Hunter's City Chicken

By ldelahanty · May 7, 2013 · Updated May 7, 2013 · ·
  1. ldelahanty
    Our coop was made from recycled and repurposed materials such as cabinets, pallets, and wood donated by a local hardware that was delivered in imperfect condition. We also incorporated many other cost cutting measures. The things that were purchased new include:
    1- 3 combination locks; $3.00 at Dollar Tree
    1- 8'X4' piece of OSB on clearance $5.00 at Menards
    3- hinge locking sets $6.00 at Big Lots
    1 roll of 25'x48" Chicken wire (square not hex) 1/2" squares. $17.00 Menards
    Miscellaneous decorations $4.00 at Goodwill Industries
    36"x36"x24" kitchen cabinet with door, hinges and handle $5.00 at Habitat for Humanity Restore
    24"x24"x12" kitchen cabinet with two doors and hinges $3.00 at Habitat for Humanity Restore
    2- scrap wood panels 48"x48" each $2.00 at Habitat for Humanity Restore
    Nails for nailgun (4000ct.) $8.99 Menards
    roofing nails $1.00 Habitat for Humanity Restore
    roll roofing 20'x 48" $4.00 Habitat for Humanity restore
    1- Jar of Modge podge $6.00 Walmart
    alll other materials were donated by friends, local businesses, etc.
    So for about $51 we made an awesome coop for our chicks!
    The donated materials include: 3 Pallets, 18- 2"x4"s of various lengths (we cut to size later), wood closet rods, cabinet door, privacy lattice(left over from our deck), spray paint, scrapbook paper, a white wood shelf, and miscellaneous hardware such as screws and chicken wire staples.
    We made our coop quickly but after much planning. The Hen House and Nesting Box extension are made from the cabinets and the Indoor Run made from the rest of the materials. The idea was to build a nice coop for very little money so that we could make an awesome garden fence to allow for a garden and outdoor run.
    We began as anyone should by making a list of the things that were really important to us in a coop and run. We labeled that as "Parts of Our Coop"

    1. Nesting boxes extension
    2. Doors
    3. ventilation
    4. walls
    5. run
    6. perch
    7. food dispenser
    8. water dispenser
    9. roof
    10. garden box- green roof
    11. lock and hinges
    12. windows
    13. wheels and handles
    14. egg retrieval system
    15. trays or baking sheets for cleaning under
    16. nesting boxes
    17. signs for nesting boxes or name plates
    18. ladder
    19. chicken rules
    20. chicken wire for run and ventilation…what type is best and non-rusting
    21. size of coop
    Then we decided on a budget, ours was $150 for the coop, garden boxes, and fence. We cam in at $51 for the coop, the garden boxes were made from pallets and fence, posts, gate, etc were $91.00 we were only $8 under budget. But from everything I have seen it is still not a lot of money for the coop. We did well.
    After our budget we looked and looked at other coops and decided on a design and drew out our design (over and over might I add).
    Then, we made a supplies list and posted the list on Craigslist, Facebook, and emailed it to everyone we know to see if anyone had anything they would donate. We also went to Menards, The Home Depot, and Lowes to seek donations. Menards was great! they did not have anything they could give to us but we were able to buy the OSB for only $5.00. Home depot and Lowes said No. (keep in mind this is for a school and 4-H project, that is why we asked)
    We also checked on Craigslist for free things, this is where we found the pallets, we used three for the coop, and used 5 for the garden boxes. We are making a compost bin soon, but need to get five more pallets and some hinges to do that, and that will make up for the extra $
    We next went to the Restore and bought the large cabinet to make the Hen House which we would use indoors as a brooder while we are assembling everything else and gathering materials. If you have time, an nice weather you can skip this, we had terrible weather because it was still snowing and cold but our three week old chicks outgrew the medium dog crate brooder we were using. [​IMG]

    This is the hen House front. A visual while we talk about it might help. We cut the back out (I will attach another pic) so that the nesting box could be attached there. the door you now see is meant to face the run. We call that run an indoor run because the run has a roof and door, is is very ventilated. But you will see that later. The chicks lived inside in this for two weeks while we waited for the snow to melt and ground to thaw. It took us about 2 hours to finish the hen house portion, it was super simple because all we had to do was cut the holes for the door (the side you see was originally the back of the cabinet) and attach a door, hinges and make a window and apply the decorations. On the back side we cut an opening 16"x20" to accommodate for the attachment of the nesting box. we then cut 2"x4" peices to make a frame for the nesting box to sit on and be nailed to. (this was done outside otherwise it would not fit through the door)
    This is a picture of the inside (a small portion of it anyway) and our chicks when they were 4 weeks. you can see the cut out of the back of the cabinet and above that we added some vents, venting is very important. You can see that we used a closet rod as a roost, there (it measured 34" and was held in place by closet rod plastic pieces to make them easy to remove for cleaning) we also use a plastic mat under our shavings to make for quick and easy clean-up.
    next, we made the base, because we were having our run parallel and not underneath the hen house we needed to have something to keep the structure off the ground, so we cut the two miscellaneous 48"x48" pieces of wood and nailed them to the pallets this gave us a 10" base.
    Once the base, nesting box extension and hen house were done, and sealed with a Sealer or exterior paint (cabinets need to have this because they are not really meant for outdoors) and the snow was gone we moved outside. To be put everything together. in the picture below you can see the boards described above for attaching the nesting box.[​IMG]
    We measured all of the wood and chose the 2"x4" so that we could make sure our roof have a declining angle for water run off. The run was built and sadly it sprinkled all day that day and we missed the pics. It was built with three walls nailed together. The walls were built indoors from 2"x4" boards. one of the walls was vented entirely with the lattice and the other 2 were identical, well with the exception of the door. The one on the back has 18"High OSB and then chicken wire to the top, the other has a door and a really cute one...

    The back and side walls of the run, the OSB keeps the mess inside and chill out. There are also two roosts shown, we have since added another one high. The lower one is rarely used.(I would leave this out)
    This is the other side of the same back wall, we have a ladder and entrance to the Henhouse.
    This is the finished coop after painting, adding the door and decorations. If you would like to see more of Hunter's City Chicken and learn about Chickens and backyard gardening in even the smallest of areas please LIKE us on Facebook at Hunter's City Chicken
    The coop blueprints will be available there.

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Recent User Reviews

  1. N F C
    "Missing Photos"
    1/5, 1 out of 5, reviewed Oct 23, 2018
    Wish the photos would have shown, this sounds like it was a real cost-efficient project.
  2. ronott1
    "Article needs images set"
    3/5, 3 out of 5, reviewed Jul 3, 2018
    This would be a good article with images restored
  3. casportpony
    "Broken Pictures"
    1/5, 1 out of 5, reviewed Jul 1, 2018
    Broken Pictures - fix pictures and I will re-rate it.


To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!
  1. N F C
    Too bad the photos don't show!
  2. ldelahanty
    Thank you! This was so fun to do. It was quick and easy, it only took a week to do everything. I just can't wait to get the plants in the ground! 2 weeks is such a long time!
  3. miquwid
    I really love how it looks and the different materials you used.
  4. Davidlonghair76
    nice job resourcing your materials Looks great

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