Chicken coop ideas
Are you in need of chicken coop ideas? Maybe you’ve thought about building a DIY chicken coop. Or, maybe you need inspiration to spruce up an existing hen house. You’ve seen pictures of cute chicken coops and runs all over the internet, but may still be wondering how to get your chickens’ area to that level. There’s a fine line between Instagram-worthy and functional chicken setups, but with careful designing and crafting, you can have your coop and enjoy it too!
Ideas to consider for your chicken coop
Chicken coops are as diverse as the chickens they house – they come in all shapes, sizes, price points, and ratings. As a chicken keeper, the options to customize your hens’ space can be overwhelming. But, just as it is with your own home, as long as your chicken coop has “good bones” the rest is simply a matter of personal preference.
All hen houses should be both practical and enjoyable for chickens and their keepers. Otherwise, keeping chickens becomes a chore rather than a joy. By customizing some easy chicken coop ideas, you’ll be able to create the ideal space for both you and your flock. So without further ado, let’s dive into some chicken coop inspiration to help get those creative gears turning.
Essentials to consider before building a chicken coop
Before acting on your chicken coop ideas, be sure to contact your city offices (if you live within city limits), homeowners association, or other authorities that your property may be subject to. Many cities allow chickens to be kept in residential backyards, but may have chicken zoning laws. Rules pertaining to chicken keeping may prohibit keeping roosters, have flock size limits, and have requirements for how far chicken coops need to be from your neighbors. Some cities or associations may also require permits for permanent structures, or specify that chicken coops must be non-permanent fixtures. Once you’ve got permission from your governing authority, proceed with planning your chickens’ coop ideas.
Omlet chicken coop inspiration
Our designs for chicken coops were inspired, and hopefully they’ll inspire you on your journey to be a chicken keeper. The superior ventilation and insulation, cleanability, flexibility, and customization options make our chicken coops the absolute best way to keep your hens healthy and happy. Omlet chicken coops:
- Are draft-free, while providing ample ventilation
- Use insulating methods to keep the interior of the coop as comfortable as possible in all weather
- Are easy to clean, sanitize, and maintain
- Have predator-resistant features like heavy-duty materials, anti-dig skirting around the run, and secure coop doors
- Give the option to make any of our coops mobile with the addition of wheels and handles
- Have fully customizable chicken run accessories and sizes
- Are easy-to-build chicken coops
- Come with coordinating chicken feeders and waterers
- Have everything you need to start keeping chickens right away
When you choose an Omlet chicken coop, you’ll have everything you need to keep hens successfully and safely. We’ve designed all of our chicken products to delight chicken keepers in all walks of life – the seasoned chicken owners to complete beginners.
6 chicken coop ideas for inspiration
Like many great projects, sometimes getting started on your chicken coop can be the hardest part. We’ve compiled the most common and important considerations when designing your chickens’ space. So whether you’re short on inspiration, or needing to fine-tune some ideas for your chicken coop, give your creativity a springboard with these ideas.
Should I DIY my chicken coop?
There are hundreds of designs online for DIY chicken coop plans, or ones that can be purchased to construct a hen house from scratch. If you have a flair for design, the DIY approach may appeal to you. If you aren’t intimidated by designing, purchasing, and constructing everything needed for a chicken coop that is. But here’s the catch: unless you’re a structural engineer or an architect, sometimes even the most well-meaning designs leave much to be desired.
Since DIY designs are not quality tested, it’s important to remember that no matter how picture-perfect a chicken coop appears, it must also be functional. Chickens have housing requirements that are crucial to their health and well-being that any DIY design must keep in mind. When deciding to build or buy a chicken coop, be sure to account for adequate ventilation, space, insulation, and health concerns like mite and waste control.
Some DIY chicken coops suggest using low-cost materials such as pallets or plastic barrels, but use caution when constructing a hen house from these. Pallets hold all sorts of cargo, and being made of wood, they absorb whatever may have been spilled on them. Likewise, plastic barrels could potentially have held liquids or materials hazardous to chickens. It’s best to purchase new materials when constructing a DIY chicken coop.
Plastic vs wooden chicken coops
There are actually several different types of chicken coops if you choose to purchase your hens’ home. Most commercially purchased chicken coops are made of various types of wood. Smaller, modestly priced chicken coops are usually made from untreated, thin wood. While these may be attractive to the eye (and budget!), many of these chicken coops don’t last longer than a year or two, and require regular maintenance. Thick, weather-treated lumber holds up much longer in the elements, and metal roofs instead of shingle require less upkeep. The weather will cause painted wood to peel, chip, and fade, so be prepared to apply extra coats of paint when needed. Wooden coops are also known for being habitats for mites, so regular application of a chicken-safe pesticide is necessary to break mite life cycles.
Plastic chicken coops are an alternative to wood. These require much less maintenance, and don’t rot from moisture or sunlight. And, while wooden coops can be pressure washed/hosed out, they take several hours to dry. The benefits of a plastic chicken coop include:
- Plastic chicken coops can be sprayed down in minutes and wiped dry with a towel, making them much easier to keep clean
- Plastic chicken coops are much easier to move if needed, as wooden coops are held together by wood screws or tongue and groove planks that must be kept level at all times.
