When I built my first chicken coop, I spent way too much money and wasted a lot of material and time.  On top of that, it was way over built.  Let me help you avoid the mistakes I made.

To begin with you need a good guide. To be honest purchasing a guide with plans and lists of needed materials would have saved me a ton of money in the long run. I wouldn’t have wasted so much material and I would have known what I needed up front. Instead I had to drive back and forth between Home Depot and my house sometimes 5 times a day. A good manual will let you know what you need up front and save you in time, money, gas, and frustration.

Find cheap materials. If your chickens don’t care that the materials you use to build the coop with are used or recycled, then why should you? A good coat of paint will usually take care of most material that is unpleasing to the eye anyway. I recommend you visit your local bargain builders store or builders thrift store to get your material. Another good resource is Habitat for Humanity. Our local chapter has a thrift store that sells reclaimed and recycled lumber and building materials that are donated. Some stuff is brand new leftovers from construction sites that don’t need them. Also you might check Craigslist or the want ads to see if anyone is giving away or selling old lumber.

Save yourself time.  The title of this article is “Building a Cheap Chicken Coop”, but we’re not just talking about money or time in building.  You also want to save yourself time in maintenance, after you build your coop.  In other words you need a well designed chicken coop.  A chicken coop with a poor design will only make taking care of your flock of a hassle.  You want to enjoy your chickens and what they provide for you.  So make it as easy on yourself as possible.  The best way to do that is to design features that will help with this.  It needs to be easy to clean, easy to feed and water, and easy to collect eggs.  

Don’t do what I did when building my first chicken coop by going it alone. A good set of plans will help you to keep you from wasting time, money, and materials. Click on the link, for more tips on building your own chicken coop