I don’t know if I mentioned how roosters, dogs and snakes have killed my chicken homesteading experiences in the past but they have. Roosters scare the holy bejesus out of me and they not only rule the yard but they wind up ruling me also. My neighbors dog killed two sets of chickens. One time I let them out in the yard and I went in the house for a few minutes and when I came back out I found dead chickens everywhere and my other neighbor called to tell me she opened her door to find a dead chicken on her doorstep. Not cool. Not cool at all. And the only survivor was the rooster. He was so freaking mean and there was no way I was keeping just him so I gave him to a co-worker who wound up hating it also so he gave it to his father and then a hawk scooped him up and we were all HAPPY. And with the last set there was a snake eating all the eggs. I was so pissed. I could never catch the snake until after I got rid of the chickens. The guy cutting my grass spied it making its way towards the coop and he killed it then text me to ask what to do with it LOL…
And here I am trying one more time. This was black snake number two…the first I touched. ewwwl!!
Once you get used to fresh eggs its really hard to go back to store brought eggs. There is just no comparison. So I decided to get a smaller coop where I can control the environment a bit more. I went to Craigs list and everyone selling them was asking for over $300. Not happening captain. Then I went to Southern States. The prices were a bit better but I thought I could get a better price.
I took a trip to my local TROSA thrift store after putting out in the universe that I wanted to find something that I can convert to a chicken coop and lo and behold on my first trip I found it. Thank you universe!!
I think someone was making a bar and their wife probably made them get rid of it. (I always make up stories with my finds). Dimensions= 48″ w x 48″ h x 32″ deep. I found a star I would love to finally use (after having it for over 4 years and never using it)
As you see the floor was a piece of flimsy wood and that would never work for chickens. I needed a floor, a base, and a door. I looked around my barn. I found the hard wire cloth on a chicken coop I was making but never finished, some 2×4’s and a palette from the goat hay bale holder.
I also had a door I could cut for the floor, some trim on my creepy basement steps and a bucket for the nest box
I had a tin roof I took off my old nest box and it fit perfectly. Hmmmph, the universe is conspiring to make this happen and yet I was procrastinating. Then Wednesday I came home to find a note on my door saying Carlos came by and he left his number. Carlos did a TON of work for me and his craftsmanship is PERFECT but when I have money to pay him he was too busy with other projects. SO I text him…he is looking for work. I ask if he can build a door for my coop and clean my gutters? Yes!
He was here 8 AM sharp on Saturday morning. We put the bar on a pallett. Perfect!
We took out a shelf and that was better but I was thinking it would be a problem to clean so I took them both out. Better! Carlos built the floor from the door.
He made a frame from 2×4’s then laid out the hard-wire cloth on top and nailed it in place using 1×2’s
A trick I learned today is hammering a 7- in-1 to cut the hardwire cloth. Now the wire is cut evenly
I found some hinges in a drawer and we mounted the door.
I also used Krylon paint to paint the roof. It looks pretty in real life. I did not do an even coat on purpose. You would have to see how the metal shimmers under it to appreciate it and I just can’t capture it on a photo.
Oh and I had a conduit rod laying around that I used for the perch. Its 3/4″ wide and it cost about $2 if memory serves me.
I don’t have a hinge so for now I screwed the old shelf into the pallet to jam the door and there is no way can it be opened. I will have to buy the hinge later to lock it up. People seem to think its okay to open my coops and feed or play with the chickens so I lock them up.
I painted it and it came out so cute. I put a metal feed store sign inside and some pine shavings (not cedar shavings as that is very dangerous)
I got a response from Hurdle Mills Feed store on facebook saying they just got some laying hens in for $12… 1 year old. Damn I was happy. On craigs list this lady was selling them for $25 and I really did not want to pay that but I have no time to dedicate to bitties and I did not want to get stuck with roosters AGAIN. $12 was pure music to my ears!! When I got there I picked out two layers and he also had baby guineas $8 each…I got two and a baby mixed breed that I pray does not turn out to be a rooster. These chickens are so sweet!!! Very calm and sweet personalities.
The bar was originally $50 and there was no way I was paying $50 for that. The guy in the store agreed with me and knocked it down half price $25
paying someone to deliver it $10
paying Carlos to make the door with my supplies $30
Everything else I already had. I will have to buy a hinge though….$5 max
Cost of the chickens $12×3 guineas $8×3 feed $11 one water bottle $5 (converts a soda bottle to waterer)
I got everything for less than the cheapest cage cost in the store!
And the joy it brings to the grand kids….Priceless
Does this inspire you to make a chicken coop out of something you can upcycle?