The Hoop Coop - for chickens

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Well-Known Member
Nov 27, 2009
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Cameron, NC
Someone had seen the "hoop coop" I started in June and wanted more info on it.

For something "so easy" to build - it's been difficult to get done! I started on it in June - originally wanting it done to get the 17 chicks that had hatched in May out of a brooder while I was out of state in OH.

We got it done enough then to use - but it wasn't finished in any way, shape or form and was kinda Uuuugggly!

So last week - we finally started framing in the front and started the door. Today - we finished the door, hung it w/ all it's "parts" and finished the front. Took most of the day - interspersed with cleaning water tanks, turning some ponies loose, cleaning a brooder w/ 10 more new chicks, cleaning out a bunch of "K-cups" with the granddaughters and then mixing the coffee grounds w/ potting soil and using the "K-cups" to start fall plants (we'll see how we do).

Here's a finished pic - with my 2 & 4 yr old grand daughters "jailed" in it... We've not really had any issues right where I'm at with predators - so I did use chicken wire on it rather than hard ware cloth. The next one I do, think will use hardware cloth. It is portable as a chicken tractor, but it is HEAVY. Next one will be done with 2x4s instead of 2x6s. OR even fully out of PVC.


Planning on doing the rear wall on it next weekend - will be fully framed in. Then have to do the roosts w/ a poop board and at least 2, possibly 4 nesting boxes & a pvc feeder. Want to do a 5 gallon bucket waterer with chicken nipples as well - not sure how I'd install/hang it yet.

This coop is 8' wide by 8.3' long (actual chicken area - the side lumber supports are 10' long). It's tall enough to stand up in - in the center. The hoop is 2 - 16' long cattle panels (50" tall - joined they are 100"). Lots of zip ties connecting the chicken wire all over it. The door isn't centered - the box support on the right turned out to be just a little too large for the bucket which can be opened and closed to let chickens in/out. The rectangular support on the left will become the support for the poop board and roost(s). Right now, it appears to make the coop very sturdy (we'll see how it holds up when it's moved a few times).

Here's pics of the "whole build' (so far) ... in our Maintenance and Pony work album. There are 4 photos at the end of this album that were my inspiration for my "Hoop Coop"...
That's really cool! I have just a couple of bantams. They stay in a coop attached to the barn and free range during the day. If your ever doing more chicken stuff I'd love to see
I'd be happy to!

I like the bantams - that's what I was given before Christmas 2010 or maybe 2011? I got 15 chicks and still have some descendants of them.

At the moment we have quite a few chickens! I like watching them while doing chores - love how they come running when we take "treats" out (they know we do leftovers of fruit/veggies/tortillas/bread/biscuts/pancakes/waffles etc on weekends).... The ones who have decided to roost on my tack rack - not loving them so much right now, LOL.

O, and here's the link to our chickens and ducks. I will eventually go back and add pics from previous to 2013 - not sure when...

Chickens & Ducks

My boarder told me we should attach my cattle panel "hoops" to the pallets I've found (48"x48" - $2/ea) and see what size "building" we can get that way. It would work for a more permanent structure. When I lighten up the bottom boards to a 2x4 size, I'm thinking of using roofing panels instead of a tarp across the cattle panels. Now that's starting to add some cost, but still doable and still considered portable or temporary... hmm...
I love all of the pictures! I need to take some of mine. Every time I go out its a swarm of banties and 1 buff African goose running toward me. So so cute. Right now I have 5 silkie,amaurucana, brahma, Cochin, mixed chicks. i just started with some polish also. No eggs yet. And the roo is a little slow developing.

Funny I raised the goose with a bantam chick. Now they are inseparable. He has his own flock of the rejects. Mostly polish, and who ever doesn't look like a roo. He doesn't like cockerels and is afraid of the roo. But he will protect his flock
they really are just the cutest little things. Almost like mini t Rex's
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I love your coup! Way up here, I'm afraid the snow might flatten it, so need to think of how to do it with more supports. Don't have chickens yet but would love to have some.
Hoophouse construction is also good for lawnmower/garden tractor garage, bicycle storage, garden shed, wood shed, hay storage (with pallets tokeep bale off of the ground), school bus shelter, Livestock Guardian Dog house, etc. If reflecting heat is not an issue, putting the silver side down creates a bit less of an eyesore, although for the school bus shelter the visibility of the silver is essential. It goes without saying (although I'm saying it), the original hoophouse with visqueen sheeting or even bubble wrap makes a great warmhouse for not-too-tender plants.

