Grit Blogs > The Daily Commute

Build A Chicken House Part 2

By Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief

Tags: chicken house, do it yourself, recycling, farms, buildings,

Lingering scent of skunk not withstanding, I was up bright and early last Sunday to see how far I could get with the chicken-house-built-from-scraps project I started Saturday.

Chicken House Raising

The house’s base was constructed with 2X6 dimensional lumber and ¾-inch plywood. It was an entrance ramp in its former life, after all. We made the nest boxes with some ½-inch plywood (painted green on one side), some once-lovely spruce molding, and slats that once decked a pallet. I used exterior-grade “drywall” screws and roofing nails to do the nest-box fastening.

Careful Measuring

The first step on Sunday was to attach the nesting box structure to the floor with a couple of 2x4 cleats screwed to both the floor and the nest box. Next, I attached a 4x8 sheet of ¾-inch plywood (green paint side out) to the back of the house. I screwed it to the edge of the platform and the nest box, and I built a non-conventional 2x6 frame for the back wall and attached it to the floor and the back wall. You might be wondering why I am using 2x6 lumber for the framing … it is simply that we have about a ton of lovely used 2x6s, 2x8s and 2x12s stacked in the barn … and not a single full-length 2x4 in sight.

A Little Help From Clover

I found two matching storm windows stashed in the corner of the barn’s loft and framed them fairly conventionally into the front wall before screwing the works to the platform. With top plates and rafters in place, I installed more of the green-painted plywood on the end wall where the nest boxes are located. By the time evening set in, I had the front wall sided with green plywood, too.

View From The Open End

All that’s left now is to side the end opposite the nest boxes, frame the human door and install it, install perches, build the chicken door and ramp, and roof it. With any luck I will accomplish that next weekend … and hopefully it will be warm enough to do a little painting, too.

Just Before Siding The Front

Part 3 of this adventure will hopefully appear early next week.

Photos are once again courtesy of my sweet bride Kate Will.

Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on .

hank will_2
11/20/2008 8:04:29 AM

It was really lucky, Robyn. I was contemplating making windows with some large glass panes I found in a corner ... but cutting glass isn't my thing and I would have had to figure out some other ventilation mechanism. The windows were behind a pile of scrap 1X4s ... I discovered them while rooting around for some 2X4s.

robyn dolan
11/20/2008 7:33:30 AM

How lucky is that?! Two matching storm windows stashed with the scrap. Cool.