Exterior

How Much Does a Chicken Coop Cost to Build?

Homeowners who raise chickens can benefit from farm-fresh eggs, convenience, money savings, and a sustainable way of living. A chicken coop costs an average of $650, although the typical range is between $300 and $2,000.
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Chicken Coop Cost
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Highlights

  • It typically costs from $300 to $2,000 to build a chicken coop, with homeowners paying a national average of $650.
  • When building a chicken coop, homeowners will find that several factors can influence the total cost, including the number of nest boxes, the size and style of the coop, the construction material used, and the flooring material used.
  • Building a backyard chicken coop comes with many benefits, including healthier chickens, healthier and tastier eggs, sustainability, garden improvements, and family involvement.
  • Many homeowners can easily build a basic chicken coop themselves using a prefabricated kit, but it may be worthwhile to hire a pro to build a more elaborate custom design.
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Farmers have been raising chickens in their backyards for many years, but now this activity has become a trend for homeowners who enjoy not only taking care of the animals but also the farm-fresh eggs they produce. A desire to be more self-sufficient and sustainable has led to more people adding a chicken coop to their backyard decor. Learning about the essentials of raising backyard chickens and knowing which type of chicken coop to build can be overwhelming, and there can be questions about how to budget for this project. According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, the typical cost to build a chicken coop is $300 to $2,000, with the national average being $650. Keep reading to discover how much it costs to build and maintain different types of chicken coops, and see all the factors involved in the pricing.

Factors in Calculating Chicken Coop Cost

Chicken Coop Cost
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A number of key elements impact the price to build a chicken coop successfully. These factors include the number of nest boxes added; the size and style of the coop; materials chosen for flooring, framing, walls, roof covering, and mesh; and the labor fees associated with either putting together a prefabricated kit or designing and constructing a custom coop.

Number of Nest Boxes

Nest boxes, which are enclosed cubbies filled with fresh straw or other bedding material, are places where chickens can nest and lay their eggs. They can be homemade using lumber, or they can be purchased ready-made for about $30 per box. Having at least one box per chicken is recommended. Therefore, the number of chickens will dictate the total price of the best nest boxes for the coop.

Size and Style

The more chickens, the bigger the coop. The bigger the coop, the pricier it will be to build. Each chicken needs 3 to 5 square feet of space in the coop to move around. If it gets too crowded, the chickens may become competitive and peck at each other. The best chicken coops accommodate the number of current chickens and leave room for additional ones in the future. Homeowners will want to keep in mind that there should also be enough space for the run. Each chicken needs at least 15 square feet, and some experts recommend 25 square feet per chicken. With the average chicken coop housing three to six chickens, about 30 square feet of space will be needed inside, and the run will need to be 90 to 150 square feet.

Style also impacts the price of the chicken coop. A-frame coops cost about $200 to $300, tractor coops cost between $300 and $500, walk-in styles range from $300 to $1,000, and all-in-one coops are the most expensive and range from $1,000 to $4,000.

Construction Material

Chicken coops can be made of different materials, and all come with varying benefits and price points. Decisions about which materials to use for the framing, wall, roof covering, and mesh will drive the price. There can be a wide range of chicken coop budgets based on materials. A small chicken coop for four chickens that’s built using the least expensive materials could be $200, while a large, custom-built coop made from premium materials could easily cost over $2,000. The following table shows the most common types of materials and their typical prices.

Type of MaterialCharacteristicsCost RangeAverage Cost
Corrugated TinSheeting material for roof and walls

Strong/durable

Low maintenance

Poor insulator

$15 to $20 per sheet$17.50 per sheet
MeshCovers windows

Seals against predators

Used for the run

$30 to $40 per board roll$35 per board roll
PlasticSheeting material

Expensive

Common in kits

$25 to $30 per sheet$27.50 per sheet
PlywoodUsed for walls and roofing

Budget-friendly

$10 to $20 per sheet$15 per sheet
Pressure-treated lumberUsed for framing

Affordable

Resistant to rot and insect infestation

Concern that chemicals in it can harm chickens

$7 to $10 per board foot$8.50 per board foot
PVCUsed for framing

Affordable

Lightweight

Modern

Often combined with mesh and plastic

$5 to $6 per linear foot$5.50 per linear foot
RedwoodUsed for framing, walls, and roof

