Our first coop, built on a shoestring

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by wloundy, May 2, 2017.

  1. wloundy

    wloundy New Egg

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    Hey everyone!

    I'm new to BYC and glad to have found this community. I recently built a chicken coop on (almost) zero budget using recycled/found materials, mostly wooden shipping pallets. Please enjoy the pictures below and feel free to ask questions. What a wild ride it's been!

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    I don't have a carpentry or woodworking background, so on Day 1 I was quite pleased with myself for creating a simple cube out of the pallets.

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    So pleased with myself, in fact, that I built a second cube on Day 2. I don't have a drill, so everything was done with hammer & nails.

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    On Day 3, I strengthened the cubes a bit and started to envision them side by side with some open space in between.

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    More pressure testing, and some mugging for the camera.

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    We had a friend visit from out of town, so I put her to work framing the run & wrapping the whole contraption in chicken wire. Plus, of course, more mugging.

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    The next phase, building a "second floor" henhouse was by far the hardest and required several days of scavenging wood parts & planning, made slower by a few rainy days.

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    But slowly things began coming together.

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    I spent a lot of time making sure the henhouse was completely predator-proof. There's no opening greater than 1 square inch. I can open the henhouse easily by pulling out a plank of wood.

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    Here is a picture of me with one of our birds on the day they arrived! The coop wasn't even done, but I couldn't turn down these two beautiful (and free!) Rhode Island Reds.

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    The end of the run opens up so I can walk in for feeding & cleaning.

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    And we have a great spot to reach in for the eggs each morning.

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    Our cat, surveying the yard.

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    The ladies, looking out.

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    And some more pictures for good measure!

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    We've gotten 1 egg per bird per day so far! They're quite overachievers [​IMG]

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    P.S. Thanks to @aart for encouraging me to post this! [​IMG]


    P.P.S [​IMG]The chickens are attracting bears, so I'm in the process of installing an electrified fence around the whole thing. I'll update as that progresses.
     
    2 people like this.
  2. wloundy

    wloundy New Egg

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    Forgot to mention, this took about 12 days, including lots of rainy days, and cost about sixty dollars, which I spent mostly on chicken wire.
     
  3. Wandercreek

    Wandercreek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love it! It's quite ingenious. Bonus points for recycling/reclaiming. Bravo!

    I do hope they were heat treated pallets?
     
  4. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chicken wire is tissue paper to a bear. I wouldn't be leaving them in that before you get the hot wire up. It's heart breaking to come home to a torn up coop and missing girls.
     
  5. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

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    Great job on the coop!!
    be wary of bears, i recently had one rip off the side of my barn and eat many birds

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    and last spring it ripped my coop apart 2 or 3 times

    not sure where you are located but if you have weasels make sure there are no hole bigger than 1/2", a weasel can fit anywhere a quarter can

    Great job and great re-purpose!!
     
  6. wloundy

    wloundy New Egg

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    I have no idea how to know if they were heat-treated pallets. What does that mean and why does it matter? [​IMG]
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
     
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Bear are attracted to the feed and once there will eat the chickens. The best thing to do is to bring the feed inside a shed, garage or house each night. Eve without bear you should bring feed inside at night for other critters including attracting rodents. With that in mind think of what your going to do to keep rodents in check. I use tamper proof bait box with chunk bait. Keep it right in the run along edge.

    Electric fencing/netting is a good idea. It keeps many animals away. Once trained to the electric they ignore the area until new predators move into your area and test the security. For bear you need over 6K volts, 8K is better.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  9. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for sharing! When browsing coops online (homemade and store bought) I am bombarded with photos of pristine and picturesque vacation cottages for chickens that look more luxurious than my own home. While these coops are adorable, I found most were not practicle. Pre-Fab coops are tiny and expensive and many people's large homemade coops were, well large and expensive and might even require a building permit and a small construction crew. I applaud your efforts. We too scavenged most of our materials and primarily used rough cut lumber (scrap) from a friend's lumber mill and our firewood pile. I love your coop and it's given me an idea or two for future yard expansion as my flock grows. I think the pallets will provide good shade and a wind block when the weather is less than ideal for your hens. Good luck with the bears. I agree, bring the food and water in your house at night. Also I'm thinking of installing a light for predators. I already have one on the other side of my house, about $40 from Lowes, motion sensored, solar powered, LED flood light, so lots of light when it's triggered but no electrical work at all. (We have more coyotes than bears, but still a threat, there are bears that live a few miles away and I don't know if my coop will attract them)[​IMG]
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  10. Wandercreek

    Wandercreek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1 person likes this.

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