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Building a Chicken Coop with Recycled Materials

Constructing a chicken coop with dirt concrete and recycled materials

Our son, Tyler, laying block foundation from
concrete blocks he salvaged from a nearby
farm building. The blocks are resting on a dirt
concrete footer, which we made from cement
and sand we dug on site.
We used traditional stick framing with
dimensional lumber from a local home
improvement store. I wish we had a source
for used lumber when we were ready to build.
off the topsoil, sifted through the next few
inches of dirt to remove roots and organic
debris, mixed dry cement into the sandy dirt,
watered it, and mixed with a hoe and shovel.
We built our chicken coop using traditional stick frame construction, but with an eye toward recycling and minimizing costs.  

Recycled concrete block. We used recycled concrete block for the foundation. We salvaged the block from a nearby farm building that was days away from being
bulldozed and buried.

Dirt concrete. We scrapped off the top soil, sifted out roots and other debris, and mixed the dry Portland cement into the remaining sand. Using a water hose we
mixed the concrete by hand with a hoe and a shovel. Be warned - this is a physically demanding job. Get an extra set of hands or two. You'll need all of them.  And
yes, dirt concrete is not as strong as commercial concrete. But for a small building, such as this, it is more than adequate. Because dirt concrete uses local dirt or
sand, it uses only a fraction of the material used in a commercial pouring -- all of which has to be hauled to the site from parts unknown.

Doors and windows. We found our windows at a thrift store for $3 each. They are vinyl and double paned. Yes, that's a bit much for a chicken coop, but they worked
out great. The door was purchased used as well for $10.
We used pre-primed wood exterior paneling.
Tyler is trimming the paneling even with the
top plate.
Rafters - we elected to use pressure treated
wood for this. It is probably unnecessary, but
the cost was only 10% more than regular
untreated lumber.
Tyler is framing the roof. He's awful handy to
have around!
Galvanized roofing is quick, inexpensive and
long lasting.
The finished coop. It didn't take long for the
chickens to learn to use their door, which
swings down a forms a walk way up and into
the coop.