Four Flags Farm DIY Chicken Tractor Plan
Build Your Own Portable Chicken Housing
Reading Time: 12 minutes
Armonda & Ben Riggs, Four Flags Farm L.C.C. – Our biggest goal for the year was to welcome chickens onto our farm. We are avid DIYers, and we wanted a chicken coop that would fit well with our and our hens’ needs. In turn, we determined that we had to build our own coop. After mulling over many design options we chose to emulate this DIY chicken tractor plan.
There are a couple of reasons why we chose this chicken tractor plan in particular. First of all, we like that this coop is on wheels so we can easily move it, allowing for free-range chickens on our farm.
Secondly, the chicken wire floor of this design allows the chicken droppings to fall to the ground so we can use the chicken manure as fertilizer and thus helping to maintain a cleaner coop in the warmer months, as well as assisting in keeping the hens healthy.
Lastly, this coop is the perfect size for the number of hens we anticipated and now have! If you want to build your own chicken tractor coop, please consider following the chicken coop plans that we based our coop on, or you could follow our chicken tractor plan!
This project took us roughly 22 hours to complete and was entirely worth the money, time, and effort it took to build this coop.
Thank you for the inspiration!
Here are the supplies that we used in this chicken tractor plan:
Tools Used (No Expense for These Supplies as We Already Own Them)
- Chop saw
- Table saw
- Cordless drill & bits
- Staple gun
- Ratcheting socket wrench and 3/8 inch socket
- Wire cutters
Wood Supplies (Expense for These Supplies Was: $124)
- One 4 in. x 4 in. x 6 ft. piece of lumber
- 2 in. x 4 in. x 8 ft. – 16 total
- 1 in. x 8 in. x 10 ft. whitewood boards/pine boards – 9 total
Hardware (Expense for These Supplies: $108)
- Steel roof panel 14 ft. x 8 ft.
- Poultry Netting 3 ft. width
- Deck screws – 2 1/2 in. length
- 3/8 in. long Staples
- Sheet Metal Screws 1 1/2 in.
- Flat Washer 1 in. – 16 total
- Lag Bolts 3/8 in. x 3 in. – 16 total
- Lag Bolts 3/8 in. x 4 in. – 8 total
- Door Handle
- Rigid 10 in. diameter pneumatic caster wheels – 2 total
- Swivel 10 in. diameter pneumatic caster wheels – 2 total
- 3 1/2 in. square hinges for main door – 2 total
- 3 in. square hinges for drop-down door ramp – 2 total
- 4 in. gate hinges for nesting boxes – 4 total
*Disclaimer: All of the photos with the tape measure in them were taken a month after the coop had been out in the elements. In turn, some expansion and contraction of the wood had occurred in these photos so the measurements shown are not precisely what we cut when we assembled the coop.
Please measure all of your openings prior to cutting your boards to ensure that your coop is constructed without defects. Also, pilot holes should be drilled prior to any deck screws or bolts being fastened in place.
Lastly, we’re not perfect and might have listed incorrectly or left something out in the instructions below. Please forgive us and send us feedback so we can make corrections to our chicken tractor plan! Thanks!
Step 1 – Building Bottom Frame of the Chicken Coop
Cut 2 x 4s to build the frame of the coop that measures 3 ft. x 7 ft. You’ll need two pieces measuring 36 in., 3 ft., and two pieces measuring 84 in., 7 ft.
Assemble the bottom four 2 x 4s using two of the 2 1/2 in. long deck screws at each corner. Additionally, you’ll need to measure the width between the two 84 in. long boards once the four frame boards are screwed in place to determine the length of the middle support board. This length should be between 33 to 33.5 in. Once you’ve cut the board to length, screw it between the two 84 in long boards in the middle of the frame using two of the deck screws at each end.
Step 2 – Measure, Cut, and Add the Four Corner Supports
Since this coop has a sloped roof you’ll need two longer pieces measuring 36 in., 3 ft., and angling down to 35.5 in. and two shorter pieces measuring 29.5 in., then angling down to 29 in. Secure these four corner post to the inside of the bottom frame 2 x 4’s using the deck screws.
The following photo outlines the boards listed in steps 1 and 2.
Cut two 2 x 4 boards that are 84 in. in length and two that are 37 in. long. These are the top outside frame boards.
Screw these boards to the top of the corner frame boards using two deck screws at each corner.
Measure the width between the top two 81 in. long boards. It will measure between 34 to 34.5 in.
Cut two 2 x 4 board pieces to this length. Attach them 1/3 and 2/3rds lengthwise down the 81 in. boards on the top frame.
The following photo outlines the boards listed in steps 3 and 4.
