Whether or not you live on a farm, if you like to enjoy a delicious, homemade omelet for breakfast, you can appreciate the value of farm-fresh eggs. We’ll bet that fresh eggs from your hens are even the main reason that you want to add a chicken coop to your backyard. That’s exactly why adding a chicken coop to your yard is one of the best backyard design ideas!
Providing your chickens with adequate room to roam will be essential when it comes to raising confident roosters and happy hens. However, not everyone owns a farm or a large plot of land. Even if your backyard is on the smaller size, we’re here to help you get started with our 27 best chicken coop ideas!
1. Classic Red Barn
This chicken coop has the appearance of a classic red barn. Historically, the reason that barns were painted red was not a matter of aesthetics. Barns were usually red because farmers added ferrous oxide (rust) to their paints, which they made from natural materials. With its reddish hue, rust effectively prevented fungi and moss from growing on barn walls and beams, sealing the wood and protecting it from rot. Today, you can easily buy a non-toxic paint in a classic shade of red to give your chicken coop this historic barn look.
2. New Construction
Although new construction can’t immediately offer the lived-in vibe of a vintage coop, sometimes a new build makes sense. For your DIY project, you can select pressure-treated wood, which will resist moisture, mold, termite damage, and rot. However, pressure-treated woods contain copper-based preservatives, which could potentially leach into the soil and harm your chickens. If you prefer to use untreated wood, consider a naturally rot-resistant hardwood like Cedar.
Alternatively, you can select a softwood (such as Douglas Fir, Pine, Spruce, or Hemlock). However, if you choose a softwood, be sure to also apply a non-toxic sealant to protect the wood from moisture, termites, and decay.
3. Ultra Rustic Signage
We love the idea of adding a wooden, hand-carved sign to your chicken coop to advertise fresh eggs from your hens. This quirky sign adds a playful touch of character with its deliberately misspelled words (though there’s no shame in using spell-check). We also appreciate the decorative, diamond-shaped window, which accentuates the peaked roof of this garden shed-style chicken coop.
4. Portneuf Poultry House
With its bright orange roof and crisp white siding, this Canadian poultry house from Portneuf County, Quebec, takes coop design to a new level. Believe it or not, chickens were long thought to be colorblind. However, studies have shown that chickens may actually be able to see a wider spectrum of colors than humans. A bright orange roof will pick up the beautiful amber hues of autumn foliage, and it might catch the eye of your poultry, too.
5. House on Stilts
A coop on stilts is an alternative to a hen house built at ground level. This chicken coop has an elevated design which keeps the coop off the damp ground, where it is susceptible to mold and termites. The platform also offers your chickens additional protection from predators, because they can hang out underneath. Plus, a hungry coyote will be less able to snatch a sleeping chicken from a coop on a suspended platform. Just remember to remove the ramp at night.
6. Frontier-style Sod Roof
Once upon a time in the West, the average chicken coop on the American frontier would have looked a lot like this. Then and now, protecting chickens from harsh weather and from predators remains the main purpose of a coop. Although this particular poultry house is a ghost town, you can still take a cue from the past by adding a sod roof to the top of your coop. A sod roof is eco-friendly and it will keep your coop cool on warm days.
7. Go bold
With bold turquoise walls like these, your chickens will have something to cluck about. Choose whichever color you like best, but be sure to go with non-toxic paint. As noted above, bold color choices may even register visually with your chickens, despite their outdated reputation for being color-blind.
8. House on Wheels
Having a chicken coop on wheels means that you can roll the poultry hut into the middle of a field, where your birds will have plenty of room to roam. A mobile hen house makes it easy for you to give your chickens a great life. Surrounded by grass and open space in all directions, this chicken coop on wheels is luxury living at its finest.
9. Soft Bedding
Consider using straw bedding as a drier alternative to hay, which can get moldy. You can also use wood shavings, such as soft Pine. However, you’ll want to avoid Cedar shavings. Chickens are allergic to Cedar’s essential oils, which are released when the wood is shaved. Also stay away from sawdust, which can cause respiratory problems for your chickens.
10. Chicken Wire
The grid-like pattern of thin wire on the door of this hen house is made of flexible, galvanized steel. Also called poultry netting, chicken wire has long been the gold standard for fencing in your fowl. As an alternative to the square pattern shown here, you can also find chicken wire in a hexagonal pattern. Staple the wire to the back of the door frame, then hammer down the staples and the extra bit of wire to prevent any sharp edges from sticking out.
11. Ramp It Up
Place your chicken coop ramp at a 45-degree angle to give your chickens the ideal slope for on-loading and offloading. The ridges (or pleats) that you see nailed onto this ramp create an easier upward climb and downward descent so that your poultry will not slide down on slick days. You can also choose to make the ramp to your coop easily removable by adding a simple hook system at the top.
12. Hen Party
This Victorian-era hen house calls to mind the quaint English countryside of the 1800s. Although a brick barn is not considered ideal for housing hens today, at one time this would have been a common setting for chickens. What brick structures lack in ventilation and lighting, they make up for by providing protective walls, which are easily warmed by sunshine. An exterior brick wall will also provide a good protective outdoor buffer where chickens can peck and roam in the safety of a partially enclosed farmyard.
