Hubby says no chickens. No funds for coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DebFred, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. DebFred

    DebFred Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 26, 2012
    I am heartbroken. Hubby says after months of talking about chickens, that we can't afford a coop. We were planning on building our own. He is quite good at that stuff.

    I have never built anything. I am pretty sure we have enough stuff lying around to make a coop for 15 chickens. They can't be that expensive or difficult. The one we had in Kentucky was nothing special. But the chickens loved it.

    Any hints or ideas on super easy coops for an old chick to build? I am 55. I used to work in a machine shop and help with projects. I know how to use tools. We have saws and sawhorses. Table saw, sawzall. that kind of stuff. I want to build one that is elevated off the ground. Planned on a run as well. I know we can get those metal stakes and chicken wire fairly cheap, right?

    So discouraged...
  2. rollkeeg877

    rollkeeg877 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2012
    london ontario
    make a chicken tractor there easy to build and maybe not 15 if you had maybe 7 chickens your feed cost won't be that high
  3. RavenWood

    RavenWood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2012
    Vanderhoof, BC Canada
    Shipping pallets are usually free and you can pick 'em up behind most grocery/lumber/hardware etc. stores. No need to spend a red cent on a coop if you are willing to spend the time taking some of the pallets apart! Check out some sites online or on Pinterest that show how to do it!
  4. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    I have mine in an old metal shed.For me the food and bedding is getting to be to much.
  5. critterwhisper

    critterwhisper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 14, 2013
    Hi deb,i am sorry to hear about your disapointment but chin up- there is a way. I am converting my shed into their coop.Do you have any buildings on your property to convert into a coop? Check salvage yards or local neighbors to seeif they may have some scrap wood or materials they wouldnt mind getting of their hands. I got pallets from my neighbor about three years ago free for i could store my hay. I seen a member on here that made a awesome coop out of pallets.maybe this would work for you all? Chin up i believe you will be able to find a way,best of luck :)
  6. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    Our first coop was made from wood/tin scraps we scrounged from Craigslist and Freecycle. I think the only thing we actually paid for initially that's on the coop were the hinges on the door (and they weren't bought with the intention of using them on the coop. They were purchased for another project that never happened). I used good sized tree limbs for roosts and milk crates for nest boxes (though we did eventually buy one of those big metal 12-hole jobbies, but I scored it for $50 at a chicken swap). Where there's a will, there's a way!!! Good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  7. jasmer

    jasmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2012
    Our hen house is just an unfinished utility shed that came with our property. The chicken run is made out of recycled pallets, 2x4 posts, and wood poles we scavenged off our own property as well as a couple rolls of chicken wire. We also used some spare ply wood lying around.


    There's our wee little chicken run. You can probably get on Craigslist or your local Freecycle network (through Yahoo or Facebook, whichever they're using) and find some cheap or free scrap lumber to build a hen house. You can use boxes or old wooden crates for nesting boxes. We put up roosts in the shed, they're just more long poles we found laying around, nailed them up and they work fine. We have 17 chickens counting the rooster and the hen house is way way way more than they need, it's like the Taj Mahal of chicken coops in there, it's huge, it's the size of a small bedroom.

    You only need a space covered on 3 sides, 4 if it's still well ventilated, and you only need enough roost space for them all to find a spot. For 15 chickens you probably only need 3 nest boxes, 4 tops. All 16 of hour hens only use 2, though to be fair most of them are old and don't lay much if at all.

    The only thing we paid for when we built our coop was the chicken wire and staples for the staple gun. The rest was just lying around, and if you know anybody who works at any kind of manufacturing plant they probably have tons of spare pallets laying around that you can take. You can pry the boards apart and use them to build something from scratch or you can nail pallets together and shove wooden poles between them and into the ground to keep them steady, that's what we did. Looks like crap but it held up to the neighbor's great dane and a few coyotes.
  8. DDNONIN2016

    DDNONIN2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2012
    SW Ohio
    [​IMG] Just brain-storming here. Do you have a garage ? Maybe you could use a lonely back corner of it to house a few hens.
    Some of my silkies sleep in one of those plastic rubber maid boxes. Measures 3 ft high by 4 ft wide. I just drilled holes around the top of the side walls for ventilation. Hope you come up with something. So frustrating :(
  9. katoranger

    katoranger Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 7, 2012
    Altamont, KS
    I have used some pallets that I get for free from ACE hardware. The manager pointed to a stack and told me I can have all I want. I loaded my trailer full. Will go back for another load when I use these up. It takes a bit of time to take them apart, but I can use most of the lumber from them. Some are longer and have nice usable 2x4s and then the slats I have been using as siding.

    My coop is not completed yet, but I think it will cost me about $250 in materials. I wanted the frame to be solid and it is treated lumber. If I spent more time I could reduce that more. Lots of used stuff out there. I have feelers out for hinges and roof tin right now. I just need some old door hinges and scraps of tin. My coop may not be the prettiest, but the cost will be low.
  10. DebFred

    DebFred Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 26, 2012
    Thank you all so much. The husband of one of my friends is going to keep an eye out for some pallets for me. The only building we have is the shed. It is his domain. No room for chickens in there. I am going to go out in the man cave later, and take a look around. There is a lot of stuff in there. Should be something I can make a coop out of. I will try. Once he gets his mind on something, you can usually forget changing it.....

    Thanks again.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by