Looking for practical chicken coop ideas? Growing up, we had chickens on our farm. They made friends with the alpacas and ran around freely without a care in the world. However, we had quite a few cares in our worlds.
If you didn't already know, chickens aren't the brightest animals, so while they were free-range, we had to be extra careful when driving around the property. All this to say, a chicken coop may have done us well at the time.
But what type of chicken coop? Well, there are a lot of options out there nowadays, so when pecking up chicken coop ideas for your hens you will need to consider a few things:
- How many chickens do you have (or plan on having)?
- What breed of chickens are they?
- Do they do well in winter climates?
- Are you buying or building?
- What does your budget look like?
It can be a little bit stressful getting involved in the process, but with a little help, you can figure out just what you need. Then, soon enough, you will be scrambling eggs for breakfast! But first, there are a few things that are absolutely necessary for a chicken coop to function well; Proper ventilation, a bird perch, nesting boxes, and a pop door.
Make sure you have these chicken coop ideas in your design and you should be good to go!
16 Practical Chicken Coop Ideas for Happy And Healthy Hens
1. The Little Red Barn
Just like the red barn you have on the farm, you can give your chicks their own little red barn. Your flock of chicks will need much less room as youngins than when they are full-grown adults.
However, to ensure you don't have to build or buy a new chicken coop once your flock has matured, do the math first. Full-grown chickens require 2.5-3 square feet per bird.
2. Simple and Sensible
You don't have to go all out and get a humongous coop (unless of course, you have a lot of chickens) you can make do with something basic that looks good. I definitely recommend that for such a simple coop, you at least have hinges on the roof so you can get in there to clean.
The windows are a lovely feature and the red and white colors fit perfectly with the farm vibes.
3. Give the Chicks a Break
Giving your chickens a shaded area outside their coop is a great idea. Personally, I don't know any chickens who like to bake all day in the hot sun, how about you? Get even more clever and place your chicken coop under a tree branch so it can naturally shade your feathery friends.
4. Nesting Boxes
Nesting boxes don't have to be external but they sure do look great like this don't they? This is the special place where the hens will leave you your future breakfast. Easy access to eggs comes with having the nesting boxes on the outside but make sure there is predator-proof hardware protecting them.
5. Portable Cage
We are going to talk about the infamous chicken tractor a little farther along but let's go over the benefits of having a portable cage such as this. If you have a large property then having to capture the little guys to move them to another section can be a real pain.
Transforming their chicken coop into something portable will save you a lot of time from chasing your pets.
6. Elevated Chicken Coop
If you live in a potential flood zone then you might want to plan ahead. You wouldn't want your house getting soaking wet, so you trust me when I say that your chickens won't want that either!
Elevating your chicken coop is a great preventative and has some added benefits. It can prevent rats and mice from nesting, and space underneath can provide protection for your chickens from birds of prey.
Add a screen around your chicken coop to protect your new pets from the dangers of nature. Foxes, coyotes, owls, and even dogs are known to hunt and kill chickens. Make sure your structure is sturdy and that your chickens have a way back into their coop so they can hide from danger.
8. Chicken Tractor
Although it doesn't look like a tractor, the chicken tractor is one of the staples of a successful farm. When chickens scratch the dirt beneath them they loosen the top making it a more fertile ground and ridding of weeds.
The manure of the chicken remains on the ground leaving beneficial nutrients. Meanwhile, the chickens are happy because they get fresh vegetation to pick at. It's a full circle!
9. Have Fun With Creativity
Get creative when coming up with a design for the coop. It doesn't have to be your typical boring coop featuring a few recycled boards hammered together to make a rectangle. I mean, that works too!
However, if you want to show off your craftsmanship skills then come up with a design that will fit in with the vibe of your home.
10. Winter Ready
Although chickens prefer warmer temperatures they are very hardy animals and can handle temperatures below freezing. Of course, you have to check just how cold they can handle according to the breed.
Some things you can do to make your chicken coop winter-ready are; using a deep litter on the floor, add extra light for happier hens, ensure proper roosts that are 2 or 3 feet above the ground.
11. Contemporary Coop
There are modern designs to traditional coops. You still have all the elements of a classic chicken coop (nesting boxes, pop door, protected outdoor space) but the design is attractive and chic.
Designing something a little more stylish is a great idea if you are in an urban setting or have judgemental neighbors close by.
12. Large and In Charge
Now here is an example of a chicken coop for the whole flock! Plenty of room for a lot of birds to stretch their legs outside and scratch the ground happily. The roof is angled so that snow can slide off easily, which uncovers a solar panel! Even your chicken coop can be bringing in solar energy.
13. Farmhouse Fresh
You can turn an unused garden shed into a fully functional chicken coop with just a few updates. You will want to add a pop door that way the chickens can easily get in and out.
Then, make sure there is a nice roost for sleepy chickens, and if you are looking for eggs, then a nesting box (internally or externally) will need to be built-in.
14. Recycled Materials
If you are looking for something budget-friendly and rustically charming then you will want to use recycled materials in your build. Old wood, recycled netting, forgotten-about windows, thrown-away tin, it's all forgeable.
So start saving your old materials, and who knows, one day you might just have all the right stuff to get your chicken coop started.
15. Let Yourself In
Go ahead and let yourself in, I mean, you do fit through the door! Cleaning a chicken coop can be a real pain if you don't have easy access inside. Hinged roofs can do the trick, but if you have the means to build a human-sized coop, you won't regret it.
Walking in and getting the cleaning done without having to crouch over is a real treat.
16. Winsome and Cute
A robins egg blue, the tiny windows, the wooden shingles, it's all just so cute! For that farmhouse appeal, make your chicken coop a happy little place that you enjoy visiting just as much as the chickens love living there. They have all the things they need in a place like this.