How To Build A Good Chicken Coop: Part 8

Reader Contribution by Nathan Lott
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Hello and welcome to the final installment of our “How To Build A Good Chicken Coop” series! If you haven’t already read the previous articles, feel free to check ’em out.

Part 1: Size
Part 2: Location
Part 3: Orientation
Part 4: Ventilation
Part 5: Fortification
Part 6: Maintenance
Part 7: Aesthetics

The final topic we’ll be covering today is:


My wife and I were walking through the local Walmart Supercenter a few months ago, and right in the middle of the center aisle, over by the dog food, was a chicken coop on display. Y’know, one of those cutesy little prefabricated ones?

Any guesses on the price?

They wanted 350 dollars for it!


Now, I didn’t exactly keep track of how much we spent when we were building our coop. We used a lot of brand-new lumber and hardware on it, so, in all honesty, it was probably a little bit more than 350 dollars. But I built that thing to stand through a hurricane! (And it’ll house four times as many chickens to boot!)

A year later, when we ended up building a more mobile “mini-coop” to house our rapidly-expanding flock, we used recycled lumber and (mostly) scrap hardware and it only cost us about 35 dollars.

What I’m really trying to say is — you can spend as much (or as little) as you want on a chicken coop. If you’re looking to build a no-cost chicken coop, all ya gotta do is keep an eye out for used lumber and/or wooden pallets sticking out of dumpsters. Our calf shed was built entirely out of a dilapidated wooden fence. It can be done! You just need a little patience and ingenuity.

About the Author: Nathan and his family work and play and live on a 1.17 acre microfarm (a.k.a. “The One Acre Lott”), in a frigid Rocky Mountain valley, at the end of a long dirt road. He has been raising chickens for years, grows nearly all of his family’s meat and produce, and loves every minute of it! For more of his exciting adventures, check out his personal website,

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