I have 75+ bantams (hehehe) so I would need 20 chicken tractors.

I actually have dog panels for both the coop in barn and their run. They worked out great. Bought all of them off Craigslist at cheap prices.




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MindyLee -

I have a couple of pens like that, too. They are used for everything from enclosing the chickens, to kenneling actual dogs, to being foaling stalls under our carport where a mare/foal can be watched.



Shamrock is tied to the panels that I moved out of the carport (pen w/ the colt in it above). I don't have a picture that shows the whole pen - but 3 of the panels are sitting in a slight box configuration w/ two gates to go in and out of. The 4th panel is currently not used... Current dog pens aren't made with the "double gates" like shown above. I don't know if these pens were built custom for the kennel that had them or not.


You can't get them on CL for "cheap" around here, though, as everyone wants to sell their bent up, ruined crap for the same price I can buy it for brand new at our two local feed stores, TSC, Lowe's or Home Depot.
Debating wether to spend $100 on a 10x10x6 right now - it's more beat up than I want but she won't take less for it right now... She can sit on it for a bit - I can get 5 panels (new) for that price. She hasn't sold it via CL, either, guess I'm not the only one who thinks its priced too high.

And I wish I'd known or figured out years ago that the panels could have so many uses! I plan on building several this winter - for housing either hay or equipment (not sure yet which)... Also doing them in the paddocks and pastures for the first time as actual shelters for the ponies.

Loved seeing some pics of your Bantams.
I love your hoop house coop! I have done similar things for calf hutches....never thought of this for chickens. What an awesome design. I too have lots of birds and I need to keep them penned as my neighbor has a loose roaming dog who kills chickens. I wish I could find cheap dog kennel panels, everyone wants an arm and a leg for them around here. I have however found quite a few car port frames for xheap money and those have served me well as chicken runs. I love seeing everybody's photos, so many awesome set-ups to look at.20130729_062846.jpg20130206_142408.jpg20120826_175330.jpg
I think I will like it much better when I have the roost and nesting boxes up and done, LOL. Also want to do a 4" pvc pipe feeder and a covered bucket waterer. Maybe I'll be able to get all the parts next weekend and get it done the rest of the way...

I have the panels and lumber to do another 8x8 coop, now. Hopefully the build on this one will be much faster! Do want to do a solid back on this one - out of either plastic or plywood. Plywood definitely less expensive, but plastic longer lasting and easier/no maintenance...

And again, Amy Sue, I wouldn't have thought of just using the frame work! That's like someone said that you could use a swing set as a frame (A frame type) and you know what you can't find anywhere anymore??? At least not around here. Likewise to the plastic kids cottages, castles and buildings. Few and far between these days (around here anyway)... Would love to have one of these to make into a brooder!
I have a kids playhouse!! I've used it for a goose house, a goat house, a calf hutch and a veggie stand/egg house at the end of the driveway. I've always wanted to buy my goats one of those big plastic cool would that be?

I like that fram ideal! I never thought of that one and might keep an eye out for one now. Hehehe.

I got lucky on the panels. Bought 9 mint condition for $50 which 2 of them was too small so I sold them for $50. Then bought 8 used ones but in great shape for $150 and they tossed in 2 extra doors for free. However it took about a year to get all but was worth the wait and what a killer deal for both purchases.
One of these days I'll build my idea for a chicken tractor -- using a metal swingset for a frame. I'll use welded wire fencing for sides, ends and bottom, and attach wheels in the tubes at one end for moving it around. Depending upon where it is, I can use a tarp to provide shade. This way they can safely semi-free range, and I can park them over grass or let them turn the soil and compost (and, of course, making their own contribution) in fallow garden beds.
I love your coop! I have a new found love for hoop coops. I had always thought they looked neat but was afraid they wouldn't hold up. Then my good friend built one and I was amazed at how sturdy it was. I am thinking of taking down my "kennel panel" coop next year and building a hoop coop. One thing I love about it is if I put a tarp over it in the winter the snow will slide right off. It's pretty hard to make a flat 12x12 roof for my existing coop that will hold our snow pack without caving in. The hoop coop might be my answer. We have Raccoons so I'll have to cover the frame wire with a hardware cloth type wire.

