any ideas on how to cut corners building a big coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SammyRouen, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. SammyRouen

    SammyRouen Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 12, 2014
    Hey y'all
    I'm hoping very soon I can start constructing my new coop. I plan on it to be 8 x 12. I don't want to spend lots of money on it so I was wondering if anyone out there has any idea on how to build it cheap yet sturdy? It also has to be good in cold weather and light weight. Because I want to build it one wheels/ old car trailer. Any ideas, thanks! :)
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    The best I've found to save money on materials is to visit one of the big box stores. The Lowe's by me has pallets of wood that is split or warped for half price. Once the pallet sits for a month you can make an offer to the manager that will usually take a third of the original cost.

    Craigslist also has a free section - often with construction materials.
  3. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich True BYC Addict

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Try to find an older no longer used, camper trailer and convert it. You have it movable, insulated and cheap.
    1 person likes this.
  4. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2013
    Pottstown, PA
    If you are building from scratch, don't bother with a floor (think large, sturdy chicken tractor). You can use deep litter on bare ground, as long as it is on high ground and water doesn't flow under the area. I'm planning something like this with the idea I can move it close to a building in the winter for wind protection and electricity, then out into the open for the warmer part of the year.
  5. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

    May 25, 2010
    NW Georgia

    I'll second this! When I built my newest coop, i'd check the back at home depot before I bought anything. They keep the warped/cracked etc etc separate. At our lical store they paint one end purple, 70% off. I bought all the 2x4s i needed to frame my coop walls, roof, roosts and poo board for $51.....

    Then we were looking at paint, checked the "oops" bin and found a gallon of barn red, normally $29 for $9...,,

    If you see something with some damage on it, ask for a discount, you WILL get one
    1 person likes this.
  6. dwcrwr

    dwcrwr Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2015
    Central Florida
    If you want to cut corners, you start by throwing "attractive" out the window. Use ANYTHING you can get for free or very cheap.
    My coop is an old 8x10 shed that was on the property when I bought it. If you spend hundreds on materials, you will never reCOOP the investment.
    Just as important as cost though, is design. Unless you have many hours of idle time per week, you want your design to create ease of maintenance. A neighbor has a coop with a hardware cloth floor, where the floor is 4ft off the ground. Under it he poured a small concrete slab. This makes cleaning the droppings a breeze. I had done the same with a mobile coop and mobile run. The droppings for mine would just fall to the ground and I would move it periodically to give the hens fresh grass and give fresh fertilizer to different parts of the yard.
    Again, if you want to cut cost, then you use anything you can get that will keep your birds safe and allow you to keep them healthy by keeping their environment clean.
    In a similar vein, I made an auto waterer with a bucket and a toilet mechanism. I used an old 4 drawer filing cabinet for nesting boxes, cutting holes in the back for the hens to get in. Allowing me to open the drawers to get the eggs. It looks quite odd, but it does the job.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    If you have a RESTORE in your area (Habitat for Humanity thrift shop) you can find all sorts of materials to reuse or repurpose fo a coop: lumber, flooring, paneling (if you are going to do the interior) windows, etc. I built almost all of my first coop using found/recycled and repurposed materials from several building projects and the Restore. Things like mismatched kitchen drawers made fine nesting boxes. Old wine racking system made good roosts.
    My second coop I recycled a 17 year old mini-van into a mobile coop with detachable/moveable run.
    It came in really handy when we had to evacuate with 43 chickens due to a forrest fire! (Never could get the darn chickens to wear their seatbelts!)
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
    2 people like this.
  8. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains

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