Those considering raising backyard chickens probably know that keeping a flock can have benefits beyond fresh eggs on demand. Hens will peck away at unwanted pests, produce natural compost, consume food waste, and provide a source of companionship and stress relief.
If these perks have you ready to take the leap, you’ll need a good home for your new feathered friends. The best chicken coops or hen houses can help keep birds healthy, happy, and safe from dangerous predators. Read on to learn about what to take into account before making a purchase along with some great options to consider.
- BEST OVERALL: Tractor Supply Co. Producer’s Pride Chicken Coop
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Petsfit Weatherproof Chicken Coop With Nesting Box
- BEST SMALL: Archie & Oscar Gatsby Chicken Coop With Chicken Run
- BEST FOR LARGE FLOCKS: Tractor Supply Co. OverEZ Chicken Coop
- BEST WALK-IN: Roost & Root Round-Top Stand-Up Chicken Coop
- BEST MULTILEVEL: Tractor Supply Co. Petmate Chicken Coop
- BEST URBAN: Omlet Eglu Cube Large Chicken Coop With Runs
- BEST FOR WINTER: Omlet Eglu Go UP Portable Chicken Coop
- BEST PLASTIC: Omlet Eglu Go Modern Chicken Coop
- ALSO CONSIDER: Archie & Oscar Auggie Chicken Coop With Chicken Run
How We Chose the Best Chicken Coops
We researched the most sought-after chicken coops in their respective categories and discovered that the best models are determined by their capacity, durability and materials, design, security features, ease of assembly, and other special features included by top brands.
To ensure our list had the best chicken coops available, we included models capable of holding two to 15 chickens with the help of durable plastic, metal, and wooden constructions, some of which provide all-weather use. While some models are designed with only one level, select options have ramps or roosts that lead to two or three levels.
All of the units in our lineup are easy to assemble, and select options are raised for added safety. Many top hen houses also come with nest boxes, roof openings, slide-out trays, and even wired enclosures to make raising backyard chickens more comfortable and clean. Metal locks and caging also help to keep birds safe from predators.
Our Top Picks
The best chicken coops are made with solid materials and include ample space, insulation, and ventilation to keep birds safe and healthy. Beyond functionality, there are plenty of attractive options that will look appealing on your property. The following chicken coops are well made and good looking, and they offer the features that are sure to keep you and your hens happy.
With room for six chickens, this Tractor Supply Co. coop is built to last with a powder-coated, rust-resistant steel frame and reinforced thick wood panels. The entrance features a sliding door with latches that must be moved through two positions to open, making it resistant to predators. The coop’s raised design also helps keep unwanted visitors at bay, while a solid wood ramp provides easy access for chickens to run into the coop.
Extra access doors on both sides of the wooden chicken coop and a roof opening allow for easy interior cleaning, and a removable metal slide-out tray makes removing droppings a cinch. An asphalt roof reinforced with wood covers the coop as well as the spacious run, and can be held open by child-safety hinges to prevent accidents. The coop is easy to assemble with predrilled holes and pre-assembled panels.
- Capacity: 6 chickens
- Material: Powder-coated steel and wood
- Number of levels: 2
- 3 doors for access and feeding; front door slides with secure latches
- Raised design offers ample space for chickens and egg-laying hens to run around
- Solid wood ramp, roof opening, and pull-out tray provide ample convenience
- Coop and panels are preassembled for added ease of use
- Heavyweight construction cannot be moved once assembled
- Some users report difficulty installing
Get the Tractor Supply Co. Producer’s Pride chicken coop at Tractor Supply Co.
Keeping backyard chickens safe needn’t cost an arm and a leg with this nicely priced Petsfit coop. The main area can accommodate three or four chickens, while an adjacent nesting box has room for two more and is designed with a hinged roof for easy egg removal. Made with rain-resistant, solid fir wood, the coop has two doors in front and one with stairs making it easy for the chickens to go in and out. The two doors can be closed and locked to keep predators out, and the raised design also adds safety. Airflow moves from gaps in the bottom slabs for ventilation.
Three removable floor panels make this wooden chicken coop easy to clean. Assembly for this model is fairly easy, as it comes with clear instructions and the holes in the structure’s walls are pre-drilled. Unfortunately, the top of the coop cannot be opened, and it does not come with a roost or a run for the birds.
- Capacity: 3 to 4 chickens
- Material: Fir wood
- Number of levels: 1
- Nesting box design has room for 2 and allows for laying and collection
- 2 doors in front; stairs attached to 1 of the doors
- Raised, weatherproof design and durable construction defer damage from the elements
- The coop’s removable floor panels allow for easy collection of eggs
- No top opening; may need to rely on the floor panels to collect the eggs
- Assembly is required and that may prove challenging for some users
Get the Petsfit chicken coop at Amazon or Chewy.
Keeping a few chickens doesn’t require a large coop. Constructed from wood with metal hardware and fitted with an asphalt roof, this durable, weather-resistant coop is small yet sturdy. It has two levels and can accommodate two standard chickens or four bantams. A ramp allows the chickens easy access from the wire mesh-enclosed run into the indoor area, which includes two nesting boxes.
The hinged roof is easy to open to collect eggs or clean the interior; a pull-out tray and removable roosting pole make cleanup even easier. The coop features three doors with locks and one window, which is covered with wire mesh to keep predators out.
- Capacity: 2 chickens or 4 bantams
- Material: Wood, metal, and asphalt
- Number of levels: 2
- Weather-resistant construction; built to last for long-term use outdoors
- Wire-mesh-enclosed run plus a pair of nesting boxes offer ample space for chickens to move around
- Hinged roof opening allows for quick access and egg collection
- Pull-out tray and removable roosting pole for added user-friendliness
- Assembly required; may be tricky for some folks to put together
- Some users consider the construction materials flimsy
Get the Archie & Oscar Gatsby chicken coop at Wayfair.
The more chickens, the tougher the coop ought to be. This large chicken coop, which can accommodate up to 15 birds, can stand up to all weather conditions. It’s constructed of treated resin flooring and siding, material that has great moisture resistance. The roof allows rainwater to run off the back away from the coop’s five nesting boxes, while the ceiling has radiant barrier sheathing to keep it cool in summer heat.
The coop also has ample ventilation from two screened windows and two vents at the upper point of each gable. The OverEZ has one chicken door with a wood ramp and a tall entryway that provides easy access for cleaning. It comes in nine pieces but thanks to fitted panels and predrilled holes, it is easy to assemble.
- Capacity: 15 chickens
- Material: Resin
- Number of levels: 1
- Weather- and moisture-resistant resin material offers excellent protection against the elements
- Radiant barrier sheathing prevents overheating within the coop during warm weather
- 2 screened windows and vents for ample ventilation and light
- Wood ramp and tall entryway allow you to access coop easily
- Assembly required before use; may be difficult for some users
Get the Tractor Supply Co. OverEZ chicken coop at Tractor Supply Co.
Don’t want to stoop in a coop? This Roost & Root model allows the owner to stand up inside. Made with cedar wood and galvanized metal hardware, the large chicken coop can house up to six egg-laying hens and features plenty of roost space and nesting boxes, both of which can be accessed from the inside or out.
The durable coop boasts attractive modern style. Heavy-duty, 16-gauge galvanized welded wire protects chickens from predators, as will the steel locks with carabiners. The back of the coop can be outfitted with an automatic door (sold separately) and can accommodate an attached run. Optional integrated waterers and feeders can be added at additional cost, as can storm doors for added weatherproofing. As a fun personal touch, the owner’s name or other statement can be carved above the door.
- Capacity: 6 hens/chickens
- Material: Cedar and 16-gauge galvanized welded wire
- Number of levels: 3
- Steel locks and wire construction keeps chickens in and potential predators out
- Nesting boxes are accessible from inside or outside for user-friendliness
- Engraving offered for an added touch of personalization
- Automatic and storm doors sold separately; may be pricey
- Integrated waterers and feeders not included
Get the Roost & Root chicken coop at Roost & Root.