Step 5 – Start Building Nesting Boxes
Measure the length from one corner frame post to the end of the other corner frame post at the end of the coop and repeat making this measurement for the other end of the chicken coop.
Your measurement should be between 33 to 33.25 in. long.
Cut two 2 x 4 pieces to your measured lengths for each end of the coop. Secure these two pieces to the inside of the end corner posts so that the top of the 33 to 33.25 in. long boards are 12 in. from the tops of the bottom frame boards.
Additionally, cut four 2 x 4 board pieces measuring 17.5 in. long. Secure these two pieces to the boards you just screwed down to the corner posts.
Lastly, for this step, you need to measure the length horizontally between the two 17.5 in. boards you just attached. This length should be between 26.25 to 26.5 in.
You’ll need to cut two more 2 x 4s to this length. Once you attach those two boards, one to each end of each chicken nesting box, with the deck screws, you’re finished with this step!
Step 6 – Adding Poultry Netting (A.K.A. Chicken Fences or Chicken Wire)
We stretched the chicken fence or chicken wire out on top of the 2 x 4s making up the bottom of the chicken coop frame. Thankfully the chicken wire was already 3 ft. wide so we didn’t have to cut two of the four sides on the floor of the coop. We cut the chicken wire to length using the wire cutter we have.
We stapled the wire in place, stapling every 2-3 in., using the 3/8 in. long staples. Additionally, we cut and stapled the chicken wire to the tops of the bottom frames for the nesting boxes.
The following photo outlines the boards and chicken wire stapling listed in steps 5 and 6.
Step 7 – Adding the Side Supports to the Nesting Boxes
Cut four 2 x 4 board pieces 14 in. long. Using two screws per 14 in. piece secure these support posts to the outside sides of the nesting boxes.
Step 8 – Adding Chicken Roosting Bars
Measure the length from the inside of the bottom frames on the nest boxes. This length should be between 78.25 to 78.5 in. Cut two 2 x 4 board pieces to the measured length. Secure these chicken roosting bar pieces to the tops of the bottom boards of the nesting boxes using two screws per piece per end.
The following photo outlines the boards attached in steps 7 and 8.
Congratulations, you’ve finished the chicken coop frame! Now time to add the siding.
Measure the length from one of the long vertical corner posts to the other. This measurement should be 84 in. You’ll need to cut four 1 x 6 boards 84 in. long. These four boards will be attached on the back, the side with the long vertical posts, to the corner frame posts using two deck screws for each end of the boards.
Step 10 – Siding the Front of the Coop
Since this is the side with the door on it, you only have to put siding on the area where the door doesn’t cover. You’ll need to measure the vertical length between the top and bottom of the front 2 x 4 frame. This length should be roughly 29 in. Cut out one 2 x 4 board to this length.
This vertical door opening board goes flush against the middle framing board on the bottom of the coop. You will need to trim a bit of chicken wire with the wire cutters on the bottom to attach this board to the bottom frame board.
Secure this board vertically between the top and bottom front 2 x 4 frame on the back of those boards with deck screws. This is where the pictures really come in handy to clear up what needs to happen.
Now you’ll need to measure the longest length between the vertical board you just installed and the vertical framing boards. This length should be close to 45.5 in. You’ll need to cut three of the 1 x 8 boards to this length.
Secure these three boards horizontally with deck screws to the vertical end frame board and the vertical door opening board.
The following photos outline the boards & chicken wire stapling listed in steps 9 and 10.
Step 11 – Siding the Ends of the Chicken Coop and Nesting Boxes
Again, the pictures are going to be extremely useful in determining how these steps are constructed. Additionally, please be sure to measure all of the openings on your coop prior to marking and cutting your boards to ensure your boards are cut to fit your coop.
You’ll need eight total of the 1 x 8 boards, four for each nesting box, cut to a length of 17.5 in. for the sides of the nesting boxes. These boards are secured to the nesting box frame from the inside of the boxes using the deck screws.
You’ll need four of the 1 x 8 boards, two for each nesting box, cut to a length of 29 in. for the end pieces on the nesting boxes. These boards are secured to the nesting box frame from the outside of the boxes using the deck screws.
Now for siding the ends of the chicken coop, you’ll need for under the nesting boxes, two pieces of 1 x 8 cut to a length of 33 to 33.5 in. You will also need two pieces of 1 x 8 that are 33 to 33.5 in. long but trimmed down to a width of 1.25 to 1.5 in.
The last pieces to cut and attach are the 26.25 to 26.5 in. long top siding board pieces. It’s best to cut this 1 x 8 board to length & then dry-fit the board in place which then allows you to mark the angle to be cut. Once you cut the angle on this piece, the board is ready to be screwed in place using the deck screws from the inside of the chicken coop.
