There are lots of options these days with chicken coops. With the popularity of urban chicken raising on the rise, you can pick up a prefabricated coop at any farm supply store, or even your local Sam’s Club! The other option is to build, and thanks to the power of the internet there are chicken coop building plans galore online. You interact with your coop on a daily basis, so you really want to make sure it’s both functional and attractive.
Note: One thing to consider when buying or building a coop is how much room you want your chickens to have. My chickens were, pardon the pun, cooped up in the chicken coop so we decided to let them free range. They are a whole lot happier, but they are susceptible to predators. If this is something that is a problem in your area, you may want to consider building or buying a chicken run also.
When Andrew and I were debating whether or not to build or buy, we carefully weighed the pros and cons.
Prefab Coop Pros
– available immediately
– smaller and easier to move
– no building required
Prefab Coop Cons
– not so weather resistant
– cheaply made
– really small for our chickens
– not very cute
A smaller prefab coop would save us money, but we weren’t sure that it would hold up in the long run. On the flip side building a coop would cost us more, but we could make it look the way we wanted it to.
DIY Coop Pros
– we could make it look exactly like we want!
– lots more room for the chickens
DIY Coop Cons
– takes a lot more time to build
So what did we end up doing? We did both! We purchased a small pre fab coop from Atwood’s for about $260. We had the coop less than two weeks when Andrew decided we wanted to build a new one himself. He designed it and over the course of three weeks, built it in our garage.
We were able to list the old coop on Craigslist, sell it for $200 so we got most of our money back. The new coop cost about $500 and took at least 40+ hours to build. Andrew loves building, so it was a challenge he really enjoyed (he’s already talking about the next one he wants to build). It was an investment, BUT for something that is highly visible in our yard all the time, I’m glad we did it up BIG and nice.
Andrew also added an access door from the side so I can easily collect eggs and clean the coop. There is a plastic liner in the bottom of the roosting area so I can pull out the chicken turds and clean it easily. Trust me, this is a feature you will want from any coop that you purchase or build.
Looking to raise some chickens?
Check out these prefab coops…
and these building plans to make your own!