Trash Hacker: Old Campaign Signs = Chicken Coop

Are you collecting up signs for your favorite candidates during this exciting election year? When all the ballots have been cast, don’t cast off the signs, build yourself a chicken coop from old signs and salvaged lumber. Let our Trash Backwards co-founder Scott James inspire you with this post about the day-ranging coop he built for his own flock.

by Scott James, republished from Opt Out En Mass

Campaign Sign Chicken Coop, photo by Scott James

We’re moving.

Not from our small town, but from our current Joel Salatin inspired chicken tractor setup to an Andy Lee style day-ranging setup.


  • Transition most daily chores to weekly/monthly/quarterly.
  • Enable remaining daily chore (egg collection) to be done by kids.
  • Increase health of the birds. Hoping that more space means less pecking each other.


  • Built a smaller coop meant to solely be a place to lay eggs and roost for the night. Protection from elements only, not predators. Self-imposed limit on the coop was it had to be made entirely from found materials. We used old political signs as the wall/wings and roof, IKEA bed slats as framing lumber, etc. Local woodworker did the design work and let us use his awesome workshop.
  • Added 1/4 acre of ElectroNet fencing to protect from daily coyote visits and occasional raccoons. That’s enough pasture to not need to move the coop and fencing but once every 1-3 months, depending on the season.
  • Added rebar posts with pinwheels to distract the local birds of prey. We get daily fly-bys from eagles, osprey, hawks…and owls each evening. They are beautiful, but I like to eat eggs.
  • Added a range feeder that holds 50# of feed while keeping it dry. My daughter is wearing the top part as a hat in the nearby photo.
  • Made my own 7-day waterer from an extra 5 gallon bucket and $1 chicken nipples (can’t believe I just wrote that) from Farmtek.  (editor’s note: the nipples Scott used are now $2.39 each)

Here are some photos…

Whether your birds are ranging across open acreage or living the urban chicken life, have you made reuse a part of your coop? Please let us know – We’d love to share your tips here!

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Categories: DIY, Repurpose and Reuse, Trash Hacker, Trash Pile - All Our Stuff


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  1. Zero Waste Household Guide: Garden Tips « Trash Backwards - July 12, 2012

    […] Campaign signs hold up well as building material for chicken coops and tractors. […]

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