New here building a new coop in TX - money saving tips?

BoerneChickens

Songster
9 Years
Mar 3, 2010
260
13
119
Boerne, TX
I'm new to the forum - I just ordered my first set of chicks - one Marans and three Easter Eggers (EE?). I'm sooo excited to get them and my kids are out of their minds thinking about them arriving week after next.
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So that we can give them a safe secure coop and run in our little yard (about 1/4 acre), I bought plans to build a great coop that will house up to 8 birds - and I hope to fill it up later this year with a few Silkies and a Brahma Bantam, but because it is quite large (6ft wide x 5 ft deep x 8 ft high) - I am a little worried about the costs of lumber and siding and things. I know there are places that sell building scraps out there - but I don't know how to find them. Any suggestions? I searched Google but only got scrapbooking returns
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Also - can anyone suggest ways to connect with local chicken people?

Thanks for your help and looking forward to getting to know you all!
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Happily Counting my Chickens in Tx
 

Chickygirl55

Songster
10 Years
May 6, 2009
120
0
109
Where in tx are you? Id ask around locally someone might know more. Or try craigslist's materials section they usually have people trying to get rid of stuff that could be usefull.
 

BoerneChickens

Songster
9 Years
Mar 3, 2010
260
13
119
Boerne, TX
I am just north of San Antonio. Good idea on Craig's list - I should have thought of that - I looked there for coops. Makes sense to check for materials!
 

Dread Pirate Roberts

Songster
11 Years
Jan 20, 2009
1,168
15
161
NorCal
I'm currently working on a coop designed for a small backyard flock. I put a lot of work into the design and materials selection in order to come up with the best coop possible at the cheapest cost possible. Here's what I have so far...

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I went with a wire floor so the poop can drop through. I used to think this was perhaps a little "cruel", or at least "uncool", but the chickens don't really spend much time walking around inside the coop. They're typically either sleeping on a roost or sitting in a nest box. It also facilitates better ventilation, which is crucial.
You can also kind of see my first ever coop in the background. That one was built for four banties, but now houses 14 big hens in a most sanitary and ethical way. Further improvements slated for that one are external nest boxes.

Here it is with the walls framed and the Ondura roof panel set on top...

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It would have been neat if the panel's ridges went the "correct" direction (downhill), but I just shimmed the middle to create a 3/8" slope to each side. It's been sitting out in the rain like that and doing just fine. I made the dimensions of the coop just right to use only one sheet of Ondura. If the ridge direction was that big of an issue, it could just be cut and the pieces rotated, but you'd still need to buy another sheet for 20 bucks.

My plan is to make a band of hardware cloth-covered open ventilation around the top 10" of the walls, then the roost will be mounted about 8" below the bottom of that band. The nest boxes will probably be inside just to save on money and hassle, but building external nest boxes would be really cool and would allow more roost space and more chickens.

Of course, there will be doors for grabbing eggs and reaching into the coop here and there...that's totally customizable to the specific setting.

The important things not included here are a run and a food/water area. Shelter would be nice too. On that first coop, I'm going to put like a covered porch on the front of it where the food and water will sit under and the ladies can hang out during the rain. That keeps them from just hunkering down inside the coop and being miserable during rain. The run, of course, is whatever you make it. You could just enclose the immediate area around the legs and call it a chicken tractor, but only for 2 hens.

Someday, I'll actually finish this.
 

BoerneChickens

Songster
9 Years
Mar 3, 2010
260
13
119
Boerne, TX
Dread Pirate - your coop looks great! I am not much of a building designer so I got a predefined plan. I'm recruiting some friends who have the tools to help me -- I'm hoping to have it done by April. Wish me luck!
 

TEXASSuperCHICKEN

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jun 4, 2008
16
0
22
Collin County
If I hadn't already built my coop, (cost me about $400)I would make one of the hoop coops- woudn't cost that much and you could move it... Mine is permanent. I have a 10 by 10 coop with a 7ft high roof to a 6ft so it slopes, I added another 10ft "lean to that I closed one end for an additional goat area and added another run for the goats.
The wire I used for my run was free to me, I helped a friend move a few years ago and he gave me alot of stuff...he HAD 40 acres...but move into the city because of money issues (55 miles each way to work-- think when gas was $4.00 a gallon).
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you can look at my page to see what I have done..(ps- the add on was FREE- got the fiberglass materials from work- used leftover lumber from other projects)
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Rafter 7 Paint Horses

Songster
13 Years
Jan 13, 2007
1,316
37
181
East Texas
I was also going to suggest a hoop house from cattle panels. They aren't very expensive, and I just think they are great.
You can even add to it easily if you decide to get more chickens.

Jean
 

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