The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Easy low budget chicken enclosure

how to make a small chicken coop enclosure out of a 50 gallon plastic barrel

We've been trying to merge our two chicken flocks into one happy group.

It's not going as planned.

The Light susex breed is still warming up to our Black Australorp rooster and his girls. I think he's been chasing them out of the coop. They've been huddling in a corner of the pasture the past couple of nights so I decided to build them the above chicken coop anex.

You can find used 50 gallon plastic barrels at some feed stores for under 10 dollars. It only took a few minutes to cut out the entrance with a jig saw.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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How many chickens do you think will fit in there? Been wanting to get chickens (2-3)for awhile now but working out of town doesn't permit me at the moment. Always looking for new ways to house them.
Comment by Adam Fri Dec 16 00:39:03 2011

A lot of folks around here use these barrels to house fighting cocks, but turned on their ends. In that scenario, they allot one barrel per bird (but presumably that's because they can't let birds get together without fighting.)

If you're using a barrel for laying hens, you'll have to give them some kind of perch in most cases. Our Light Sussex are odd balls in that they're not fans of perching. Maybe three or four hens could perch in one of these at night if they had lots of outside space?

Comment by anna Fri Dec 16 11:23:31 2011
To lure my hens into new nesting boxes I use wooden eggs. You can find them on-line or Ebay.Good Luck!
Comment by Ruthlynn Thu Dec 29 17:47:52 2011
This was meant to be a chicken coop annex, not a nest box, so I don't think eggs would help. (They're not old enough to lay yet.) For nest eggs, our lowest cost and longest-lived option has been golf balls --- they work great! Wooden eggs are certainly fun, though --- I remember playing with one as a kid.
Comment by anna Thu Dec 29 18:03:05 2011

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