DIY Chicken Coop Under $250

Does anyone have a good co-op plan for a novice carpenter with limited access to tools?

I can always buy a couple of tools like a handsaw which seems necessary.

I have a few chicks in the broader who will be graduating from a coop sometime in the future.

I plan on keeping 4 of them since it's a good number for a beginner flock. They are a larger breed of chicken so I'm estimating 16 sq ft of space (4 x 4) minimum.

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    This site has an experienced, welcoming and helpful community with many coop examples. Weather shelter and a place to roost (chickens prefer ends and corners) is easy to do.

    A saw of some sort, a hammer, and some snips to cut wire mesh
    and a way to drive screws covers most tasks and everything used on a chicken coop has multiple other uses. I like Malco and Wiss sheet metal shears for cutting steel mesh screen but any large straight sheet metal snips will do. Used is fine and they have many other uses. (The earlier in life you tool up the more you can do and more money you save.)

    Used corded power tools go cheap in most places (like the nice worm drive Skil saw I paid 15 bucks for) and are worth owning. Cordless pushed many excellent corded tools into the used market that function just fine.

    Egay has many good tools for cheap and you don't have to spend gas money to get them.
    Many people ignore it as a way to buy hand tools. beware inflated shipping costs.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Good advice, I checked my local marketplace and was able to find a corded circular saw for a low price of ten dollars, that seemed to be the main thing I needed. Now I just probably need a place to cut the boards. I've seen the black workbenches on YT so maybe I will pick up one of those today as well.

      https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/categories/chicken-coops.12/

      Coops can be built from pallets and harvested pallet wood or from large shipping crates. Consider your first a learning experience.

      https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/judys-free-pallet-chicken-coop.47851/

      Pallets are a good idea, one of my neighbors used pallets and chicken wire to build his own run. I don't really like how cheap they can look so I'll need to look into good paints for it. I will definitely take this opportunity to learn about carpentry. I don't feel it's going to be anything major, more common sense-based than any real difficulty.

      My grandad made an arched cattle panel coop like that but instead of a box frame to retain it, he had another cattle panel on the ground and held them all together with hog rings

      That sounds like an easy way to make their coop. I'd probably add a tarp for cover if all else fails.

      https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/extension-aben/buildingplans/poultry

      I like these sketches; they help me imagine what way wood should be pieced together. Most of them are huge though (considering that I'll be free ranging for most of the time).

      [...]
      Not OP but thanks, I was going to budget a bit more money and do a nicer build but this is better for me. I posted on PrepHole too:
      [...]

      I'm still not sure how I want to be dispensing food.

      Hello fellow PrepHoleon.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Saw horses are portable, versatile and cheap. Workbenches are less mobile, take more space and are not critical. Better use of effort is obtaining a wheeled cart so I do (and have many).
        You can easily cut a drop-in wooden top for a work surface you won't mind beating up, and the bottom can store tools, a smol toolbox, ammo cans (ammo cans are gasketed goodness) etc.

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/categories/chicken-coops.12/

    Coops can be built from pallets and harvested pallet wood or from large shipping crates. Consider your first a learning experience.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/judys-free-pallet-chicken-coop.47851/

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/extension-aben/buildingplans/poultry

      Not OP but thanks, I was going to budget a bit more money and do a nicer build but this is better for me. I posted on PrepHole too:

      [...]

      I'm still not sure how I want to be dispensing food.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        forgot how to cross post

        [...]

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          [...]
          Not OP but thanks, I was going to budget a bit more money and do a nicer build but this is better for me. I posted on PrepHole too:
          [...]

          I'm still not sure how I want to be dispensing food.

          god dammit, had the wrong post selected lmao.

          [...]

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          [...]
          god dammit, had the wrong post selected lmao.
          [...]

          it's probably beyond your ability, but you can delete posts when you screw up.

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    My grandad made an arched cattle panel coop like that but instead of a box frame to retain it, he had another cattle panel on the ground and held them all together with hog rings

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/extension-aben/buildingplans/poultry

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Go get a covered carport from Walmart and a couple rolls of chicken wire.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous
    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I'm going to use a modified shed, this way I dont waste time + money on making a coop from lumber and sheet metal that's going to be sub-par anyway (since I'm not a carpenter) because it's better than a pre-fab which will also be sub-par. I did consider the large kennel but it's going to be slightly more difficult to predator-proof and it won't have as much of a nest feel as an enclosed shed IMO. Ventilation and sunlight are important but I want to make sure my chickens feel safe enough to roost (I think indoors is better for nesting boxes). I usually see people build the kennels and add a coop inside.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Sheds are fine. Chickens prefer corners so no need for nesting boxes elsewhere. See BYT site for various coop examples. My coop is shed style which protect my birds from the weather.

        If they're not native it could be an escaped pet that can't fend for itself. Might be better to take it to a vet?

        Look it up, not hard. A vet has no use for it. There is no point in speculating when all things are known and may be looked up.

        They're easy to feed and care for and to bring indoors in winter.

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    A tortoise showed up in my yard a couple years ago, and recently started coming back every day. I need to build something similar and just keep her. They're not native to the area and the winters are too rough.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      If they're not native it could be an escaped pet that can't fend for itself. Might be better to take it to a vet?

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Torti are really easy to keep because they cant eacape. A simple pen would be fine.

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    The coop build was actually pretty cheap. It was everything else that adds up.
    My major expense was hardware cloth for predator proofing. Chicken wire will keep chickens in, but predators can easily climb or chew through it. I live in a suburban area and have seen on the cameras cats, opossums, a fox, racoon, and rats/mice. There's also an owl and pair of hawks that cruise by.
    You'll have to safely store any food at night or critters will eat it. Kind of a pain in the ass to bring it out every morning and night. When they get up, they want food so you're looking at waking up at sunrise to keep them happy.
    I recommend an auto-door, too. I got a couple of the solar with timer option for around $70 on amazon. Had a battery operated with daylight open/close and it sucked ass.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >predator proofing
      Nice read, my major concerns are cats, a hawk, raccoons, and a fox. In order of greatest to least threat (the last two aren't that common here). I figured the raccoons and foxes wouldn't be able to get past my fence (it's tall). But the cats could squeeze under some spots of it of they were hungry enough. The hawk is self-explanatory. I don't have any plans to build a run since it would take up a lot of space and am opting for mostly supervised free-ranging with a LGD. Would an LGD be enough to ward off the hawks and cats?

  8. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    FYI, I got a 50% off deal on hardware cloth from preppingdeals dot net. Might want to keep an eye on it.

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