Help! First Coop Plans Wanted (cheap, easy, small)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by haon, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. haon

    haon New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Sep 5, 2014
    Hey all! I've looked around, but the coops I've seen tend to be pretty extravagant. I'm working on building my first coop and I am looking for a design that is cheap, functional, and easy-to-build.

    Budget: < $150
    Size: Big enough to house 6-8 layers. I have a fenced-in area that should work as a run (it'll keep the chickens in, but won't keep predators out).
    Climate: Avg Low in Coldest Month (23F); Avg high in hottest month (89F); not much snow -- think Southeast MO / Southern IL.
    Building Experience: Minimal
    Building Supplies: I have a bunch of old farm doors. But I'm not sure if/how to re-purpose them.
    Enthusiasm: High!

    Thanks guys!!
     
  2. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,015
    182
    158
    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop
  3. haon

    haon New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Sep 5, 2014
    Thanks! I've looked through the online plans but haven't seen one that seems particularly cheap or easy. Do you have any specific recommendations? I've ordered the book you recommended, but want to keep as many options open as possible.

    Thanks!
     
  4. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,015
    182
    158
    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop
    For cheap, look at anything made from pallets or repurposed furniture.
     
  5. haon

    haon New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Sep 5, 2014
    Thanks! Ok, I think I found something that might work. These are detailed, good looking plans: http://cf.ltkcdn.net/greenliving/files/760-Chicken-Coop-Blueprints.pdf. The problem is, when I called Home Depot for a quote, they estimated that the coop would cost about $360 to build. That's about twice my budget of $150, and doesn't include any paint or other doodads to make it look snazzy.

    But, I also realized that the coop is 64 square feet (if I'm doing the math correctly). I only want 6-8 chickens, so I could drop down to 32 square feet, right? My thought was to build this coop almost exactly, but to halve the length (e.g., make it 2'x4'x4' instead of 2'x4'x8'), otherwise keeping things pretty similar. My hope is that half the size = half the wood = half the price ... and together with being able to use repurposed farm doors as siding, I can skip most of the siding and bring it down to <$150. Thoughts? Will making the coop half as long still be workable?
     
  6. jdlong27

    jdlong27 Out Of The Brooder

    53
    2
    33
    Aug 25, 2014
    Upstate SC
    Hi Haon!

    I looked through the blueprints you posted. That's great that someone took time to make these. I would caution though that there isn't ANY ventilation in that coop as designed. You will need some. And in doing so your costs will rise. You will be leaving out some wood and replacing it (hopefully) with more expensive hardware cloth. (Also called galvanized wire mesh)

    You could check craigslist and freecycle to get the materials you need cheaper!

    Good luck with the build!
     
  7. jdlong27

    jdlong27 Out Of The Brooder

    53
    2
    33
    Aug 25, 2014
    Upstate SC
    Oh! And as far as size. You will get a wide range of answers here from what I've seen. My best advise is : if they will be in here full time (no run) the bigger the better. With run, a little smaller is fine. Free ranged, enough room to sleep and sit out bad weather. 4 sq. ft. per bird is what I base it on these days. That's 24-32 with 6-8 hens. If you cut that coop in half you will have 32 sq. ft. but that includes an inside nest box area. I wouldn't put more than 6 large birds in that space. (And that's tight.)

    Be that as it may, it's my opinion and you are free to do what you like. I'm sure others will help with their opinions as well.

    All the best!

    *edited for autocorrections from phone. Lol
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by