Years ago, the idea of urban residents keeping chickens may have seemed like nothing more than a pipe dream, or some kind of idealistic homestead fantasy. However, in recent times, keeping backyard chickens has become more common, even among residents in very urban areas. Many municipal governments are even amending certain rules and bylaws to make it easier for its residents to enjoy farm fresh eggs in the comfort of their own home.
If you have always dreamed of owning chickens — or if you just dream about having an unlimited supply of organic, farm fresh eggs at your disposal, no judgement here— you’ve probably wondered how you would manage to keep chickens in your backyard. In this article, we will show how easy it is to build your own chicken coop by going over 15 smart DIY ideas.
1. Recycled Children’s Playhouse
If the idea of starting a chicken coop completely from scratch is daunting to you, it might be helpful to get some help from a structure that is already in your possession. It will be even more helpful if this structure already happens to be house-shaped. While this may seem like an oddly specific thing to be in possession of, if you have children that are now grown, you might already possess the perfect thing.
Of course, we are talking about a plastic playhouse that was just about ubiquitous in every suburban backyard of the 90s and 2000s. If you children have outgrown its intended use, instead of dooming the playhouse to an eternity in a landfill, why not convert it to a chicken coop?
If you are concerned more about function than form, you could complete the transformation of a children’s playhouse in as few steps as simply adding wire to the existing windows and doors. If you would like it to camouflage more within your backyard, you can cover the playhouse with painted wood. This helpful thread outlines some ideas.
2. Chic Minimalist Chicken Coop
Here is a DIY chicken coop design that will appeal to those who are drawn to a more minimalist design (though, we have to say, if you are a minimalist and still find space for a DIY chicken coop, we commend you!)
This small chick coop design from The Inspired Workshop is small, which makes it ideal for small yard areas that may otherwise feel restricted by their space. However, despite its size, it is still completely functional. The best part? It can be made from minimal materials, such as small sheets of paneling and pieces of fence.
3. Water Tack Chicken Coop
Okay, so chances are that you don’t have an unused water tank simply sitting around, but depending on your community, you may be able to procure one from a local environmental agency that is looking for a way for the tank to be repurposed. If you can get your hands on a water tank, they make for a wonderful chicken coop frame. See the tutorial from Recyclart.
4. DIY Farmhouse Chicken Coop
If your chicken coop is part of your overall farmhouse chic aesthetic, then you will want a chicken coop that fits to your vibes. Many DIY chicken coop projects focus more on the project’s usability than design. Of course, this is fine, as we want our chicken coop to function well. But it’s okay to care about the look of your chicken coop.
If you follow this plan from Woodshop Mike, you will not only end up with a fully functionable chicken coop, but you will also end up with an incredibly attractive tiny structure on your property.
5. Spacious Trendy DIY Chicken Coop
We said it before in this article, and we will say it again. The chicken coop has become a trendy commodity. While there may be some chicken keepers out there that disagree with the transformation of urban farming into an Instagram-friendly activity, there is no denying that chicken coop plans have become more and more stylish.
Take this example from Twelve on Main. This chicken coop is so gorgeous that it’s hard to imagine that it’s homemade. However, it’s relatively easy to make if you follow the simple steps that are laid out.
6. Log Cabin Chicken Coop
If your backyard environs are more “Rocky Mountain Chic” than anything, you may find that the aesthetics of the projects on this list don’t quite fit with your property’s overall vibe. However, do we ever have the chicken coop option for you — introducing the “Rusty Log Cabin Chicken Coop”!
Although it is possible to buy the logs required for this project, if you can scrounge the required logs from around your property, that’s even better for your bottom line. Plus, rustic is what this particular model is all about! Check it out at BackYardChickens.com.
7. The Cheap-but-Functional Chicken Coop
Not everyone who sets out to keep chickens has a lot of money to spend. In fact, many aspiring chicken keepers may be setting out to keep chickens as a way to spend money on groceries!
Thankfully, Live Simply has truly delivered an economic solution for chicken keepers everywhere thanks to their “$50 Chicken Coop”. And, upon perusal of the materials and tools needed, we can confirm that this price estimate does indeed seem accurate. The best part? Your chickens will still have plenty of room to roam around and live their best chicken lives.
8. Predator Proof Chicken Coop
If you live in an area with a large amount of natural predators, you may have to take extra care to ensure the protection of your beloved chickens. And we’re not just talking about large predators like bears — we’re talking about animals that are even found in suburban areas from time to time, like raccoons, possums, or even coyotes.
This chicken coop idea from New Life on a Homestead takes the well-being of your chickens into consideration by offering them plenty of protection from potential predators. As an added bonus, this coop plan is spacious and cheap, as it mostly consists of chicken wire.
9. The Armoire Turned Chicken Coop
Similar to the repurposed children’s playhouse that we featured at the beginning of this article, this particular chicken coop is also made out of another old piece of household furniture — the armoire.
If you have an old armoire, it can easily be converted into a chicken coop by removing the shelves and adding chicken wire. Then, you will also benefit from a built-in drawer that can be used for food storage. This Pinterest post shows an example of how it can work. Even if you don’t have an old armoire hanging around, it might be worth it to seek one out at a thrift store or an estate sale, just to make this super cool project.
10. Entertainment Center Turned Chicken Coop
It turns out the armoire is not the only old piece of furniture that can be repurposed for the sake of your chickens! Thanks to this creative tutorial from Rooted Revival, we can see how it is also possible to turn an old and outdated entertainment center to a fully functional chick brooder.
When you think about it, an entertainment center is the perfect candidate for a transformative project like this. Often, entertainment centers were designed to fit bulky old TVs that are pretty much obsolete today. It can be hard to find a new use for them!
11. Fantasy Chicken Coop
Your homemade chicken coop can look like something straight out of a fairytale thanks to the whimsical colors and haphazard tiles of this example from Goods Home Design. Although this project may seem like a lot of work for a beginner, we love the way that this particular coop outline leaves space to add an adjoining door and additional room for your chickens.
12. Chicken Coop With Shingles
If humans rely on shingles to keep us warm and dry overhead, who is to say that chickens shouldn’t benefit from the same kind of luxury? We appreciate the way that this tutorial from
Outnumbered 3 to 4 places an emphasis on the chicken coop’s roof. It’s not the easiest entry on this list, but it’s one that is bound to last a long time.
13. Pallet Chicken Coop
You may have seen DIY furniture made of pallets pop up over the years, but it seems like the uses for these pallets are pretty much endless! Wood pallets are often used by businesses for the safe and effective transportation of materials between locations. However, oftentimes, once the material has been transported, the businesses will discard the pallets as they no longer have a use for them.
The good news for you is that this often means that you can get such pallets for free, either by asking or by rescuing them from the dumpster. The other great news? With a little bit of creativity, pallets can be transformed into a spacious coop for your chickens. Here is a great tutorial from EcoSnippets.
14. The Chicken Coop “House”
Although you could buy a chicken coop that looks identical to this gorgeous creation from Lady Goats, it is sure to set you back a pretty penny. Fortunately for all of us, Lady Goat has shared the method behind her adorable chicken coop that is sure to fit in even the smallest of backyard areas.
15. The Shed Turned Chicken Coop
Ok, so maybe this one is a bit of a cop out (or “coop out”, if you will), but we think it’s worth ending this list off by mentioning that it’s entirely possible for you to convert your existing shed into a chicken coop. Although it wouldn’t technically count as “making” a chicken coop, there is still a DIY element to this project. Ana White shows you how.