How much did it cost for you to build your own coop?


7 Years
May 14, 2012
I have 6 baby chicks and need to start building a coop for them that they can move out to when they are old enough to be outside. I don't know whether it would be more cost effective to buy one from the local pet shop for $399 (small one for 6-7 chickens), build one from scratch (we have no previous carpentry skills) or use some sort of storage shed?? How much did it cost for you to get coop for your chickens?
Congrats on the new chicks and
! You need to realize they grown quick. My guess is most find that it cost much more than expected to build a coop. All the little extras and "might as wells" add up fast. This doesn't even include your time. For just a few hens my guess is buying ready-made coop/run would be cheaper but, I don't know how long the ones you are considering will last. Building a coop is a great first building project because the chickens don't care if its not perfectly square. As long as it doesn't leak and they are safe and comfortable in it - they will be happy.
Building your own will be much cheaper if your handy that way. You don't want to know what my coop and run cost...and I free range! But for six hens 4 bills will build you a nice sized coop and run. Look at the coop section, yours will be small to medium, and copy one you like. Around here the rule is 4 sqft/bird in the coop and 10 sqft for the run. So the coop needs to be 24 sqft and the run 60 sqft. You could elevate the coop and that's 24 ft of the 60. Something like this...

We just finished building our coop (we think!). We did from scratch for 6 chickens, but allowing for more, should we decide later. It was a challenge, as we ("I") continually changed design ideas during the process, incorporating more great ideas learned from fellow forum folks (!), much to DH's dismay with one step forward, two steps back! It would have been SO much easier and WAY less expensive to get pre-made, or convert a pre-fab shed, than deal with the mini arguments in the how's and why's and stopping to run to big box stores because we didn't account for certain hardware/additional wood/items not figured on (cha-ching!)..more or less flying by the seat of our pants, even with a drawn out, usable, albeit unprofessional floor plan.

Ours cost way more than $399 to build (shed style 7'x8'), but is also customized to what we desired, which always costs. It was our creation..from inception to "birthing" it; a labor of love, I guess, so, hard to put a real price on the pride we feel in the making of it. BUT..It all comes down to what you can afford, carpentry skills, the man hours you can invest and what you'll ultimately be happiest with in the long run. Thankfully no one dictates what our coops should look like, so go with what feels best for you, and in the interest of your chicks!! Good luck :)
build your own using basic handtools and it will be much more fun than buying a small one. I built mine for under 200 bucks using reclaimed wood. Look for local places getting rid of wood and go from there. We are here to help out with any issues you may have.. Get building they grow fast...

here is mine all reclaimed wood...
we probably spent $300....but a lot of materials we got used from friends & family. We tried recycling as much as possible to keep cost down and, obviously to keep things out of the landfill. Ask around. Check the groups on Facebook in your area (we have one called 'Traders Place' for our county) .... check garage sales and most certainly local auctions. Like others say, the chickens don't care what it looks like and a little paint will pretty it up for your yard. I'll try attaching a pic of ours - no promises I'll accomplish that tho! We are painting it red with white trim later this summer. Most of all - have fun working on it !

I have a shed that I am using a portion of for my chickens the chicken space is 4 x 12 with an outside run of 12 x 20 for 10 chicks. I have spent quite a bit on conversion and run, but if I had no shed, the way I would have gone, would be to buy a shed vs an already made chicken coop.. Sheds are much cheaper and can easily be converted.
It is always going to cost more than you figure
You can plan it out to a t and then something comes up. In the end I do not even want to add up what I spent in materials
My time well I do not even count that part. After looking at what is out there if you are handy with a saw and hammer just build it yourself.

I had 6 hens at the time when we built this. I now wish It was bigger even though they do not need the room. We only have 4 now.
I'm almost done with a 4x6 with external nest boxes and it was $400+ just for the coop. I scrounged where I could, used some scraps I already had, but it really does all add up. If I bought everything new it would have been closer to $700. We also have a covered 10x20 run, basically a lean to on the workshop and that was bout $600. That required all new lumber, but I got the roofing as ding and dent.

Good luck.

- JP
I just built mine for 4 girls we just picked up. Built it completely out of pallets and stuff I had laying around. The only thing that was new was the screws and nails. It's ugly, but functional; more importantly the girls are happy.

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