Step 12 – Building and Attaching the Nesting Box Lids
Cut a 1 x 8 board to 26.25 to 26.5 in., be sure to measure your opening to get a precise fit. You’ll then cut this board in half.
You’ll attach one of the 3.25 in. pieces to each of the nesting boxes where the boxes meet the siding. You’ll then need to build and attach the lids of the nesting boxes. The lids to the nesting boxes are comprised of two 1 x 8 boards cut to the 26.25 to 26.5 in. length.
These boards are fastened together with a cross piece of 1 x 8 that has been cut to 1.5 in. wide & 12.5 in. long and three deck screws. Using the gate hinges, attach the two doors that you’ve built to the nesting boxes as shown in the photos below.
The following photos show what was completed in steps 11 and 12.
Step 13 – Onward and Upward to Building the Coop Doors!
For the door frame, you’ll need to cut two pieces that are 1.5 in. wide, 2 in. high, and 38.5 in. long and two pieces that are 1.5 in. wide, 2 in. high, and 18.5 in. long.
Secure together these four frame pieces using deck screws. You’ll then work on assembling the door from the right to the left.
The first board to attach to the door is a 1 x 8 board that has been cut to a length of 22 to 22.25 in., measure to get your exact board length prior to cutting. Attach this board to the far right of the door frame so that it is flush with the door frame using deck screws at the top and bottom of the board.
Add the door handle to this piece of board. Additionally, you’ll then need to cut five more 1 x 8 pieces to the same length as the first piece you just cut.
Next, we’re going to build the drop-down door ramp for the chickens to easily enter and exit the coop without the big coop door being open.
You’ll be using 2 of the 1 x 8 pieces you just cut to length and you’ll need to cut 3 step pieces that are 1 in. high, 1.5 in. wide, & 14.5 in. long. Attach the 3 step pieces to the two 1 x 8 board pieces using the deck screws as shown in the photos below.
Now you can attach the drop-down door ramp to the coop door frame. You’ll need to use the two 3 in. square hinges and deck screws to attach the drop-down door ramp to the coop at the bottom of the door frame. Taking two of the remaining three 1 x 8 pieces that you cut to the length of 22 to 22.5 in., attach them next to the drop-down door ramp on the coop door frame using deck screws.
Lastly, you’ll need to measure the space left from the door frame to the last 1 x 8 piece you attached to the coop door frame. This space should be between 2.25 to 2.75 in. You’ll need to cut your last a 1 x 8 board that was cut to length and cut it to match your measured width. Attach this last board to the coop door using deck screws.
Step 14 – Attaching the Coop Door and Adding the Lock
Using the 3 1/2 in. square hinges and deck screws to attach the coop door to the coop on the left side of the door frame. It’s easiest to do this with two people and with the coop laying with its back on the ground.
Additionally, make sure the door is level when attaching it or you’ll have problems opening and closing it. We used two pieces of wood to fashion a lock for the coop door. You could choose to use a hasp and padlock, bolt lock, or whatever suits your fancy and we did discuss these as options.
However, we decided to use wood since we had plenty on hand and this lock is plenty easy to construct! You’ll need to cut two pieces of the leftover 1 x 8 boards to measure a length of 5 in. and a width of 2.5 in. Using two deck screws attach the pieces to the frame of the chicken coop so that it is centered between the first and second boards on the door to the coop.
You’ll then use one deck screw to attach the second piece to the middle of the first lock piece that you just attached to the coop. Only attaching it with one screw will allow it to turn and thus become the lock for the coop door!
The following photos show what was completed in steps 13 and 14.
Step 15 – Adding the Wheels
First of all, we want to apologize for not having any photos of the wheels being installed. It was a two-person job and we were so ready to get the coop finished that we forgot to take pictures of our process.
To get started you will need to turn the coop upside down. Once this is done, then you’ll need to cut the 4 x 4 into two 3 ft. long pieces. You will then attach the two 4 x 4 pieces of lumber inside the ends of the bottom frame of the coop using the eight 4 in. long lag bolts, two lag bolts for each end of each piece.
Next, you will attach the wheels to the two 4 x 4 pieces using the sixteen 3 in. long lag bolts and 1 in. washers. Be sure to put the two rigid wheels on one end and the two swivel wheels on the other end so you can steer the coop using these wheels. Once those are all attached, you can turn the coop back over so that it is resting on the wheels.
Step 16 – The Final Step is to Add the Roof!
This was by far the easiest step of the chicken tractor plan. Place the sheet metal roof panel on top of the coop so that it covers the coop evenly. Attach the roof to the coop frame using sheet metal screws.
Voilà! Project complete!
The following photos show what was completed in the final construction of the chicken tractor plan!