So – next week we are going to make final decisions about how big a coop you need and what kind of coop you want. But for now, I’d like you to think about ideas for building an inexpensive chicken coop, and what building supplies you might have around your house already, or be able to get cheaply from Craigslist, Freecycle, and other local trading sites. My biggest suggestion is to start looking at Craigslist every day if you can. Just a quick scan of pages like “Farm & Garden”, “Materials” and “Free” can result in some great bargains. I found a 150′ roll of hardware cloth (which is a big expense when your are building a secure chicken coop and run) for just $20. I also found 5’x7′ shipping crates for $25 each. We put 4 of them together to make the walls and floors of a BIG coop for so much less than the lumber would have cost for a much smaller coop. Here are a couple of pictures of that coop in process – I’m going to have a more detailed post about it later with pics of the finished product.
Try to think outside the box and imagine uses for unconventional things. Basically, you just need walls and a roof, and chickens aren’t nearly as picky about their surroundings as people are. Anything that will keep the predators out, most of the weather out, and allow you to provide plenty of ventilation will work just fine.
Think about what structures might already be on your property that could be used for a coop. I have my eye on a shed that right now is just junk storage for my husband. Maybe one of these days it will be a coop for my “teenie-bopper” chickens, or a “bachelor pad” for roosters I want to keep away from my hens.
You can find great ideas on the internet too. Here is a cute video of a family that made a coop entirely out of pallets that they got for free. I think it looks great! And I love the multiple “Little Tykes” coops I’ve seen online. I may need one just for the cuteness factor! Anybody have one that the kids have outgrown and you’d like to donate to the cause? LOL
So post comments about your good ideas and finds to build a super-cheap chicken coop.