Building cheap chicken coops can be a fun and rewarding project for the entire family. Some structures, if done right, can function properly and work and look great. There are a few basic things to consider when designing a home for hens. In priority, the comfort of the chickens should come first. Follow a few simple tips to a cheap hen-house.
Lighting and size are very important things to remember when building a coop. Chickens produce more eggs and are healthier when they have enough room to move around. This limits henpecking as the birds aren’t encroaching on each other. The general rule-of-thumb is there should be 4 square feet per hen. Some say, if space is limited that 3 square feet will do fine.
Using the natural heating element of the sun can lower electricity usage. Heavy rain can cause problems so the sun can help dry the soil around the coop. Facing the structure towards the sun can quickly dry the area around it. This is important because damp or wet ground can breed disease in the chicken population. A fluorescent light from a hardware store can help in colder or wetter climates. Their energy usage is minimal and there are also light bulbs on the market that can last for years and use very little electricity.
The hen-house should also be built for ease of access and maintenance. The first step is to build the structure using even numbered lengths. Lumber comes in even sizes such as a 2×4. So, as an example take a 4×8 piece of plywood and build the coop based on that overall size. That hen-house will provide enough space for 12 – 15 birds, giving them plenty of room to move around and limiting henpecking. By basing a coop design around even lengths an individual can cut down on waste and save money.
Sometimes expenses can get out of hand when attempting to build a low-cost solution for housing chickens. But those costs can easily be limited through a little savvy negotiating. Talk to neighbors or friends. Ask them if they have any scrap lumber lying around. Look around for homes being built. Many construction crews throw away long lengths of wood that are too short to be of any use to them but great for the individual building a hen-house on a budget.
Inside the coop costs can rise as well. Or the individual can do some simple tricks to save money. Milk crates are perfect nesting boxes for the hens. Use zip ties to attach them to the wire that surrounds the structure and toss some straw or grass clippings inside for a comfortable bird nest.
An easy and cheap way to build bird feeders is really simple to construct. Get a 5 gallon bucket, any type will do as long as it still has the handle. Turn the bucket upside-down and cut 3 evenly spaced, triangular slots. Then, find an old planter tray and attach it to the bottom using 3 screws and large washers. Connect it to the wire with some zip ties and bang, an easy to build and inexpensive hen feeder.
It’s great to have freshly produced eggs every morning for breakfast. The benefits of cheap chicken coops at home cannot be overstated. All it takes is a little time and effort.
ATLANTIS DESIGN AND BUILD
9841 Washingtonian Blvd, Suite 200
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
240-305-0912 | AtlantisMaryland@gmail.com
We specialize in decks, bathrooms and basements and kitchens
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