With space for eight chickens, this coop features a 72-inch run, giving them space to run around before heading up the ramp to the indoor area. The interior has three nesting boxes with a rear door for egg collecting, and two roosting bars. There is one additional bar in the run for outdoor roosting.
Adjustable rear ventilation keeps the coop airy, while a wire-mesh fence and metal locks keep predators out. A removable cleaning tray makes for easy maintenance. The wood is unstained so users can customize the coop with their paint or stain of choice.
- Capacity: 8 to 10 chickens
- Material: Wood and plastic
- Number of levels: 2
- 72-inch run for holding up to 10 chickens and allowing them ample space
- Both indoor and outdoor areas are accessible to the chickens as weather permits
- 3 nesting boxes built into the design; hinged door allows for easy egg removal
- Chickens have access to 3 roosting bars: 2 interior and 1 exterior
- Some users report flimsy materials; may not be as durable as some comparable options
Get the Tractor Supply Co. Petmate chicken coop at Tractor Supply Co.
Raising chickens isn’t for rural areas only, and this chicken coop from Omlet features a customizable design that allows it to fit different spaces. Sturdy metal caging and locking doors keep predators out, while the plastic-and-metal construction makes it weather-resistant. The twin-wall insulation is ideal for colder temperatures. The Eglu Cube’s ventilation system aims to provide ample air circulation while avoiding drafts.
The coop can accommodate up to 10 birds, including the integrated nest box that can fit up to three hens. The Eglu Cube features roosting bars, a non-slip ladder, and an eggport with a sliding door for easy egg collection. No-spill food and water containers and a large slide-out dropping tray make upkeep a breeze. The chicken run is extendable if more space becomes available, and an automated door is a potentially convenient add-on option.
- Capacity: 6 to 10 hens/chickens
- Material: Plastic and metal
- Number of levels: 2
- Roosting bars and nesting box built into the construction
- Weather-resistant design can stay outside in inclement weather
- Twin-wall insulation protects chickens during the winter months
- No-spill food and water containers and a slide-out dropping tray make maintenance easy
- Some users have reported difficult assembly; may be tricky for first timers
Get the Omlet Eglu Cube chicken coop at Omlet.
For chickens’ comfort no matter what the temperature, consider the Omlet Eglu Go UP chicken coop. It boasts a multiwall insulation system to keep birds warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
This durable coop is also easy to use and care for, made with Omlet’s signature mesh fencing, a ladder with grips, and built-in wheels for maneuvering around outdoors. The lockable front door allows you to check the nesting box for eggs and access the interior for feeding. Finally, the expandable run can reach up to 9 feet long, giving chickens ample space to wander.
- Capacity: 4 hens or chickens
- Material: Plastic and metal
- Number of levels: 2
- Expandable run; comes in 6- to 9-foot lengths to provide chickens with ample space
- Multiwall insulation design keeps chickens warm in the winter and cool in the summer
- Front door is lockable for checking on the chickens and keeping predators out
- Built-in wheels allow the unit to be moved around the yard if desired
- Some users have reported that the mesh run can be a little flimsy
Get the Omlet Eglu Go UP chicken coop at Omlet.
Those considering raising chickens in a lightweight alternative to a wood and metal coop will want to look into the Omlet Eglu Go Modern chicken coop. This quality portable chicken coop has unique features that make taking care of birds a breeze. It comes with a 6-, 9-, or 12-foot run made of Omlet’s signature mesh and also has the option of wheels or mesh handles for moving the unit if needed.
This plastic model is easy to clean, provides protection against predators, and includes an insulated nesting box for use in the winter or the summer. However, this coop only has one level, which provides less freedom of movement for chickens.
- Capacity: 4 chickens or hens
- Material: Plastic and metal
- Number of levels: 1
- Portable coop; can be maneuvered around an outdoor space easily
- Run comes in 6-, 9-, and 12-foot lengths to provide chickens with some room
- Insulated design ideal for use in both summer and winter months
- Predator-proof construction keeps birds safe year-round
- The mesh on the run may be less durable than some comparable options
Get the Omlet Eglu Go Modern chicken coop at Omlet.
The top of this Archie & Oscar pen opens so users can easily refill food and water and clean up any messes. The nesting box opens to allow for easy egg collecting, and a slide-out tray makes it simple to clean droppings beneath the two included perches.
The coop can accommodate three chickens, and birds can access the housing via a sliding door with a ramp. Screened windows provide ventilation and airflow. It has ample protective features to keep predators out as well, including a metal wire-mesh surround and a lockable door with a metal slide bolt.
- Capacity: 3 chickens
- Material: Wood
- Number of levels: 1
- Top-opening design provides you with quick access to the coop
- You can open the nesting box with the integrated slide-out tray
- Screened windows allow for ventilation as well as light
- Metal wire-mesh surround and a lockable door prevent predators from entering
- No roosting bars built into the model; may need to be bought separately and installed
- Some users report limited durability compared to similar options
Get the Archie & Oscar Auggie chicken coop at Wayfair.
Or, DIY Your Own Chicken Coop
Building a chicken coop can be a fun, money-saving project. Those planning on building a coop and raising backyard chickens can choose from many designs here. As to general guidance for building your own chicken coop, the most important things to consider are keeping birds protected, dry, heated/cooled, and free of disease. We recommend using plywood and metal to construct the nesting box and roosting perch, taking care to provide adequate ventilation, which helps keep chickens healthy. We also advise that the hen house be elevated and that doors and latches are secure to protect the coop from predators.
What to Consider When Choosing a Chicken Coop
Those new to raising backyard chickens may be wondering how to choose the best chicken coop for their needs. The size of the flock and the amount of available space will impact the size of the coop and which features it should have, from multiple levels to nesting space and more. To keep chickens healthy and safe, also be sure to factor in ventilation, insulation, and security.
The size coop to buy will depend on how many chickens it will house. If there is too little space, the chickens may competitively pick or peck at one another. Keep in mind that folks who let the flock range free during the day need less free space in the coop than those who keep chickens contained.
As a rule of thumb, 3 to 5 square feet of floor space is required for each standard hen inside a coop. Smaller chickens, like bantams, will require less room too, usually about 2 square feet for coop space. Each standard bird should also have 1 square foot of perching and roosting bar space.
A nesting space will provide hens with a safe, private, and quiet place to lay eggs. Though they will likely all try to fit into one, it’s appropriate to provide one box for every three to four hens. A standard nesting box is a 12-inch cube and can be made of wood, but metal and plastic varieties are more widely available. The boxes are generally available in a row or stacked in two rows. They should be at least 18 inches off the ground and placed away from noisy and busy areas, as chickens prefer privacy when nesting.
Those lacking ample outdoor space to accommodate the square footage of a large coop can consider one with multiple levels. Multilevel coops usually have two floors with a ramp from the lower level to the upper level. This way, some chickens can hang out upstairs, while others peck away on the lower floor. Often the nesting boxes will be housed on the upper level so they’re quiet and away from the action.
Good chicken coop ventilation is important for the health of the birds. Ammonia fumes created by a buildup of manure can make chickens sick with the likes of respiratory issues and eye irritation. Good ventilation will also keep humidity out, providing a drier environment that will help hens stay comfortable in cold temperatures. Ventilation holes should be located at the top of the coop near where the wall meets the ceiling. Fancier coops might have vents located in the same place.
It’s important to protect chickens from drafts in cold weather; failure to do so will disrupt the heat collection within their feathers. Make sure there are no gaps in the coop’s walls or other areas. Fill any gaps with caulk and, for added protection from cold drafts, line the coop with cardboard when it’s cold out.
When temperatures drop, the coop door should be closed overnight. Some more elaborate winterized coop options even feature foam insulation or storm doors. A thermometer is also handy for keeping tabs on the temperature inside the coop.
If there’s not enough space to let chickens roam during the day, consider getting a coop with a chicken run. Chicken runs, which are usually attached to the coop, allow hens a contained outdoor space where they can enjoy the sun, dust bathe, or forage in grass or dirt. The more space they have to do this, the happier your hens will be.
