I think we can all agree that while we do our best to be frugal when it comes to our needs, we won’t hesitate to go all out if it means providing our beloved pets with good things. In fact, a lot of people with animals tend to go over-the-top for their pets. Take for example Brett and Ellen from Idaho, who decided to build a UFO chicken coop for their flock! The couple took on quite a lot of chickens recently and they decided to build a coop that would comfortably house their new pets. And since they have an interest in the extra-terrestrials, they decided to build a chicken coop that looked like a UFO!
The primary function of a chicken coop is to protect your flock from the elements and potential predators. Most coops have a simply, boxy design. But some chicken owners aren’t content with this, so they build incredibly beautiful coops for their chickens (and sometimes the coop is nicer than their house!). Obviously, Brett and Ellen didn’t just want to build any old coop for their flock. Theirs is a coop that’s out of this world! But the most awesome part is that Brett actually took the time to document and explain the entire building process to help guide anyone interested in building their own UFO coop!
This creative Idaho couple built a UFO chicken coop for their flock
“Brainstorming the UFO spaceship design was a very quick process as there were so few “upcycle” options that would get us a classic UFO shape.”
Since their chosen coop design was unique, the couple had to rely on their resourcefulness and creativity to make it happen. It didn’t take them long to realize that putting together a pair of satellite dishes would give them that alien spaceship shape that they were after. After deciding on this, the couple went on Craiglist and luckily managed to get hold of a pair of 10-foot dishes. Now equipped with the dishes, the pair immediately set to work on their chicken coop. “We knew it would need to be completed in time for a harsh Idaho winter,” Brett wrote. “When we got them home and stacked, the shape was very inspiring.”
A pair of 10-foot satellite dishes gives the coop its shape
“We had the perfect skeleton in these aluminum frames, complete with a 1” rest to house insulation. We quickly drew up plans for waterproofing, windows, ventilation, cleaning, and egg-access.”
After stacking the 10-foot satellite dishes together, Brett and Ellen dropped the floor down and cut an 8-foot circular floor. This would allow their flock to have more space and also give them more room when they’d need to do some clean-up inside the coop. And to make their clean-up duty easier, the couple installed an easy-clean counter-top laminate configured with some handles so they can easily lift the floor out when it needs to be cleaned.
Their easy-clean, liftable coop floor is pure genius for us. Cleaning out the dried dung and used hay is certainly not something chicken owners look forward to doing, after all! Impressed? Well, keep scrolling, because Brett and Ellen aren’t done building their UFO chicken coop yet!
“We cut holes for windows and screwed in 6” acrylic surveillance camera covers we found on eBay. They work perfectly!”
“The next focus was insulation. We purchased 1” Styrofoam insulation and cut each piece for a snug fit. It had just enough “give” to bend to the shape of the satellite dish.”
The coop has features that will keep Brett and Ellen’s chickens comfortable in any season
“We made a huge mess in the yard… but once the insulation was complete, the UFO really started feeling like a coop. The door was framed and a hatch was built in the back. The hatch was built in the back. The hatch also provides easy access to hen boxes, food, and also cleaning as well as generating a nice draft for airflow.”
Brett proceeded to cover the 1″ Styrofoam insulation layer with a waterproof barrier. According to the imaginative builder, he used “a roofing material similar to tar paper called roofing felt” that he sourced for their local box store. Brett painted the roofing felt with layers of Aluminum paint to give it that UFO look. But he didn’t choose the Aluminum paint purely for aesthetic reasons.
“The paint is designed for roofing and would also help keep the coop cool in the summer by reflecting light away,”
Brett explained. The coop had to be aired out for several days before they could continue with their work again, though!
They used the most unexpected thing to raise their chicken coop
“After the paint was dry, we had to get this craft put together and off the ground! We knew that an elevated coop would help keep our ladies safer from predators. We purchased an 8-foot trampoline base from our local trampoline manufacturer for only $160… it worked perfectly.”
Finally, after completing the coop’s exterior, Brett and Ellen went on to add the finishing touches. To complete their coop, the couple placed hen boxes, a hatch, some more handles and some lighting fixtures. They left the satellite dishes’ mesh in their project, as it would provide great ventilation for their flock during the sweltering summer. And when winter arrives, they’ll simply close up the gaps with the insulation they’ve prepared.
“Lights were the final touch to truly make it look like a spaceship! (And definitely the best part!) We used 2” clear tubing to house the LED lights and put the power source on the back of the door. The lights are individually addressable LEDs with a 5v 4a power supply controlled by an Arduino mega.”
LED lights make this coop really look like a real spaceship
After completing their chicken coop, Brett and Ellen added a few more things to ensure their flock’s utmost comfort. And since their flock included tiny Serama chickens and Silkie chickens, they knew that insulating the coop wasn’t enough. So they fitted the chicken coop with a pair of 250w heat emitters that allow them to keep track and adjust the temperature through the web. They’ve also placed a chicken wire cage over the entire coop to protect it from other birds or falling objects.
It seems that Brett and Ellen have thought of everything, haven’t they? So, if you’re looking for something new to do, why not give this project a try? Follow Brett’s instructions here. Happy building!
Watch the UFO chicken coop in action