Getting scared of cost

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by birdy_num_nums, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. birdy_num_nums

    birdy_num_nums In the Brooder

    May 28, 2008
    I am in the very beginning of planning my coop. My chicks are 3 weeks old (11 chicks, all different breeds). I'll have a coop and attached run; occassionally they'll be allowed out to 'free range' in the big yard with human supervision. Some days they will have to stay in the coop if we are not going to be at home (we're rural with lots of predators and I can't take the chance of not being here and having them attacked in their run, so I'll leave them locked up in the coop those days.)
    I've been browsing around here and all over the internet looking at sheds, playhouses, etc., for ideas. However, I'm starting to get very concerned about cost. For example, one wooden shed: 6'x6' $1,835. HUH!?! $1,800+??? And considering I'm going to need around 10'x7' just to give my girls appropriate square footage I'm starting to get heart palpatations here. I know a coop can be done for free or close to it, but I don't have/haven't found a supply of coop or materials. I check craigslist multiple times per day, and have put wanted ads on there for various materials but so far nothing even close. I am guessing that a similar wooden shed to the one I mentioned above could be done from scratch (vs. shipped prefabricated to be assembled) for less money, but for *how much* less is the question that is keeping me up nights.
    Mostly I feel like an idiot- like I didn't think this through enough before ordering 11 chicks, and now realizing I cannot afford to safely house more than 3 or so, if that [​IMG].
  2. paisleycj

    paisleycj In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2008
    Maybe go with a chicken tractor? Much cheaper to build and movable. I've got a decent coop, but I'll be building the tractors for any more birds. My 8X10 coop cost me $1,000. in materials! hardware cloth and ripped 2X2's run a whole bunch less.
  3. setter4

    setter4 Songster

    May 8, 2008
    Central Pennsylvania
    I know how you feel. I thought we would be able to build a coop for arond $100...HA! My 4'x8' coop is about 5' high and cost closer to $300 to build. That didn't include the price of fencing since we did already have an 8'x14' dog kennel we used.
    You might try going to the local lumber yard and seeing if they have any "culled lumber. Stuff that is warped, has knots etc. Also check there for roofing material that may have gotten damaged etc.

  4. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Songster

    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    If you're handy at all, you can build a coop yourself for a lot less than you can buy one, and better quality, too.

    A dirt floor saves yet more on materials.

    I scrounged windows (4'x4' Andersons, new in the boxes!!) from the building materials section of our town dump.

    5-gallon buckets are free everywhere and make great nesting boxes.

    A sod roof is cheaper and more ecologically sound than shingles, plus it provides insulation in the winter and evaporative cooling in the summer.

    The hinges for my doors and nest boxes are super-heavy-duty stainless steel from the scrap metal pile at the dump. (They came off armored truck doors.)

    The door latches are made of Brazilian Cherry - from scraps in the dumpster of a local furniture maker.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2008
  5. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:We are almost finished our coop with attached run . The coop is 12 wide by 8 ft. deep x 6 ft. high for walkable access .
    The run is 12x20 . We dug 1 ft. trench around the whole perimeter of the coop and run and wired thru out , even wired top of run to aviod predators . We also live in the city .

    We have been real lucky and hard some crap materials given to us free .

    The rest we bought from Home depot and Lowe's . Alot cheaper than buying from fabricators .

    We also build the sides that look like wings that open for cleaning . and also plenty of ventilation .

    We can not keep them in coop other than at night due to the heat . So , they free range inside the run . At night they will go into coop and they are totally locked inside . Built door to coop and door to run .

    Where are you located ? We are in South Louisiana and heat and humdity has to be taken into consideration .
  6. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Songster

    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Quote:Freudian slip? [​IMG]
  7. cluckychick

    cluckychick Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    Try visiting builder sites and asking to dig in their dumpsters. You'd be amazed at the wood they throw away that could be used for home projects.

    We bought a pre-fab unit from Sutherlands 8x12 and it cost us $732.00 but are also building a smaller coop from recovered/recycled materials.

    Good Luck in your coop building process [​IMG]
  8. smom1976

    smom1976 too many projects too little time!

    May 2, 2008
    Pensacola, FL
    You dont have to make it sooo tall either.. I did my coop so that it was only 4 feet tall.. that way I could save money on the plywood sheets.. have a 4x7 x 4 feet tall one sheet layed sideways. [​IMG] and I just used simple framing and used a dirt floor.. I disassembled and old something or other that was falling appart in the yard and reused the lumber.. I worked it to open the back side for the nest boxes and used a white corrigated PVC roof (most expensive part comming to 22$), everything else other than the hinges was on hand. Landscaping timbers are also cheeper than 4x4 posts for the run. I just put my roosts in and I just staired two of them.. I only have 16 chickens.. (started with 12) there are many ways to cut down on costs.. and just for the mention.. we built our own shed. 12x12 and much taller with a loft than the pre fab ones and have about 800$ in it. We could never afford to buy a premade one.. easier but we have more time than money..
  9. dixygirl

    dixygirl Songster

    May 14, 2008
  10. I think a lot of people have experienced chicken coop sticker shock - we sure did! Especially when the chicks themselves are so inexpensive compared to other pet animals.

    My husband built a Playhouse Coop and I suspect the final tally for costs will be about $500 although we live in the Boston area, which is an expensive place to live. He spent probably at least 30 hours making it, and if anyone ever asked him to make one, he wouldn't do it for less than $40 an hour; so that's $1,200 right there not counting materials, and this is a small coop for just 3 birds. So in the end I’m telling myself that it's about what we'd spend for a pure bred puppy.

    A chicken coop will be, by far, the single most expensive part of the project. Small chicken coops are just not that common anymore as a retail item, and the expense in making them is truly a labor cost for the few small businesses that do make them because they’re made here in the US and not in Asia.

    Here on BYC people get pretty creative though, and lots of folks have repurposed large breed doghouses or kid's playhouses and then have added roosts, nest boxes and a run.

    You'll figure out what works for you, and there is lots of genuine help and support here on BYC!

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2008

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: