Getting a budget idea

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by EvansFlock, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. EvansFlock

    EvansFlock New Egg

    Jan 27, 2017
    Im trying to set up a budget for building a coop and getting started. How much straw would it take to cover a 4x6 coop with 3 1x1 nest boxes. Ive heard it should be about 6 inches deep. Also, roughly, how much feed could 5 or 6 hens go through?
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Have you considered fermented feed? This is one way that a lot of folks stretch their feed and cut their overall monthly/yearly feed costs. There are several discussions on the matter here on BYC that you might want to read through.
  3. EvansFlock

    EvansFlock New Egg

    Jan 27, 2017
    Never heard of it. I will look into it. Thanks
  4. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2016
    I have 9 hens and a bag of feed lasts 3-4 weeks but mine free range quite a bit. Plus I built a 5 gallon bucket feeder with the 90 degree PVC elbows in it. It cut down on my waste a lot. I was using a normal feeder from Rural King (it held 7 pound) and they emptied it the first day. Most of it was waste. Once I made the new feeder it cut my feed bill by a bunch.
  5. cjoffutt

    cjoffutt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2017
    North Central Indiana

    Happen to have any pictures of this? We're just starting to build our coop and am open to ideas on not to waste feed.
  6. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2016
    Here is a link to a lengthy thread on the feeders that show many different variations. The short of it is that they reach down into the feed via the PVC elbow and don't fling food out.

    As far as the straw for you coop one bale will go a long way. If you haven't already, and your budget is a key factor, you might look into the deep litter/bedding method. There are many threads on this and many youtube videos.

    When I started my coop I bought 1 bag of pine shavings from Rural King and put it down in my 8x6 coop around 3 inches deep. Every couple of weeks I would then throw in some grass clippings, or some raked leaves, or a little straw. I tried to mix it up a little. I just add a new layer on top. The ladies love scratching through the leaves and grass clippings looking for bugs. They also churn everything around and it will start to compost. I did this all summer then by October I had a deep layer (10-12 inches) that I shoveled over my garden. I started over the same method in October and will do the same until this spring. I will till the bedding/compost into the garden before planting. It doesn't cost anything and only takes 5 minutes to rake up some yard waste throw in. As far as my run goes (8x24 foot) I just throw a bale of straw in there and leave it as is until it starts to get down to mud again. I then throw grass or leaves in it as well, I don't keep up on it to try to compost, I just leave it until I think it is going to get muddy and throw some more in.

    Some people use sand etc in their coops. I know myself well enough to know that I would not want to be going out there everyday and picking up waste. The deep litter method is hands off for the most part, cheap, and effective.
  7. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Overrun With Chickens

    I think the budget is very subjective, it really depends on what you are building, your skills, if you will be hiring help or doing it yourself. I have seen threads on the coop pages where people have scrounged for pallets and free wood and made some nice coops on the cheap. I would suggest you spend some time looking at the coop pages here. My coop is costing a fortune, I have a rough idea in my head what it is costing and I am not sharing that number with my family.....

    Good luck

    Gary from Idyllwild Ca here

    Must. Finish. Coop.
  8. mclanea

    mclanea Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2016
    San Diego
    Straw is cheap. My coop/run is 6x14 and it takes so long to get through a bale that it's mostly rotten by the time I get around to using all of it. 15/bale or something? I have 3 chickens that go through 50 lbs of feed in about 5 weeks, 6 if they are finding good stuff in the yard. ($39/50 lb bag of organic feed locally)

    6 inches deep of straw is a good guideline, but it's not like you measure. I actually just throw a bunch in the run and walk away... they like to arrange it themselves.
  9. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2015
    Walla Walla WA
    You pay $15 for a bail of straw?! It's three dollars a bale here.
  10. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Flock Master

    Jan 18, 2008
    I agree, that's expensive and is there a lot of wasted feed? That seems somewhat fast for 3 birds to go through that much feed but I could be wrong.

    I feed Nutrena Hearty Hen and It's like around $15? For a 40 lb bag. I like it cause it's a little higher protein than the regular layer feed. During the winter when laying slows I switch to Purina Flock Raiser

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