Heather’s Chicken Coop Made from Recycled Wood Pallets

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DIY Chicken coop designs recycled wood pallets

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have a rock star garden this summer. Keep them coming!

recycled wood pallet chicken coop

Check out this DIY chicken coop my buddy Heather from Massachusetts built ALL BY HERSELF! You go girl!

Here is what Heather had to say: 

The internet says building a chicken coop is a “weekend project”. And, well, we all know everything on the internet is true. Unless, of course; you’ve never built anything on your own – ever. And you don’t have a plan – except using free pallets. (side note: did you know that pallets are neither the same size or level, in any stretch of the imagination?) This “weekend-chicken-coop-project” took me the better part of 8 weeks.

build a chicken coop from old wood pallets

PS: Some of you may be wondering why I haven’t included my husband in this little story. Well, when type-A husband begins every sentence with “ya know you’re suppose to…” well, type-A wife (me) fires type-A husband from the project in an effort to preserve marriage. ;)

children with chickens

We have four 10 week old chickens: two Rhode Island Reds and two Black Sexlinks. Both breeds are cold weather hardy. My kids named them Agnes, Roadrunner, Gold-finger (one of the Black Sexlink has one gold finger/toe) and Runt.

wood pallet chicken coop

I began with the used windows I got from a friend and the pallets, then worked from there. I tried to use or re-use things I had around the yard or recycle as much as I could. The nesting boxes are milk crates that I’ve cut the sides out of. The roosting poles are green saplings.

Chicken coop built out of recycled wood pallets

Way more than I expected though, had to be bought. Hardware really adds nice finishing touches but is expensive. I chose metal posts for the chicken run because I didn’t want to have to re-do them when they rotted. And the wire is green 1×3″ fencing but with metal hardware wire on the bottom 12″ up the fence and 12″ flat on the ground to prevent predators from digging under the fence.

chicken coop door

Finishing touches: The cinder blocks I spray-painted a “camouflage” color making them less bright, draping plants down the side takes up the empty space next to the door and a perennial hosta plant (that the chickens think is delicious!)

If we are working around the yard we let them free range, as long as we can watch them – we call it “chick sitting”. They love going under the deck as there are spiders and tons of bugs.

DIY-Chicken-coop-designs-recycled-wood-pallets

After visiting three grocery stores I found one that will let me take a box of food for the chickens! He said he gives 7 boxes a week to a local farmer but didn’t think the farmer would mind if he gave me one – yeah!

~Heather from Massachusetts

*******

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Alert! Hot Deal on a Neiman Marcus Chicken Coop

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 Neiman Marcus Chicken Coop
Neiman Marcus Chicken Coop

Wow! A big thank you to One Hundred Dollars a Month reader Caroline who alerted us to this smashing deal on suburban chicken coop:

It’s priced to move fast at only $100,000!  Wow–seriously?!

It kind of makes the Agarian Line at Williams-Sonoma seem reasonable. {My favorite deal there is, of course, the 1 gallon raspberry cane for $49.99 + shipping.  Soooo hard to find good deals like this.}

What do you think, will you buying one today?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Susan from Camas, Washington Shares Her Chicken Coop Photos

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chicken coop plans

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have a rock star garden this summer. Keep them coming!

DIY chicken coop plans with pictures

Susan from Camas, Washington sent in photos of this awesome chicken coop her husband built for her. Here is what Susan had to say:

chickens

I am a first time chicken “Mama”! My dear husband had chickens as a child, but I did not.

We decided to get chickens because our youngest granddaughter LOVES visiting the chickens next door, AND our son has chickens and talked us into it. I have been intrigued with your chicken endeavors,too. I visit your blog daily!!

DIY Chicken Coop Plans interior roost

My DH built the coop- taking a couple of weekends to build. Our coop is a combination of designs from our son (who has become a coop-builder in his own neighborhood in Coburg,OR) and DH.

It is made from 1×6 cedar fence boards and framed with 2×2 lumber. It is a board and batten style. The nest box area is 4′ x 1′ and the remainder is 3′ x 4′ . – 4′x 4′ overall . The pen area below is 4′x4′ x 3′ tall. The “upstairs” is water-proofed for easy cleaning. We use carabiners on the the latch to keep predators out.

chickens in chicken coop

We have 4 girls! 2- Barred Rock, 1 – White Leghorn and 1 – Black Sex Link. They are: Fern, Ivy, Daisy and Clucken Jo. “Fern” might be “Vern” (one of our Barred Rock) I’m hoping NOT!! I am attached to ALL of them!!! We got them in March.

