Winging it in Alaska – Chicken Coop Build Part 1

When I started building this coop in late summer of 2022 in Anchorage, I thought I’d have it done in a weekend or two. Instead, I was constantly frozen by decision fatigue and distracted by the dozens of other prepping for winter projects I had.

And now its winter and the coop is only 60% complete! Don’t worry, the girls are happy squatting in my insulated greenhouse for now. Once the coop is complete however, I will happily be evicting them!

One of my goals building this coop was to use up a lot of scrap wood I had acquired over the summer. Eventually though, the hassle of doing so without any organization in my shop at the time made it a huge headache and I finally caved and went out and bought 2×4’s from the big box store. They were priced around $4.75 at the time (August 2022). In late 2020 though they were nearly $9 each! So I was thankful the price came down on them at least.

Before choosing a coop design, or winging it like I am, it is important to come up with some core ideas/goals that you want to orbit around.


  • Use reclaimed/scrap wood around the property to get rid of clutter
  • South facing windows to collect thermal energy (windows were free!)
  • Sled-base to make moving around easier if needed.
  • Insulated but not airtight. Ventilation necessary to prevent humidity build up.
  • Sides/trim inside to do deep litter/sand method
  • Easy clean up, waterproof the inside and floor to make deep cleaning periodically easier.

In part two, I’ll discuss more about how I came to the design decisions I did. For now, here are a few progress pics!

Chicken Coop Base
Chicken Coop Base
Sled bolted to legs and cut at a 45 degree angle to prevent catching on the ground when being pushed/pulled.
Gotta keep things square!
Choo choo
New home out of the rain.

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