Find out how to build a cheap chicken coop for under $50 using stuff that you already have around.
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Keeping Chickens in the Garden
I had heard about how beneficial chickens could be when kept in the garden. I never fully understood how helpful chickens could be in the garden until I had 25 meat chickens in my large garden last fall. The soil looked amazing after the chickens ran and dug around for a while.
In my smaller garden, I've had some compaction issues that I thought chickens could help out with. I wanted to move some egg laying chickens to this garden for a few months before I planted for the spring and summer.
There wasn't a coop to put in the small garden, and I didn't want to carry chickens back and forth from the main coop every day. I asked my brother to come up with a design and help me to build a cheap chicken coop to keep the chickens in. He's really good at designing things and also came up with this chicken feeder shelter.
The Chicken Coop Location
This coop is in a garden area that is fenced in. The garden area butts up to a concrete pad that has an overhang. It is right next to our outbuilding. Putting it in this location keeps the weather off of it.
The Chicken Coop Design
The main things I thought about when coming up with the coop design were security, ventilation, easy access, cleaning and cost.
I didn't want to spend a lot of money on this coop, so we found materials from around the property and scraps that were already around to keep it cheap.
One of the biggest things when coming up with the design for building the chicken coop was finding materials to use for the walls. I had some old planters that were on legs. I wasn't using them anymore, and they were falling apart. We cut off the legs, so the planters can now be used directly on the ground. And the bottoms of the planters work perfectly for the walls of the coop.
The frame for the chicken coop is made from an old workbench that was in the garden area. The workbench was a little tall for me, so I didn't really use it a lot. It is the perfect height for a small coop. It is made of 2 x 4 boards and has a plywood top.
There are windows covered by hardware cloth on each side of the coop.
Easy Access and Security
Easy access is really important for me when thinking about building a chicken coop. There are doors on each side of the coop with latches to keep it secure. Predators will not be able to dig under the coop since the coop is built on top of a concrete floor. We built a floor anyway for ease of cleaning.
The doors on each side of the coop make it easy to reach in to get eggs or to clean.
The coop is easy to clean with a sheet metal tray that can be pulled out. All of the bedding can be composted (learn how to start a compost pile here).
The Coop Cost
We were able to keep the cost of the coop low by using things that we already had around the property. We bought some hardware, screws and a few pieces of wood to finish it off.
As you can see, building a chicken coop does not have to be complicated or cost a lot. Take a look around to see what materials you already have on hand to build your own cheap DIY chicken coop!