As for it taking you so long to build... There are 3 rules to DIY. #1: It will take longer than you planned. #2: It will cost more than you planned. #3: At some point, something will go wrong.
Mindy Lee - you are right - that was an awesome deal!

AmySue - As soon as I saw one of those "play houses" made into a brooder, I wanted one of the "little tyke" castles to do something with. Alas, I haven't seen any of those or any other of the plastic type play houses for sale at yardsales or fleamarkets since! I will keep my eyes open , though.

Susan - same thing with the swing sets. Used to see the darn things everywhere (the metal "a frame" type) - since seeing them repurposed as an a frame type chicken tractor - you simply don't see them anywhere for sale or junked. Maybe I haven't looked hard enough??

Major Clementine - I watched rain water sweep right off of our coop and I was so IMPRESSED. I realized I hadn't used framing close enough together to keep the water from pooling on a tarp and that the tarp wasn't tight enough. This is easy to tighten and "flatten" a tarp over. Coming from snowy states in the past, I've wondered if it would work to "slip" a snow load, but hadn't seen that yet. HERE, we're more likely to get ice than just snow...

I love your DIY rules and usually they are right. #2, in this case, wasn't, simply because I priced out the items first and then caught some on sale over one weekend and since have gotten more items for sale on another weekend. However, I plan on changing the 1st one (or rather adding to it) w/ "stuff" not originally priced or included - so the price will go up some...

One thing - my SIL and I just put another together. Wow, what a difference "cloudy w/ a breeze" @ 65*F over "bright sunlight" @ 90*+F is. Got a lot further on our project in just two short hours and didn't have to keep stopping to take breaks or get out of the sun. Still need to frame out the door and front - but should be able to do that this weekend.

THEN need to come up with a way of "containing" the chix! We had a casualty this weekend - we moved the coop and I didn't think about having our daughter step inside to "herd" the birds (actually she was helping me and her hubby pull - as it's HEAVY). We had two get caught under the front of the coop (which was the back at the time since we were pulling it from the rear). One is ok, the other succumbed to her injuries w/i minutes after I removed her from under the frame
I have the nesting boxes to put up - but they can't be locked in the nest boxes the way I've got it set up. I'll let you know when we figure it out.

I hang the waterer now and I LOVE IT!! They don't fill it with "scratchings" and it doesn't leak everywhere anymore - YAY. Currently using a standard metal water "can" - a gallon I think.


I was thinking about making a 5 gallon bucket "drinker" with the "nipples". They look great and easy - less mess, clean water for the chix and a way to keep it both warm in winter and cool in summer. Well, I hadn't done anything yet - but went to pick up new chix I ordered from our feed store. 1st thing I saw - they had left the rabbit water bottles with their weighted ball "nipples" in the chix pen my chix were in and several were drinking from it. AHA!! I immediately "grabbed" those chix - along with a selection of others to make up my 10 (EEs - somewhat different colors/markings - hope they don't all end up the same color). So, I knew I had a rabbit "drinker" at home (plastic) and I went ahead and purchased another one. SO GLAD I DID! MAN, this is THE BEST way to water "nasty" baby chix!!!!



So, next spring I should be getting LOTS of eggs! Might be better than the 1-3 per day I'm finding right now. I wanna know who is hiding them where...
I definitely plan to make a bucket/nipple waterer -- I am so done with poopy water dishes!

Metal swingsets can be found around here on Craigslist, typically for around $30 or so.You just have to keep an eye out.
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I tried the bucket/nipple waterer. Mine just won't use them.
so I did switch to these metal bucket thingy, I found online. They work, until the goose uses them.

Maybe I'll take my nephews swingset when they are done.