Insect- and rot-resistant

No staining, sealing, or chemical applications required

Long lasting

$10 to $12 per board foot$11 per board foot
SoftwoodUsed for frames, walls, and roofing

Budget-friendly

$2 to $3 per board foot$2.50 per board foot

Flooring Material

Although installing a constructed floor is not required, there are many benefits to having a stable floor, including protecting chickens from predators, keeping pests out, making the cleaning process easier, insulating the coop in cold weather, and providing a more comfortable surface for the chickens to walk on.

There is a wide range of floor materials available at different price points. Vinyl is the cheapest option and very easy to clean. Wooden boards are simple to install, but they are not that easy to clean. Wood also needs to be sealed to prevent waste from seeping into the boards. Next, rubberized roofing material is an inexpensive and popular option that is also easy to clean and walk on. Plywood can also be used; it is simple to install but some pests are able to get through it. Wire helps keep burrowing predators from getting inside the coop, but it needs to be covered with another material or a deep layer of sand or dirt to prevent damage to the chickens’ feet. Rubber mats are durable, heavy, easy to clean, very comfortable for the chickens, and effective at deterring predators. Finally, concrete is the most expensive flooring option. It’s most effective for keeping out pests and predators; however, it is not very comfortable for chickens to walk on. The chart below lists the prices for each type of flooring material.

Flooring MaterialCost RangeAverage Cost
Concrete$75 to $125 per cubic yard$100 per cubic yard
Plywood$10 to $20 per sheet$15 per sheet
Rubberized roofing material$7 to $9 per square foot$8 per square foot
Rubber mats$45 to $80 per sheet$62.50 per sheet
Vinyl$2 to $8 per square foot$5 per square foot
Wire$35 to $45 per roll$40 per roll
Wooden board$7 to $9 per board foot$8 per board foot

Labor

Although some people construct a chicken coop on their own, others choose to either purchase a prefab chicken coop kit or have a chicken coop custom made. A contractor from one of the best handyman services can help put together the kit, and these pros typically charge $60 to $100 per hour for the service. An average-size coop should only take a couple of hours to build, so homeowners will want to budget at least $120 to $200 for labor costs. It is recommended that a homeowner hire a carpenter for a custom-built coop. Carpenters usually charge around $100 per hour or they may charge by the project. It could take about a half a day to construct a smaller design, but it may take several days for a larger, more extensive one. There may be other labor fees, too, depending on where the chicken coop is to be placed. These can include costs to clear the land ($1,250 to $4,460), level the land ($400), remove trees ($200 to $2,000), and remove tree stumps ($320 per stump).

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Additional Costs and Considerations

In addition to the main factors that influence the price of a chicken coop, there are some additional, and somewhat unexpected, costs to take into account when raising chickens. These costs range from repairs to installing temperature-control systems and egg catchers for making egg collection easier. Homeowners won’t want to forget to factor in these additional fees when planning to install a chicken coop.

Prefabricated vs. Custom-Built Chicken Coop

With so many creative chicken coop styles to choose from, it can quickly become overwhelming to determine what type is best for a specific household. With custom-built coops, the sky’s the limit, and the cost can be in the thousands of dollars. On the other hand, prefab chicken coop kits are available to make the selection process more manageable. For a fee ranging from $200 to $7,700, the design and materials are all taken care of.

Repurposing an Existing Structure

Another way to build a chicken coop is by repurposing an existing structure. For example, a homeowner could start with an old shed and make some modifications, such as adding roosts, a chicken door, ventilation near the roof, mesh to the windows, insulation, a run, and nest boxes. Starting with an existing structure can end up saving the homeowner money as opposed to using a prefab kit or building everything from scratch.

Maintenance and Repair

Ongoing maintenance is critical to keeping the chickens healthy. Since they roost, sleep, drink water, fight, and eliminate waste in the coop, the area will need to be cleaned regularly. Many people put down an absorbent material on the floor to change out weekly, such as straw, sawdust, wood shavings, or sand. This helps keep the area tidy and minimizes odor. If it is difficult to access the inside for cleaning, a homeowner may consider using a tray to pull out easily to clean. Treating the coop for lice, mites, and other parasites is also important. Homeowners will want to be prepared to pay about $30 to $60 monthly or $360 to $720 annually for chicken coop maintenance. Some common monthly maintenance expenses include food ($15 to $30), bedding ($10 to $20), feeders ($5 to $10), and the chickens themselves ($3 to $100 per chicken, although most are between $5 and $30).

In addition, necessary repair issues may come up. These include damage from predators as they try to bite through the mesh or burrow through the floor, destroyed insulation from chickens pecking at it, and a weathered exterior that may need a fresh coat of paint or other updates. While these repairs can be done as DIY projects, it may be preferable for a homeowner to hire a handyperson to get the work done at a rate of about $60 per hour.

Winterization

Although chickens can tolerate temperatures below freezing, it is still critical to winterize the chicken coop so the animals stay comfortable and healthy. Homeowners will want to take steps such as adding heat lamps, installing a water heater, mounting shutters to windows to keep in the heat, and preventing the water from freezing. It is also necessary in cold climates to add insulation to the walls and roof and to protect the egg boxes from the chilly temperatures. Finally, spreading a thick layer of sand on the floor of the run can protect the chickens’ feet from getting frostbite. All these measures will add to the overall budget.

Temperature Control

For people living in areas with harsh winters, installing a temperature-control system in the coop can help protect the chickens (and their tasty eggs). With a price tag between $50 and $200, the temperature-control system automatically turns on the heater once the temperature in the coop drops too low based on the preset thermostat.

Egg Catchers

The best way for a homeowner to collect eggs and ensure that they are safe from predators is to invest in an egg catcher. Typically costing around $100, an egg catcher is a device that attaches to the nesting box to trap the eggs and gently roll them to the back of the box to simplify harvesting.

Backup or Quarantine Coop

Another additional expenditure to consider is investing in a backup or quarantine coop in case any of the chickens get sick. It is important to separate the chickens since some illnesses can be contagious. A simple chicken coop in an A-frame style works well for a quarantine coop and costs about $200. A backup coop is also useful when introducing new chickens to the group that may need some time to adjust.

Chicken Coop Cost
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Types of Chicken Coops

Various types of chicken coop styles exist at different price points. When deciding which type to build, homeowners will want to consider the cost, size, features, and benefits each one provides. The following are the most common types of chicken coops available (A-frame, all-in-one, tractor, and walk-in coops) and their average costs.

Type of Chicken CoopAverage Cost
A-frame$200 to $300
All-in-one$1,000 to $4,000
Tractor$300 to $500
Walk-in$300 to $1,000

A-Frame

An A-frame coop has a straightforward structure that looks like a triangle chicken coop with two sharply sloping boards down each side that meet at a peak in the roof. They are budget-friendly, costing between $200 and $300, and are meant to house up to four medium-size chickens. One side includes one or two nest boxes, and the run sealed with mesh is on the other side. Unfortunately, they are difficult to clean and provide little space for the chickens to roam.

All-in-One

This chicken coop with a run is designed to include a substantial walk-in space to house a large breed. All-in-one coops range in price from $1,000 to $4,000, with the average cost being $2,000. Prices vary depending on the size and features included. Even though the coop is spacious, it is still recommended to let the chickens roam freely as much as possible to keep them happy and healthy.

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Tractor

Built on wheels to move easily around, tractor chicken coops cost between $300 and $500. They are meant to be temporary housing for one or two chickens or as an overnight shelter for those that roam around all day. Typically small, compact, and lightweight, tractor coops have two levels—the living area and nest boxes are located on top, and a mesh chicken enclosure or run is underneath.

Walk-In

A walk-in chicken coop is the perfect chicken coop for 10 chickens. This design is easy to access and clean, and it provides lots of space for the animals to enjoy special features such as chicken swings, cabbages on ropes, and other activities for inclement weather days. These coops can also accommodate several nest boxes. Because they are built without a run, it is important to let the chickens free range in the yard throughout the day. Walk-in coops can be purchased as a prefab kit or built from scratch. Homeowners can expect to pay between $300 and $1,000, with $650 as the average price. Larger ones will cost more, however.

