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How to Build a Chicken Coop on a Budget

Are you interested in raising chickens but dread how much it will cost to build a chicken coop?

Chicken coops can be expensive to build, but they don’t have to be. In this blog post, we’ll outline the cheapest way to build chicken coops that will still keep your chickens safe and warm.

So if you’re starting with homesteading or looking for a cheap way to upgrade your existing setup, you can read on for some tips.

Have any questions about building chicken coops on a budget? Ask us in the comments below! We’d love to help.

frugal ways to build a chicken coop

Before you invest a lot of money and time setting up expensive chicken coops, learn about building chicken coops the easy way, and you can enjoy the fruits of your labor sooner.

building a chicken coop 12 birds


Chickens are easy to care for and one of the recommended ones to start with for homesteading. They need shelter to keep them safe at night and out of harsh windy, cold weather.

Frostbite is a real threat to chickens in the cold if they are exposed to drafts.

How to Build a Chicken Coop on a Budget

You will know when one of your chickens was out in the cold too long or not protected. The comb will turn black.

This was alarming when we started with chickens and kept them in our 100-year-old barn. I had no idea about the drafts; the combs looked a bit better in the summertime. Other chicken’s combs that turned black ended up having the tips fall off.

frugal ways to build a chicken coop

If you live in a place where the winters are harsh, it will be essential to learn about the different breeds and find one best suitable for the cold.

So far, our breeds of chickens, Silkies, Leghorns, and  Black Australorp have been very hearty in winter.

backyard chicken planner
Grab my Ultimate Chicken Planner to get started!


Next on the list, they have space for their nests to lay eggs.

frugal ways to build a chicken coop

Since eggs and chickens are considered tasty morsels by a wide variety of predators, the place built for chickens must be sturdy and well-protected. Add a little food and water, and they’re happy campers.

We started with two nesting boxes when we built our first chicken coop for six chickens.

How to Build a Chicken Coop on a Budget

We can open the top and grab the eggs out without disturbing the flock inside.

This coop is now used for our meat birds. We tend to keep 15-20 chickens now that we have built a new barn.

There are plenty of cheap and free ways to make nesting boxes for your chickens.

How to Build a Chicken Coop on a Budget

We used an old Kitty Litter box for a nesting box when we first moved to our homestead.

For more free nesting box and chicken coop ideas, check out this article here.

Read or Pin: How to Tell When your Hen is Going to Lay an Egg

how to buil a cheap chicken coop


When deciding whether to build your chicken coop or purchase one, consider that you need space for both the animals and their living quarters.

What’s the best way to ensure your chickens are happy? First, you’ll need at least three and preferably five square feet of coop space per bird. This includes an area outdoors, too!

Also, remember that if you build a coop for six hens, you will be getting six eggs a day- most days. This may sound like a little, but even getting one or two eggs a day adds up if your family doesn’t eat eggs daily.

How to Build a Chicken Coop on a Budget


Take care not to put a chicken coop too close to your home for several reasons. First, the noise can get loud and downwind; a chicken coop doesn’t smell like roses.

On the other hand, you don’t want to put the coop too far away either – both for the sake of convenience and so that you can keep an eye out for predators.

How to Build a Chicken Coop on a Budget


No matter how fancy a chicken coop is, don’t forget that it has to be cleaned regularly to cut down on odor and bug infestations. One of the mistakes those new to raising chickens make is building coops where the floor is completely level.

Read or Pin: How to Clean the Chicken Coop in 10 minutes.

Isn’t that the way to build a house? Yes, but not a hen house – because when you go to wash it out, all of that stuff will pool right at your feet. Not a pretty thought or sight.

Instead, you want to build the floor with a tilt at the back of it.

sand in chicken coop

Building a chicken coop the easy way includes an easy clean-up. With a slightly tilted floor at the rear of the house, when you spray it down during cleaning, all that icky stuff will wash down the slant and right out the back door of the coop.

We’ve opted for sand recently in our coop, and it makes cleaning it out even more effortless.

Building Chicken Coops the Easy Way


Put a chicken wire fence around the coop to keep unwelcome guests out. Remember that some animals will dig beneath fences to get into the chicken coop, so play it smart and bury the fence partly below the ground. 

Building chicken coops the easy way makes the work of owning chickens easier in the long run.


Check out this quick roundup to score free chicken coop plan designs for FREE!

the chicken planner mockup two

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