles, just like the asphalt ones used on a house. If you're using shingles for your roofing, you'll want to use roofing nails or a construction grade adhesive. Other options that can  be used are corrugated fiberglass or metal roof panels.

Framing Lumber: The frame of the coop is most often made up of construction grade 2x4's although you can use 2x3's or even 2x2's for smaller coops.

Hen houses and other large walk-in coop designs will require upgraded materials just as a standard house would for things like rafters and joists. These are normally 2x6's or 2x8's.

Use solid wood flooring in the construction of your coop to prevent rats, snakes, and other predators from getting in.

You want a safe and sturdy coop. Using construction materials that are too thin can mean a weakly built coop. If you are not careful that can lead to problems, especially if you have a predator determined to get at your flock, as well as causing the boards to warp sooner and pull apart. 

Wood shrinks and expands with the seasons and therefore provides a healthy environment for your flock with the correct ventilation. It will not get too damp from condensation every time the temperature changes and will not suffocate them in summer or freeze them in winter.

Build your coop with a wire mesh floor elevated up off the ground if possible. This will allow the chicken manure to fall through to the ground keeping the coop cleaner. If this isn't convenient or you don't want the droppings falling on the ground you can build a solid bottom and just have a removable tray for the droppings.

Plywood: For building your floors and sheathing the roof, CD grade plywood is commonly used on hen houses and smaller chicken coops.

Depending on your application and environment, good alternate choices for the exterior, exposed surfaces include T1-11 (used interchangeably with T111) siding (more expensive, but looks nicer), regular plywood (less expensive, but still looks ok. You'll want to use a minimum CD grading with the C side out, not CDX grade), or oriented strand board (OSB). these will all work and give you years of use as long as they are prepped correctly, painted and maintained.  

Other Related Items You Might Use: Wood Sealer, Wood Glue, Wooden Pallets, Windows, Gates, Siding, Doors, Door Trim, and Sheet Plastic.

Of course you can also repurpose an existing structure into a coop which will save you a bunch of time and money for materials. Usually this just means making sure it is predator proof, has somewhere for your flock to roost and adding a nesting box or two.

And Remember...

Always, always use common sense, pay attention and use appropriate safety gear and precautions whenever using tools, especially power tools!

Well there you have it, a solid list of some of the possible construction materials you can use in building your own chicken coop.

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