Wood for the Chicken Coop – Yes, this means we dumpster dive!

If you live in an urban or suburban area and you raise chickens, you understand the plethora of consumer “must haves” targeted at us. Things like super cool $300 plastic coops and $10 bottles of egg-wash. (Trust me I am not knockin’ you if you have these items, I’m trying to illustrate a point.)

All of this causes me to ask myself…If I need all of these things then where are the savings in raising my own chickens? I myself have been through the gamut of products, spent tons of money unnecessarily, and have come out on the other side wiser.

My very sweet and amazingly supportive husband has been working on a new coop for the new batch of chicks we purchased back in the beginning of September. He is not a carpenter, in fact he works in the medical field. He has never worked construction a day in his life. But the man has a vision for things. And he makes them! Beautifully!

Now that we are living off of one income, we have become all too cautious about our spending. In fact, my motto is now: “Luxury is refusal.” So, when it came time to purchase a new coop we couldn’t bring ourselves to pay the asking price. We were committed to waiting patiently and looking for a good deal.

Wood for the Chicken Coop - Yes, this means we dumpster dive!

As luck would have it, that very day I was driving by the community dumpster and noticed an old dresser. Yes, we loaded that bad boy on the truck and today I have a new chicken coop! It’s made with 100% reclaimed materials we found lying around the garage and dump. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

Wood for the Chicken Coop - Yes, this means we dumpster dive!

So I ask, what are you in need of? I encourage you to wait patiently. Open your mind and eyes toward other ways of doing things. The best, most frugally sustainable option is hiding somewhere…find it!

Please find this post and a host of others here: Your Green Resource


  1. CJ in Wisconsin says:

    VERY COOL and great ideas! I got an old camper for nothing and use it as a coop. I put it behind the garage!

  2. Andrea @ The Greenbacks Gal says:

    Dresser into chicken coop? Pure Genius! Thank you for linking up to Your Green Resource!

  3. Good Girl Gone Green says:

    Good for you!!! You go girl!!!

  4. loves2spin says:

    That's really nice! Do you live in a warm part of the world? That would not work to well here in Indiana in the wintertime.

  5. @loves2spin We do live in AZ. What do you for chickens in the wintertime that has worked?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have to ask. Is that the entire area for the chickens? How many live in that tiny space? I'm all for chickens in the back yard but that seems a little too small for healthy, happy chicken. This coming from a person who lives near lots of chicken factory farms who watches truck loads of chickens go down the road in horrifying conditions. I don't have chickens because I can't afford the amount of fencing to give them a lot of area to free range. I buy humanely raised chicken and farmers market eggs for now.

  7. Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable says:

    @Anonymous Great question! And thank you for asking! I should have clarified this information in the post:) You concerns are valid and ones that we hold highly to as well. From the picture the coop does look small:) But it is actually 4ft. x 4ft. giving us 16sq. ft. of ground space and it is three levels high with 2 nesting boxes and a perch. The recommendation from nearly every chicken expert is 4sq. ft. per hen, and we have 3 hens. So they have plenty of room if they were to stay penned in all day. However, they are free to range the yard throughout the day and find their way back to rooster come dusk. Presently, the "girls" give us enough eggs to meet the needs of our family. I dream of the day we can keep enough chickens for meat and eggs to sell!

  8. I just picked up some old kitchen cabinets, very good shape but only 12 inches deep. But 12 inches is all my hens need for a nest box! I took the doors off the cabinets and will hang them in the barn soon. I know they will work because I went out to the barn and the girls had already discovered them and laid an egg in them before I could get them hung and full of hay! glad to see I am not the only one who dumpster dives for their chickens, hehe!

  9. What a great idea! We are going to get pallets to make fences for our pen (already 12×50 feet) If I find something like this,I could add nesting boxes for the hot summer months when they don’t want to go into the doghouse converted over (got free on Craigslist!) I’m all for free and saving money on stuff that works just as well as the expensive stuff. Appreciate your site!

  10. I love this idea! I too live in Arizona and have an old Ikea dresser that might work well for this, but I’m afraid of how it will stand up to the sun and monsoon season. Did you do anything extra to your coop?

  11. LOVE THIS! We recently dumpster dived and got an old bunny hutch which we are going to put to good use for the three chicks we plan to get soon! So enjoy your blog!

  12. I have a question about free ranging….I have 100 free range meat chickens…they are in a pen of about 150 feet peremiter. They are 4 weeks old and doing great. However, I had a friend who told me their meat will be tough because I am giving them too much room to free range, or that they will be small because they are getting too much exercise. Anyone with experience? I’d love to hear from you, Thanks. ~Carla~


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