Monday, June 27, 2011

Cheap Cheeps

Once upon a time there was a girl who dreamed of fresh brown eggs.  

Actually, she just dreamed about cute fluffy sweet little chicks
but thought it best to tell her family about the wonderful eggs they would soon have.

Day-old peeps don't stay little for very long and would need a coop in a few months.  However our heroine was a romantic with a practical side.  She loved the idea of chickens, but didn't think fresh eggs should cost her the moon and the stars.  Ideally, she wanted to break even with her little adventure.  So she challenged herself to build a chicken coop as cheaply as possible.

is not it.

She did have an unused dog house

 and an idea.

She used old plywood, cabinet doors scavenged from the neighbors and some free knobs.
Along with linoleum and hinges from the Habitat ReStore and some leftover bedroom paint.  She did splurge on a roll of insulation from Home Depot since her hens would experience cold winters.
The growing pullets appreciated it. In fact, they loved sleeping (and pooping) on the flat roof very much.

Princesses do not like such behavior, so she rooted amongst a pile of old fence boards and 2x4s and created a pitched roof.
The hens lost their roof roost but gained a rooster who proudly decorated their remodeled coop.  With the addition of a tarp, the coop provided a cozy home for the winter months.

But the girl wasn't finished.  Summer arrived, and she found a quart of exterior semi-gloss that was still usable after sitting on the shelf for twenty-four years, more 2x4s and plywood.  She cobbled together a base to raise the coop off the ground, painted the whole shebang and insulated the roof.
Then she moved the whole coop forward so that it was was more convenient for daily use--although it made it impossible to get a good photo.  She plans to nail the other half of the roof as soon as she cuts the plywood. And paint the overhang.

But the Bombshells moved right in and began laying eggs.
Any guesses on the cost of this coop?

Hint:  the practical girl is very happy. Very happy, indeed.

Insulation:  Eleven dollars
Caulk:  Three dollars
Linoleum:  One buck
Roofing paper:  One dollar
Hinges:  A whopping fifty cents
Everything else: free free free.

Truth in blogging compels me to admit that an unknown "something" still has to go over the roofing paper and that will add to the total cost.

Best of all, the base, coop and roof are all modular so two people can easily move the structure by unstacking and restacking it.  The base could use some additional bracing to stabilize it even more and a cement floor underneath would be great someday.

I'm grateful to Donna (Funky Junk Interiors) and Marian (Miss Mustard Seed) for having blog parties where I can share this!


  1. I love it! My four girls live in a coop made from 2 old rabbit hutches placed like a T (aerial view). The top of the T is an intact hutch, with assorted doors and tricky latches (to foil wiley racoons and possums), and the leg of the T is a hutch with the sides replaced by screening, so the top and sides are all visible. There's a hatch and steps that lower up and down to underneath the 2 hutches, which is also screened in. I let them out in the backyard a few hours each day, but I'm thinking of fencing in the part of the yard they are in for them, as they have made our backyard somewhat uninhabitable (especially by plants). Unfortunately our side yard is on the north side of the house and I think it would be too dark and cold.

    Thanks for the chicken coop tour.

  2. Thanks for the tour of your coop. I am so wanting to have my own chickens......just a couple.
    Nothing better than those fresh, organic eggs.

  3. I loved this post. I've got a few friends and family who keep chickens, but that is the best coop I've seen. Lucky chicks :)

  4. I know a lot of folks who don’t eat eggs (they’re allergic, for health reasons, or concerns about animal cruelty). Here’s an awesome site that gives tips on cooking and baking without eggs:

  5. Well aren't you just the "Jack of all Trades" as they say.LOL! What a cute chicken coop.I like the rooster on it. Great job!

  6. Diana: My girls' run is on the north side and it actually works out pretty well. Easy to fence off and keeps the garden intact!

    Debby: Watch out, chickens are addictive :)

    Aubrey and Lona: thanks for the compliments ;)

    Anonymous: I've seen the conditions factory chickens endure and that's one reason I have four very spoiled hens and more eggs than I can keep up with. I'm very lucky that I'm allergic to mold instead of eggs!

  7. Pogonip,

    What a great chick coop and done on a budget! Love it!