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15 Frugal Household Items You Can Use For Your Chickens

This isn’t called the Frugal Farm Girl for anything. We are cheap/frugal with EVERYTHING we do, guys, including our chickens.

Sometimes I think it is a curse; I am reminded how powerful and a blessing it is in this season of life. Our Frugal blood had us pay off all our student loans, credit card, and car loans one ONE income with one child at the time.

If you are planning on raising chickens, you do NOT need to go out and buy many things you don’t need.

My husband and I love saving money on everything. We are determined to use what we have before we go out and purchase something. Even when we make a purchase, we always think it through and see if we can get it used. If going that route isn’t an option, we look for sales and wait for an item to go on sale before we buy. 

Learning how to be patient and take yourself apart from what you hear you need or think you want a huge difference in your finances and as a person. The emotional battle of having to get what everyone else has or do what others have gets exhausting.

Always look around your own household and even your neighborhood to see what isn’t being used. You may bring that back to life in a new way.

If you are saying that a frugal lifestyle or finding items like this to save money on your chicken coop is just too time-consuming, let me leave you with a powerful quote. The one I go back to frequently.

” If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.” Lee Iacocca

For us, we want to have our little backyard farm and live debt-free. We have a goal to pay off our mortgage in 7 years, and this quote reminds me of our goal. It’s all about priorities.

how keep chickens safe this year

Here are 15 frugal household items you can use for your chickens

Tidy Cat Litter Boxes – Turn Sideways for nesting boxes.

I saw this on Maybe Someday Farms. It is brilliant!

15 Frugal Household Items You Can Use For Your Chickens

Chicken Coops using your old satellite dish

Say what? I know. I’m going to use mine now.

chickens frugal ways to raise

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Golf Balls

Use a golf ball in the nesting box to encourage hens to lay eggs—no need to buy a fake egg from a farm store. However, if you like garage sales, you’ll find old golf balls that work perfectly.

Egg Cartons

Use an egg carton for a food tray. This works perfectly for chicks. Of course, as they get older, they will step on it and knock it over, but for chicks no need to get a special feeder for the young ones.

5 Gallon Buckets

Try 5 Gallon buckets for nesting boxes- it didn’t work so great for us, but I know it does for others. We had ours stacked in a pyramid. I didn’t care for it with all the poop all on top of it, and the girls didn’t take a liking to it. But, it must work for some because there are plenty of them on Pinterest. 

Old Tires

Use an old tire for a dust bath or any old big planter filled they will use! ( Mine have started doing that now instead of my gardens)

Suet Cage

Hang a suet cage and fill it with veggies from the garden to keep your chickens entertained if they are enclosed.

Plastic Crates

Use old plastic crates for nesting boxes.

Serving Trays

Use a Five Gallon Bucket with a dollar store serving tray or one you have already to pay $3.80 instead of $30 for a water source for chickens.


Use your compost in the chicken coop – they love scratching through it can help lessen the cost of feed.


Don’t buy oyster shells for your chickens- instead, use what you have. Egg Shells give your flock the calcium boost it sometimes needed. Bake your eggshells at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or so, and then crush using a rolling pin.

Add the crushed eggshells to a bowl and place them out for the chickens.  Just make them small enough not to resemble eggshells because the chickens could start pecking at eggs.  Why do this? Go here.

chickens out of garden tips


Grown extra veggies in your garden to give to your chickens.  Lettuce is such an easy thing to start from seed- making it very affordable. Chickens love pecking at lettuce. I grow an extra tomato plant, multiple types of lettuce, and cherry tomatoes just for the chickens.

Pieces of Junk

Use what you have or what is free on the side of the road for chicken coops. This article has 29 amazing frugal ways to build a chicken coop. Never buy a chicken coop from stores like Tractor supply or other farming stores. They cost way too much 😉

Food Containers

Reuse food containers/jars for dust baths or even water. We are using an old bucket outside for the chickens.

We have the traditional water container we bought when we made the most common mistakes as first-time chicken owners, but now the chickens drink from buckets, puddles, and the kiddie pool. They don’t care what their water container looks like as long as they have access to water 24 hours.

Freeze food In Ice Cube Trays

Wanting to give your chickens a treat but not into buying more scratch food or whatnot from your local feed store? Use can corn or frozen corn and sprinkle in an ice cube tray. Fill the tray up with water and freeze. Then on a hot day, give to your chickens to peck at. I saw it on Pinterest, and they love it.

Let me know what other frugal tips you have for raising backyard chickens?

Before you go grab the Ultimate Backyard Chicken Planner!

backyard chicken planner


What tips do you have to use household items for your chickens?

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Mary Ann

Saturday 5th of January 2019

On the final one, use peas or green beans rather than corn - they're more nutritious, and corn will heat their systems up. Corn's given in winter in the afternoons, to help them stay warm when it's really cold, in fact! You don't want that in the summer time!

5 Frugal Ways to Keep Your Chickens Warm - The Frugal Farm Girl

Monday 1st of January 2018

[…] 15 Frugal Household Items to Use for Keeping Chickens […]

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