13. Morning Harvest
During the warmer months, your hens’ egg production will be at its peak. Plan to go at least twice a day to your chicken coop with a basket to collect fresh eggs. Morning is the best time for harvesting eggs, especially before 10 a.m. Start out by collecting the eggs that do not have chickens directly laying on them. If there are sleepy hens still resting comfortably on their nests, gently pick up the hen and gather the eggs, then place the hen back down to rest.
14. Perfect Perch
If your chickens are fully free-roaming in your backyard or farmyard, then a split-rail fence can give them the perfect place to perch. Although they are predominantly ground-based birds, chickens can actually fly up to ten feet high, for a distance of up to forty or fifty feet.
Consider giving your earthbound birds something to reach for by providing a split-rail fence where they can flutter and perch. Just watch out for hawks, which naturally prey on chickens. A hawk is an aerial predator, so it can easily take advantage of a hen on a fence if no one is around to notice.
15. Row Housing
At an absolute minimum, your chickens need at least ten square feet of space per bird so that they can adequately stretch out their feathers. Cozy quarters where your hens can sleep in rows like this are good. But in the daytime, make sure to give them enough room to roam outside their coop. This will make them happier, healthier, more productive, and far less likely to squabble or henpeck each other.
The small door of this coop is just the right height for your poultry and your youngsters. With the dimensions of this chicken coop particularly well-suited for kids, they can learn how to tend to the chickens and harvest fresh eggs from the hens. You might also consider adding artificial grass, as shown here, to provide a soft, weather-resistant lining for your exterior chicken ramp.
17. Chicken Stoop
Here’s an example of a sliding coop door, which allows chickens to enter from the ramp (also called a stoop) that leads up from the chicken run. With its unique combination of a weathered wooden stoop and a sleek metal door, this chicken hut has the appeal of a modern farmhouse. We love how the old and the new find an ideal balance here.
18. Barnyard Pals
Who says that chickens have to keep to their own kind? Here, these hens are expanding their horizons by interacting with a farm animal of a different variety (or at least sharing the same space for a little while). From the looks of it, the resident horse does not seem to mind the company.
19. Branch Out
We are impressed with this DIY, which used chicken wire to create a spacious chicken run adjacent to the coop. A chicken run is an enclosed but airy outdoor space where chickens can socialize and move about. You can watch them forage as well as dust bathe, which they do to cool off.
What really makes this chicken run unique is the incorporation of a large tree branch, on which several hens are sitting. We suggest adding a natural element like this to your DIY chicken run.
20. Window on the World
Even hens get the blues now and then. Recent studies have shown that chickens can feel emotions like empathy, happiness, and fear. So, if you want your hens to be happy and your rooster to crow “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” each morning, make sure to provide adequate windows in your coop for your chickens to look outside.
21. Chicken Hut
The yurt-style design of this hexagonal chicken hut bears a striking resemblance to a Scandinavian sauna. No wonder these chickens don’t want to go outside on a cold day! Try sprinkling soft pine wood shavings down the ramp to encourage your reluctant rooster to walk outside, even on snow-covered mornings.
22. King of the Farm
This old-world, barn-style coop has a concrete and brick foundation, with wide-plank wood painted a rustic shade of blue. Although it might not offer the modern amenities you’re seeking for your backyard henhouse, it does spark the imagination. It also reminds us that raising chickens is practically synonymous with farmyard heritage.
23. Log Cabin
This log cabin chicken coop will undoubtedly appeal to homesteaders who prefer the look of an authentic cabin in the woods. Timber beams joined at right angles give the corners of this coop a rustic, hand-hewn appeal.
24. Hay for Chilly Chickens
A henhouse protects its residents year-round in all kinds of weather. Although chickens can handle extreme temps, they dislike going out into the snow. Sprinkle hay on snow-covered ground to encourage them, along with grain for feeding. Chickens will need 1.5 times as much food in winter, especially in the northern latitudes. You can expect your hens’ egg production to naturally plummet during the colder months. With the waning sunlight of winter, your hens will also need extra rest and relaxation.
25. A Solid Foundation
For those who are not daunted by heavy-duty DIYs, consider pouring a concrete slab on which to build your wooden chicken coop. Creating a concrete slab foundation will keep your hen house significantly cooler in the summer. It will also prevent mice and termites, and it will minimize any rot caused by the damp ground. Sprinkle wood shavings on the floor to protect your chickens’ feet.
26. Friends and Neighbors
If you have other farmyard animals such as sheep or goats, they will naturally be curious to interact with your chickens. Here, the roosters have their own space surrounded by wire fencing, but they can also exchange greetings with their animal neighbors, who have their own fenced-in areas. It’s the best of both worlds.
27. In Good Company
Your rooster and your goat might even become friends. Sometimes it’s actually more challenging to have different kinds of poultry sharing the same space. For example, ducks and chickens do not get along easily. They are notoriously difficult when it comes to interaction. But a goat and a rooster? Best friends forever.
Today, the sky is the limit when it comes to chicken coops. From pre-fabricated hen houses to portable chicken huts, you can house your hens in style. We know that you’ll be able to create the perfect space in which to raise confident roosters and happy hens, thanks to our 27 best chicken coop ideas!
Just be sure to give your chickens enough room to roam, and take adequate precautions to keep your poultry as safe as possible from predators. Then, you can share the fun of raising chickens with your family, including the joy of collecting farm-fresh eggs. The proof will be in the omelet!