Is it cheaper to build a chicken coop or buy one?

Building a cooperative is usually cheaper than buying one. If you don't have them, then it makes more sense to buy them and there are plenty of good chicken coops for sale out there. This is one of the main determining factors for most. Building your own chicken coop will usually cost you about half of what you can expect to spend on a ready-made chicken coop.

That's if you buy all the new materials. You can do it for much, much less if you use recycled materials. Add Hobby Farms to the home screen? So last spring, with six new Barred Rock chicks growing at the speed of light in our wardrobe, I scrapped our DIY plans and looked online. I soon found a selection of handsome, rugged-looking chicken coops built by a local craftsman in Orting, Washington.

That afternoon, we went to buy a chicken coop; the next day, a large cedar chicken coop arrived in a van, and our girls finally had a new home. In fact, with the variety of chicken housing on the market, you have a good chance of finding one that fits your situation, budget, and style. Jenni Rich by Graham, Washed. Suzanne Stuck, of Sandusky, Ohio, purchased two wooden chicken coops for her first herd of nine.

The reason? My wooded rural area is the center of raccoons, so I looked for a sturdy wooden chicken coop with no openings where these ingenious animals could reach. Because we once had raccoons break through flimsy chicken wire, I also wanted ventilation windows and a covered outer pen made of sturdy steel cloth. A pop hole with secure lock and boom doors were high on my priority list, too. Even living in the city, Stuck worries about raccoons, among other predators.

We chicken farmers also have needs and wants. When buying in co-op mode, keep the following in mind. Coop models come in an incredible variety of materials, styles, sizes and prices. A clean chicken coop makes herd healthier, eggs pristine and fewer rodent problems, so consider chicken coops as convenient to clean as possible.

The chicken coops purchased by Rich and Stuck have doors or hatches that provide easy access to several compartments and sliding trays that make it easy to clean the sleeping areas and nest boxes. If buying used, thoroughly clean and disinfect the structure before taking it home. Save my name, email and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If you do the project yourself, it's cheaper to build it.

Otherwise, it's reduced to the size of the co-op you want. Some large co-ops are cheaper to build than ordering kits. If you use good, sturdy materials that will hold up well in your climate, your chicken coop will last longer and better protect your chickens, which will reduce long-term maintenance costs and vet bills. Some people prefer to throw chicken balls directly on the ground and let their chickens peck there.

If your co-op doesn't have windows, you can set lights and a timer, but that often requires it to run on electricity and a lot of people don't want to do it outside. Unless you are building a tractor, that moves around your yard, you should consider the location of your co-op. Medium to coarse-grained sand is the best litter for chicken coops, as it is non-toxic, dries quickly, stays clean, low in pathogens, and has low dust levels. Saving money is an important consideration when building your first chicken coop, but perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that the best way to save money in the long run is to build the best chicken coop possible.

If a chicken gets sick or you bring a new chicken to your herd and you need to quarantine it, a backup chicken coop is a good idea. Hens need some shade, so make sure that at least part of your chicken coop and run are located in a shaded area. At a minimum, your chicken coop must be fully locked and secure with a lock on the door that only an adult can operate. Sheds, cabinets, shelving and pallets can become parts of a cooperative structure; milk cages and wood waste can become interior items.

Moyle points out that, although chickens are quite resistant, they need shelter from wind, rain, snow and the heat of the sun. It's almost certain that the chicken coop will be your biggest expense when you prepare for your first herd. Chickens are very good at keeping warm, so you won't need to spend on a heater unless you live in a very cold region; if someone is going to be home to lay the chickens, an automatic chicken coop door is an unnecessary expense. If you want something easy to clean, durable and good for chicken legs, consider rubber mats.

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Célia Peals
Célia Peals

Unapologetic bacon lover. Devoted food expert. Extreme problem solver. Friendly travel fan. Incurable burrito ninja.