DIY Cheap Chicken Coop Ideas: Your Ultimate Guide

DIY cheap chicken coop ideas: Use reclaimed materials like pallets and crates. Save money while ensuring chicken comfort with our innovative tips.

diy cheap chicken coop ideas

Raising chickens in your backyard can be a fun and rewarding experience; you’ll have fresh eggs, natural pest control, and free fertilizer for your garden. However, providing a good home for your chickens can be costly, and not everyone has the budget to buy a pre-built coop. But don’t worry; there are plenty of ways to build a cheap chicken coop to keep your feathered friends safe and comfortable.

Here are a few DIY cheap chicken coop ideas to help you dive in:

Use Reclaimed Materials

a pallet chicken coop
Photo Credit: Lady Lees Home

Use reclaimed materials such as pallets or shipping crates to build the structure. You can often find materials for free or at a low cost on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist and repurpose them to craft a sturdy and functional coop. Pallets are a great option as they are durable and easy to work with. You can easily disassemble and reassemble these materials to form the coop’s walls, floor, and roof. Make sure they’re in good condition and untreated. Treated pallets or crates may contain harmful chemicals such as arsenic, chromium, and copper that can harm humans and animals. If you want to check if a pallet or crate has treatment, search for a stamp or label on it. This might show letters like “MB” for methyl bromide, “DB” for debarked, “HT” for heat treated, or “KD” for kiln-dried. Use this pallet chicken coop plan to guide you.

Use a Pre-existing Shed or Outbuilding

a shed chicken coop
Photo Credit: Simple Living Country Gal

Starting with a solid foundation, use a pre-existing shed or outbuilding as the base for the coop. By converting an unused shed or outbuilding into a chicken coop, you can save both time and money while offering chickens a secure home. Essentially, all you need to do is incorporate some chicken wire, a door, and a roost, and voila, your coop is ready. If you’re currently without a shed, consider checking Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for budget-friendly options. To streamline the process, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you convert a shed or outbuilding into a chicken coop without spending too much money.

Build a Chicken Tractor

a wooden a-frame chicken coop
Photo Credit: Ana White

Craft a chicken tractor, a mobile coop, to let chickens forage safely. It’s a cost-effective home for chickens, using materials like wood or PVC piping, wire mesh, and plastic sheeting. Here’s a chicken tractor plan that’ll cost less than $100 to build.

Repurpose a Playhouse

a playhouse chicken coop
Photo credit: Duke and Duchesses

A repurposed playhouse can be a great option for a chicken coop. With just a touch of renovation, this can transform into a spacious, safe haven for your chickens. For added security, integrate a chicken run. To maintain cleanliness, whitewash the interiors, which not only repels insects but also curbs bacterial growth. By incorporating smart features like a closed water system, you’re further enhancing their home. Such a project breathes new life into an outgrown playhouse and ensures your chickens have a cozy abode. If you’re starting from scratch, Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist might have some deals. Need inspiration? Here’s a playhouse chicken coop plan for you to try or use as an example to help customize your own design.

Repurpose a Dog House

a dog house chicken coop
Photo Credit: Glass Slipper Renovations

A dog house can be a cheap option for a chicken coop because it may already be on hand and not require additional expenses, or you could search online for a used one. Additionally, if the dog house is already built and in good condition, it can save on construction costs. You will need to modify the dog house to make it suitable for chickens, such as adding a door and windows for ventilation, reinforcing the walls and roof to protect chickens from predators, and adding a ramp. Here is a dog house chicken coop plan to help you get started.

DIY Easy Chicken Coop Building Tips

Keep it simple.

To start off, utilize a simple design with minimal features to keep costs low. By focusing on the essentials, like a roof, walls, and a door, you’re already providing a safe and snug environment for your chickens. Interestingly, there’s no need to go overboard with extra frills like windows and ornate doors. After all, chickens aren’t particularly fussed about aesthetics.

Be Thrifty.

Look for used materials or tools at thrift stores or online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. This can be a great way to save money and find unique materials for your coop.

Use alternative materials.

Use wire mesh rather than wooden planks for the walls and roof of the coop. Wire mesh is cheaper and lighter than wood and allows for better ventilation and natural light, which is essential for the health of your chickens. Use a tarp to protect your flock from rain or wind and straw bales for insulation.

Building a cheap chicken coop doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. With a bit of creativity and resourcefulness, you can create a functional and comfortable home for your chickens using materials that you may already have on hand. Using reclaimed materials, a pre-existing structure, and a simple design can save a lot of money while providing a safe and comfortable home for your chickens.

chickens in a coop

Whichever chicken coop design you choose should have the following basic features:

  • Predator proofing: Chickens are vulnerable to predators such as raccoons, foxes, and coyotes. Make sure your coop is predator-proofed using sturdy materials such as heavy-duty wire mesh and strong locks on doors and windows.
  • Size: The size of your coop should be based on the number of chickens you plan to keep. A general rule of thumb is to provide at least 2-3 square feet of space per chicken.
  • Ventilation: Install windows or vents to ensure your coop is well-ventilated and that your chickens get plenty of fresh air.
  • Lighting: Chickens need natural light to lay eggs, so ensure your coop has plenty of windows to allow natural light to enter.
  • Nesting boxes: Chickens need a place to lay their eggs, so ensure you include nesting boxes in your coop. A general rule of thumb is to provide one nesting box for every four chickens.
  • Roosting bars: Chickens need a place to perch at night, so ensure you include roosting bars in your coop.

Wrapping Up: DIY Cheap Chicken Coop Ideas

When it comes to chicken coops, the most important thing is that they provide a safe and comfortable home for your chickens. By following these DIY cheap chicken coop ideas, you can create a functional and cost-effective home for your feathered friends while saving money.

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