I am only just starting to appreciate what resources are literally lying all around us. A couple of weeks ago, I needed a new bantam house for my smaller chickens; the one they were in was far too big for them and took up too much of our small urban garden. I looked on Ebay, Freecycle, AdTrader, the pet shop window, everywhere I could think of, to try to find something I could convert into one. Maybe even a decent old sideboard?! But there was nothing available locally under £50… However, I had a good, solid roof left over from an otherwise rotten hutch, two-thirds of a tongue & groove door, and a couple of bits of old fencing lying around. There were two pallets outside the little signwriter’s factory at the top of the next street, and two more in the bin store of the nearby flats; altogether, plenty of wood. So I knocked on a couple of doors, asked nicely and it was given unto me… in fact they were glad to see it taken away!
Less than a week later, the bantams moved into their new coop, which has cost me less than £10, and only that because I had to buy hinges and bolts; I just hadn’t left enough time to source them for free. It’s sturdy and draught-free although well-ventilated, and comes apart easily for cleaning, with easy access to the nestboxes on one side. Not too easy though, remembering the fox…
I’m not even a novice at woodwork, but a lady of a certain age who probably used all the wrong tools, didn’t even draw up a plan or measurements, but did everything by eye and guesswork. And it works!
I’d put off doing this for weeks, because I knew it was going to be too hard and I’d get it all wrong, and that pallet wood was rubbish, and I’d have to go to B&Q for bits, where they always laugh at me… but it wasn’t hard at all! And I’ve ended up with something a darn sight roomier & sturdier than the cheapest available locally, at £60 without even nestboxes or perches.
My point is that if I can do it, anyone can. Just get out there and have a go!