Building on a budget?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Malbri, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Malbri

    Malbri Songster

    Jan 10, 2008
    Early this morning I had some chickens sleeping in their run, and somethign attacked. It only injured one hen, and the injury turned out of the fatal.

    So here is my dilemma. I have 2 chickens that do not have a coop. They have a run that is half covered and their "coop" is a dog crate with no door on it. So I need something I can close them in at night. I plan on expanding to more silkies so I need a decent sized, predator proof coop. My problem is my paycheck plus my next is pretty well spent.
    Are there any good coop plans that will fit about 5 silkies at the most and is secure and cheap? And this will be done completly by me and my mom, so nothing too complicated
  2. Malbri

    Malbri Songster

    Jan 10, 2008
    And another quick question- how do you guys secure the bottoms of your runs? Do you put chicken wire on the bottom or does it hurt their feet?
  3. Awww I am so sorry for your poor sweetie.[​IMG]

    Here is a great thread from a few weeks back. There were LOTS of great ideas.

    We are in the process of making a very secure pen, even though ours do some free ranging. Many people, including us, dig down a foot or so, and put hardware cloth in the trench around the complete perimeter. If you use 3 foot hardware cloth, it will do a good job protecting them from predators. I hope this helps.
  4. Malbri

    Malbri Songster

    Jan 10, 2008
    Well it is a moveable run, because we actually put it inside the basement to keep them warm in the winter, and I cant dig up dads lawn
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    you can discourage digging predators by laying an apron of 1" welded wire mesh (would be my choice, tho any similar and sufficiently STRONG product will do) flat on the ground out to about 2' from the base of the walls. And of course attach it to the base of the walls, so critters can't just paw it away. That way you do not need to go excavating lawn [​IMG]

  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    You don't want to have your chickens on wire - it is hard on them and can injure their feet.
  7. coffeelady3

    coffeelady3 Froths Milk for Hard Cash

    Jun 26, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    My coop is a doghouse, and I attached a door with a hasp so that it can be locked at night. So far, so good. (knock on wood!)
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Are there any businesses around who use wood pallets? They are often advertised in our classifieds for free. I know a lot of folks who use these for all kinds of structures and uses. They are strong and can last a long time. You could disassemble one or two and use the boards to fill the gaps on the others and fill the empty middles with straw or hay for insulation purposes. I could see where one could make quite a cute little coop out of pallets without a whole lot of work. Anyone ever done this?
  9. pdpatch

    pdpatch Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    Yes we have a coop made from pallet lumber. I would recommend taking all the wood off the pallet then use the wood to build the coop.

    You can see it under the taps pieces but this one is made from pallet lumber

    this one all the siding is pallet lumber, But it is rejected lumber that didn't make it to pallet.

    The framing for it is from cribbing, the lumber that goes under those large stacks of lumber when it's shipped. Ecept for the rafter nothing is longer then 4 feet.


    here's another example of pallet lumber used in a coop.

    This run uses the 2x4's from pallets spliced together to to make the uprights.

    Except for the man coop which is a Brick building just about everything else was made from scrap or used lumber.

    Getting the nails out can be a challenge as some makers use a twisted nails or they use nails with glue on them. So you may want to just add boards to an existing pallet.

    If there is any meat packing plant or meat processing plant in your area. They are required to use new pallets to you may have a pallet manufacture in you area. They can have a lot of usable scrap lumber they sometimes give away.

    Garage sales might also have used, but usable lumber.

    And yes we use chicken wire on some of our outside runs. In the back ground you can see the Prairie Dogs. They make an excellent Preditor Alarm.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Excellent use of recycled wood!!!! Very neatly done, I might add!

    We volunteered to tear down an old building to keep the scrap lumber. A little work can really pay off and we got some quality oak lumber. We also got about a 100 ft. of chain link fencing, all the posts and gates at the same place. We just let folks at church know we needed scrap lumber and someone gave us this opportunity. Try some word of mouth, advertise in the local free classifieds, scout the plants for pallets, etc. Free or cheap materials are out wouldn't believe what people throw away! Good luck! [​IMG]

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