Who would have thought that you can build a low budget chicken coop within an hour? Yes, you got it right!
Interestingly, you like this idea as you may be wanting to raise your backyard chicken. Building an inexpensive coop is an easy-peasy activity, but raising the chicken needs full-time commitment. They, too, are living things. They need to be sheltered and fed, to thrive and multiply.
There are many online blueprints available to help one decide on what type of coop they can build. And almost everyone who has a common interest, finds the budget to be one of the culprits why simple projects do not prosper.
My husband and I set out to create a frugal chicken coop limit of not exceeding $50. The world is still in a pandemic, and we cannot just simply go out and look for fancy materials to set up the coop. Since we live in a rural area where bamboo is locally available, we decided to make it from bamboo, and not from wood (which is also very expensive nowadays). We have some stuff that we can upcycle for as roofing and siding – used galvanized sheets and extra-nets from our garden, previously used as perimeter fence to prevent bugs and flies from entering.
Should I Raise Chicken At Home?
There are several reasons to like raising chicken in our backyard. Almost everyone loves to eat tasty egg recipes, especially for breakfast, and add flavor and aroma to other dishes and pastries. The meat can be cooked to various meals with all the exact significant purpose, to feed ourselves. It can also be an added income if you plan to sell poultry products as fresh, cooked or pre-cured. If you are into zero-waste, you can try to use the chicken by-products for composting.
That is why raising your chicken can be healthy, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. When grown as free-range, they can be good garden companions as they pick and eat worms and bugs detrimental to plants.
Your location greatly matters whether you can raise chicken in your backyard. Does your neighborhood favor you to do it? If yes, are there any set limitations for the number of heads you can keep at once? Find out first before jumping into actions that might end up wasting or idling of materials if it is prohibited.
Decide where to put up your coop in the backyard. Consider the coop’s upkeep, access to easy sanitation and maintenance, and protection against predators. It is best to have them built on high ground or slightly elevated areas to protect them from the harm of flooding. The coop is best when situated away from long bushy plants’ blockage, so the predators are detected quickly. You don’t want to lose your chickens, won’t you?
Do you have space where you can put up your chicken coop? Regardless of what materials you use, stick to the basic requirements. It should have a feeder, water container, a roosting area, and a box for a hen to lay its eggs. Since we consider our space and neighbors’ distance, we just made a simple, frugal, low-budget chicken coop but sturdy enough to keep the chickens safe from predators and prevent them from grazing freely and damaging the plants nearby.
The Size Of The Chicken Coop
In building a coop from scratch, we often neglect to consider the size requirement. How small or big the enclosure should be is vital to the health and performance of the chicken. Some studies mention the coop size requirement of most breeds of chicken. It requires at least three square feet of room in a coop per bird if outdoor range space is available. However, it is safe for backyard chicken raisers to give allowance for about three to five square feet per bird to favor those big-built birds and a sure-ball to make them freely move inside. When you opt for raising outdoor range chicken, it is safe to have a space requirement of eight to ten square feet of room per bird.
While there are varied options of materials to use – e.g., pallets, plywood, hard-mesh wire, and more, you can assess that one can look better than others but can fully function similarly as what we aim for building a coop. Upcycling things in the yard can help you cut way too far of your expenses in building the structure. Many coop designs are way so beautiful and sturdy, but end you feeling frustrated by their cost. Try to look around your junkyard. You might never know lots of things in there can be re-purposed to something valuable.
Know the possible threats to your backyard chickens. Your location might have dogs, coyotes, snakes, raccoons, and other animals that can endanger the life of your chicken. Consider these predators in choosing the materials to use in building your coop. Suppose you live in a neighborhood that is relatively close to distant houses. In that case, you might consider the building as a more sturdy and safe coop and can’t be easily destroyed by the predators so that you won’t end up constantly rebuilding your coop.
Designing & Planning Your Chicken Coop
Keeping chickens is a project commitment. The idea of growing your food is gratifying. While designing and building the coop is an incomparable fulfilling achievement as well. Do not let the fancy materials nor costs hinder your goal. Be resourceful and creative. Let your imagination work and allow it to collaborate with your budget.
Now you decide on the size. Depending on your budget, needs, the desired number of heads to start, your plans of whether to multiply them or just maintain a few birds and replace each and everyone when they get too old and less performing in terms of egg production. Do consider the required space allocation for them to move freely.
You visualize your plan, write down your design on a piece of paper with measurements. By doing the layout of your blueprint, you will have more time to adjust and prepare the tiny details you need as you go along with your plan.
Ensure that the foundation and structure allow proper ventilation for the chicken as they roam around inside the coop. It will keep them maintain their average body temperature and get rid of possible suffocation and sickness.
So here’s how we built our chicken coop in our backyard. We are utilizing all the scraps in our junkyard and the idle things we keep for our garden.
Design: 4 square meter
Tools: hammer, scale tape, saw, sharp bolo, mallet, chisel
Three-ply sheets: Galvanized Corrugated Iron Sheets 1m x 3m
Two poles: Whole Bamboo Poles 2.5 m in length
Two poles: Whole Bamboo poles 2.0 m in length
Two poles cut in halves: Bamboo poles in halves 2.25 m in length
9m x 2m x 2m mesh net (we used recycled garden net)
#2.5 Common and Umbrella Nails + #1 Common Nails
Whole Bamboo Poles 2m in length used for base flooring
Bamboo Stakes 2m x 5cm (flooring)
Building The Chicken Coop
Homesteading enthusiasts find raising backyard chicken so fun and gratifying. You get the chance to grow and produce your food. Deciding on the design and what kind of materials you will use to build a coop is a headache if we don’t know how to seek inexpensive materials and be made as DIY. Unless you give so much importance to the aesthetic of your coop, then you will have to spend more than a hundred bucks. Nowadays, there are several housing options for raising backyard chickens. You can easily purchase ready-made or custom-made coops for hundreds of dollars.
However, building your chicken coop from scratch using low-cost materials of your choice does not require a high level of expertise. As long as you are handy and committed enough to realize your plan, you can make it a fun DIY project.
Whenever you’re ready, bring your blueprint to the backyard and start gathering all the materials and tools needed. This budget-friendly and straightforward chicken coop we are trying to introduce to you may not be new to all of you. Perhaps you have seen and heard similar project designs like this. Nevertheless, we have the same goal, to build a frugal DIY chicken coop.
Since we live in an area where we can have access to bamboo, as mentioned at the beginning of the article, we choose to use it instead of wood lumbers.
To start with, gather all the tools and materials listed above.
Dig in four holes equidistant to each other at 2 meters intervals with a depth of one foot. The four 1-foot hole depths are enough to firmly hold each structural post of the coop and prevent swinging and moving the whole structure as you nail down other materials.
Bamboo poles as posts.
Pole on top used as roofing support.
You don’t have to complicate things in building a chicken coop. For a very frugal way of making it, at least the essentials are being provided. Chicken coop requires a waterer, a roosting place, and nesting. Make it simple yet fully functional.
Putting on the recycled garden net.
Installing the removable flooring, enough to elevate the chicken, getting rid of possible flooding.
This DIY chicken coop that will cost you less than $50.
At the bottom, use small bamboo pegs to lock the net and prevent the chicken from escaping the coop. The mesh-nets are just simply hooked through nails. One can get in or get out by unhooking the edge of the net. It serves as an entrance.
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