Small Chicken Coop (how inexpensive can you go)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dirty Farmer, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. Dirty Farmer

    Dirty Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I’m going to try to build a small chicken coop for my wife on a very small budget. I’d like to see how cheap that a chicken coop can be built, but yet meet my five goals/requirements. (1) It has to look nice and be presentable. (2) Complement the property (3) Provide the chickens with proper shelter from the weather and predators (4) Easy clean out. (5) Be portable, so it can be moved, ether by hand, or a garden tractor.

    I do metal fabrication for a living, so bear with me on my carpenter skills. This should be kind of fun and a learning experience for both me and my wife, as we are building this together. We've never raised chickens before.

    I get skids from work for free that our material come on, when it is shipped to us. So this is where my material for the chicken coop will primarily come from. I brought home about 8 to 10 skids so far and took them apart and pulled all the nails out of them. The skids range from 8’ 10’ and 12’ and are made with ether 4x4’s or 2x4’s doubled up.


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    Here you can see a 12' skid made with the doubled up 2x4's. I can get lots of good building material from these.

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    Here's what I have to start with so far, after knocking them apart. Plenty of long 2x4's, 4x4's and lots of boards.

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    We had a machine delivered to the shop, and it came in a huge, heavy duty crate. It was made from 3/4” thick boards. The boards are 7” wide and 62” long. As soon as I seen the crate, I knew I had to have it for the new coop. I took it that day, before some one else clamed it. I’ve been gathering up material for about the last month, once we decided we were going to get some chickens for the back forty.

    So this is what I have to work with. So what do you think, good start to an inexpensive coop?
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  2. VI KING RANCH

    VI KING RANCH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    An option you might like is a oil drum coop. Google them there are some nice ones out there... The down side is it can only hold 1-2 hens.
     
  3. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With all that free wood, you should be able to make a really nice small coop! The 3/4" boards would make nice siding and the 2x4s and 4x4 should do a great job for framing. There are LOTS of great small coop designs in the coop section on this site. How many chickens are you planning to get?
     
  4. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    What a sweet stack of materials! You have most of the expense covered already.

    How about the run being a wooden slat fence with 1" gaps between the boards with a partial pitched roof for shade. You can build it all in panels, move them easily, fasten the panels together with a easy disconnect (bolts & wing nuts) on site, and Mrs. can paint it to her heart's content or fasten it together as a tractor. Then build a coon proof dog house style coop, (engine shipping crates are great) attach it to one end, with wired sides and a hinged roof for easy access to clean and collect eggs. Attach a tire to each corner of one end and fab a castor style wheel for the other for steering (fat wheel barrow or ATV tires make even rough ground a easy move). You could an even fab a hitch in with the castor wheel for towing.

    Look thru everyones pictures and gather (steal [​IMG]) design hints and ideas from them, there are some really neat tractors out there. If hawks are a issue [​IMG] , throw a fruit tree net over the top (it is nearly invisible) and you should be in good shape and stylin'

    Just a few ideas, have fun with your project and post some pictures so we can follw along [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  5. Dirty Farmer

    Dirty Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:We would like to start with four egg layers, but no more than six at the most. So the coop will not be all that big. No chicken mansion here. LOL
     
  6. mommto3kiddos

    mommto3kiddos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thats an awesome wood pile!!! We did our smallish coop for under $200 and thats with my husband using wood from breaking down a-frames at his granite shop! Alof of cost was harware cloth and ply-boards..

    Also BYC gave me great advice to save cash and that was look for your local habitat for humanity store. You can get tons of building, nails, and windows and such alot cheaper there!!

    Shop clearence at home improvement stores. I found shingles at almost every Lowes I visited. They were fine, just extra from a pallet order or excess returned. They were up to 70% off.. You can also find cheap outdoor paint their in the "oops wrong paint color mixed" section [​IMG]...

    Our Coop....
    [​IMG]
     
  7. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A lot of your design can also depend on where you are located and what predators your hens are likely to be bothered by - but whether you are in a hot climate or a cold one, and whether you have no predators or lots of them, you should have plenty of materials to start with to build a coop/tractor/run for a few hens. I really liked bryan99705's ideas for a slated wooden fence for the run area and I am sure you can find tons of ideas in the coop and run section - browse until something strikes you as workable and then go for it. I can't wait to see what you decide to build and how it turns out!
     
  8. Jenn's_ chicks

    Jenn's_ chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    My husband is building my chickens a chicken tractor with all recycled material . I love recycling !
     
  9. Dirty Farmer

    Dirty Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't have to work today, so I pretty much spent the entire day designing and starting to build the coop.

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    I used some 2x4's and 4x4's to build the 48" x 60" base.

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    I covered the base with the planks from the skids for the floor.

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    I had a piece .030 galvanized sheet that was in back of a truck when I bought it years ago. I never had a use for it, so I figured now is just as good a time as any to use it for something. With the sheet down now on top of the wood, when it comes time to clean and hose out the coop, it should clean up rather well.


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    Bottom view.
     
  10. kiweed

    kiweed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used a lot of used wood, pallets scrap ect. Good way to recycle. Keep it up.
     

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