want the coop/run to look pretty and neat, but not expensive.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by norahsmommy, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. norahsmommy

    norahsmommy In the Brooder

    I want a 'pretty' coop. Pretty functional, pretty attractive. I want it to look like a nice little shed, not an eyesore. hubby thinks I am nuts. I hate spending money and we have a budget of no more than 500 for the project. Can I have a pretty coop for that? It has to be about 10 by 10 or a bit bigger. I am going to the restore and some other places to see if I can salvage alot of wood the door and windows. Any tips for making a lasting very functional coop for 25 birds that looks good? The run also needs to be in that 500 budget. We have a 25 by 25 dog kennel I thought we could use but its 6' chain link not covered and there are trees in the middle of it. So I really don't know how we can use that. Any ideas or pics would be appreciated!

  2. Wolf Creek Farms

    Wolf Creek Farms In the Brooder

    Oct 22, 2008
    Northwest Alabama
    You can use the do kennel if you cover the outside with chicken wire, we did that on one o our coops/run
  3. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    Craigslist is awesome for finding leftover stuff to make coops with. I think you can make a beautiful coop for next to nothing if ya just keep your eyes peeled on that site or freecycle, Even ads in your local paper or just scavenge thru the neighborhood to see if anyones left any treats on the curb free for the taking. I have a not so nice coop only 4 ft by 6 ft slapped together using materials we already had here plus having to buy a few sheets of thicker plywood costed us less then $100 Only downside is no windows. It was our first attempt so it isn't perfect but functional. For our run we used a 6ft high by 10 ft wide by 15 ft long dog kennel we got from my fathers property for free. We will eventually build some sort of roof for the run but for now we just use chicken wire. You could probably use some sort of netting for the top of your run and work the material around the trees?
  4. TexasVet

    TexasVet Songster

    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    My coop is a metal building that we paid $300 for at Lowes. It's not the best choice, because it gets the job done. Then we surrounded the building with multiple dog kennels to make a huge yard.

    We used bird netting (about $30) to cover the top. That would work in your area too, because you can fit it around the trees.

    I bought a 28x28 foot net, but it took 4 people to put it up. Go with a smaller size, like 14x4, and use fishing line or tie wraps to hook them together.

    Here's a link to the type of netting I'm talking about. If it doesn't work, just go to Amazon.com and search for "bird netting":

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.h...ick-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957">bird netting</a><img src="https://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=countchick-20&amp;l=ur2&amp;o=1" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

    Kathy in Texas

  5. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    The dog kennel panels will work for the run. Buy deer netting at Lowe's for the top. You can get 7x100 for about $10 bucks. I would paint them green if it were me.

    The building, this too can be build for at about $500 bucks. You can go with a dirt floor just make sure to bury hardware cloth around the outside to keep predators from digging in. My first coop (8x 10) floor I used quickcrete to make the floor. Mixed it myself and spread it. It work for 10 years until I replaced the coop.

    To the best of my memory here is how I built my first coop for next to nothing.

    1. bought 2x4's off the reject pile at the hardware store.
    2. I asked neighbors and relatives if they had used doors, windows, tin for the roof etc. they had stored and were not going to use. I ended up with more of this type of stuff than I could use. I even had a neighbor down the road give me a 10 hole nest I use to this day.
    3. The outside for the first year was painted plywood I then added shake siding as I could find it at the local stores on sale or more often then not on the clearence aisle as they liquidated damaged boxes.

    As far as making it look "pretty" this can be accomplished easily as well.

    1. Don't let unused or unneeded items pile up around the coop.
    2. planter boxes on the windows.
    3. trim around the doors and windows (paint a contrasting color to the rest of the coop) Again shop the clearance and damage aisles at the store.
    4. You can place decrative rock around the outside of the run. If you are going to let your chickens out from time to time it will have to be of a good size or they will scratch it around.
    5. I recommend some type of "patio" in front of the people door. This area gets lots of use and it is hard to keep grass growing and then obviously turns to mud during rainy periods. You can then border the "patio" with flowers or small shrubs.

    I think you know in your mind what you want to see when you look at the window. Take your time and go for it.
  6. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Scooter has made some really good points.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Norahsmommy.

    In the Old West (I'm kinda still in the Old West [​IMG]), the simplest buildings in the world had a "false front" on Main Street.

    Not everyone would want a "Country Store" in their backyard but with board and batten construction and some creativity, it would be great for others. (Old fence boards have to be one of the most available construction materials in town.)

    An alternative could be a "playhouse" false front. The building may not be much more than a box behind but the front could have all the paint and trimmings.

    With either of these ideas, the beauty would only be for those on "Main Street" not for someone walking down the alley [​IMG].

  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Sufficient roof overhang (which also has functional benefits) and a good coat of paint (can be bought as mistints for cheap) will do WONDERS to make almost anything look cute.

    Check out construction sites (ASK first) for used but usable plywood.

    Good luck, have fun,


  8. doodledo

    doodledo Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Our coop is a metal shed. Got it from a neighbor that was moving for $25!! The door was ent pretty bad, they ran into it with a mower (probably everytime they pulled in it) [​IMG]. My daughter helped me paint, bought paint from Busy Beaver for $15, the wrong color was mixed for someone and it was on a clearance rack. My nests are milk crates that I have some rough cut lumber holding them together with a floor tile in each for easier cleaning. Then we went to an auction and they had a pile and I mean a pile, of lumber for $125. Built another coop for our meat chickens in the spring and a nice big coop for the layers to have to run around in if its to cold to free range. We had so much wood left over we made a front and side like they did in the old west. So it looks like a wood building but really it isnt. I took some used foil insulation and taped it to the walls to keep the warmth in. They love it. If you see someone with a pile of wood laying outside, stop to see if they would sell you some for their perches, a few milk crates and a junky metal shed goes a long way.
  9. ams3651

    ams3651 Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    I was going to get a dog kennel for the run but instead I got green 2x4 welded wire fencing, 5' x 50' at home depot for $65. I can put my original green fencing around the bottom for extra protection and my netting over the top. One of the playhouse coops would be a good coop if you want it to look nice, a simple shed if you want to blend in.

  10. Weasleymum

    Weasleymum Songster

    Aug 1, 2008
    I think for $500, you can definitely accomplish "cute". This is what my DH and I built (well I helped, lol) for about half that. Little things, as the other posters said, make a big difference. In this case, it's the pretty blue paint on the window and door, which we already had from a prior project, a decent roof overhang, and (in my opinion) the dark stain (which was a mis-tint that we picked up for $6 instead of the $40 it would have cost) make all the difference. Since we live in an urban neighborhood and the coop is basically on display for anybody walking by to see, I didn't want it to look trashy or objectionable, YK?
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008

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