Chicken coops come in many different sizes and styles. If you plan on buying a pre-made chicken coop, you can expect to pay around $500 for a small chicken coop, to well over $3000 for a large one.
I highly recommend building a chicken coop yourself. A well built chicken coop, large enough for a few dozen chickens, can easily be made for $750 or less and a smaller coop can be made for less than $150.
Anyone can build a chicken coop with some basic wood working skills and tools. Build your new chicken coop in just one weekend. There are no special skills or fancy tools required, and you’ll never have to pay for eggs again!
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**If you live in the city or the suburbs, be sure to check with the local authorities regarding zoning. Many areas have rules regarding livestock, particularly poultry. In most rural areas, you should not have any problems.
Be sure to have a "roost" for your chickens inside the coop. You will need 6 - 12 inches of roosting space per bird. A roost can be a simple dowel or board 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Keep the roost about 2 1/2 - 3 feet off the floor of the coop.
Place or build nesting boxes inside the coop as well. Nesting boxes help to keep the eggs off the floor, away from the manure. I recommend a nesting box that is about 13 inches square. Have at least one nesting box for every 4-5 hens
If possible, place windows with screens in the coop. It will aid in providing sunlight in winter and ventilation in the summer. If you can't place windows in the coop, you will need to make sure that there is some type of vent near the roof of the coop to have airflow and to keep condensation down.
When it comes to chicken coops, there are many choices you need to make. One of the first things you need to make sure of when you build or buy a chicken coop, is that it is big enough to properly house your flock. You will need about 4 square foot of space per chicken. For example an 8X8 chicken coop will house approximately 16 chickens. If you have a large run or pasture for the chickens to use, the square feet need per bird can be cut to 2 square feet per chicken.
I also recommend that you do not get too big of a chicken coop for your needs, as the chickens will huddle together during the cold weather and a properly sized coop will help them stay warm.