how to build a really cheap chicken coop : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

we are a one income family and have aquired a few hens. does anyone know how to build a really really cheap house.? please help. thank you cody

-- cody banister (, August 29, 2001


I got 90% of my lumber from an old barn that was falling in. I stopped and asked the owners if I could have some of the lumber off of it, and they said I could have it all if I wanted. I only took what I could safely get off without the whole thing falling in on me.

-- Russell Hays (, August 29, 2001.

I built one out of old hay and straw bales and wraped it in chicken wire to keep the rats out. cover it with anything you can find.

-- phillip (, August 29, 2001.

5 litre drench containers cut in half make cheap nesting boxes :o)

-- Jen Butler (, August 29, 2001.

My husband and I went to the local saw mill and got a pick-up load of slab wood for just a few dollars. They were already sorted and bundled in different lengths, just threw them on with their front end loader. I think we got a total of 3 loads but it was enough to make a 9x12 coop.

-- Pat (, August 29, 2001.

Old pallet wood works great, and is usually free.

-- clove (, August 30, 2001.

We used old garage doors, just called up a company that replaces them and asked them what they do with the old ones. It turned out the pay $25 a piece to dump them and were only too happy to dump them at my house instead. We got recycled tin roofing for 50 cents a sheet and waaaa laaa, chicken coop. All together I spent less than $40 for the whole project.

-- (, October 17, 2001.

What a great idea, Reg. I'll have to keep that in mind the next time I need to build something around here.

-- Elizabeth (, October 17, 2001.

Don't forget that you can usually get giveaway wooden windows and use one of them for a side of a small coop to let in light in the winter. Pallet wood is excellent and I obtain all mine for free from lumber yards. It does take time to cut it to length and remove nails and otherwise clean it up. My friend had 2 birds and used a milkcrate on its side and a well-built run attached to it, about 5 feet long and then moved it easily each day. He put an old piece of metal over part for a roof.

-- Anne (, October 20, 2001.

Scrounge around and look for free pallets. Pallets can be nailed together using the boards from one pallet knocked apart. Boards from another pallet can be nailed over the outside gaps, to make a nice sided look. You can even make the coop only one pallet wide and use two pallets for the roof, leaning them up together to make a high peaked roof. Cover it with tin. (Which can also be scrounged.) Set a roost or two up there in the roof. Cost of materials almost nil.

-- daffodyllady (, October 20, 2001.

we built out 8x8 square and 8foot tall in front and 7ft. tall in back coop out of plywood and 2x4's that we got from places around here that was building houses . it was there scrap wood. they was more than thrilled to give it to us because they have to pay to have it loaded and hauled off. i also kept an eye out fot water bed frames people was throwing away, that is what i used for the base frame and nest boxes. the only cost we had was for nails and screws and henges. well we also got some 1/4 in. squared hard ware cloth to use for the flooring, our floor is 1 1/2 foot off the ground so we can rake out from under it and put up hay bails around it in the winter.

-- laura (, October 22, 2001.

Another free wood source:

Monumment makes for grave stones and other uses. The slabs of stone that come to them for engraving are shipped encased in wood. The place near us puts the wood in a pile and people take what they want.

The guy there told me that one man collected enough wood to make his kitchen cabinets.

I've picked up some there too and there are some good thick solid pieces.

Another note about pallets...try to get the ones made from oak.

-- LBD (, October 22, 2001.

I've seen coops made out of truck tops (with anice window for light). Perhaps you could find one at the junk yard.

-- Ann Markson (, October 22, 2001.

Do not make a shelter for White Rocks from a truck topper!! I learned from experience that those are the dumbest critters in the world. I don't know about other chickens but I do know that I wouldn't take that risk.

We had a separate pen for the white rocks we ordered and an extra topper was put inside the pen for rain protection. The chickens were growing at a remarkable speed and then rainy season hits central Fl. From what I can figure from the ghoulish scenario that greeted me after the downpour is that the chickens ran into the safety of the topper to escape the rain. The rain beat on the metal topper making a racket that caused the chickens to run to the farthest corner of the pen. I came home and found a pile of wet and dead chickens. There I am with a garbage bag when halfway through the pile I see that some are moving and still alive. My DH comes home to find me crying and blowdrying chickens in our kitchen. Yeah, funny now but wasn't much of a hoot at the time.


-- Diana (, October 22, 2001.

I remember reading an article in MEN (Mother Earth News, the OLD one), about a real cheap way of making chicken coops that might interest you. . . especially if you are able to get a free wooden cable spools (the big ones), from a power company.

These cable spools are about 5'-0" in outside diameter, and have a core diameter of about 18". What the writer described was nailing fencing along the edge of the spool for the enclosure, and turning it upon its side. He / she had cut a door into the side of the interior core, allowing chickens to access it, and placed a door on the spooling hole. The chickens used the core space to lay eggs, and the owner was able to access the core by that top door.

I hope my description of this makes sense; it would be much easier to build upon seeing it then by description alone.

-- j.r. guerra (, October 22, 2001.

Hey, J.R. That sounds very ingenious, but how do you clean out the coop if it has a wooden floor and it is caged in by the wire? Also, do they roost AND lay egs in the hub?

-- (, November 09, 2001.

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