Asked on Jul 14, 2014

Looking for ideas for building chicken coop for about $50

Emily Harrison
by Emily Harrison
Hi there. I'm looking for cheap ideas to build a chicken coop. I don't want anything fancy just something to do the job. :) TIA
looking for ideas for building chicken coop for about 50, diy, homesteading, pets animals
  27 answers
  • Carole Carole on Jul 15, 2014
    Just a note to bear in mind that chickens are prone to predation by foxes and other animals. Ensure that what you build is fox proof and predator proof and you will have happy and productive chickens. Good luck!

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    • Judy Judy on Jul 21, 2014
      @Carole Fortunately I had a friend who bred rabbits & she sold me a few cages for them when she cut way back on her operation....nesting boxes too & a good buck. It's actually quite easy to keep them from breeding since they need to each have their own separate cage & I only put the doe in with the buck when it was time to breed her again. My Mama Buns was such a good mother & we put lots of tasty rabbit in our freezer. When she passed away we were given another doe but she had been raised in a single enclosure with another doe & a buck, had gotten into the habit of killing her babies & had to go, then a dog killed my buck & it was time to quit. I still miss Buns.

  • Patty Patty on Jul 16, 2014
    Wood pallets are free and chicken wire is cheap.

  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Jul 16, 2014
    We are currently in the process of building a chicken coop, 48" X 48" for three hens. We are using 75%-80% repurposed materials but still I had to buy a large roll of chicken wire $49.00, an old roll of rusted chicken wire off Crag's List for $20.00, two pieces of plywood (for the floor and the laying box) and a quart of polyurethane (to seal the inside wood to help with cleaning later on.) We are already at over $125.00 spent. I found two large pieces of exterior paneling on the side of the road and we took apart a friends rotted deck and salvaged about 12, 2 X 4's and another friend gave us a $75.00 metal gate. We will use an old cement mixer (hard plastic tray) for the poop tray. I still have to add costs for primer and exterior paint. I think a $50.00 budget is a bit low to be realistic unless you have all the wood as scrap.... I suspect our final expenses will come in at around $175.00 by the time we are done - and we already had the exterior garden fenced off prior to beginning the coop. Below: the fenced in garden area before and the 2 X 4 frame of the coop on building day 2.

  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Jul 16, 2014
    Not letting me add a second chicken coop photo, doing so here. This is the basic frame on building day two with the "roadside rescue" exterior siding pieces just framed in. The two long rectangular holes will be for air vents and will have chicken wire over them.

  • JeDonne M JeDonne M on Jul 16, 2014
    My husband got the rough slab lumber from a local sawmill. Some mills will let you pick up the pieces they can't use, others bundle them and sell them for VERY cheap.

  • April E April E on Jul 16, 2014
    look at this pallet shed design and just make it smaller

  • Lindsay Jackson Lindsay Jackson on Jul 16, 2014
    Make a chicken 'tractor' (lots of youtube videos on them) 'cheapest' I saw was start with an old 'A' frame swing-set frame and repurpose it.

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    • Lindsay Jackson Lindsay Jackson on Jul 16, 2014
      @Vanessa M My daughter made 'tractors' for her turkeys, chickens, and ducks... she (put 2 wheels on one end) can move them every few days easily and it keeps them contained so no more poop all over her porches and decks, lol. It also makes the eggs easier to find than 'free-ranging', AND protects the fowl from hawks and other predators. Neat re: name.... when I was growing up most folks thought I was a boy because not many girls named Lindsay. In fact the only other 'AY' Lindsay I ever heard of wasn't till I was a teenager and the actress that played The Bionic Woman spelled it this way ;)

  • Lynn Lynn on Jul 16, 2014
    Check out Pinterest. I was astounded.

  • TamAnn TamAnn on Jul 16, 2014
    We used hardware cloth and buried it a foot all around the coop to deter digging animals (and we really don't have any in our neighborhood). It's expensive, but I'm not worried when I'm not home or at night. Just remember security, too, when creating a great space for your girls. We love having chickens, too!

  • Carol Ann McDaniel Carol Ann McDaniel on Jul 16, 2014
    We built a 12 x10 hen house out of hollow core doors from restore, salvaged plywood, reused doors and screens. Salvaged lighting roof shingles for the exterior walls and roof. Total cost 50

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    • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Jul 18, 2014
      @Carol Ann McDaniel Oh I now see.. California. That explains it. We live in wet, rainy, windy and very cold (sub zero) Michigan. We need to take extra precautions like insulation, for 6 feet of snow for 6 months of the year!!

  • Barbara R Barbara R on Jul 16, 2014
    We had an outside dog pen that was pretty large so we added a roof and built a small coop inside of the pen. It had a concrete floor so I don't have the risk of predators getting in.

  • Bibi Sweet67 Bibi Sweet67 on Jul 16, 2014
    I think putting a fence around the chicken coop would keep them safe from other animal something like this one in this picture.

    • Judy Judy on Jul 19, 2014
      @Bibi Sweet67 Predators can be remarkably innovative at finding a way in to a prospective meal. That pen would be fine for daytime but I'd want to make sure they were safely locked up for the night.

  • Roxanne Fischer Roxanne Fischer on Jul 16, 2014
    My girlfriend used milk crates and built a small shed to cover them

  • Barbara Turner Barbara Turner on Jul 16, 2014
    One of my bff's built her coop and a snake got in and got 3 chickens! Make it snake proof as well!