- Unlike wood, plastic is not an ideal environment for mites, so regular cleanings are all that are needed to keep parasites from pestering your hens.
Permanent vs. mobile chicken coops
You may have a specific place in mind for your backyard chicken coop, or maybe the perfect spot on your property. But what happens if you decide to move one day? Or, maybe your permanent chicken coop is no longer in line with the vision for your property. Mobile chicken coops are excellent options for flock-keepers of all sizes and locations.
Permanent chicken coops are easier to design, as weight and moving parts aren’t factors. These coops are often more secure with heavy, sturdier materials, making it difficult for weather or predators to disturb them. However, there are special considerations for chicken coops of a permanent nature. Materials can add up quickly when designing permanent chicken coop ideas. Do you need to have a concrete slab poured for the floor? Will you need a permit to build a permanent structure? All of these expenses, plus general costs of maintaining a chicken coop should be considered before deciding on a permanent chicken coop.
You should also be mindful of the location of trees or vegetation with deep roots that could potentially fall or grow into or under your coop. Having an immovable coop is a big commitment, and future yard or property plans may be impacted by the location of your chickens’ coop.
Mobile chicken coops oftentimes have attached chicken runs to make them an all-in-one chicken-keeping solution – particularly for small flock-raisers. Wheels and handles allow you to move a mobile chicken coop (also known as a chicken tractor) around your yard or property as needed. Chicken tractors can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes, but typically mobile coops are best for flocks of 10 hens or less.
Chicken runs and coops go together like chickens and eggs! Most of the time, they’re a package deal. In some scenarios (like with free-ranging flocks), you may not need a run for your flock. However, the vast majority of chicken keepers would agree that a run is essential to any setup.
Many commercially purchased chicken coops have small attached runs. This is where size gets tricky… Chicken math is a little complicated, since they need (and benefit) from less space in the coop to roost, and more space out in their run. When it comes to chicken run size, bigger is always better. Hens will always appreciate extra space to play and peck.
Runs attached to permanent chicken coops need upkeep, as hens will graze the same areas until no vegetation remains. Straw or other bedding will need to be added routinely to reduce mud and bacteria. Mobile chicken coops with attached runs can be moved to fresh grass when their area has been thoroughly pecked-over, but may still need bedding during dry or cold seasons.
Get creative with your chicken coop ideas
Chickens are like living art, and their coops can be a gorgeous landscaping opportunity. You can house flashy hens in a flashy setup, or keep solid-colored chickens in minimalistic surroundings. Part of the fun of chicken keeping is setting up their environment – both for them, and for you.
Get creative with the enrichment you provide for your hens. Build them a place for dust baths and research different dust bath “recipes” for your hens. Create multiple perching levels for hens to view their world from. Plant chicken-safe herbs and plants along the sides of the run to add both visual appeal and snacking potential. Buy or make coordinating bins to keep your hens’ food and bedding in. Add treat-dispensing chicken toys or a chicken swing for even more fun.
Maybe metal art would complement your chickens’ coop. Or maybe your chickens are the focal point of your setup and the “less is more” approach is better for your yard. The bottom line is: your chicken coop is a space for both you and your chickens to play and enjoy yourselves, so make it your own.
Ideal size for your chicken coop
Before getting started with any chicken coop plans, you’ll need to decide how many hens you plan to house. This of course can increase over time (chickens are like potato chips – you can’t just have one…or a few), but getting an idea of your starting flock size will help determine what size chicken coop to start out with. Most chicken coops are rated to house average-sized hens.
So what is an “average” size chicken? There are all kinds of chicken breeds, but breeds that are considered to be standard for laying hens are:
Most standard breed laying hens weigh between 3 and 5lbs. Smaller breeds such as Bantams could have less space, but you should still aim to provide as much room as possible. Larger breeds such as Brahmas or Jersey Giants need twice the space that their smaller cousins require.
If you’re not sure what size hens you want to keep, or want a mixed flock, it’s always best to provide as much room as possible. But, if space is an issue, start with a chicken coop and run that has the option to add on and grow your flock along with their space. Expandable chicken runs are an excellent choice for first-time chicken owners, as they can be fully customized. Small chicken coops can comfortably house 3 or 4 chickens, which is a great size for a starter flock. Large chicken coops can house 6 large breed hens, 8 standard hens, or up to 10 small breed hens.
Ideas for where to put your chicken coop
You’ve probably heard the 3 rules of real estate: location, location, location. The same goes for chicken coops. If you have an idea of how many chickens you want to start out with, you will know how big of a coop they’ll need. Be sure to measure any potential chicken coop locations in your yard before purchasing or building your coop. Some other things to keep in mind when choosing the location of your chickens’ coop are:
- Amount of time in the sun
- Trees, shrubs, or vegetation with trailing/creeping roots, vines, or limbs
- Typical wind direction
- Hills or uneven ground
Consider the weather for your chicken coop ideas
If you live in a warm climate, try to find an area to place at least part of your chickens’ coop in the shade to provide some relief. Shady areas can be found under trees or shrubs, but be sure that your chicken coop won’t be in danger of falling limbs or invasive roots, vines, or limbs. You should also ensure that any vegetation surrounding your hens’ home is non-toxic should they sneak a peck.