I really am enjoying them! I could sit for hours and just watch their antics. They are very social and ADORABLE!!!!

*********

Susan! Please tell your husband the coop he built is beautiful. You and your granddaughter are going to have so much fun this summer watching your hens grow. And, I’m crossing my fingers that your barred rock Fern is not a Vern.

Keep us posted, and thanks for sharing.

~Mavis

DIY Raised Garden Beds

Garden Photos From Western New York

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Nikki from West Virginia’s Chicken Coop Pictures

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chicken coop tours

Have I ever told you I LOVE getting emails loaded with your garden and chickens photos and stories? Check out the photos {and the story behind them} Nikki from West Virginia recently sent in:

Mavis,
I love, love, love reading your one hundred dollars a month blog! I am so envious of your free food photos. Here in Southwest Virginia, I have visited all of my local markets begging for “chicken scraps” to no avail! Our major grocery chains are “not allowed” to save unused produce or it’s already spoken for by local rescue missions. I have resorted to just growing extra in my raised bed garden, and pallet salad bed- which I also got inspiration from you.

raised garden beds

Anyhoo…..I am writing to show off my chicken coop. It has taken a lot of hard work. I am a bit OCD like yourself, so once I get a vision I am on a mission to finish it like a crazy person!

DIY Chicken Coop Plans

We live on two acres on top of a mountain overlooking the Roanoke Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains, so we named our coop Bella Vista (beautiful view). It houses fourteen hens (Red sexlinks, Copper Marans, White Rocks, Eastereggers and one crazy White Crested Polish). I am a newbie to chickens with this being my first flock. I will start getting eggs around mid June. I have been doing research and talking “chicken” with whoever will listen for the past year, so the first egg will be an exciting day!

chicken coop with snow

Ok, so onto the coop detais. We built the coop behind our house so that it butts up to our dog fence. The dogs will scare away any predator that may try to have a chicken dinner! The coop is 8×8 interior with 8×16 run (8 ft. under with 8 ft covered run) I tried to only use re-purposed material as much as possible. I scrounged new construction site dumpsters for anything I could use. I saved a lot of money, but some things had to be purchased new like plywood for roof, T1-11 siding, and hardware cloth.

Classic chicken coop plans DIY

Most all lumber was “culled” (no chicken pun intended) lumber from Lowes for 50% Off. Shingles from Craigslist, exterior door from Habitat and windows- free from awesome replacement window guy!

wisteria arbor

And the BEST free things….. coop screen door from my grandmother’s garage and an old plate rack shelf for the Bella Vista Eggs sign from my great granny’s house. It makes me all warm and fuzzy to see them ever day. They would have loved it!

My computer geek husband even installed a coop cam so I can check in on the ladies from work. My co-workers think I’m crazy! …. Ha! If they only knew!

I hope you enjoy my coop as much as I enjoy your website!
Sincerely, Nikki

cold frame

Gardening in Oklahoma – Raised Garden Beds + a Potato Tower

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Introducing New Chickens into Your Existing Flock

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Introducing New Chickens into Your Existing Flock

Last night The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird and I introduced our 3 baby cochin chicks to the older chickens. People have said introducing new chickens into your existing flock can be kind of tricky, but this year it was ridiculously easy for us. In years past we have placed the younger chickens in a fence off area alongside the chicken run for a few days so the birds could get acquainted, but this year we decided to do something a little different.

Lucy our puggle dog outgrew her pet fence weeks ago, so we took the 3 foot high fence outside and set it up within the chicken run around 2 pm. We placed our 3 blue cochin chicks inside the fenced area along with their food and water so the other chickens could get a good look at them.

how to Introduce New Chickens into Your Existing Flock

Our older birds don’t even flinch when lucy the puggle dog runs up to the coop anymore, so we figured they probably wouldn’t bat an eye if a couple of puff balls joined their clan.

Maroon, one of our Rhode Island Red hens immediately took to them. She hunkered down next to the fence and stayed their for a good 3 hours. We weren’t sure if she wanted first dibs on the chicks or if her motherly instincts set in and she was just watching over them.

