Costs to build a small coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by flibbertigibbet, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. flibbertigibbet

    flibbertigibbet New Egg

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    Mar 19, 2013
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    Hello all!

    I'm completely new to keeping backyard chickens, as in I just decided last week that I'm going to build a coop and start raising chickens this summer. My city just started allowing residents to raise backyard chickens last year so I'm very excited. I've decided to build my own coop. I'm definitely willing to save up money and find as many free building materials as I can, but I'm on a tight budget. I'm only going to start with 2 girls so I won't need a big coop. Can anyone share start-up costs with me? If you could account for the initial costs for the hens themselves that would be great. Also, I'd like to explore building a portable coop. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  2. jnntefend

    jnntefend Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2013
    East Texas
    The hens themselves won't be too expensive. You can get them at Tractor Supply, or your local feed store for no more than 4 dollars or so a piece. TSC requires you to buy at east six, so you may want to find a friend to go in with, or place an add on craigslist for your leftovers.

    A coop and run are more expensive. If you can find good quality reclaimed materials, you will be doing well, but, all told, I doubt you can get out of it for less than 400 dollars for the coop, run, and little accessories you will need. You may also find that purchasing a small house form your feed store will be cheaper in the long run than building your own, depending, again, on how cheaply you can get supplies.

    In my experience, chickens are far from cheap, and there is always something that pushes the budget past what you had expected. That said, there are certainly ways to shave costs a bit. Be sure, though, that you do not scrimp and use chicken wire rather than hardware cloth, that hardware cloth is important.
     
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  3. flibbertigibbet

    flibbertigibbet New Egg

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    Mar 19, 2013
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    This helps a lot. Thanks so much!
     
  4. tymimo

    tymimo Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    My Coop
    I'm in the midst of building a coop and the big expenses have been the roofing (plastic corrugated roof), gravel and sand, and plywood. knowing I was going to build a coop, a few months back I asked the contractor who remodled our basement if he had scrap wood from other projects. A couple times he's called me and told me he had 2x4s from some demolition work he's done so I've saved money there. If there are any houses being built in your neighborhood you might ask the construction guys if there is any scrap lumber you could have. I've also collected some pallets and plan to use them for the siding. Even with the reclaimed 2x4s and siding, as jnntefend said it's looking like all told the coop will cost about $400. Several sources in my area for used/reclaimed/free stuff includes a freecycling email group, a Habitat for Humanity reclaimed building supply store and craigslist.

    Good luck
     
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  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    NEK, VT
    Small coops are very inexpensive to build. I spent $140 on material to build a 4x4 coop. What you do for a run can be expensive or not. The coop itself if small is only 2x2's and exterior sheathing that only needs to be 3/8 not 1/2 inch. Biggest expense is stain, roof shingles and pressure treated 4x4's for a standing base.

    A good metal water 2 gal dispenser runs $15 and a 6 lbs plastic feed dispenser will run you $8. You can build small dispensers for when they are young.

    I'd plan on getting minimum of 3 chicks. Mainly due to chickens being so social and it really takes three to make a society. Also if something should happen to one you've still got a pair to keep each other company.

    Here's my 4X4 coop. The tractor is not in expense, that cost me $60 in material and not used with this coop as it's far to heavy to be practical. I also found the PVC feeder wasn't needed. The tracks for doors to slide open are nothing more than lattice trim caps, about $3 per 8ft stick. Have a large sliding door on other side to clean out. No hinges or hardware on coop excepting back nesting box lid.

    [​IMG]

    Then you can also find things like play houses on craigslist and repurpose. Make it predator proof and add a few roosts. Before building this coop I had a playhouse on the tractor. Now it's back on the tractor and used as a grow out pen for spring chicks. The 4x4 coop is on stilts in a 10x10 chain link dog kennel now.
    [​IMG]

    Note the home made feed and water dispensers. Old planter with holes drilled low on sides and bowl for lid all in old pie pan. Water is mayonaise plastic jug with holes on bottom side again and large hole in bottom to refill, rests in a plastic tray used for planter bottoms.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
    1 person likes this.

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