Cheap Chicken Coop Plans

Wyandotte Rooster
If you are looking for cheap chicken coop plans, really you need to look no further than yourself.  DIY projects are less expensive than buying something that is already prefabricated.  You will be providing the labor, and there are other ways to save too...

First, look around your home and garage to see if you already have materials you can use.  After all, if you are making the chicken coop yourself, the cost of materials is really where your expenses will add up.  Anything you don't have to buy will save you money.

Need an example?  I recently heard about someone that made a chicken tractor, using an old wooden bedframe as a base.  With a little creativity, you should be able to think of ways to recycle your castoffs for this purpose.

Next, comparison shop for any supplies you will need.  Many of the big box retailers occasionally run special deals on lumber and other supplies - some even have a scrap pile that you can dig through.  Also, don't forget to check auctions, flea markets, and classified ads for ways to pick up inexpensive supplies.

Finally, if possible, consider converting any existing structures on your property.  With a few simple modifications, an old garden shed or even a dog house can be made into a cheap chicken coop.

photo credit: ninepennies

Tips for Building a Chicken Coop

Building a Chicken Coop
Building a chicken coop is an inexpensive alternative to purchasing a prefabricated one.  However, there are a few things you should take under consideration first.

Where will the chicken coop be located?  Deciding on a good location is very important, not only from an aesthetic viewpoint, but from a practical one as well.  Make sure you can easily carry feed and water to your chickens.  Also, if you have nearby neighbors, address any concerns they may have regarding the location of your chicken coop.

Do you need any building permits?  Depending on the size of your structure, you may be required to obtain a building permit prior to starting construction.  Research your local ordinances to find out what steps, if any, you need to take before starting.

How many chickens do you plan to keep?  You will need to make sure your chicken coop is adequately sized for the number of birds you plan to keep, as well as the types of breeds.  As a general rule, allot a 3 foot x 3 foot space for each chicken, give or take depending on the size of the breed.

How much do you have budgeted for the project?  Even if you are working on a tight budget, make sure you use materials that will last and provide adequate protection and shelter for your birds.

Make sure you include adequate ventilation and natural light.  Your chickens also need these to thrive and be healthy.

What's your climate?  If it's hot and sunny, you may want to position your chicken coop in a shady area of your backyard.  If you have bitterly cold winters, you may want to consider adding some extra insulation to the interior of your coop.

Provide nest boxes and perches.  You should have one nest box for every three to four birds.  A twelve inch square 8-10 inches deep is a good size box for most birds.  You should also provide roosting perches for the chickens to use at night when they sleep.  To avoid any chicken fights, make sure to position all perches at the same height.  They should be placed well above floor level and higher than the nesting boxes.  If necessary, build a ramp or ladder to make the perch more easily accessible for your birds.

These are just a few pointers for building a chicken coop.  A good set of chicken coop plans will also help. If you would like more information, stick around awhile and do some more reading...

photo credit: erix!

Build a PVC Chicken Tractor

Although we (my husband and I) have not tried building a PVC chicken tractor yet, we have been doing a little research. After all, PVC (yep, that white pipe usually reserved for plumbing jobs) is not only lighter than wood, it's cheaper!

If you already have a chicken house, but would like to give your birds a free range experience, while reducing the threat of predator attacks (especially of the airborne variety), than you probably have been on the lookout for chicken tractor plans. Ones built from PVC just might do the trick!

Here is our list of resources you may want to check out:

Country Fresh Eggs Chicken Tractor:  We love this portable coop that we found on the backyard chickens forum. It was built with about $80.00 in materials, and includes detailed instructions (gotta love that!). Anyway, check it out, and let us know what you think.

PVC Plans:  Here's another poultry pen with clear and concise instructions.  I'm not kicked up about the overall looks of it, but from a practicality standpoint, it's a keeper!  You will want to make sure you use a tarp or other covering over part of it to protect your ladies from the wind and rain.  No need to get their feathers in a ruffle!

Fast Grow the Weeds:  There are no instructions or material lists here, but the pic of El's chicken tractor (and her egg laying girls) just might provide some needed inspiration.

Yep, I know our list is a little short, but we are still on the lookout for other designs.  However, we wanted to share these ones right away. If you come across any other PVC chicken tractor designs while you are out surfing the world wide web, feel free to post a link below...