Mayday! Mayday! Need plans for a fast, cheap , secure coop!!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by RanchHens, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. RanchHens

    RanchHens In the Brooder

    Apr 7, 2013
    Central Texas
    I realize that none of those words belong together, but I have a major emergency on my hands. I just resigned from my job, which means I will have to move out of the current housing in the next week with my two horses, German Shepard, 15 hens, 2 roosters, and about 15 chicks of assorted ages (all who still need to be in a brooder). It also means that my current cashflow is about -1,500 for the month.

    I'll be moving in with family, for now, who have space for the horses and a warm bed for me and the pup.

    However, there are no accomedations for the chickens. At all. In the middle of 30* F raining, nasty weather.

    There are two areas that may work as a coop, but neither has a space attached that could act as a run and they cannot be free-ranged as they are at our current home, due to dogs and the fact that we have to drive directly through the yard to get to the house.

    Since I have two roosters, a blue mottled Orpington and a Cream Legbar, I will have to have two seperate areas as these two roosters will fight each other and my Legbar will lose.

    At this point I think my best bet, for the large birds, is to build two tractors and split the hens between them. I just hate having to keep them confined to such a small space as up until now they've been free-ranged on over 15 acres with all the bugs their little hearts could ever desire.

    Does anyone have any ideas for building (2) tractors that are safe, warm, and potentially spacious enough for my birds to be comfortable, and will cost as little as possible?

    Also what's my best, affordable bet for an inexpensive brooder that will work for my teenagers and my brand new (born Saturday) babies?

  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Crossing the Road

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    It seen you are stuck between a stone and a hard spot. Here are some ideas in my head. Understanding that you are slightly budget strapped. House your chickens in what is available at this time. Build 2 tractors. You can repurpose an old trampoline and have a large tractor. Just needs fencing or chicken wire around the perimeter. You may be able to find them ????? on craigs list for few dollars. We got ours for free. We use as trampoline. But it would make a nice tractor. I put wheels on mine so that I can move it myself. Now as to brooders. You can make something very similar to what is being sold from stuff you may already have at home. Her is the link on youtube .. I know those 2 horses will eat up a lot of your income. WISHING YOU BEST. [​IMG]
  3. RanchHens

    RanchHens In the Brooder

    Apr 7, 2013
    Central Texas
    Thanks for the idea cavemenrich, I'll try to find some kind of structure that I can build around. I'm currently on a business trip so will have to start scrambling as soon as I get home.

    The horses are my biggest eaters, but, thankfully, are fatty pants and are on a strict hay and water diet.
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Do you have some dog kennel panels and some doghouses you can modify for the chickens? You would have to make them fairly predator proof if they weren't closed up tight at night in the "dog houses" though.
  5. RanchHens

    RanchHens In the Brooder

    Apr 7, 2013
    Central Texas
    Predator proofing is one of my biggest concerns, as the last time I had small animals at that property (4H Rabbits) a raccoon opened the cage door and killed by best doe. :hit

    So anything I build is going to have to be Fort Knox tough.
  6. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I have built one free coop, and one coop that cost me only about $8.

    There actually is a good deal of free stuff out there, if you don't mind ugly and a little work.

    for a brooder... I usually grab cardboard boxes, you can get several, and tape them together, put a busted screen over the top to keep them from jumping out... of course that would have to be inside.

    My other favorite spot to put chicks is the bathtub... but the house owners might not be happy with that.

    You can usually get busted old human baby playpens that work very nicely as chick brooders.

    As to a temporary coop in COLD weather, a truck topper works very well. Put it on the ground, open the windows on the sides and nail some wire to them.. and you are done. Very nice! They would get too hot in warm weather though. I used a truck topper for the roof of my free bantam coop.

    Some fancy car dealerships get parts in nice wooden boxes.

    Since you have horses, you might know people with extra cattle panels bent up that they would give you for free. The panels, or the round metal pipe hay holder things make a great temporary coop frame. Just line it all with wire, and you are set.

    For free stuff:
    your local Craig's list
    your local Facebook building stuff or free page
    any construction site, stop and ask
    any store that receives large items (furniture store, bulk food store, upholstery store, etc.) ask for free pallets
    your dump, where they put the construction stuff (mine allows scrounging)
    my dump also has a scrounge spot where people put goodies (I have found 1x2 wire there), as well as a spot specifically for fish net or all kinds

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: