To build, or to buy?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by glarnerchicks, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. glarnerchicks

    glarnerchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2015
    Southern Wisconsin
    We're embarking on our first chicken experience, and struggling with the decision to build or buy a coop.

    Option a) Build.
    Our village ordinance allows up to 5 hens -- we would plan for the maximum.
    - Requires 3 sq ft of coop floor space per bird, and one nest box PER BIRD.
    - Minimum dimensions of 2' wide x 2' long x 4' tall
    - Needs to be vented and insulated
    Requires 6 sq ft of run space per bird.
    - Minimum dimensions of 2' wide x 2' long x 3' tall

    Is it feasible to build a big enough coop for less than $850 in new materials? I've been browsing plans for the past week, and it's really looking like it's not...

    Option b) Buy.
    A local person makes and sells coops, and has one that would fit our requirements for $650. We'd need to add on a bit of a bigger run, but that's it -- comes insulated, pre-wired, with winterizer panel, etc. I'm assuming that building onto the run a bit would be less than $200 (that's where I got the $850 for Option a)

    If you were me, and lived in Wisconsin (hot summers, very cold winters) what would you choose? We want to save money, so would go with the best value for the least $$.
     
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    If you can get inexpensive supplies, such as scrap or recycled wood, you may be able to build one for less, depending on how handy you are. You can sometimes get good deals at Habitat for Humanity restores, or from contractors who will save leftovers for you.

    Personally I prefer 4 square feet of floor space in the coop, and 10 square feet in the run per bird. And one nest box per bird is overdoing it, as they will all likely use the same one or two. But if the regulations require it you will need to do it anyway.

    Be cautious of a coop that is built too tightly, birds even in the winter need generous fresh air, and providing a well-ventilated, draft-free coop is vital in the winter.
     
  3. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

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    Tending to my chickens
    1muttsfan gave some good advice. We built our coop (not from new materials) that is built to hold 30+ chickens, and everything in total, the coop, chicken wire, supplies, etc., cost us less than $600. But we used wood and metal from around our area, so we didn't buy some stuff. Yes, it is possible to build a new coop for less than $850, but you would have to watch what you spend and always plan for the unexpected.

    If you buy a coop, then the price will be less of a hastle, but it may or may not be what you had in mind as the dream coop. But, buying one will save lots of time and work, so the decision is ultimately up to you. Good luck!
     
  4. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    also on materials, check with your building supply store and see where they put the 'cull' and/or 'slightly damaged and discounted' pile, as well as the 'oops' stack........

    our Home Depot here for example, paints the ends of the cull stuff purple and it's marked down 70%......I bought enough 2x4's to frame my new coop build for $51, and I still have enough left to do the roosts and a frame work for my poo boards


    yes, if you shop around you can find materials cheaper than 'new stuff'.........even if you go with the built and bought coop, keep that in mind when you build your run
     
  5. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    something else too, depending on how big you want the run to be you can go under $200 on a 'hoop run' ..........
     
  6. glarnerchicks

    glarnerchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2015
    Southern Wisconsin
    All really good tips and advice, thanks!
     
  7. whitmore

    whitmore Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2014
    Another thing to consider is if you want it wired for electric. We have a light in the winter to provide some heat, but not a heat lamp, and a heated waterer. We plug in on the outside of the coop so that we don't have a window or door that has to be cracked open to accommodate an extension cord during sub zero temps.
     

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