Building a Chicken Coop – Construction Terms

Are you planning on building a chicken coop but get confused on some of the terminology? I want to share these basic terms you might want to know and what they mean to you when you’re building a chicken coop.


A truss on any structure is at the top of the roof a frame. The truss when building a chicken coop will also be located at the top of your roof. The truss can be pre-fabricated or built in place the trusses add stability and shape to your roof.


A stud is a single piece of lumber that is used for walls or any other single piece of framing lumber material placed in a vertical position for constructing your coop.

Corner Posts

The corner post for building a chicken coop are 4″x 4″ posts set onto a concrete footing and secured with a base post saddle strap.

Concrete Footing

Your footings are very important for strength and to allow for the fencing to keep predators out. You can dig corner post footings 8″ diameter and 12″ in depth for your base post straps. The alternative option is to dig a 4″ wide by 6″ deep continuous footing at the perimeter of the coop.

Concrete Mixture

Your concrete footings are a mixture of sand, rock, and Portland cement. The mixture formula is 3 heaping shovels of sand 2 heaping shovels of rock and 1 heaping shovel of type 2 Portland cement Next, add water and mix to a thick consistency, being sure to make it not too dry and not too wet. The base post saddles should be set as soon as the concrete mixture can support the weight of the base post saddles.

Base Post Saddle Straps

As mentioned with the corner post installation, when building a chicken coop you will need to secure your post at the bottom of the posts with a Simpson base post saddle strap. These come in different sizes depending on the dimension of your post. The size you will most likely be using will be a 4″ saddle for the post and a 6″ embedding.

Simpson Strap and Plate Fasteners

When you’re building a chicken coop, fasteners become very useful. They come in various sizes and are used for multiple installation phases of your project. Some of the fasteners you will need are: 90 deg. Stud fasteners, joist hangers corner plate fasteners, and flat plat fasteners to connect at a butt end of two studs or sheathing.

Standard Fastener

A standard fastener is typically galvanized screws or galvanized nails. Both screws and nails are manufactured in different sizes and lengths. Use the appropriate size and length of fastener to match the lumber you are using.


The tools you will be using are: Framing hammer, finish hammer, hand saw, coping saw, power circular saw, ½” or 3/8″ drill driver, Standard screw bit and Philip head bit, table saw, chop saw, pencil, tape measure, square, 2 ft. level.

When you’re building a chicken coop and ordering materials, these terms should help you to communicate with your hardware and lumber supplier. Now that you know what all these terms means you will have an easier time creating your chicken ranch, big or small.