Month: May 2013


$40 DIY Chicken Coop


$40 DIY Chicken Coop

We are having quite an adventure with our meat chickens.  They are already 4 weeks old and only have a couple weeks to go.  They are growing fast and running out of room in their brooder.  Thankfully, it has been beautiful out and they can start living outside. I drew up some plans for a coop that is quite simple.  It consists of 4 corners, 4 panels, and a top made of hardware cloth and plywood.  The coop is 2’x6’x8′ and fits 25 chickens.

Materials:

40′ of 1/2″ Hardware Cloth

Staples

Screws

3 – 1×4

1 – 2×2

8 – 1×3

Plywood – 4′ x 6′

The corners are 24 inches high and made of 1x4s and 2x2s.  DIY Chicken Coop Corners

 

 

 

Next, we made the sides panels out of 1x3s and hardware cloth.  The long side is 8′ and the short side is 6′.  We spaced out the 1x3s 24 inches apart and stapled on the hardware cloth. The hardware cloth is stapled on the outside.DIY Chicken Coop Panels

 

 

With the scraps cut off from the 1x3s on the 6′ side we added support on each panel.DIY Chicken Coop Panel

 

 

The panels tuck inside the corner pieces to help secure the hardware cloth.  We don’t want our chicks getting eaten by anything but us!DIY Chicken Coop Corner

 

We put in a lot of staples to secure everything in place and ended up with our base.DIY Chicken Coop Base

 

We used a 1×4 to secure 2 6′ sections of hardware cloth to cover 1/2 of the top.  The other 1/2 is covered by a 4’x6′ piece of plywood.DIY Chicken Coop Top

 

 

 

Ryan climbed in a secured the last bit of hardware cloth.Finishing Our DIY Chicken Coop

 

 

 

After just a couple of hours we have a great looking coop.DIY Chicken Coop Complete

 

 

The best part of the coop is that we can move it around the yard so that the chickens don’t get too stinky and our new neighbors won’t hate us.  For now, the coop is fully stocked and the chickens seem happier than ever.DIY Chicken Coop

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Landscaping


Even though our neighbors still have snow in their lawn, ours is gone (for now at least)! That means we can finally start tackling some of our outdoor projects.  We are saving up funds for siding and roofing right now, so our other projects will be rather minimal.  However, today I learned that a little cash can go a long way when it comes to landscaping.  Landscaping

 

When we purchased the house, there were tons of red bricks in the backyard.  I’m not sure what they were used for before, but they are working great for our new landscaping! We also had lilies that grow along the side of the house.  While lilies aren’t my first choice, they are already here and are free, so they stay.  All I needed was some landscaping sand, Hostas, and some mulch.  It only took me one afternoon.  What a transformation:Lanscaping Before

Landscaping After

 

 

Once the lilies start to grow, the utilities won’t be so obvious.  Hopefully our grass will start to green up a bit in the next couple of weeks too.  We’ve had a late start on our outdoor projects, but since it’s finally starting to get nice, we should have a lot more coming. Thanks for reading!

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Easy DIY Chicken Brooder


 

 

We ordered 25 cornish cross chickens to raise for meat.  Since we haven’t done much work on the upstairs yet, we built a brooder we could use in the house and then move outdoors later.  We made the brooder almost completely from scraps, but it would be cheap and easy to buy the supplies.

Easy DIY Chicken Brooder

 

 

 

My parents had some scraps of T11 siding that measured 48″ x 18″ which worked perfect for the sides.  We had some triangular scraps that we cut to 18″ for braces (but you could use 2x2s).  Chicken Brooder Frame

 

Next, we cut the base (48″ x 49.5″) and secured it on the corners.Chicken Brooder Base

 

You can add support on the inside of the box to secure the base if needed.  (We added some 2×2 braces just in case).  To finish off the brooder we built a cover out of 2x2s and chicken wire.  We also put a 1×6 support down the center to staple the wire where we had a seam.Chicken Brooder Top

 

 

We hung a heat lamp from the ceiling with an adjustable cord so we can manipulate the temperature.DIY Chicken Brooder

 

We put in the food, water, and thermometer to get everything warmed up for the new chicks, which arrived the next day. (Yes, there are 25 chicks in there!)Day Old Chicks

 

We put them into their new, cozy brooder and dipped their beaks into the water to get them started.

Cornish Cross ChicksChicks First Day

 

 

The dogs were very intrigued.  Every so often they go upstairs to check on them and they have been very gentle.  Bringing Chicks Home

 

We are learning as we go, but everything has gone well so far.  The chicks are darting around and chowing down food.  We will definitely keep you updated on our new adventure! Thanks for reading!

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