In most cases, it will almost always be cheaper to build your own chicken coop. However, building a coop takes a lot of time and planning, whereas a store-bought coop can be assembled in a single day and be ready to use. They both have their own advantages and disadvantages which we will be covering in this article, here is a comparison table which displays the average costs of building compared to buying.
|Expenses for building a chicken coop
|Cost of buying a coop
|2 by 3 Timber (£20)
|Average medium sized chicken coop (£300-350)
|Chicken wire (£10)
|Small garden shed (£130)
|Roosting bars (£10)
|Nesting boxes (£10)
|Backdoor coop modification (£40)
Although the table shows that building your own coop is substantially cheaper, this isn’t always the case and it depends on a variety of factors which are often specific to your needs and requirements, such as features you want, the quality, size, etc. The price of building a chicken coop always varies and its difficult to get a good estimate of your expenses until you actually go out and start shopping for them.
Store bought coops
Store-bought coops are awesome for first-time chicken owners and people who want to keep a relatively small amount of chickens. Despite being more expensive, they are the best option if you’re new to keeping chickens because they are so simple and easy to setup.
The quality of these coops are also usually very good, a lot of them have useful features such as easy access to the nesting boxes and outdoor areas so that your hens can get some fresh air.
In summary, the extra money goes towards making the setup process quick and easy, you can buy your coop one day, install the next and then you’ll be ready to introduce your chickens to their new home. Simple as that!
On the other hand, building a chicken coop is tedious, long-winded and you need some DIY skills in order to build one. They are often better value for money than store bought coops but they are hardly good value for time. We built our coop because we were keeping a large quantity of chickens and wanted the coop to be customised for our needs, however, this took weeks to complete.
It meant we had renovate a garden shed, build an outdoor run, secure it so that no predators could get in, create features within the coop, put the correct flooring inside the run, ensure that the drainage was good and make a door so we can gain access. That sounds exhausting just thinking about it! And honestly, this isn’t the best option for most people, there are lots of tools required and the amount of effort is just exhausting.
Unless your keeping large amounts of chickens for a long time, we’d recommend that you buy a chicken coop instead.
This is our favourite all-round coop for beginners:
The FeelGoodUK Ark Home (Check current price on Amazon) is an all in one coop and run is a hassle-free way of getting everything your hens will need in terms of the living environment. Its comes with an integrated run giving the chickens a secure place to roam around. The coop is well built with strong chicken wire surrounding the run, this gives u peace of mind that your hens are safe from potential predators such as foxes and cats.
The coop can comfortably house up to 5 large birds and includes a galvanised slide out try for easy cleaning. This coop is manufactured with extremely strong materials making it the ideal all in one chicken coop for cold weather. The wood is treated with a fungus preventing liquid decreasing the effect of winter elements ensuring the wood stays in tip top condition for longer.
The 2 roosting perches mean that the hens can perch next to each other which is another way for them stay warn in the colder months. We noticed our hens defiantly perch next to one another when its colder.
Here are some pros and cons of the coop, hopefully helping you to decide whether this all on one is right for you. For the most up to date click the link below.
- Coop includes a full run for the hens to roam
- The coop is manufactured with the strongest materials
- The wood is treated with fungus preventing chemicals helping the coop stay in good condition even throughout the winter
- Easy to assemble
- Can only accommodate 5 hens which depending on your circumstances may not be big enough
If you have the resources, experience, and time to build a chicken coop, it is preferable, we built our chicken coop because we needed the extra functionality of having a completely custom coop.
This is the main advantage of building a chicken coop compared to buying one, you get much more flexibility and you can build the coop to your specific needs. It is no easy task though and it’s a serious weekend project, using a garden shed as a coop can significantly reduce your workload though, this is what we did and it made building the coop much quicker. If you’d like to learn more about this, check out our article on How to convert a garden shed into a chicken coop.
In the long term, a hand-built coop is preferable, it’s a lot of work, but you end up with a really solid coop which is customised for your personal needs.
In summary, buying a coop is more expensive but preferable for most people and building a chicken coop is cheaper (in most cases) but requires a lot more work and it gives you lots of flexibility.
David Cameron is a passionate chicken enthusiast. Growing up, he always wanted to be a veterinarian and loved animals. After graduating from veterinary school, David spent over 40 years as an equine veterinarian. He and his wife retired a few years ago and moved to North Carolina. Here, David’s love of chickens grew even more – he now has 7 chickens and 6 quail. If you have any questions about chickens, feel free to reach out.