Coop Built On A Budget

By jha31452 · Jan 6, 2013 · ·
  1. jha31452
    Describe 'Coop built on a budget!' here
    We built our coop for less than $100 (not counting the automatic waterer, feeder, or Rooster flag!)

    The most expensive items were the wire $30 at Tractor Supply (I wish I had gone for the more expensive kind) and the hinges $18 at Lowes.

    We used 8 2x4s that were split to make 2x2s.
    We used 2 1x2s for the roosts (but I think I'll change them out to 1x4s as the chicks get bigger.)

    The coop and the nesting boxes were built with scrap plywood--some 3/4" and some 1/2".


    The roof is a high quality aluminum like material that is supposed to be cooler (and lighter) than plywood.

    The way we were able to build so inexpensively is because most of the materials were scrap that we repurposed. We got most of the 2x4s from a dumpster at the building site of a new church. (We asked before we took anything and were told we could have what we could reach, but under no circumstances were we to get into the dumpster.) Some of the thicker plywood sheets came from the same source, and the other came from the scrap bin at Lowes.
    Whlle researching what to use for the roof, I ran across the website for a new roofing supply company in our town. I sent a brief email explaining what I was building and asked for recommendations. Two days later I got an email from the owner of the company offering to supply scrape materials for me to use. When I went to meet him and share the coop plans, he explained that his company is big into recycling and he was happy to provide the little I needed for the coop. Not only did he give me the aluminum sheets (cut to my specifications) but he included the part for the top of the roof and all the special screws needed. (Yes, I sent him a very nice thank you note with pictures of the completed coop :))

    Our county dump waste resource management system allows residents to pick up paint that has been dropped off at the recycle center. The day we visited, someone had just left 25 gallons of Kilz paint in the taupe color you see on the coop. It might not have been my first color choice, but since it was free.....

    One last picture.

    I knew I had to provide lots of ventilation for "the girls" so I cut a window right into the side of the coop. I wanted something that was very strong (predator proof) since I shut the hens up every evening and I might have to leave the shutter open during the long summer nights. So I visited an applicance repair shop and asked to purchase an old oven grate. When the older gentleman heard what I wanted to use it for he laughed so hard that he told me to take it--no charge! There is no way a raccoon can get through that heavy gauge metal. (The little air conditioning vent over the nesting boxes cost about $3 at Lowes.)

    So it took me a while to gather all the materials and I had to be creative in what I used, but I think it was all worth it.
    The chicks are now 7 weeks old and have just begun staying overnight in their new coop.

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Recent User Reviews

  1. Perris
    "Great recycling; pictures for guidance"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Sep 14, 2018
    As a story of how this person built their coop, it's short, engaging, and well illustrated. And the finished result looks great, including the sign. As something for others to follow, it's less successful. For anyone who can look at a picture and copy it reasonably accurately, this article offers great guidance on building a coop on a budget. It demonstrates that foraging for building materials in other people's cast offs can deliver good results, and asking local businesses for freebies can pay dividends too - big dividends in this case: that roof looks really weatherproof and low maintenance! And repurposing an old gridiron as window protection is brilliant!

    What is missing is a plan or diagram which would help the novice coop builder to follow this design; instead they just have to keep looking at the different photos to try to work out approximate sizes of components and how they fitted together. What may be self-evident to the author may not be to someone looking to build their first coop. Of course anyone building from foraged materials is going to have to adapt to fit what they've got, but some indication of basics, e.g. the order of putting the different bits of the coop together, would be helpful to anyone wanting to follow suit. I am also left wondering how it's cleaned out; it is obvious from the photos where the main access to the wired part is for humans, but not to the boxed part; does the whole other side come off for example (the window is grilled, the nesting boxes are on the back, the wired side has the pop door)?
  2. karenerwin
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 13, 2018
    The only things missing are the coop designs and details about what you did on the inside of the coop.

    I like that you made the back of the nest boxes open instead of the top! I wish I had done that too. It would have made cleaning out the nest boxes much easier!! I also like the straps you put on it to hold the back of the nest box from falling too far open.

    I like that you used ordinary things in extraordinary ways ( the oven grate!).
  3. 21hens-incharge
    "Nice use of materials."
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 1, 2018
    Great job finding free materials. Measurements could be helpful.


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  1. BLUeggy
    This is so awesome! Wonderful use of available materials. I have to share this with my hubby. Great to know we can build a coop for cheap, just have to be creative=)
  2. jha31452
    I am so new to this that I didn't realize the dangers when I planned and had my husband build the coop. We are definitely adding hardware cloth this weekend. Thank you!
  3. emarketwiz
    Great resource management! One of my good friends lost all five of her chickens to a raccoon that reached through and killed them during tow trips to her coop. You'll be thankful if you can switch over to hardware cloth. Good job!
  4. breakout
    Nicely done! Great and creative use of resources. As I think you implied you know a racoon can rip open that chicken wire or dig under so might not be bad to upgrade to hardware cloth for the walls buried into the ground at some point.

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