Lowest Cost Coop Design

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mareview farm, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. mareview farm

    mareview farm New Egg

    Feb 16, 2008
    I am writing a proposal to help low income folks on food assistance to have the option to own a few chickens. I need to prove total cost and show it is both affordable and manageable for folks with no farming experience or equipment. I see many wonderful coop designs listed but I don't see any total cost of materials listed. Would BYC be interested in a Cheapest Small Coop Design Contest? I am trying to think of all Recycle options to keep the cost down including putting a call out to anyone who would be interested in donating an old dog house that is no longer in use. I am thinking a house big enough for 4 layers needing Maine winter housing. Happy for any suggestions or ideas. Thanks
  2. MrChicken207

    MrChicken207 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    Caribou, Maine
    I think it's and AWESOME idea. Might also be good for tightwads as well. the only issue I can foresee with people of low income in Maine would be those who live in more built up areas. Many times those areas are zoned to not allow livestock. Granted, some municipalities do allow up to 6 hens. The unfortunate thing is that not all municipalities allow it. Bangor residents have a petition going around right now to change that, for example. My town doesn't allow it, but most of the trailer parks (I know, it is a bit stereotypical) are in areas where it is un-zoned, so the birds could stay. Then again, if they prove that chickens are pets and not livestock (not easy if they are providing eggs), then they could stay that way.
  3. HudsonValleyGirl

    HudsonValleyGirl Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 9, 2010
    There is a design on here some where for a coop made out of pallet wood. Palets are usually free and you might beable to get them donated from a company that needs a tax write off.
  4. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I don't get that. My mom breeds doxies, they provide her with some serious income from their fertility... so why are they considered pets, but a chicken whose reproductive stuff you EAT (not even sell) isn't? Boggles my mind.

    I would say Freecycle and Craigslist... but if you're writing a proposal that must be proven then it'd have to include detailed pricing that was available at all times to all people... so, not sure how to help with that other than to find a simple small (maybe 4 hen?) design and actually go to Home Depot, Lowes, etc and see exactly what it would cost to build the design. Would NOT hurt if you talked to all the local hardware stores to see about donation of materials either... they'd prolly get a write off for it, good public image.... if you could find a way to get even a small commitment from them then that'd help your proposal. Also speak to the feed stores and see if they might be willing to donate feed or bedding at some time during the year... divvy it up and deliver? Again with the write off, and knowing which store the 'sample' came from might get them buying from that store... If I had a store I'd be willing to donate what I could afford.
  5. MrChicken207

    MrChicken207 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    Caribou, Maine
    It has to do with how the zoning board of the municipality sees things. I personally think that anyone should be allowed to keep poultry on their property, even on a small lot like mine, as long as it is done humanely. I even think a rooster isn't a bad thing. It's alot less annoying than a dog barking too often, or a kid in a civic with the bass turned up too loud.
  6. jeb251

    jeb251 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2009
    Fort Wayne
    this coop cost about $125 and is working great so far, very simple to build and easy to keep clean

  7. JanetSmithery

    JanetSmithery Out Of The Brooder

    May 11, 2010
    Eugene, OR
    If it helps, here's my itemized list of coop costs thus far. I haven't bought the roofing materials yet...ugh. This is for a 4' by 10' coop/run combo. Here's about as far as we've gotten, if you need a picture.


    Plywood (5 sheets, Craigslist): $30
    Framing Lumber, Douglas Fir: $60.36
    Foundation Lumber, Pressure Treated: $28.52
    Sand and Gravel for foundation: $20.00
    4 angle brackets for foundation: $3.56
    4 tie plates for foundation: $3.16
    3.5 inch deck screws: $23.67 (3 pounds...should have just bought a 5 pound box and saved $2.)
    1.5 inch deck screws: free
    3/8″ staples: $4.59
    Cabinet Door for window: $4 (Yeah, ReStore!)
    6 mending plates for door: $5.76
    Hardware (hinges, locks, door pulls): $19.75
    Hardware Cloth: $116.97
    Paint: $13
    Stain: Free
    Vinyl Flooring: $10

    $343.34 so far...
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  8. BlueRoseMama

    BlueRoseMama Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 15, 2010
    Making a hutch with an attached run will be more expensive than making just the hutch. Depending on what you are looking for, and the extent you want people to be able to do what you are proposing, it may be wise to not have a run at all. Ideal for the chickens? No, but hens have been dealing with worse for hundreds of years. (Battery hens.... shudder.... deal with much worse, and those are the eggs the low income population would be supporting anyhow.) A hutch is off the ground, has a seperate tray for removing the poo underneith, and sometimes even has two stories so that some hens are above and some are below. It can fit on your patio, like a rabbit hutch, and usually costs about $50 to build and $110 to buy.

    You build a box out of plywood (one piece will do if you have the means to cut it into squares), add a chicken wire bottom (so the poo goes somewhere else) and a door in front and in back (to collect), then a secured closet rod roost. Then add 2X2's for legs, and a metal tray at the bottom to catch the poo that can be removed to be cleaned, and support pieces for the tray (which could easily be any scraps from the rest of the project cut to size). It's simple, cheap, and can fit on a patio. If kept clean, it doesn't smell, and you still get eggs.

    It depends on what your end goal is for the project. It WOULD be good for the low income population to realise that taking care of your own critters for food is a plan for survival through hard times. When I was young, our chickens were often what kept us healthy due to our income and living conditions.

    It also depends on your weather conditions though... what is your climate? Would this proposal come with lessons in chicken care or a booklet they could just throw away? If you are proposing these animals as pets, then I would require a short class on chicken care and maintence to get the funding for the project.

    I have worked on a similar project here in Western WA with providing raised bed gardens for low income that wanted to grow their own food. It was a wonderful project that I wish I could have been a part of longer. I would imagine that between that project and this, we would loose a lot of the starvation via poverty in this country. [​IMG]
  9. KimberlyJ

    KimberlyJ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
  10. Sissy

    Sissy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2007
    Sevier county, Tn.
    Great idea, [​IMG]

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