Building Projects · Hens

Red, white, and blue coop

a frame coop coop and home-01

Maybe it’s that the fourth of July is right around the corner, or maybe it’s because we’ve now formed a bit of a tradition with barn red and white, but, either way, our new coop is definitely patriotic. We built an A-frame coop, and so far, we are loving it. The underneath of it forms a large run for the hens (8’x6′), and there’s enough room for four hens in the loft. We modified some plans from (you can find them here). Her plans are really nice, and fairly budget friendly, though we spent a little extra using hardware cloth instead of chicken wire and some slightly thicker plywood than her plans plus the paint on the outside of the coop.

We modified the coop by adding the front door and putting siding the front of the coop using 1″x4″s (mainly because we didn’t want to bother with cutting the hardware cloth which is a bit of a pain). It had the added benefit of turning out very rustic and sturdy. We also only have two doors on the top instead of four, as her plans have. We used untreated cedar fence boards as the loft floor as these are cheap and hold up well. We also capped the 2″x4″ trusses with 2″x2″ boards, so that the hardware cloth was sandwiched between the 2″x4″s and 2″x2″s – just a little extra security.

Here are some of the modifications we made:

Screen shot 2013-06-29 at 3.56.51 PM
coop modifications

We painted the outside of the whole coop and the little ramp that leads up to their loft to help protect the wood against the elements. We didn’t use any paint on the inside because GH&E always had a tendency to peck at paint that was peeling or a little chipped, and we don’t want the chemicals making their way onto our table. Eventually, we need to add a roof cap because, as it is, the roof will leak at the peak when it rains.

I found this little lamp at Ikea for $6 and couldn't resist.
I found this little lamp at Ikea for $6 and couldn’t resist.
Red, white, and blue coop
Red, white, and blue coop

Check out Ana’s plans. They are free and so easy to modify based on your climate or needs! More pics below!




inside of coop with open doors
ramp and hen loft


21 thoughts on “Red, white, and blue coop

    1. About $250, using all new material. If you have scraps laying around from old projects (we didn’t), using those is a good way to decrease the cost. We also used hardware cloth instead of chicken wire. It’s more expensive, but worth the added cost since it’s much more effective for protecting your chickens. (Coons have been known stick their arms and hands through the holes in chicken wire.)

    2. We spent about $250 for this coop (maybe $300 with the paint and accessories). I think the biggest single expense is the hardware cloth (we spent ~$80-$100 on this). It’s expensive, and a PAIN to work with, but it will keep your hens safe from predators, unlike chicken wire, which is a little less dependable, and which has gaps that ‘coon paws can reach through. We also used new wood because we wanted to make 100% sure it had not been treated and because we had no scraps lying around, but you could easily cut down on your costs if you had untreated wood scraps to use. Hope this helps!

    1. Sorry, I just noticed this comment! A little late, but… We actually never got around to building a nest box for these, but the hens don’t seem to mind. They lay their eggs in the “loft.” There’s a little room at the top (where the red ladder leads up to), padded with pine shavings, where the hens lay their eggs.

  1. We are in the middle of building this coop now, love your door! What paint did you use? Im a bit concerned about using the wrong paint and poisoning my chickens, when i get them. Also how do your hens cope with the ladder? I noticed on Ana’s site her’s struggled with it.

    1. Jemma, sorry to be so late in responding to your comment. I hope you’ve had luck with your coop! To answer your questions, I think I used Valspar outdoor paint. In general, I’ve had pretty good experiences with Valspar. I was also really worried about using toxic paint. Here’s what I’ve found. My first coop I built, I did not paint anything on the inside. I did line the floor with cheap linoleum tiles to make it more durable and easier to clean, but I didn’t want to risk the chickens trying to eat the paint. I found they did not try to eat the paint at all. So the next coop (the A-frame), I did use paint on the ladder, though there wasn’t much more paint on the inside. But I’ve still found that the chickens don’t try to eat the paint. So I’m less concerned than I originally was, though still don’t use much paint on the inside of the coop.
      As for the ladder… this is the second coop I’ve built. Both times, I’ve found the ladder to be a lot more trouble than it’s worth. The chickens use it until they are big enough to hop up and down into the “loft,” and then it is largely forgotten. It also ends up being very messy, pretty gross, and difficult to clean. How has your ladder worked (or not worked) for you? How are your chickens?

    1. Hi Samantha! Thanks for stopping by! It took the better part of a weekend, so it wasn’t too bad. It did turn out to be quite heavy, so I wish we would have built it roughly in place instead of having to move it. If I remember correctly, materials cost roughly $300.

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