DIY Cheap animal shelter

DIY Cheap animal shelter

Need cheap and efficient shelter for small animals or livestock?

This DIY cheap animal shelter will be sufficient to get you started with small animals. Be sure to research the specific breed you are getting for their preferred level of shelter/warmth but most small animals just need protection from the elements, once they are weened and can maintain their own body temperature. These DIY shelters will be perfect for our new herd of babydoll sheep.



  • There are several different types and sizes of IBC totes. Make sure you pay attention to what was in them prior to purchasing them. I get ones that are labeled “FOOD GRADE” to make sure you wont be exposing your animals to anything toxic. Many were also used for different types of glues and epoxy’s that are hard to get out, you don’t want your animals to get stuck to it!
  • Check that the totes have the lid on top and the valve on the bottom is working. This will come in handy for cleaning them out.
  • Depending on what animal you are housing, you can do the doors a little different (see above)

Gather Supplies, cLEAN AND PREP

Set yourself up for success! Grab all your supplies, read through the entire directions. Clean and prep the tote if need be


Measure and cut

Mark/Measure twice and cut once! You will want to ark your cut lines on the metal cages. Cut the edges at an angle so you don’t leave any sharp edges. Once the metal cages are out, you can mark and cut the plastic tote. Do not cut the bottom, leave it as a “flap” You want to leave enough of the tote and cages in place so that you can secure the cut edges (next step)


Secure the cut edges

One you cut into the poly tote, the side will lose some structure. You can easily shore this up by attaching the cut poly edge to the existing cages. Do this on the bottom and sides


Floor mats (Optional)

I got these floor mats off Amazon. They are perfect to provide a little comfort and makes it easier to clean.

Don’t waste anything

Additional notes

I kept the cut out portions of the cages to be used as small trellis in my garden – I don’t like to waste anything!

The options are endless

This is a basic tutorial for a guideline. There are many other options and variables for using these totes! Below are some of my favorite uses for IBC cage tanks.

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