A Small Scale Suburban Gardening & Livestock Blog

August 09, 2018

Making a Small Chicken Coop

Watching the following video will give you an overview of its features and the build in process. Lower down on the page I will start adding more video, still images, and more of the details about those features. The plans are downloadable from ana-white.com at Ana-White.com


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First off, the cost

I don't think that I spent more than $30 for lumber because I had some of it already in the shop, the plywood I got for free, and the rest was 70% off from the Home Depot cull bin. And I spent nothing on paint because I had it already. Luckily I had red and white but had I not had those colors I would have used something else, and this project would have looked very different I guess.

What I did buy was screws, chicken wire, hinges, latches, wheels and associated hardware, roofing and screws (I already had the tar paper), a bucket and lid for water and a bit of plumbing pipe and ummm... I think that's about it.

Which all came to about $250. Had I not put wheels on I could have knocked about another $50 or so off.

Water bucket & feeder

The red "chicken nipples" (Google or Amazon it) are a common way to water chickens or other small live stock. They are threaded and are 3/8 fine (3/8 - 24) and although I've heard that they can be used without threading the pipe, I wasn't able to make it happen but luckily had a 3/8 - 24 tap on hand. I sanded the cap flat so that the gasket on the chicken nipple would seat properly.

The white pipe is standard 1/2 in. PVC fittings. Coming out of the bucket is a threaded "bulk head" and the gray pipe is a threaded riser that I had on hand for my irrigation sprinklers. The riser in the image turned out to be a little long but luckily I had a short one and was able to swap it out.

The feeder was cobbled together out of bits and pieces of drain pipe I had on hand. Because it was going to be dropped into a hole in the deck I could not just use a standard cap. Instead I had to cement in a ring, a round cut piece of plastic (cut from a cap) and then another ring to hold the plastic in place. A 5/8 in. hole was drilled in the middle of the plastic and a 3/8 x 6 in. eye bolt dropped into the hole.

This creates a pendulum. The white piece of plastic at the end of the "pendulum" is just some scrap that I had laying around. Most anything will work - even a short scrap of 2x2 lumber with a hole drilled through it. The chickens didn't immediately understand what was going on, even when we tapped the pendulum for them. They were quite focused on the food that was dropping, just not on the pendulum itself. Finally we tied a piece of grass on to it, which they went for right away and we were off to the races.

I like this feeder because it only drops what the chickens will eat, leaving very little left over for the vermin. I did not however think of it on my own. While YouTubing one night I happened on to this slick invention here:



More info/pics about this project coming soon ...

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