A Few Thoughts About Chicken Coops and Runs

Are Chicken Coops and Runs Cheap To Build?

chicken coops and runs

Self contained coops and runs are great if you have limited space, and are very effective at protecting your birds from predators.

Chicken coops and runs. Everyone who raises chickens has at least one.

There’s a lot of freedom for how you build your coops and runs.

They can look about any way you like, but need to be able to keep your birds safe, sheltered and warm in winter.

You have to be able to get inside easily enough to clean, collect eggs and make any repairs or updates, so make sure you factor that in before you build.

Chicken coops and runs can be very small or very large, depending on how many chickens you have and of course why you have them.

If you’re selling the eggs or raising them for meat you might need a larger coop.

Coops are easy to build but not always cheap or should I say inexpensive.

I would go the extra mile and buy higher quality building materials to make sure that the coop and run I built would last for years to come.

I would also not set it on a permanent foundation, but would make it portable or at least movable. Chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys all can be hard on the land, rendering it bare and quite fertilized.

So ideally you would want to rotate you coops around a bit to put that highly fertilized land to good use and also give it a break from your flock of poultry.

Another approach is to set your coop on a permanent foundation and allow your chickens to free range or make a chicken tractor were you can move your chickens around your property without ever actually letting them out of their cage.

My coop is not permanently set but it takes a tractor to move it, so not as easy as I’d like. I would love to allow my chickens to free range because they get to eat for free and they produce some very large eggs from the high protein diet free ranging offers.

One of my neighbors has dogs however and apparently he had the same idea about free ranging his dogs and if I left my chicken out his dogs would also be eating for free.

Simple Design But Effective

A coop is basically a box with a slanted roof, chicken door and man door. I added nesting boxes that stick out either side to try and maximize the floor space in the coop. The thought was the chickens would lay their eggs in the nesting boxes and use the floor space for whatever chickens do in their off time.

But my chickens haven’t read the rule book yet, because they lay their eggs on the floor mostly and sometimes in the nesting boxes.

I’ve used Ping-Pong balls and fake eggs to get them to lay their eggs up in their nesting boxes, but they will not cooperate, so not really that big of a deal. The eggs do not taste any different from either location.

The really important thing about chicken coops and runs is that they are weather proof. So you need a good roof, good doors and windows and either good paint or siding on the outside.

I painted my coop, but I think this summer I’m going to put an R5 foam insulation around the outside and then side over it with vinyl siding. Maybe a little elaborate for a coop, I know, but I won’t ever have to paint it again either.

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