Chicken Coops on a Dime!


Aug 5, 2013
For the past few years our chickens have run free around the property and were allowed to run about where ever they wanted. Once we got situated in our new house and kept having hens pop up with babies because we could not find their nests to take the eggs away we decided enough was enough. Time to build a couple of coops and put and end to the year round 'Easter Egg Hunt' that we generally failed at.

The only problem? We don't have a lot of money to go buy a bunch of new lumber with! When we drew up a coop idea and went to price check lumber we about had a heart attack. So we came home and started re-planning. With a few weeks of browsing craigslist and a lucky yard sale we had what we needed to start our first two coops! (I know, I know! FIRST 2 coops when you only have 20 chickens? Well, what can I say? I'm now obsessed and my mother is coming along for the ride because she likes using power tools and getting free eggs so we already plan on 3 more coops! But back to the first two!)

Our first coop..

...started with that lucky yard sale I mentioned. An old fruit stand!

We managed to score on the base of our coop for $40!

We did have to cave and spent about $80 on lumber, nails, hinges, and a piece of plywood.

First order of business was to take the planks from the top roof and put them on the middle for a solid floor.

I didn't get pictures of the whole process but this is what we ended up with! A lot of the wood came from up in the attic of our barn. Old cabinet doors, a few shelves from an old book case, and the ladder and front door (that will be replaced with a solid door when we get more wood out way) are made from an old wicker couch we tore apart and used!

The hens love it! You can't see it but inside are 6 nest boxes made of milk crates when...ummm...aquired from work. And two roosting bars. It's a big hit!

Total spent on coop: $120!

The Second Coop!

The second one started with a pallet company going out of business and giving away all the old pallets out back. Sadly, most of the good pallets were gone by the time we got there but we managed to grab some!

A lot of these were in bad shape.

But we figured it was worth a shot!

We started with a pallet as a base, added a back, then decided to add another slimmer pallet for nesting boxes.

A few tears later we managed to break down some of the pallets for 2x4's to use as sides for the nest box area as well as some old scrap plywood pieces for dividers.

Looking pretty good.

Added another side with nifty little 'holders' at the bottom that I plan on using as a treat holder!

Time for a break! Ignore my moms leg in the picture. lol

An old side for a book shelf became the door to the nest box area. There is only one hinge in this picture because I had set the other hinge on in the other coop for safe keeping and a hen was laying an egg when I needed it. Best not to disturb her!

She laid the egg, I got the hinge and viola! Nest box door! Just needs a latch.

Found a good pallet to stand up and use as part of the front.

And after a bit more tears, blood, and awkward angles to try and hammer in nails but manage to also hammer in your thumb and we have a roof!

Sadly, the light gave out on us and we had to stop for the night. We can't do anymore today do to having a horse show to get to but stay tuned and see what we manage to get done tomorrow! My mother and I are both excited and proud of what we are building so far!

Current Cost of Second Coop: $0!!
Thanks! Hoping to get some more done on it today if I can drag myself out of bed. The horse show lasted until well after 2am so I dread getting up and working but I know I need to. *braves the outside world*
Both look PHENOMINAL! Good job!! I wish I had your skills so I could get more chickens! :)
I'm hoping 6-8. I have 3 chicks in the brooder box now (about 2 weeks old) and a group of 3 pullets (around 11 weeks old) that I plan on living in there.
Aww no good! Time to break out the sketch pad and start planning! Though I must admit we did not plan the second one so much as we laid out the pallets and started playing tetris, seeing which piece would fit where! lol
Okay then! It's about 10:20 am on a pretty saturday. I'm no longer sick and I had a bunch of supplies come my way yesterday so lets see what we can build! I have 20 lawn timbers and 10 2x2's that I caved and bought because no good lumber has come my way on craigslist. That was around $90. Then something from craigslist DID come my way. Old dog kennels! The poles were sunk into concrete and we could not get them out but we got quite a bit of chain link fence for $30. I'mma finish my breakfast and hopefully will have lots of pictures for ya'll tonight!

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