frugal custom coop+run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by providencechics, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. providencechics

    providencechics Hatching

    Aug 31, 2016
    Hi folks, I'm a first time chicken owner, and trying to redesign a new coop+run and was hoping to get some feedback before I do anything totally wrong. This will also be my first carpentry project (if you don't count the badly put together coop I did first).

    I have two hens, an orpington and a plymouth rock, and I'm thinking of eventually getting one more. They're probably 4 months old, and I refresh their water and give them a handful of grower feed + scraps twice a day.

    Right now they're in a custom built coop out of old furniture, but it's really inconvenient to use. The coop is just 3 feet of chicken wire, and they often jump out and are really hard to catch.

    I don't have spare cash or credit cards, as I recently had to file for bankruptcy due to a medical debt, so living paycheck to paycheck but I get to keep my house. I salvaged about 10 wooden pallets nearby to build the next coop+run. I also have a hammer, a box of 2-inch nails, 4 pieces of siding from old furniture, and the rest of the chicken wire (about 50 feet).

    So here's my plan and I'd love to know what ya'll think:
    1) nail 6 pallets together to form a rectangle (2 on a side, 1 on the other sides). so it's about 24 square feet and 4 feet high
    2) use one pallet to raise the floor a bit (inside the run), and use the spare siding from the furniture to make a slanted roof on top, then one piece of siding with a large hole to allow chickens access to the run but mostly close it off.
    3) place a small dresser shelf in there with a bunch of dead grass/sticks for nesting
    4) nail a dead branch inside the coop for roosting
    5) buy a deadbolt door hinge and put it on a siding as a door to make it easy to get into the run
    6) wrap the whole thing in chicken wire, including the top of the chicken run

    The floor will just be my backyard dirt. So to clean things out, I will crawl through the door, and replace the water/food inside the coop through the hole. And I'll use a trowel to scoop out the poop, and replace the dead grass / sticks.

    Is that reasonable? Am I totally missing anything? I live in connecticut so it'll get cold in the water. Maybe I'll put a blanket on the coop when it's cold.

  2. trudyg

    trudyg Songster

    Jun 3, 2013
    My son was given chickens by the neighbor that moved, but he didn't have anywhere to keep them. They were truly free range! He surrounded a trampoline with wire and coaxed them in every night, but sometimes worked too late and they found their own place. did it this way for several years. They even had several hatches. Protection from predators and weather is the main point. Anything else is gravy.
  3. providencechics

    providencechics Hatching

    Aug 31, 2016
    Thanks! That does make me feel better. But I live on a small lot (about 3000 sq ft), and my neighbors include a restaurant bar. So it's pretty easy for the chickens to just wander over there and get in trouble. Besides keeping them in, I'd like the coop to be easy to clean and refresh food/water.
  4. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    sounds like you have a good plan and enough chicken wire. The chickens need 4 sq. ft. inside te coop. Esp. if they will be cooped for a long time in the foul weather. a 4x4 coop should be plenty for 4 birds. They need 10 sq. ft. per bird outside. That's a 4x10 ft. run. How wide is your chicken wire? make your run that wide so you can use one width for the roof. You have 50 ft. of chicken wire. That's 34 ft. for the sides, roof and end. Plus extra for whatever you want. Now to roof the run. You will be so glad you did, as you bird will have a dry run in foul weather. Fins an extra tarp somewhere. cut it to fit the roof of the run and the house so there is a couple of inches of overhang all around. tack it down at the corners and at several points along the sides.
  5. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Songster

    Apr 1, 2014
    Longville, La
    See if you can locate xxcody2gunsxx member page and check out what he did mostly with just pallets and scrap wood. That may give you some encouragement that what you've already planned out is fine. You've got a good plan.
    Bankruptcy sucks but "this too shall pass". Been there, done that, no t-shirt.

  6. mamatink7

    mamatink7 Songster

    Apr 6, 2016
    for winter, you can always get the thick plastic sheeting to cover walls. Sounds alright to me. 4 months old, they should getting ready to be on layer feed (16wks+). Check out pininterest for pallet coops

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