So? How much are you really going to save by finding one of those plans for backyard chicken coops and building it? All I can say is that after I ran the numbers, I didn’t hesitate at all. It really makes sense to do the little bit of work to care for chickens and build a chicken coop to save money and produce your own organic chickens and eggs.

The number of people seriously looking to build backyard chicken coops is increasing. More and more of us are wanting to save money, change our lifestyle to a greener one and maybe avoid some of the food problems that are becoming more evident every day. With all of the food recalls, e-coli breakouts, swine flu cases and the cost of organic food, it make sense to look at backyard chicken coops as a way to improve the overall quality of our lives.

To make a final decision, we decided to break down the actual costs of building a backyard chicken coop. The actual cost to purchase a set of plans for backyard chicken coops was between $ 30 and $ 45. (I really didn’t want to re-invent the wheel, so I opted for saving time and got a good set of plans.) These plans, because of the amount of information, gave me ideas on how to save money on the materials, and talking to a few contractors who have scrap lumber, the cost was less than $ 150.

The next thing I factored in was how much I would be saving on organic chickens and eggs. I currently buy five dozen eggs a month at $ 3 a dozen. That is a total of $ 180 a year. We eat about two whole chickens a month (more if you factor in chicken breasts that we buy more often) and they are around $ 3 a pound or around $ 18 a chicken. The total yearly cost is $ 432. Altogether it comes to $ 576 and again, we spend more when family or guests are over.

The cost of chicken feed runs from $ 15-$ 30 a month (all these numbers depend on how may chickens or chicks you have and if you free-range them, feed them table scraps and treats etc.)

Cost for heating will depend on whether you have chicks, what climate you are in and whether you have an insulated coop, but is around $ 15 month if you do need to heat your coop.

Flooring materials to keep the cleaning to a minimum, depending on what you use, will run between $ 10-$ 15 a month and the actual cost of your chicks or chickens will run between $ 1.5 and $ 5 each.

Total cost for the first year, assuming 5 chickens, will be approximately $ 680 on the low side and $ 945 on the high side.

The second year will be less (subtract the cost of the plans, the materials and the cost of the chickens), and by then you will have experience and have found ways to curb your costs. (Also, you need to factor in the free fertilizer, that chickens eat your table scraps and debug your lawn while trimming it at the same time…and if your chickens are producing well, you might be selling the extra eggs…all saving you money.)

The time that needs to be spent daily is less than ten minutes, with 30 minutes for cleaning once a week. (This does not take into account any sick chickens or cleaver predators that you might have to deal with.)

In most urban areas, backyard chicken coops will be smaller, have no roosters and cost less to maintain because there will be fewer chickens allowed. But overall, building backyard chicken coops are well worth the time and little bit of work.

The organic chicken and eggs, combined with the free fertilizer and the family time created by having these perky pets, is a positive way to enhance your families health while living green.

For more detailed information on a complete set of backyard chicken coops, chickens from A to Z, suggestions on the best breeds and much more scan Backyard Chicken Coops.