A chicken run usually requires 8 to 10 square feet of space per standard bird. Bantams only need about 4 square feet since they are quite a bit smaller and can fly, allowing them to hang out on higher perches.
Probably the most important function of a coop is to keep chickens safe from predators. The coop’s vents and windows should be covered in ½-inch welded wire, and all access points should have predator-proof latches, such as carabiners. Also consider locking all entrances of the coop or investing in automated doors that open and lock at preprogrammed times of the day.
People who live where hawks and owls are prevalent should cover the top of the chicken run as well. This can be done with wire mesh so that there is still plenty of light and ventilation. One final tip for keeping predators at bay: Collect eggs regularly and remove leftover food scraps at the end of the day.
Ease of Cleaning
In order to keep chickens healthy, clean their coop regularly. What makes cleaning difficult is the bending and reaching needed to access small and stinky dark spaces. If the doors and roof can be opened, that will provide easier access and better visibility, as well as less stooping.
Another key feature that will help hasten the cleaning process is removable floors or trays, especially beneath the roosts, which makes it much easier to clean collected droppings. A coop that features nest boxes that slide out for cleaning will also save some discomfort.
The Advantages of Owning a Chicken Coop
Owning a chicken coop can have many benefits. One of the biggest reasons people choose to raise backyard chickens is to enjoy fresh eggs. Did you know that store-bought eggs can be 2 months old by the time you buy them? Freshly laid eggs are better tasting and have more vitamins and nutrients than the store-bought variety.
Beyond the eggs, owners tend to find stress relief from the interaction and ritualistic behavior that comes with caring for a flock. Plus, raising backyard chickens can also offer pest control and a natural source of compost. Chickens are good hunters of flies, worms, ticks, and other small pests. Their manure can be composted and used for gardening purposes. Chickens are also a lot more self-sufficient than other pets; all they need is food, water, shelter, and some space to peck and run around.
Coops are essential because they protect birds from dangerous predators. The best chicken coops also provide a comfortable place to nest and lay eggs as well as shelter from inclement weather conditions.
- Raising backyard chickens can provide a regular source of freshly laid eggs.
- Happy and healthy birds equal more and better-quality eggs.
- Chickens can provide pest control and a source of natural compost.
- Owning hens can be a form of companionship and stress relief.
- A secure coop will keep chickens safe from predators.
- A coop will provide hens shelter from the elements.
You may still be wondering where to place your coop or what to keep inside it while raising chickens. Get the answers to these and other commonly asked questions about chicken coops below.
Q. Where do you place a chicken coop?
Place your coop in partial sunlight so that chickens can choose to bask in the sun or rest in the shade. Also pick a spot with grass for them to peck at and a patch of dust they can bathe in. A solid level ground underneath the coop will help keep out predators that can slip under narrow gaps.
Q. What should be inside a chicken coop?
The best chicken coops will include a roosting perch, nesting boxes, insulation, lighting, litter trays, bedding material (such as straw), and food and water supplies. To prevent disease, a chicken coop should also have sufficient ventilation in the form of screened windows to keep predators out.
Q. How do you insulate a chicken coop?
Eliminating gaps or areas where drafts can enter is an important way to keep your coop comfortable. Some winterized coops feature foam insulation and storm doors. For DIY insulation, consider lining your coop with cardboard and covering openings with blankets.
Q. How do you heat a chicken coop?
A chicken coop can be heated by using either heat lamps, flat-panel wall heaters, and/or infrared heaters hung overhead. Some models also come with insulation in the walls that keeps cold out in the winter and heat out in the summer.
Q. How often should you clean a chicken coop?
How often you clean your coop will depend on the size of your brood and how much space it has. In general, dispose of leftover food and water every night. Dispose of droppings and replace bedding weekly. A deeper scrubbing can be limited to a few times a year.
Q. How do you keep rats out of a chicken coop?
Keep rats away by disposing of leftover food and storing feed at night, as well as collecting eggs daily. The coop should be made with durable wood or plastic and fitted with mesh wire, high-quality locks, and elevated nesting boxes.
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