Household objects that work surprisingly well in chicken coops

A chicken coop doesn't need very much for the chickens to be happy. Some windows, a few nest boxes, perches and a place for their food & water and they will be perfectly content! However, adding some decorations or storage can make the coop more useable for you. Over the years I've repurposed a bunch of different household items to my chicken coops.

Shopping cart used in chicken coop

Many of them are for decoration like pictures, some are functional like lights but I also put several items in the coop for storage or organization. It's nice to be able to use previously unused space like wall space to store things and keep them within reach for when I'm tending the chickens!

It's also a good way to get a little bit more use out of things that might not be ready for the landfill just yet...

Using household objects in the chicken coop

Here are my favorite household objects to repurpose in the chicken coop! I'll provide some links for you to purchase the exact items I used, but if you have them around your house already ... that's even better!

Containers from your pantry for chicken feed

Empty food containers for chicken treats, mealworms, supplements etc. When you buy large plastic containers of nuts, pretzels, snacks, coffee, sugar or other food items, reuse the empty containers for in your chicken coop! 

This is especially useful if you have a small coop, as a cashew jar filled with scratch takes up much less space than a 50lb bag. It also keeps them from accidentally getting into the whole bag of scratch and demolishing it!

Spring loaded tension rod organizer for bathtubs and showers in the coop

You know those tension rod shelf things people put in their bathtubs and showers to put shampoo bottles on? Those! I was getting rid of it from the bathroom so I moved it out to the coop. Turns out I loved it so much I bought one for the other coop too! 

They come in all different styles with different configurations of shelves and hooks to choose from. 

I use them to keep track of smaller items in the coop. Vitamin bottles, poop scrapers, extra box of rubber gloves etc. They take up very little floor space and you can tuck one into the corner of the coop where you're probably not using the air space anyway. They only take up a tiny spot on the floor, but give a lot of storage. 

You can see this one above the little box cabinet in the picture

Cat litter box cabinet in coop

Cat box cover as nest box for broody hens

This works particularly well if you have silkies because they like to nest on the ground. The one I have is a wooden litter box cover side table. Basically a cute end table looking thing that sets over the litter box to give the cat privacy or just hide the litter box from your view. 

I have it just sitting on the floor in my silkie coop and they like to lay their eggs in it. It keeps the eggs out of the way so they don't get stepped on or kicked around and broken, plus it helps the broody's to feel safer when they're sitting for 3 weeks at a time trying to hatch eggs. 

Also works great for guineas since they are a ground nesting bird that likes to feel hidden when they lay!

Covered cat litter box with faux plant as nest boxes

You can use pretty much any covered cat litter box as a small nest box or even just a little sleeping area for birds like silkies that don't fly well to get up to a higher nest box. My guinea fowl also like to hide in these to lay their eggs because they feel well, hidden! 

They have all kinds of litter boxes available, and I'm sure you can find some at a thrift store very very cheaply! I bought this one from Amazon with the little plant out the top and the guineas have decided this is their favorite to lay eggs in! I got that one on massive clearance price, or just pick up a cheap one at walmart and pop a fake plant on top!

cat litter box in coop as nest box

Cat litter box for dust tubs

This one will probably go outside the coop, and you'll want to use an uncovered box for this. First, drill some holes in the bottom to allow water to drain out when it rains. A LOT of holes! Then fill with your preferred dust bath mixture, dirt or sand. Situate in a sunny area so the sun helps dry out the mixture and so the chickens can sun bathe and dust bathe at the same time!

You can usually find these at the dollar store or used ones at the thrift store. Any old Rubbermaid tote will do actually, just cut the sides down and sink it into the ground a little. Great way to reuse a cracked tote. It's perfect since the cracks let the rain out!

Pictures, drapes and chandeliers in the coop

These just make the place look cute but seriously..,who doesn't want their coop to look cute? I bought the chick yoga picture new, but you can find a lot of cool artwork at thrift stores which is where I got the autumn picture for $3! I also get a lot of the smaller signs at the Dollar tree in spring as they've had all kinds of farm-based signs & stuff lately. 

You an often find cheap light fixtures in thrift shops, just make sure the coop is watertight before installing anything electric! Also look for kitchen curtains at the thrift store and cut to fit your nest boxes or coop windows.

chick yoga picture

White boards for coop notes

Dry erase boards are great for keeping track of how many chickens are in any coop at any time! I tend to have chicks hatch quite often in the silkie coop so my numbers are always fluctuating. If you have silkies you know how big of a broody problem they have! 

Mostly I use dry erase boards to write the current population number so when I do lock up at night I'm not looking for seven chicks when there's only supposed to be six under the black hen! It's so helpful when the husband has to help me lock up occasionally because the current number is right there.

It's also useful for keeping notes on medication or chores such as when the water bowls were scrubbed last. Pick them up at the dollar tree or Walmart type store.

Shopping carts for toting feed bags 

After I sustained an injury last year, I bought this cart to help me tote around bales of straw, shavings and feed bags. This makes it very easy to move things from point A to point B and the metal one folds up when empty to store in a corner out of the way. 

I have this cart but they are stupid expensive brand new! I got mine at the a thrift store for like $8. I saw them at Aldi last year also for an about $20, so keep your eyes peeled and pick one up when you see a price that works for you! Most of these are rated for 200 lbs. or even more, so they have no problem helping you with a 50lb feed bag!

Collapsible grocery cart for bags of shavings in the coop

Shelves in the chicken coop

You can buy plastic shelves for plastic coops that hook into the walls, but they can be expensive depending what type of coop or shed you have. I just use extra shelves from in the house. I put wooden shelves in a wood walled coop because I can use one of those little no tip kits to secure it to the wall. Chickens knock stuff over sometimes, so better to be safe, right?

If you don't have a lot of floor space, get some of these metal kitchen shelves (from a commercial kitchen)in the right side of the picture that work well. I got this one at a flea market, but the other from a thrift store! Just like the tension rod shelves, it gives you some space to keep smaller items in the coop so you don't misplace them without taking up floor space.

Some of them have hooks underneath so that's even more space for storage. If not you can clip some cheap carabiners to the metal rods of the shelf and use those to hang stuff like extra suet holders or plastic poop scrapers aka putty knifes & paint scrapers! 

If you have a tall coop, you can hang the shelves at arm height or higher to store small jars of treats or supplements like grit and oyster shell. Be forewarned though, some chickens might try to perch on them at night. This is less likely if the perches are higher than the shelves. 

I have that one hen that's being stubborn though! lol (click picture to enlarge for details)

Solar lights in the chicken coop

Solar lights in the coop

I have this string of solar lights in my guinea coop. They're made for outdoors and have a pretty big solar panel which I have propped up in the window to get it's daily charge of  light. They stay on a few hours after dark and they give enough of a glow to see, but they're not bright enough for the chickens to want to stay up! They were only $20 online and have lasted over a year so far!

Boot trays or water pan liners to protect coop floor

Put these under the water bowl or drinker to keep the floor dry! I talk about it more in depth in keeping the floor dry under the waterer. Any plastic or metal tray type object will work! I talk about this more  in depth (with several pictures) in How to keep the coop floor dry under the waterer

I have tried out a whole lot of other home products in the coop that haven't really worked for me. Chairs end up getting so much poop on them you don't want to sit on them. Tables get knocked over unless they're really big and then they take up a lot of space. And any decor that you mind getting destroyed should be skipped, but that's exactly why I recommend thrift stores & dollar stores! Yu can make your coop look super cute for cheap!

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