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Building a Chicken Coop with Recycled Materials

Chicken Coops

Would you like to get more cluck for your buck from your backyard chicken coop? There are several ready-made chicken coops that can be purchased with prices ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Naturally, building your own chicken coop is a less expensive option, but can still cost hundreds of dollars in materials. However, a small backyard chicken coop can be built for much less cash with recycled materials.

Raising chickens for homegrown eggs doesn’t have to cost a small fortune. When those baby chicks you’ve raised are fully feathered and ready to leave the brooder, a simple chicken coop constructed with recycled materials can provide a comfortable home for the flock. Chickens just have a few basic needs to consider when planning the chicken coop.

Chickens must to be kept safe from predators, have shade in the summer and protection from freezing temperatures in the winter. They will need good ventilation, a perch to roost on at night, and a nesting box for laying eggs. Plan on at least one nesting box for every four hens. The hens will need about three square feet of space per hen inside the henhouse and about ten square feet of space out in the chicken run.

A variety of recycled materials can be used in the construction of a chicken coop including leftover scraps from home improvement projects. Friends and family members may have just such materials that they would be happy to trade for fresh eggs. Internet sites like Craigslist and Freecycle can provide a bounty of free materials.

Building a chicken coop from recycled materials requires a different approach than building with an unlimited supply of new materials. Ordinarily, a building project would begin with plans and a materials list. Building a chicken coop with recycled materials requires first scavenging whatever materials are available, then making the plans fit the available materials.

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Available items may include: old deck boards, fence boards, windows, siding, plywood, tar paper, plastic sheeting, roof shingles, and chicken wire or other fencing materials. Even a dog house or old shed can be useful in the construction of a chicken coop.

The slideshow “Chicken Coop Built with Recycled Materials” shows a small backyard chicken coop built to house four chickens. It measures 3 ½ feet wide by 5 feet long and was constructed with mostly used materials. It is tall enough to allow for a perch and has a small opening allowing the hens to move freely between it and the enclosed run. The roof hinges open on one end and a door opens on the other end to allow easy cleaning. The egg box opens from the outside for easy egg gathering. This chicken coop started with a medium sized wooden dog house, several scavenged pieces of 2X4 lumber, old deck boards, plywood, used lap siding, leftover tar paper and black plastic sheeting. Only about 10% of the building materials were purchased.

Building a chicken coop with recycled materials provides another use for items that would otherwise likely end up in a landfill. For anyone wanting to raise a small flock of chickens without spending a bundle on the chicken coop, constructing the coop with recycled materials is an option worth considering.