please help! I will soon need a new coop with little money

Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

10 Years
Apr 30, 2009
Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
So here's my sob story:
When we moved in last September, it seemed great. There was a coop already, and the landlady said we could have chickens without a pet deposit.
Sure, the house was, um, rustic... but it was a country home and we hoped we could stay here till we saved up for a real home of our own!
But now, the landlady has lost the house, and we have 60 days to move out.
So my situation is unstable and the future unknown. With luck we'll find another country site where our chickens will be welcome. But I can't be sure that even if we are so fortunate, that we will find one with a proper usable coop (just in time for winter, too!) and a pen to keep the birds in till they adjust to the new location.
So here is my plea- if anyone has tips or plans for a coop suitable for a small flock (less than 30) that they would be willing and able to share, you have my gratitude. We have 4 able bodied adults (one who has been trained in construction by the navy) and just about any kind of saw we could need, so the building won't be too bad.If it helps, our climate has hot, dry summers, wet and pronounced but mild winters, and seldom more than 7 inches of snow (that was a weird winter.. and it even lasted for a few days!)
Also, if anyone in the state of Jefferson (that is, southern Oregon or northern California) has any materials they could donate I would promise to pay it forward. I believe in what goes around comes around, and When times are good I like to help folks out; but money will be tight during the move. There go our savings, just getting into a new house. We could come pick up supplies if you have any to spare so long as it is close enough to not cost us more in gas than the supplies are worth new.
You could check on for freebies, or nearly free. Also check around for construction sites, and ask if they have any throwaway stuff. Check around for people tearing down buildings. Run an ad that you can tear down a building for free lumber.

Just some suggestions. Good luck!
Since the lady lost the house, why don't you ask her if you can take the coop with you? I doubt she will mind and I know the bank won't! Also if she lost the house you probably don't have to move out as soon as you think. I have been a Mtg banker for 20 years PM me if you would like some info.
Spread the word amongst your family and friends, at church and work....I was flooded with tin, fencing, wood by doing this.

Also, check at your nearest lumber yard for "seconds" or slat bundles. My local lumber yard sells these huge bundles for $20 each.

Construction sites also throw out some mighty fine materials.
There are many ways to get free or nearly free materials. Check with the local large hardware stores such as Lowe's or Home Depot. They get lawn tractors in on large wood frames (Not pallets) that usually measure about 4 x 6 or 4 x 8 that work great for pen framing. They just break them up and throw them away. Another great outlet is if there is a heavy equipment sales or repair place around. The large parts come in wood crates or wood framed casing. My brother worked for Cummins and the good lumber I used to get from there was amazing.
Construction sites are great opportunities but they are hard to find in this economy.
Check the yellow pages for billboard companies in the area. They will usually let you just have the old billboard tarps. They are extremely heavy duty and work great for roofs or wind blocks.
Bales of straw are also a great way to build a coop. Straw is usually pretty cheap and you can stack it up with a space for a door and place boards over the top and then a layer of straw for insulation and then a tarp or something for a roof.
Check around the area for any delapidated building that might need to be tore down. Talk with the owner about trading the labor to tear it down for the materials.
Pen wire might be harder to come by. Check around for someone willing to let you take down their old fence for the materials. Chain link, horse fence and welded wire will all work.
And then there is always pallets. They can be tore apart or left whole to creat just about any type of cage or pen.
In these times you just have to look around and get creative. It is more about function than it is about form.
Thank you all for the suggestions! I will be looking into all those sources soon.
And no, I can't take the coop... It would fall apart! It is barely servicable as it stands, and that is mostly due to my efforts to salvage it.
I don't know the bank situation... I just got the landlady's notice. She says 60 days, so that's what I have.
I am trying to stay positive and call this an opportunity to improve. Whatever I can put together as a coop will surely be better than what I have now. It is ancient and looks like an outhouse... yeah, it's that small. I had to be very creative with the perch situation.

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