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    • Barbara Turner Barbara Turner on Jul 19, 2014
      @Judy It was at different times. She never did catch it. But there were no feathers so she knew it had to be a snake. She has 3 large ones up under her house. She's got a couple of guns so she'll get 'em, just the right opportunity. She's an ol' country gal I went to H.S. with.

  • Fiberartsy Fiberartsy on Jul 17, 2014
    Too bad you're not in Kentucky... I have one that's free to a good home :) Good luck

  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Jul 18, 2014
    I had a friend who used bales of straw with tarps but unfortunately the coyates got most of her chickens. Another farmer I know used greenhouse metal bands covered in large tarps but this was for roasting chickens they planned to cull and sell at the end of the season so no winter issues.

  • Kristi Davis Maloney Kristi Davis Maloney on Jul 19, 2014
    We were in the same boat, needed a cheap coop. I decided to go on and ask if anyone had a free coop. Do you have a Freecycle in your area? YOU NEVER KNOW! In the next town over, this family was giving away this excellent coop. We just had to go pick it up. It had to cost him close to $300 or $400 to make it. Best find ever.

  • Judy Judy on Jul 19, 2014
    When we moved into our little place in the woods we needed shelter for our rabbits but were pretty short on cash. There were plenty of skinny fir trees on the property that needed thinning out so we had an abundance of "pecker poles" to work with. We cut the poles to size (shorter for the back to slant the roof) then dug post holes for the poles every 8 feet plus 2 for a door frame in front for an 8X16 shelter, tied it all together at the top with some old 2X6 lumber we found in a pile nearby & nailed 2X4s on top (2 ft longer than the width of the shelter to allow a 1 ft overhang front & back) to support the corrugated metal roofing we found which had also been left behind by the former owner. We sealed the pre-drilled holes in the roofing with caulking & screwed it on. Next we bought 3 sheets of the cheapest 1/4 inch plywood we could find, cut it in half lengthwise & nailed it all around the bottom of the structure to provide added support. We brought chicken wire from our former place & used it to go around the sides above the plywood, stapling it down securely top & bottom. In the winter we wrapped cheap plastic sheeting over the chicken wire & tied it up for summer to allow ventilation. Several years later, after the rabbits were gone, we added a wall with a door set in it 4 ft from one end to make a chicken coop, made a roost to go in it & nesting boxes, cut a doorway to the outside, put up a fence to make an outdoor pen & built a feeder box. It's been over 15 years since we built it, the original posts have long since rotted in the ground but it's still standing strong due to the plywood on the bottom & the framing on top. We don't have chickens anymore but it makes a handy-dandy equipment shed & the old chicken coop, sans roost & feeder, with the addition of plywood covering the ground, keeps extra household stuff dry in the winter. I call it my scrounge shed since we scrounged almost all of the stuff to make it with.

  • Marcia Thompson Marcia Thompson on Jul 20, 2014
    We made a hoop house with stock panels. I was able to get them on sale. We just built a rectangle base and bent the stock panels. I have chicken wire on one end with a wood 't' for support and then on the other end a doorway with chicken wire around it. I have a tarp over the top. The whole project was under $100. It could have been cheaper but I went with 3 stock panels making it about 10 ' x 20 '. The only trick we have had is keeping the tarp on. We are in a windy spot so we ended up getting water resistant rope and running it across the top like lacing a shoe. Since then we haven't had any issues and my girls love it!

  • Annie Sires Annie Sires on Aug 10, 2014
    We built one out of pallets, OBS and salvaged roofing.

  • An American Homestead An American Homestead on Sep 04, 2014
    The one thing you need to remember for a chicken coop is to make it secure. It needs to be a safe haven for your chickens away from the predators who will be constantly probing it for weaknesses while you are sleeping.

  • Patty Patty on Sep 05, 2014
    Fiberartsy, do you still have your chicken coop you want get rid of? I'm not to far from Crestwood.

  • Stacy Stacy on Nov 11, 2015
    Go to the "cull" wood sec of home depot. ...wood slightly irregular but it's 70% off reg price...I built a 20 ft long by 7 ft high by 10 ft wide run for 100$

  • Lulu Lulu on Jan 27, 2016
    How about collecting free wood pallets and assembling same?

  • Capernius Capernius on Jan 28, 2016
    yep! I'm with most of the others..pallets. and sometimes, if you can find a business that is closing down, you can pick up stuff there cheap or for free. Depending on your budget, how many birds you are having, and your reasons for having them will depend on what kind of coop you buy or make. I have seen people use them dog igloos for chicken coops...they had them on stilts... WORD OF CAUTION: Do not use hexagonal wire fencing...other wise known as chicken wire. most predator animals can chew right through that in no time flat. It is better to use some kind of farm fencing with holes as small as possible, & bury about 18" - 24" in the ground to keep animals from digging in under the fence. What I did for my coop was to bury hog panels(livestock panel fencing for pigs) in the ground with about 6" of it above ground, from the ground up, I had regular farm fencing that is used to keep out rabbits...then across the top(about 6 foot level) I had more of the same to keep the hawks out.

  • Carol Goins Carol Goins on Nov 20, 2016
    There are several on line sites for already built coops, tractor store has some! Always buy larger than you need!