We decided to build a new coop and pen for our flock. The old coop is about 10 years old and in need of repair. Plus, we want the coop closer to the house. Sitting at the back of our two acres, the old coop is a cold and wet walk during the winter. Now, it’s time to build new and tear down the old.
We don’t want to spend a lot for the new coop so we set ourselves a budget of $200 or less. A lofty goal but doable for us. We are masters at repurposing and finding items cheap or free. So, we’re off and to a good start, I might add.
As we progress through our journey of building on the “cheep”, I will bring you with us, updating this post as we move forward with pictures and a supply cost list. So return often to see if we do it.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
We’ve accomplished a lot today. I’m amazed at how quickly the pen is coming together. We have a few small things left to do, but for the most part, the pen is complete. I even have dinner in the oven. How’s that for having a productive day?
You know I told you we were cheap, repurposing whenever possible; well how about spending $51.37? The only thing we bought for the pen was a 150’ roll of poultry wire at Lowe’s.
In the first step of our “cheap” chicken pen and coop, we are repurposing an outdoor wire dog kennel: cost…$0. We rescued this pen off a neighbor’s trailer as he was heading to the dump. He no longer has dogs so he no longer needs the dog kennel. We saved him the energy of removing the kennel from the trailer and he saved us over $200: a win-win situation.
The dog kennel measures 7 feet across, 13 feet long and 6 feet high; a good size for our six hens. We plan to expand it in the near future but is adequate for the girls right now.
If you don’t want to drive around town looking for dog kennels being thrown away, you can buy a new one. Amazon offers Lucky Dog 4-by-10-by-5 Foot CL41098 Easy Ship Chain-Link Box Kennel
for $271.00. This is a great buy and good investment. These kennels are sturdy, easy to assemble, and will last a long time; probably 10-15 years or more. They may not work well for dogs but are great for chickens.
Around the outside and over the top, we connected chicken wire. Before we move the girls into their new home, we will place compressed pegboard material around the bottom to keep predators from digging underneath the kennel (we have an unlimited supply of this from hubby’s work).
I also recommend placing chicken wire over the top of your pen, especially if you live on city outskirts. Certain birds like hawks and crows are predators and if the top is not covered, they will take your chickens. Even if you live in the city, securing the top of your pen is a good idea.
To support the top wire covering, we used small pvc piping we found dumped along the back road to our house. We also found a roll of galvanized, 18gauge wire which we used to secure the poultry wire to the kennel.
Any type of wire will work; baling wire, metal close hangers, fencing wire, etc. There’s no need to pay for wire when you can find it for free, just about anywhere.
Our next step is building the coop. We will place the coop on the back of the pen with the coop front inside the pen. It will be built on stilts so our chickens can set underneath out of the sun, with a chicken run going from the coop to the yard. On the back we plan to place doors to open so we can gather eggs and change out the bedding.
Come back to see us as we start the chicken coop in the next week. Hopefully our coop will be a “cheap” project as well.