Chicken Coop Construction for the Poor and Unhandy

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Yanna, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Yanna

    Yanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Illinois
    Hi there,

    I'm very impressed with the tasteful and well-appointed chicken coops and runs here in the forum.

    Here is my dilemma: I have no carpentry skills, no access to someone with carpentry skills and next to $0 to build an attractive coop and/or run. I am fairly positive I am not the only person in the forum in this situation. [​IMG]

    People with super attractive coops are quick to post pictures - what about those who have opted, out of necessity or because they didn't think their chickens would be offended by the lack of decor, to build coops from cheap or free materials and/or that didn't require journey level carpentry skills to build? [​IMG] Okay, and let's add another qualifier: those who live on small city lots? I know you exist!

    These are the coops I need to see! [​IMG]

    Thanks!

    Yanna
     
  2. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Dh and I slapped this 4'x4' two story coop together with materials gathered from the trash piles of a new housing project. Just ask permission from the foreman of the site first. We did pick up some hinges, wire, hasps, etc, but often these things can be found or requested on freecycle.com for your area. Freecycle or Craiglist is also a good place to find used and no longer loved children's playhouses or sheds that can be easily converted with very little work. You can also go to Lowes and Home Depot and ask about miss-cut lumber and wire as well as miss-mixed paint. These things can often be bought very cheaply. And, depending on where you live, look for farm sales, where people are selling their farms. Often they'll sell very cheap cans of nails, hinges, and other hardware. These are just a few ideas. If your small city lot has a good fence, like a wooden privacy fence, your girls (roosters make for bad neighbors where free eggs make for good neighbors) could just wander your backyard. If you have no fence, imho, you might want to reconsider getting chickens as there will be no end of problems unless you can put together Fort Knox.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2008
  3. robinaggie

    robinaggie Flew the Coop

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    May 25, 2008
    Texas
    Also try the Restore at your local Habitat for Humanity. I got heavy-duty hinges for 25 cents each there. I'm still gathering materials. Palettes, scraps from Home Depot, etc. My coop will look awful, if it ever gets built, but my chickens will be safe!
     
  4. FlockEweFarm

    FlockEweFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 11, 2008
    Flagstaff,AZ
    Also try your city or town dump or recycling center for free paint and caulking! I got 25 gallons of NEWW!!!! paint from a construction project that went belly up. Many places are trying to keep paint and such, out of the landfills, so they offer it for free. Home Depot and Lowes are a great resource for "Cull" lumber. Look on Monday and Tuesdays, in the lumber deparment near where they keep the saws that they do the free cuts at. I got almost all of my materials there, and I only paid .51 cents a piece, including the nice plywood! You can also get some materials from fencing companies. Also look into getting t-posts from campaign signs, once the elections are over of course, and the signs themselves are often made of high grade, weatherproof materials.
     
  5. Yanna

    Yanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Illinois
    Thank you so much for these ideas. I live 40 minutes from downtown Chicago, so there aren't many farm sales nearby but we certainly have our share of Home Depot-type stores in the near suburbs.

    Mis-cuts and botched paint it is!!!! [​IMG]


    Which tools do you think I would need? I don't know anything about types of saws.

    Thanks again! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  6. Lobzi

    Lobzi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mine made by me, no carpentry skills and hand tools. The only material I purchased was the wire for the sides of the run. Chickie seems to love it and so do I. Im very proud of my accomplishment.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Yanna

    Yanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Illinois
    Becky,

    Thanks for the photos - the exterior looks very doable.

    What did you use for roofing and did you use some type of weatherproofing along with it?

    Thanks again!

    Yanna
     
  8. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

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    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    This was put together with no wood or carpentry skills and could easily house 2-3 regular chickens. The plans are at Mother Earth News and are really simple to follow. Essentially all you need is a doghouse (got mine on Craig's List for $5) and the wire for the run.

    [​IMG]

    Hope that helps! PS it says to make a hinged door for gathering eggs. Not necessary. The dog house opens in the middle. You just lift it up!
     
  9. Yanna

    Yanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Illinois
    Quote:Thank you for posting the photo!!! You SHOULD be proud. [​IMG]

    I was feeling pretty discouraged earlier this evening looking at coops that are nicer than many people's houses but this is really helpful.

    Thanks again!

    ~ Y.
     
  10. Yanna

    Yanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Illinois
    Quote:This looks really good - thank you!

    I keep forgetting that Mother Earth News exists for some reason. I keep reading the Foxfire books, though.


    Yanna
     

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