Introducing New Chickens into Your Existing Flock pictures

Around 6pm we brought the 8 week old chicks out one at a time. Nothing happened. It was business as usual around the coop. The older chickens didn’t care one bit.

Pictures Introducing New Chickens into Your Existing Flock

Except Maroon of course, she followed the chicks around like a mamma hen.

Introducing New Chickens into Your Existing Flock blue cochins

Once the chicks had moved away from their food and water, the older chickens moved in and had themselves a little feast. At nightfall once all the older hens had gone into the coop to roost for the night, my daughter picked up the baby chicks and placed them inside the coop in the nesting boxes.

This morning when she opened the doors, the chickens and the 8 week old chicks all came out. Business as usual. Talk about an easy transition.

I don’t know about you, but I love it when there is no drama. Ha!

Do you have chickens?  What has your experience with introducing new chickens into you existing flock been?

~Mavis

If you would like to learn more about raising chickens and all the fun and excitement it brings… Check out The Joy of Keeping Chickens By Jennifer Megyesi. It will tell you everything you need to know.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Unlikely Friendships – Lucy and the Blue Cochin Chickens

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blue cochin chickens

It’s been seven weeks since we brought home our trio of blue cochin chicks and we are having so much fun with Blueberry, Bluebell and Blue Cheese.

blue cochin chicks chickens

These are by far the most gorgeous chickens we’ve ever owned {well, besides Pablo — he was a true show bird if there ever was one}.

puggle puppy blue cochin chickens

The thing is, Lucy thinks these 3 chicks are her babies. Recently we’ve been keeping the chicks outside during the day {they live in the garage at night} to acclimate them to the outdoor temps before we move the chicks out to the big coop 24/7.

backyard chickens dogs

Once we get the chicks set up outside, Lucy lays down next to them for about an hour. I can’t tell if she’s just sunning herself or if she’s there for the company but the chicks come up to the fence and peck at her paws and she lets them. She’s even give them a kiss or two. How odd is that?

puggle puppy backyard chickens blue cochin

The big chickens want nothing to do with Lucy the puggle dog, but these babies are another story entirely. It’s a good thing the chickens are outdoor animals otherwise I’d have to buy them all chicken diapers so they could stay indoors and pal around with Lucy all day.

Do any of YOUR pets have unusual friendships with other animals?

~Mavis

Unlikely Friendships
Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Mail – DIY Chicken Coop Made From an Old Play Set

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DIY Chicken Coop Plans

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have a rock star garden this summer. Keep them coming!

Check out this story {and awesome photos!} Candace from His Mercy is New sent in:

DIY Chicken Coop Old Swing Set

Here is what Candace had  to say:

We are SO new at all this…but my husband just turned our old wooden swing set into a chicken coop!! It took him a little over 2 months, just working whatever pretty evenings after work and some weekends he could.

DIY chicken coop designs

“The first thing he did was take every.single.piece. apart. Yep. Long, tedious process. But when he was done he had a gazillion pieces of wood that he didn’t have to purchase! And he really did end up using a lot of it…plus purchasing some plywood, metal for the roof and chicken wire.

He had no plans, which might have been a mistake…but I’m so proud of him for working so hard to get this done! He put hundreds of hours into it…a lot of time! And, when you are in the rainy season (ha) and then spring and then snow (yep) it’s hard waiting for pretty days when you can get out there for a few hours after a long day of work!  So, it took around 2 months to finish.”

backyard chickens

Candace your husband did a fantastic job and I think any chicken would be happy to live there. Thank you so much for sending in your photos and have fun collecting all those fresh eggs.

~Mavis

chicken-coop-ideas-kids-playhouse-into-a-coop1

Turn a Kids Playhouse into a Chicken Coop

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Egg Labels and What They Really Mean

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Egg Labels - What Do They Really Mean

Have you seen the egg aisle of the grocery store lately?  Wowza, there are a lot of different choices for eggs.  And in case you have decided being a backyard chicken farmer just isn’t for you, here’s a quick overview of all of your egg choices–each of them appear to be clearly labeled on the egg cartons:

Omega 3 Enhanced Eggs:  These come from chickens whose food has been enhanced with Omega 3 enriched supplements {think flax seeds, flax oil, walnuts, etc.}.  The resulting eggs have a higher amount of Omega 3 fatty acids {you know, the ones they say we don’t get enough of}.  They also have a higher amount of cholesterol, so if that is a concern for you, be aware.

