Should You Buy or DIY Your First Backyard Chicken Coop?
by Dakota Storage Buildings, on June 17, 2021
If you're raising chickens, you’ll need a safe home for them — but is it best to build a chicken coop or buy one?
Whether you're taking steps to set up a homestead or you simply want better-tasting and nutritious eggs, you've decided to raise backyard chickens. Next up is creating a great home for them so they'll be happy, healthy, and safe, giving you lots of fresh eggs. But should you build your own to save some money, or is buying a coop worth the investment?
Build a Chicken Coop
Cost is one of the main determining factors for most people deciding whether to DIY or buy.
Building a chicken coop typically costs about half of what you'd expect to spend on a ready-made coop — especially if you decide to build from scratch. From there, the price can vary based on whether you choose to use new or recycled material. If you choose to build a chicken coop kit, it will still require work (more assembly than designing and construction), and it can cost hundreds of dollars depending on the size, quality, and price markup.
Besides the generally lower price point, another benefit to building a coop yourself is that you can tailor it however you’d like, constructing it to fit your style and preferences.
The decision to build or buy your first coop is a big one. If you’re still on the fence, consider these three points. If you say yes to all three, you’ve got your answer.
- You like to save money
- You enjoy DIY projects
- You have some construction knowledge
- You have the time to complete the project before the chickens need a home
From here, you’ll need design plans. Having a good plan to follow will be critical to your success. Here are a few coop design resources to get you started.
- 44 Beautiful DIY Chicken Coop Plans You Can Actually Build
- 13 Free DIY Chicken Coop Plans
- The Best Chicken Coop Plans of 2021
Buy a Chicken Coop
Building a coop is usually cheaper than buying one. But here's the catch: constructing an abode for your flock takes know-how, tools, and time. If you don't have these, then it makes more sense to buy — and there are many nice chicken coops for sale out there. Save yourself the time, drama, and hassle of building a coop.
Professionally-built coops are superiorly designed and constructed, and they often come with a range of benefits like easy-to-clean flooring and convenient egg collecting features that will make life easier for you and your flock.
Pre-owned Chicken Coops
While buying is generally more expensive than building, one trick of the trade is to buy a quality pre-owned chicken coop.
Searching online classified sites, including Facebook Marketplace, is a great place to start. However, be sure you don't bring home more than you bargained for. While some good used coops are available for reasonable prices, ask the seller about his or her flock's size and disease history before buying. If the flock is large or there has been a problem with infectious disease, don't buy it. When you do find a great used coop with a clean history, always thoroughly disinfect the structure before introducing your hens to their new home.
Brand New Chicken Coops
You can easily buy new chicken coops for sales at farm supplies stores and on coop manufacturer websites. While most professionally-built backyard chicken coops cost between $1,500 and $6,000, depending on coop size, design, and materials.
At Dakota Storage Buildings, our mission is to help you organize your life and keep your valued possessions safe — and that includes your backyard chickens. We know chickens are an investment, and we want to help you keep them safe and happy so that you can get the delicious and nutritious eggs you want.
Our fenced-in chicken coops come in a range of sizes and have an outdoor run, built-in nesting boxes and roost, and easy-to-clean, slow-to-warp flooring.
>> Shop Fenced-In Chicken Coops
Raising free-range chickens? Design your coop without any of the hard labor. Choose your coops siding color and features using our online configuration tool, and we’ll build it for you.
>> Configure Free-Range Chicken Coop
If you’re buying a new coop, keep in mind, if it’s really cheap, it’s probably that way for a reason. Some coops look like quality products, but the durability isn’t there. It’s better to pay more and buy from a manufacturer who sells warranty-backed coops so that you can have peace of mind. When you purchase with us, you can trust that you’re getting a premium coop, above-and-beyond customer service, fair prices, and flexible delivery.
Whether You Build or Buy…
Whether you build a chicken coop or buy one, the ultimate goal is to keep your chickens and their eggs safe. Also, in both cases, check your local zoning codes (and homeowners’ association rules, if applicable) before shopping for a coop — or chickens, for that matter.
For more tips on choosing the right chicken coops for your flock, download our free guide.