Cheap, DIY emergency/segregation coop?

Jodi * Bend OR

In the Brooder
8 Years
May 17, 2011
I recently inherited two more hens from a friend. One of these gals, Sugar, had an incident a few months before wherein the friend's other hens pecked her pretty badly. She's doing fine, but another incident occurred here with my girls that added to her trauma, and I'm not sure she's ever going to be willing to integrate with my (or anyone's) other girls again. I did, however, recently receive some excellent advice with regard to helping her and our other girls to change the dynamic a bit and get her accepted and even adored (yes, it has to do with treats! LOL), so we have some things to try toward maybe trying integration again within a few months.

Meanwhile, she needs a better home for winter. I'd love some advice/ideas/plans for a simple, inexpensive, DIY segregation coop for her. For the moment, she's been free ranging in a separate part of the yard during the day and sleeping in a dog carrier on our deck at night (with plenty of bedding, and with garden frost blanket wrapped over it to keep her warm enough). But I know she would prefer to roost at night, and I'd love to have just a little more room for her to move around while inside. She can turn around easily and stand upright in the carrier, but I know it's not a permanent (nor even semi-permanent) solution; especially since she can't roost in it, and since our winters here are very cold and snowy, so she'll need something that will be warm enough at night.

We've been tossing around ideas, but I'm afraid not much is coming to us, other than maybe looking at plastic storage containers (the big ones)...? We're not very handy with wood, but my husband could build something very basic if needed; but if any of you could suggest a DIY we could do from some existing article, it would be wonderful! Thanks in advance... we really appreciate any help you can give!
Get some pallets and nail them together. Get a shipping container from a motorcycle shop and nail it back together. Make doors and cover as needed. Install a roost. Quick and dirty.

A place to start.

The pallet idea would be my suggestion too.

But having two chickens is better than one along to winter. One year, after loosing all but one to predator, I had to get a bird to keep my lone survivor company. The integration was not bad since both wanted company. Chickens are social animals after all.

I use the stranger in the night strategy and have been successful every time.
Great suggestions and advice: Thank you both so much! Sugar is not afraid of Pepper, the gal she arrived here with, so I'll set up something where the 2 of them can "room" together. And I'll call around about free pallets today, and check with the nearby motorcycle shop about a shipping container. Thanks again!!! :)
Most pallet refurbish places will have shipping containers sitting around that they picked up from behind businesses and factories. They don't want to rip them apart to reuse wood and therefore have little resell value.

Except for those people who want them for coops and brooders! I think you could build a platform base, turn the crate upside down and make a small coop that way. Cut out a small door that hinges and along the top a cut few ventilation holes, covered with wire to prevent critters from entering.

Or keep it upright and make a slanted hinged roof for the whole thing.

A John Deere dealership is nearby where I live and I see lots of nice crates sitting around back of shop. They were used for the new mowers that were shipped in.

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