Building materials can vary widely when it comes to chicken coops because many people simply reuse materials they already have on-hand. But if you’re making out a shopping list for your chicken coop, these items will probably be on it:

  • Framing lumber: The skeleton of the coop is most often made up of 2x4s or 2x3s. For a large walk-in coop’s structural floor joists and/or roof rafters, you may need to upgrade to 2x6s or 2x8s. Skids or support posts may call for heavy 4x4s.

  • Plywood: For creating floors, cladding walls, and sheathing roofs, sheet lumber like plywood is typically used. Depending on the application, oriented strand board (OSB) or T1-11 paneling may be a good alternative. Different thicknesses are available.

  • Nails/screws: In all likelihood, you’ll need both nails and screws for various steps of your coop build; you’ll find times and applications where a nail simply won’t do a screw’s job, and vice versa. Choose fasteners that suit your building application and your coop’s weather conditions. Shingled roofs require special roofing nails.

  • Roofing shingles: Protect your finished coop with a layer of asphalt roofing shingles, just like the ones on a typical home. Alternatively, corrugated roofing panels of metal or fiberglass can be used.

  • Wire mesh: Most coops feature runs wrapped in heavy-gauge wire mesh. It can also be used to cover windows, vents, or other gaps in the shelter and make them predator-proof.

  • Fencing staples: Use special U-shaped nails to fasten wire mesh in place.