What to Consider Before Building a Chicken Coop

Thinking about building your own chicken coop? Take these things into consideration before jumping right into the building process.

| August 2015

Whether your chickens roam free on acres of rolling farmland or kick up dust in your backyard, they are going to need a place to rest sooner or later. Farmers and poultry enthusiasts Samantha and Daniel Johnston will help you obtain the right knowledge and know-how to finally build and prepare a home for your birds in How to Build Chicken Coops (Voyageur Press, 2015). This excerpt, from Chapter 6, “Adapting and Converting Chicken Coops,” will arm you with the information you need to renovate or convert an existing structure into a chicken coop for your flock.

Buy this book from the GRIT store: How to Build Chicken Coops.

Before you gather up that scrap lumber and tie on your tool apron, you’ll want to consider a few things. Just where are you going to build this chicken coop? Have you thoroughly evaluated the available locations and chosen a site that will be the most effective place for your coop? Have you considered the presence of sun, shade, and wind? Have you considered legalities and ordinances that might be in effect? Have you figured some ballpark costs? Have you figured out where you’ll buy your chickens? And what breed(s) will you choose?

The best time to ask these questions is before you begin to build and before you start sketching plans or buying lumber. So try to establish a clear picture in your mind of exactly what your chicken coop project is going to entail. In this chapter, we’ll walk you through each of these steps so that you can proceed with your project confidently and with the knowledge that you’ve carefully considered your options and made smart decisions. Let’s get going!

Costs of Building a Chicken Coop

Okay, admit it, this is the question that you’re wondering about most of all. Just how much is this chicken coop going to cost, anyway? It’s a legitimate question, and one that is wise to consider before you begin building an elaborate chicken mansion that you later discover is far out of your price range. At the very least, you need a ballpark figure on which to build.

There’s only one thing: coming up with that ballpark figure isn’t necessarily easy. The number of variables involved with this type of project can make it difficult to establish a basic cost. What kind of variables, you ask? Here are a few:

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