Practical chicken coop made from an 8' X 8' pop-up aluminum frame tent

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by crikescrikes, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. crikescrikes

    crikescrikes In the Brooder

    Dec 6, 2013
    There's a lot of great looking creative chicken houses online. I prefer not to have my chickens live in a home that is made from 2x4's and plywood, and look like a "human house", so here is a video of my home-made DIY coop: The reasons I build it as I did:

    1) wood tends to rot, so I used an old pop-up aluminum framed 8'X8' tent. I've worked in pest control before and experienced the difficulty in getting fleas, lice, ants eradicated from rooms build with wood and double wall construction. Wood rots, grows mold and mildew, and absorbs odors! Even with vinyl flooring lice and ants somehow find their way into hollow cracks and crevices -- very difficult to eradicate without using chemicals. The floor of my cage is earth. The 4 legs of the tent is anchored with stakes, and the bottom edges of the vinyl screen are secured down with horizontal metal or pvc pipes laying on the ground. also buried a few inches underground along the walls are old recycled refrigerator shelving -- to prevent chickens from digging out.

    2) plywood and 2X4 are great hiding and breeding areas for pests (everything from lice, ants, mice, grain bugs, etc) so I used vinyl canvas and lattice scraps, and left over asphalt roofing shingles. The doors are framed with pvc pipe -- not wood. The screen is vinyl so it won't rust and it was lower priced than typical chicken wire.

    3) feed container I saw at feed stores and online are very nice and fancy and pricey, and I found them to NOT be weather proof,and could not hold too much feed. So I made my own; I found an old 5 gal water bottle and inverted it over a recycled 5 gal bucket with a ring inside to prevent the bottle opening from sitting on the bottom of the bucket. Then I cut holes in the side of the bucket and put a rubber skirt (made from an old fire hose) caulked to the side of the bottle-- caulked it with silicone -- and tested it in the most brutal storm. After the storm the feed inside was dry! Also, the chickens stick their head completely inside the bucket to eat and they cannot peck and throw feed on the ground -- no wasted food!

    4) Many commercially made waters look nice and are pricey, but are not very practical. I simply used a 5 gal bucket, and 1 gal back-up bottle with water nipples mounted at the bottom. Also as a third water (I make sure chickens NEVER run out of clean water) I placed a stainless recycled pot that is auto filled with a drip line connected to my landscape drip irrigation system.

    5)Wooden nesting boxes absorb odors, and invite pests. I used wire planter baskets, and regularly change the straw/hay. My chickens also like old straw baskets for laying eggs. I hang new branches weekly so the hens can have privacy when laying. When the baskets get too dirty, I simply stop by the 2nd hand store and pick up another basket for 99 cents.

    Anyway, here is a video (if you want more information on any feeder or waterer or coop, email, send me a reply. I offer templates to make your own feeders and waters):

    1 person likes this.

  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    LOL! You and I have a bit in common here.

    I build my own cages out of mainly scrap metals, wiring them together, and they're far better than wooden ones, not to mention mobile which is a great thing in itself. I didn't realize how awesome people apparently thought they were until I moved house, and offered them for free to whoever would move them, and bunches of people came from towns away and argued in my yard over them. :/

    I've used a LOT of refrigerator shelving, it's great for a lot of things, lol. And wiring, unlike welds and screws and nails, doesn't seem to break as quickly when used in a structure that's moved regularly. I used things like old trampoline frames and bunk beds for broody cages and convalescent runs. Worked great. Home made cages are simply awesome. They sell tiny wooden cages here that would weigh a massive amount for almost a thousand dollars... It's unreasonable how much they want for a pine hutch that's not going to withstand rain, rot, strong winds, and all the other assaults a poultry coop sustains, including when being cleaned for parasites.
  3. crikescrikes

    crikescrikes In the Brooder

    Dec 6, 2013
    Great story. Which state does your chicks call home?
    Maui Chics
  4. Laci D Hill

    Laci D Hill In the Brooder

    Jun 26, 2013
    Following :)

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