Benefits of Building a Chicken Coop

When homeowners build a chicken coop and raise chickens on their property, they experience many wonderful benefits. Besides the obvious reason, which is being able to eat fresh eggs anytime they want, homeowners are also raising healthier and safer chickens, living more sustainably, improving the garden, and getting the whole family involved in a fun and educational activity.

Healthier Chickens

Chickens raised in a backyard are generally healthier than those raised in factory farms, kept in confined areas and fed an unnatural diet that includes antibiotics and hormones. The varied diet from being able to forage for food in the backyard, which includes insects, worms, and other natural sources of protein, keeps the chickens healthier. They are also exposed to fewer diseases that can spread in large commercial chicken operations. Plus, being able to freely roam and get fresh air helps prevent respiratory problems, reduce stress, and boost overall health.

Healthier and Tastier Eggs

One of the best parts of raising chickens is enjoying farm-fresh eggs right at home. Unlike eggs purchased in the grocery store that can be up to 2 months old, the eggs collected right from the coop are fresher, tastier, and healthier overall. In fact, they have more vitamins and nutrients and contain less saturated fat and bad cholesterol than store-bought ones. The fresh eggs also feel and look different; they have firmer whites and bright-orange yolks.

Sustainability

Raising chickens also helps the environment, as those homeowners lead a more sustainable life. Not only does this practice encourage self-sufficiency, but it reduces greenhouse gas emissions and energy use since egg shipping, refrigeration, and transport can be eliminated for those families. Food waste can also be reduced, as chickens enjoy chowing down on kitchen scraps such as vegetable peels and softened fruit. Finally, chicken feces and used egg shells are beneficial for compost.

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Garden Improvements

The chickens can also help the garden thrive. First, they help with pest control as they roam the yard and feast on snails, grasshoppers, mosquitoes, and other pests that might otherwise harm the garden. They also keep weeds under control in and around the garden. Finally, chickens provide natural fertilizer with their nitrogen-rich waste so that harmful chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides can be avoided.

Family Involvement

Raising chickens can be an engaging experience for the whole family, bringing everyone together to care for and observe the animals in action. There is no doubt that having chickens roaming around the backyard can serve as a type of entertainment for homeowners and their guests. People can enjoy watching the chickens peck and hop around in the chicken coop, an activity that can provide hours of fun. Some people even consider their chickens to be pets, giving them names and paying attention to their individual personality traits. Also, when children help care for the animals and work on chores such as collecting the eggs and cleaning the coop, they learn so much from the experience right in their own backyard.

Chicken Coop Construction: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

Building a basic chicken coop as a DIY project is certainly feasible, and it could save at least $1,000 in labor costs. The only expenditures will be materials for the surfaces, floor, walls, and roof and either buying or renting tools, including a hammer, saw, drill, and wood stables. Depending on the size and details of the coop, homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $2,000 to construct it. The money-saving tips in the next section help DIYers build a coop on the cheap.

While building a chicken coop can be a fun and rewarding project, it is helpful to know where to place it in the yard and how large it should be to accommodate the number of chickens that are expected. Also, there are so many different styles and designs that finding inspiration and guidance from a chicken coop plan, which includes detailed instructions, blueprints, and images, can save time and energy. There are also prefabricated kits available, ranging widely in price from $200 to $7,700.

Of course, if the idea of a DIY chicken coop sounds daunting, a homeowner may want to consider hiring a handyperson or carpenter. A handyperson charges $60 to $100 per hour, while a carpenter charges around $100 per hour or by the project. The homeowner will want to make sure they ask for an estimate given the complexity of the project.

How to Save Money on Chicken Coop Cost

The biggest expenses for any chicken coop are the large flat surfaces, floor, walls, and roof. Buying all-new materials to build a chicken coop can quickly add up. To avoid breaking the bank, create a low-cost DIY chicken coop by following these clever tips and tricks for saving money.

