Part of a more Self Sufficient lifestyle is all about getting certain things done for as little expense as possible. We spend money on certain things, such as Solar Panels and other construction stuff but if we can get something done for next to nothing then you can bet we will take that option.
Now, i’m not saying this is for everyone. Not all of us have the time or the skills to build Chicken Houses from scratch. Indeed there are some great ready made Chicken Coops on the market. If you fancy keeping Chickens though, and they should definitely be part of a more Self Sufficient lifestyle, then read on.
UPDATE: After a few requests about more complete plans I found a great book that you can download that has tons of ideas about building your own chicken coops. The book is very comprehensive but, of course, you have to pay for it. Below is a sample of what is in the book. You can click it for more information if you find my rather vague ideas are not to your liking 😉
How Much Space Do I Need To Keep Chickens?
Not everyone has a vast amount of space. We are lucky and have more than we need, but if you want to raise Chickens you do NOT need much room. If you have a garden/yard or can get the use of a small area of land then you can keep Chickens.
Put it this way, many Chickens lead miserable lives with no room to even turn around so if you can built a small structure with a little fenced in area for them to wander about in, you are on to a winner.
Building Chicken Coops
I am not going to give plans and detailed instructions on how exactly to build a Chicken Coop. What is the point!
I don’t know how much room you have or how many Chickens you want to keep. This is about how to build a Chicken House for free so we will all have our own design depending on what materials we can get hold of. The ver great John Seymour has some great designs for movable houses if you want to have a Chicken House that you can maybe put on Vegetable plots so they can clear the weeds. Amazon UK or US always has his book in stock.
Here is how to build a Chicken House for free:
- All of us have local FreeAds or some variation on a free local paper that advertises things for sale or things for free. Browse through the free section and see what is available. People give away free sheds, bricks, blocks, wood, corrugated sheeting etc all the time. See what you can get and take it from there.
- Go to the local tip or rubbish dump. You will be amazed what people dump. Get what you can and take it home.
- Rummage through all the old bits of wood etc you have at home. It’s surprising how much stuff we hoard.
- Search online for sites like Freecycle. As you can see this link to the UK version has 1.5 Million members who are giving away stuff for free! You can find a ton of free materials this way. You may even find a whole wooden Shed, in which case you won’t have to build anything!
- Drive around looking in Skips. You may feel a bit conspicuous doing this but, hey, if you can find free materials then who cares?
These few tips should result in you having a load of scrap materials, an old shed, piles of bricks or whatever. You should easily be able to build something suitable to put a few Chickens in it.
But what do I need to keep in mind when I build a Chicken House?
Chickens really aren’t very fussy birds. You just need to give them enough floor space so they are not squashed, you don’t need to build anything too big if you don’t want.
They need a water feeder. You can buy one or just stick an old bowl on the floor and fill it up. Ditto for a feed bowl. Buy one or use an old bowl.
They need a nesting box to lay their eggs in. As you can see in the photo we used old washing up bowls. We cut the front out and the job was done.
Chickens like to perch so either build a shelf like I did or just put some logs about the place.
We built or Chciken house so we can basicaly stand up in it. This makes it easier to clean out. It could just of easily been 3 feet high though with a removable top. Just use your imagination with what materials you have. Hopefully at the most you will just need to buy a few nails or screws.
We built ours from old blocks we had lying about and salvaged roof tiles. We built the door frame to the compound from tree saplings I cut down and the sturdy uprights from old beams we ripped out of the Cottage.
It may not be a thing of beauty but in a few years when we have Vines and creepers growing over it all, who would know what it even looks like.
Don’t worry about lack of building experience. As long as you can hold a trowel and stack stuff on top of each other you will make something that many Chickens would give their left Wing to live in.
For a more self sufficient future