Cost factors include the material, style, and workmanship of the cooperative. You should also budget for ongoing costs and maintenance. Straw has been the chicken bed of choice for centuries, as it was available on most farms. It's better to pay more and buy from a manufacturer that sells cooperatives backed by warranty so you can rest easy.
The beauty of these plans is that, with a little knowledge and imagination, you can easily build your own professional-looking cooperative. Building a chicken coop away from large plants and lots of foliage that can house predators will also help keep a flock safe in the backyard. The important thing for both entrances is to make sure that they are accessible and can be securely locked to keep chickens in and predators out. As a chicken owner, a pressing issue that may be on your mind as temperatures begin to drop is heating the chicken coop.
You can save a lot of money compared to buying a pre-made co-op and you'll pride yourself on completing a big project at the same time. Virginia Cooperative Extension recommends using smooth unfinished plywood for the floor with a deep layer of shavings. There are many accessible and easy to understand cooperative plans aimed at beginners available online, often free of charge. Follow your step-by-step instructions, and before you know it, you'll have a chicken coop in your backyard.
If you're especially skilled, you can build a cooperative with recycled materials at minimal cost.
Chicken coopscome in a variety of styles, sizes, materials, and configurations, so there's a wide range of costs associated with it. Otherwise, a dirt floor (with wire underneath to prevent predators from digging) might be better than a low floor because rodents and snakes love to live below the ground; if the floor is high enough for chickens to enter, they'll keep it clear for you. A small co-op will take several weekends to design and 2-3 more weekends to build, depending on your abilities.
Your chicken coop can be as complex or as simple as you want, complicated enough to carry a truck full of supplies and a long weekend, or simple enough to complete in a single afternoon.