  • Look for discounted and secondhand materials. Ask around for deals and giveaways from neighbors, friends, local businesses, and online groups such as Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. There are also stores and nonprofits that specialize in cheap building supplies, such as a local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
  • Repurpose creatively. Turn old items into a coop, such as a garden shed, kid’s playhouse, swing set, kitchen cabinet, or dresser.
  • Make homemade nest boxes. All kinds of items can be used to make nest boxes, such as milk crates filled with pine shavings, plastic buckets turned on their side, plastic bins with a hole cut out of the front, and even old tires filled with straw.
  • Choose the cheapest type of wood. Use the least expensive wood, like softwood, and avoid more expensive options like plywood and redwood. Consider using recycled or reclaimed wooden materials, such as pallets or scrap wood.
  • Keep the floor simple. Opt for a dirt floor to avoid having to invest in flooring materials.
  • Use leftover paint. To give the coop some color and personalized style, paint it with leftover colors used for the home.
  • Create the litter. Avoid buying materials for litter in the coop and run and instead consider using chopped- up fallen leaves, getting free pine shavings from local companies like a saw mill, or asking local farmers for free or discounted hay or straw.
Chicken Coop Cost
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Questions to Ask About Chicken Coops

Thinking about raising chickens can feel overwhelming. There are many details involved in taking care of a brood and making sure they are housed safely and properly so they can thrive and produce delicious, fresh eggs. Those who are embarking on this adventure for the first time will want to consider the following questions before taking on this type of project.

  • Where do I buy chickens?
  • How many chickens should I get?
  • Which types of chickens are recommended for backyard coops?
  • How do I clean the coop, and how often should I do so?
  • Are chickens noisy?
  • What do I feed them?
  • Where should I place the coop in my yard?
  • How often will the chickens lay eggs?
  • How do I teach the chickens to use the waterer?
  • What features do I need in my coop?
  • How big does the chicken coop need to be?
  • Do I need a coop with a run?
  • Are chicken coops and raising chickens safe?
  • Who can help me build a chicken coop?

FAQs

Deciding to build a chicken coop for the first time may be a little confusing. Therefore, it’s helpful for homeowners to ask the right questions before they get started in order to understand everything involved, including the budget required. The cost will depend on many factors, such as who builds it, materials used, how large it is, and the style that’s chosen. By getting the full picture of the project ahead of time, homeowners can avoid surprises over price. The following are a few questions that may come up.

Q. How long do chicken coops last on average?

The lifespan of a chicken coop will depend on the construction materials, the skill level of the person who builds it, and whether it is a kit or a custom-built coop. A basic DIY coop built by someone with a low skill level is likely to have a shorter lifespan than one built by an experienced DIYer or a professional.

Q. Can I make a chicken coop on my own?

Yes, a chicken coop can certainly be a DIY project to save money and to personalize it. The process takes some creativity and the right materials. Just follow these steps: make a plan, set the budget, choose the location for the coop in the yard, create a realistic design, pick out materials, follow instructions on how to construct it, decide how to clean and maintain it, and consider safety measures.

Q. How many chickens can fit in a 4×4-foot coop?

A 4-foot-by-4-foot coop can comfortably hold eight to 10 chickens.

Q. What is the best material for a chicken coop?

Wood is the most commonly used material for chicken coops. It is readily available, easy to work with and maintain, versatile, and long lasting. Pine, spruce, and hemlock are softwoods that are popular for chicken coops. Tropical cedar, hardwoods, and redwoods are also good options since they are hardy and resistant to rot, but they are more expensive.

Q. Where should I place a chicken coop?

It is recommended to place the chicken coop on high ground that is level. The run should be slightly sloped down away from the coop so water can run off of it and prevent any flooding. Avoiding lower spots in the yard is important for preventing wet, muddy conditions.

Q. How do I maintain my chicken coop?

The key to chicken coop maintenance is keeping the chicken coop clean. Be sure to clean out water containers daily to keep them free from feces and dirt that can cause bacteria growth. Wash out food containers every day, and discard any extra pieces of food. Next, clean out all the bedding, scrape old droppings off roosts and other surfaces, and sweep and scrub the coop. Dusting the coop is also helpful to keep the chickens healthy. It’s also important to buy the best chicken waterer and the best chicken feed for the coop to ensure the chickens have all they need.

Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, Fixr, Dutch Country Furniture