Wind can also wreak havoc unless you have a very sturdy chicken coop, and you should try to position your coop in a direction where it will be most stable during high winds. Hills or uneven ground can cause your chickens’ coop to shift or settle awkwardly and create unwanted drafts – not to mention awkward chicken-tending angles. Choose as level of an area as possible for your coop to help prevent accidents.
How close should a coop be to my house?
You can place your chickens’ coop as close to your home as allowed, but keep in mind that while chickens may not make as much noise as roosters, they do still “talk”! Attentive chicken keeping will help reduce odors (chickens are surprisingly odorless – it’s their droppings that smell), but if you aren’t cleaning your chickens’ coop out daily, you may smell the effects. Additionally, houses are designed to repel heat from walls and windows, so your hens may get too hot if kept too close to your home.
A mobile chicken coop with wheels is a great option if you’re unsure of where would be the best location for your flock. Different areas of your yard or property can be tested before adding a larger run for a more permanent housing solution. You can also place a chicken coop inside of a walk in chicken run, enabling you to reposition the direction the coop faces to account for the sun and wind.
Easy ideas for backyard chicken coops
If you’re anxious to start keeping chickens in your backyard, an all-in-one solution is the easiest option. Most chicken coop and run kits are small enough to be kept in your backyard, but the best option are those that can be added onto. Omlet’s coops can come with or without a run, and runs can be extended as needed.
A small chicken coop with an attached run is perfect for those just starting out with chickens. The coop itself can comfortably house up to 4 hens, and takes up very little space. Elevation gives your hens shade and room underneath the coop, as well as a comfy roosting space at night.
Walk in chicken runs are versatile in that they can be attached directly to a coop, or can surround the coop. A small chicken coop can be placed on the ground inside of the coop to provide shelter, with chicken perches placed around the run to allow for roosting and climbing. Omlet’s walk in chicken runs connect directly to any of our chicken coops for instant, easy chicken-containing measures. Our chicken coops can be purchased with or without attached runs, and walk-in runs can be extended as far as you’d like for ultimate customization for your space.
DIY chicken coop must-haves
If you’ve decided to build your own chicken coop, there are a few essentials to incorporate. Professionally designed chicken coops should have these factored in, so if you elect to design your own hen house, make sure it has:
- Good ventilation without drafts
- A secure, easy-to-use door
- Ample space to for each hen to roost at night
- The option to be cleaned easily and thoroughly
- Predator resistant features
The Importance of ventilation
Allowing for proper, draft-free ventilation is one of the trickiest parts of building your own chicken coop, and its importance cannot be understated. Ventilation helps your hens stay healthy, keeps odors down, and circulates the air to control humidity. There’s a fine line when creating ventilation, but excluding drafts. Drafts in the winter can be deadly to chickens, and in the summer can push cool air out and allow too much warm air or humidity to circulate. Research the best ways to provide ventilation for your flock before finalizing your DIY plans, or choose a pre-designed coop that has done all the homework on ventilation – like the Eglu Cube.
Chicken coop door ideas
An easy-to-use chicken coop door is essential to a good setup. Hens are safest when they can be closed in at night, and closed coop doors help keep chickens nice and warm on cold nights. A chicken coop door can also keep chicken predators out. An exciting addition to your DIY chicken coop is an automatic chicken coop door. Not only is it secure and easy to use, but it can put your hens to bed even without you. Set the open and close times based on the amount of sunlight, or at specific times for a truly ingenious assistant to help you with your hens. Or, if you prefer to tuck your flock in at night, the manual setting closes the coop door at the push of a button. The unique closing mechanism moves the door horizontally on a spiral, which makes the closure safer for your hens, and harder for predators to pry open. Omlet’s automatic chicken coop door can be attached to wood, wire, or mesh for easy customization.
Keeping your new coop clean
Quick and easy cleaning is a must for all chicken coops. Like any pet, chickens need their environment cleaned regularly to maintain healthy living conditions. Chicken coops should be able to be sprayed out with a pressure washer or water hose, and disinfected with chicken-safe solutions. Mites thrive in wood, so any wooden chicken coops should be treated for parasites regularly. Make sure that the inside of your chickens’ coop is completely dry before closing the door, otherwise humidity levels will rise and create a stuffy sleep space.
Omlet has done the homework
We’ve done all the research, testing, and adjusting to make our coops the best chicken products available. We have actual chickens in our office that sign off on our final designs! All of our chicken coops are ingeniously designed, meticulously created, and hen-approved. We hope you find the same joy in designing, creating, and arranging your flock’s home that we do.
This entry was posted in Chickens