How to Build a Chicken Coop with PVC Pipe

Some chicken coops are professionally designed and sold in stores, or you can make one as a "do-it-yourself" project.

Build the Main Structure

PVC pipe is an inexpensive material that works well for simple chicken coops. The finished coop is light enough to be moved easily and does not require any special skills to build. These types of coops are best for areas sheltered from the wind. A good pipe for this use is Schedule 40, 1-inch-diameter pipe, readily available at any hardware store. Most stores cut the pipe into the proper lengths at no extra charge.

Create the latch and door hinges. Glue one set of 4-inch, schedule 40, 1.25-inch-diameter PVC pipes together with the PVC glue. Glue the pipes parallel to one another. Repeat this process with another set of the same pipes. These are the hinges. Glue two 4-inch snap clamps with 1-inch openings together in the same fashion. The clamps are essentially half-cylinders. Glue the two half-cylinders together back to back. This is the latch.

Lay eight of the 59-inch PVC pipes into a square. Use two pipes for each side of the square.

Insert a single 4-way connector between the two pipes on each side of the square. The two open ends of the connector face towards the center of the square and vertically. The square now has four complete sides but is not connected at the corners. Connect each of the corners with 3-way connectors to complete the base. Position the 3-way connectors so that the remaining hole faces up.

Insert one 59-inch pipe into each of the four open 4-way connectors so that the new pipes run towards the center of the square. Slide a slip-T fitting onto each of the four interior pipes with the bottom of the "T" facing vertically. Position the fittings approximately 6 inches from the interior end of the 59-inch pipes. Place a 5-way connector in the center of the square with the center hole facing vertically. Insert the four interior pipes into the connector to complete the inner base structure.

Insert one 10-inch pipe vertically into each of the four slip-T fittings in the center of the base. Insert one 36-inch pipe into the vertical fitting of the 5-way connector at the center of the base. Insert one 36-inch pipe into each of the eight vertical fittings at the sides and corners of the base.

Construct a small square for the feeder tower. Make the square using four 36-inch pipes and four 3-way connectors with the vertical holes all facing in the same direction.

Adjust the slip-T fittings to coincide with the distance between the corners of the square constructed in the previous step. The slip-T fittings can slide out towards the sides of the base or in towards the center as necessary. Attach the feeder tower to the 10-inch, vertical pipes in the center of the base. Line up the 3-way connectors at the corners and slide them on to the 10-inch pipes.

Construct the outer sides of a PVC square identical to the outer square constructed for the base. Lay out eight 59-inch pipes in a square with two pipes on each side. Use 4-way connectors to attach three of the sets of pipes together. Use a 5-way connector to attach the remaining set of pipes. Position the connector so that the remaining holes face up and down. Complete the square with 3-way connectors at the corners.

Insert 59-inch pipes into each of the four interior connector holes, so that the four pipes lead towards the center. Place a slide-T fitting on the pipe connected to the side with the 5-way connector. Slide the two hinges onto the interior pipe directly opposite. Clamp the latch piece onto one of the perimeter pipes directly opposite from the hinges. This completes the upper part of the coop.

Line up the corner connectors of the upper coop structure with the vertical pipes on the bottom structure. Line up the side connectors with the remaining vertical pipes. Push the connectors onto the vertical pipes until the two structures are firmly joined.

Insert one 10-inch pipe into the vertical hole on the 5-way connector attached to the perimeter of the top structure. Insert an additional 10 inch pipe into the slide-T fitting attached to the interior pipe of the top structure. Rotate the fitting so that the 10-inch pipe is pointing up if necessary.

Attach one 90-degree elbow connector to one end of a 56.5-inch pipe. Attach an additional 90-degree elbow connector to the other end of the same 56.5-inch pipe. Slide this assembly onto the two 10-inch pipes on the top structure. This is the tarp support.

Enclosing the Coop

Cover the entire structure in chicken wire. Roll out the chicken wire. Cut it into strips long enough to cover the top and sides of the PVC structure with wire cutters. Attach the chicken wire to the structure with zip ties spaced every 6 inches. Overlap the chicken wire and zip-tie it together wherever necessary using the same spacing.

Use the wire cutters to cut out the square of chicken wire covering the space between the hinges and the latch. Set the square of chicken wire aside for later use.

Make the door. Lay out four pieces of 59-inch pipe. Attach three of the pipes together using two 90- degree elbow connectors. Slide the remaining 59-inch pipe through the hinges on the top structure of the coop. Connect a 90-degree elbow connector on each side of the pipe in the hinges. Use these two elbow connectors to attach a three-sided door assembly to the pipe in the hinges.

Attach the chicken wire square to the door assembly with zip ties in the same manner as before. Use a bungee cord to hold the coop closed.

Lay the tarp over the tarp-support structure. Use the remaining clamps to securely attach it to the completed chicken coop.

Things You Will Need

  • 28, 59-inch PVC pipes
  • 13, 36-inch PVC pipes
  • 6, 10-inch PVC pipes
  • 1, 56.5-inch PVC pipes
  • 4, 4-inch PVC pipes (schedule 40, 1.25 inch diameter)
  • 23, 4-inch snap clamp with 1 inch opening
  • 5, 1-inch slip-T fittings
  • 12, 1-inch 3-way connectors
  • 6, 1-inch 90-degree elbows
  • 7, 1-inch 4-way connectors
  • 3, 1-inch 5-way connectors
  • 9-foot-by-16.5-inch tarp
  • 6-foot-by-50-foot roll of chicken wire
  • Wire cutters
  • 150 plastic zip ties
  • Bungee cord
  • PVC glue

About the Author

Kenrick Callwood has been involved in Internet marketing since 2007 and his work has appeared in numerous online publications. His main areas of expertise are psychology, travel and Internet marketing. He holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from California Polytechnic University.