Humanely Raised:  These eggs are from hens that have been humanely raised, as opposed to conventional eggs where the hens are kept in tiny pens.  The carton should have a certified human label.  The chickens may or may not have access to the outdoors.  There are some regulations on this label that limit the density of the birds in their barn/warehouse.  They must also be allowed enough space to “perform natural behaviors”.

Organic:  Organic eggs {certified organic, at least} come from chickens that have not been given antibiotics, hormones, and their food has not been exposed to pesticides.  The thing to remember with these is that “organic” does not necessarily mean the chickens have a nice happy life–the chickens must be cafe free with some outdoor access, but federal regulations does not define that amount.  Conditions for the chickens can be awesome–or not.  It just depends on the producer.

Free Range:  Chickens are not in cages, and might roam freely for part of the day, but there are no regulations whatsoever on this label, so it is hard to say whether you are flushing extra money down the toilet.  Also, there are no restrictions on the birds’ diets.

Cage free:  This one is similar to free range, but chickens do not have to have access to the outdoors.  Conditions can be a bit abysmal for the chickens and still get this label.

Animal Welfare Approved:  This label is much harder to find.  It is for independent family farmers with up to 500 chickens.  The chickens are free to spend unlimited time outside on pesticide-free pasture.  The chickens cannot have their beaks cut {ALL of the previous labels can and typically do cut the chickens beaks}.  The best place to find these is to contact your local farmer’s market and/or go out to the farm to check out the conditions.

how to raise chickens

What kind of eggs do YOU buy?  How do you feel about how the chickens are treated?  Do you wish the better options weren’t so dang expensive?

Feel free to “lay” your comments out below,

Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Raising Backyard Chickens – Awkward Martha and Squirrely Go Broody

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what does a broody chicken look like

It’s been a wee bit difficult getting eggs lately.

broody chicken

Awkward Martha our Plymouth Rock chicken and Squirrely our tiny bantam we picked up for free at last years Mother Earth News Fair have gone broody and won’t give up the eggs without a small fight.

When chickens go broody they tend to sit on their “eggs” for about 30 days and wait for them to hatch. Now that we have a good sized flock of laying hens I anticipate this is going to be a long spring, summer and fall in terms of wrestling chickens off the eggs to collect them.

fresh eggs blue and brown

I feel bad because they don’t know their {and the other hens} eggs are not going to hatch. The odds are zero to none for live chicks now because we had to say goodbye to Pablo the rooster a few months ago.

Poor chickens. I feel bad for them.

Do you have chickens? Do you do anything special for them when they go broody?

Do yours puff up like a giant turkey and cackle at you when you try and steal their eggs too?

~Mavis

If you would like to learn more about raising chickens and all the fun and excitement it brings… Check out The Joy of Keeping Chickens. By Jennifer Megyesi. 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Raising Backyard Chickens – Blue Cochin Chicks

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blue cochin chick 4 weeks feathered legs

Our trio of blue cochin chicks are now one month old and thriving. There was a bit of a mean girls club going on the first week we had the chicks but our sweet little blueberry toughed it out and is quickly catching up in size with the other two chicks.

blue cochin chick

Normally around four weeks chicks start to go through the ugly duckling phase and look a little goofy as their feathers grow. But these cuties are just giant puffs of blue grey feathers and are absolutely gorgeous, if I do say so myself.

blue cochin chick

Look at the sweet little feathers on their legs.

blue cochin chick 4 weeks

The chicks look like they are wearing pantaloons. Ahhh they are so stinkin’ cute I can hardly stand it.

baby chicks in a stock tank

The 4 week old chicks are still residing in a stock tank in the garage and have about a month to go before we introduce them to  our big chickens.  By then the weather will have warmed a bit and they’ll be large enough to climb or fly up the ladder into the chicken coop.

Baby chicks are awesome! With some luck, once these birds start laying, we should be getting about 15 eggs a day by this fall.

Weeeee!

~Mavis

If you are thinking about getting a flock of your own baby chicks be sure and read my How to Care for Baby Chicks post. It’s full of everything you need to know to get started.

And if you are looking for a great chicken book, check out Homemade Living: Keeping Chickens with Ashley English. I think it’s pretty awesome.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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