Can't afford hardware cloth!! What do we do?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by FDaniels, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. FDaniels

    FDaniels Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We're getting 7 chickens at the end of next week and we're going to build the coops & runs over the next couple of days. We only have about $250 (would like to stay around $200) to build everything. But the hardware cloth alone will be like $150 once I factor in the wire that has to be buried as well. With this budget we can't afford an actual coop so we are going to tarp the entire roof of the run, the back sides and a little around the actual sides to protect them from wind & rain. And add a little tarp running straight across inside so they have a section where they can go and not be seen to nest & roost. It's the cheapest thing we could think of since we can't afford metal roofing & wooden coops. What do we do about the hardware cloth? We're afraid to use regular chicken wire even though we have a good bit lying around that was left over from our recently built dog pen. What do we do??

    2 of the chicks are from one flock & the other 5 are from one flock so we're having to build 2 separate runs since they're from different flocks. The one with 2 will be 5x4 and the one with 5 will be 5x10. Are these ok sizes? Please help us figure out how to build all this with such a small budget. Thanks!! Here's the material list we've come up with so far:
    *wire (hardware or chicken?)
    *2x4x8 PT (22 pieces) $63.31
    *1x2x8 (for doors) $6
    *corner braces (for the doors) $5
    *6 door hinges for 2 doors $10
    *4 locking hasp locks for doors $38
    *nails $5-10
    *staple gun & 2 packs of staples $20
    *2 blue 8x10 tarps $10.83
    *1 pack of stakes $2

    For the nesting boxes we're going to use old plastic tidy cat containers (cleaned & disinfected of course). For perches we have a couple of 3 tier shelves we're going to put in each of the runs & use any scrap pieces of lumber. And for feeders & waterers we're going to use stuff we can find around the house (bottles, bowls, buckets, etc).

    How does this sound or do you see anywhere we can cut? Thanks so much!
     
  2. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    Before you purchase anything, be sure to take a look on craigslist and other sources for an old garden shed, outbuilding, horse trailer, shipping container, or anything that you could tolerate in your yard that might make a good coop. If you find something inexpensive or even free, you could use more of your budget for a good run and always upgrade the coop later. Take a look around in the coops section. There are some great examples of ingenious uses of alternative coop materials. Best of Luck!
     
  3. chickadoodles

    chickadoodles Overrun With Chickens

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    I used welded wire (I think it is dog wire) and it is 45x100' roll for my run and I got free pallets for my coop. Lots of places will give pallets for free like lowes.
    I have pics of my coop and runs in my photos if you would like to look at them. But if you are only doing a few chickens then you don't need as much wire so maybe you could go with a 50' roll. But then some people just build chicken tractors so they can move them around the yard easier.
     
  4. FDaniels

    FDaniels Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have any predators ever gotten in there through the welded wire? We have dogs, cats, coyotes, opossums and raccoons.
     
  5. chickadoodles

    chickadoodles Overrun With Chickens

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    No, however some critter did grab ahold of one of my young cockerels and tried to pull his leg off thru the wire. My bird got away from it and survived! I wrapped his leg very tightly as it was pulled out of the socket and it has healed and he can now walk on it. But it took abt. 5 months to heal. But that is only because the bird was in a grow out pen and not in the coop.
    But the wire has kept my birds safe, along with my dogs and from my dogs.
     
  6. FDaniels

    FDaniels Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 2, 2013
    Oneonta, AL
    We've got dog wire at marvins for $100 for a 100' roll & $50 for a 50' roll but that still comes out to be about the same as the hardware cloth so still stuck lol. I looked on our local CL & couldn't find anything we could use or afford. All the free stuff was clothes and boxes and stuff like that. I did find something about scrap paneling & lumber but it was several days old & too far away. Marvins does have this bin near the lumber that has scrap pieces so do you think that could be their throw away pile? The pieces are always only a few ft long though & I'd still have to buy a ton of braces to connect them all. We've got pallets at work but no way to haul them & it's only a few beat up ones. Is there anything listed in our materials list that we may be getting unncessarily or does that all sound ok?
     
  7. newchickmom

    newchickmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I could not afford the hardware cloth either. I would have needed a lot! I only used it on the windows and vents of the chicken house.

    For the bigger outer run, I use 2" x 4" welded wire fence. 4 feet tall. For the inner run, I also use the same 2x4 welded wire fence plus chicken wire up against that, on the inside, up to 2 feet high. The upper 3 feet of the inner run has bird netting and bird netting over the top. My inner run is about 7 ft tall. This gives me a safe place for hens with chicks. They are virtually, double fenced.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Separate runs for medical quarantine? Are these full grown birds?

    Maybe just get the 5 and build one coop and run?

    Where are you located? You can put it in your profile, it can help with suggestions.

    Staple gun? Staple gun staples will not sufficiently hold mesh to wood, it can be torn off by coons or dogs, use screws and washers or trim pieces and screws.

    Apron doesn't need to be hardware cloth, you can use a larger opening mesh for that.

    Doing things fast usually means doing them more expensively...might be better in the long run to slow down and get the coop done before getting chickens....but then I'm a planner :)
     
  9. FDaniels

    FDaniels Chillin' With My Peeps

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    6 are full grown & 1 will be full grown in a couple of weeks. The reason for separating is since they're from different flocks & farms. We live in Alabama & thanks for the tip about listing where I live on the profile-didn't know that. What kind of screws & washers and would that be expensive to have so many to cover all the wire? Or are you able to space those out ever so far? So this chicken wire we already have would be ok for the apron? Well this has actually been a work in progress for a long time but I've spent so much time reading that now it's time to build and of course I'm having to hustle. But we definitely don't want to wait any longer to get them. Especially since we've already paid to have the farmers hold onto them for 1 week. Would any of the predators we have be able to fit through the welded wire? Can't remember if I asked the lady above that or not? Are there cheaper latches that are as safe as the locking hasps? The two biggest expenses is the wire and wood, I guess obviously, so any tips other than pallets for being able to build the frame? pvc maybe? or is it durable enough for a permanent 24/7 run?
     
  10. melroseladi

    melroseladi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was also on a tight budget so I made a hoop coop. I got scrap 4x4's for the frame, 2 hog panels from tsc for 20.00 each, a roll of 4' chainlink fencing for 50.00. I draped the chainlink over the hoop coop and secured it to the frame and zip tied it to the hog panel. I then put deer netting over that and a tarp. The back wall I built solid out of scrap plywood. The front I built a door and used small hole lattice on each side. I also used scrap 2x4's and 1x2's to frame out each end.

    I have since expanded by adding another hoop coop to the back side so both coops share the same back wall with a door and scrap plywood on the other end.

    I am not sure where you live but a hoop coop might be a good option for you.

    Penny
     

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