Looking to buy the best Outdoor Chicken Coop? Check out our guide below and you’ll be well-placed to select the right one for you.
The backyard coop has made a resurgence – even in metropolitan areas – because to the growing appeal of locally grown and sourced food. The allure of fresh, warm, organic eggs waiting to be gathered every day, in addition to homegrown veggies, is encouraging more people to maintain backyard hens.
If you want to live in the country with chickens clucking around your yard, you’ll need to invest in a suitable coop that fits your budget, lifestyle, and backyard situation while also being a joyful home for your hens. Continue reading to learn everything there is to know about chicken coops, and when you’re ready to buy one, check out our top picks.
The quality of your backyard eggs will be determined by the diet and care you provide your hens, but it will be worth it for those truly fresh eggs that will not only taste better but also be more healthy. This is partly due to the fact that eggs on shop shelves might be up to two months old.
There are two types of coops: moveable (also known as chicken tractors or arks) and stationary (also known as chicken tractors or arks).
Movable coops are on wheels and are ideal for permaculture enthusiasts. They can be moved about to provide fresh ground for the birds to scratch up and consume bugs and weed seeds. They also don’t need to be cleaned; simply relocate the coop and let the manure function as fertiliser for the garden (or even lawn). While this may be appropriate for certain urban garden backyards or suburban or rural homes with a large amount of land, it is not appropriate for very small yards.
The most typical choice is a standalone coop, which come in a variety of sizes and styles to match any size yard or landscape. They are usually constructed on a frame, which provides additional protection from predators and the elements. Some sit directly on the ground, though contact with the soil might lead to rot or rodent infiltration if they’re made of wood.
Chicken Coop Features
It’s critical to purchase the right size for your amount of chickens. It’s not simply a matter of creature comfort; crowded conditions cause stress and a slew of negative behaviours, including pecking other hens, eating eggs, and even death. Infections and parasites are also more common.
The rule of thumb for happy, healthy chickens is 2 to 3 square feet per bird in the coop, and 8 to 10 square feet per chicken in an outside run. If you have the space, bigger is usually better. It’s worth noting, though, that you don’t need a separate nesting box for each bird in the coop; chickens lay eggs at different times, and multiple hens will use the same nesting box throughout the day.
The majority of coops are made of rot-resistant wood like cedar, redwood, or hardwoods. Nontoxic sealers should be used on other woods such as Douglas fir, spruce, and pine. Because pressure-treated wood may contain chemicals, it should only be used where it comes into contact with the ground and not where chickens sleep. Wooden coops can also be stained or painted to complement your home and protect them from the elements.
Fiberglass and plastic coops, on the other hand, are cost-effective, low-maintenance, and long-lasting, though they lack the aesthetic appeal of a timber coop.
Think about how much time and effort you want to put into your coop. Some come fully assembled, but the majority will require some assembly, with varied degrees of difficulty.
Coops should provide protection from the weather in all seasons, so take your local climate into consideration. Consider an elevated coop if you receive a lot of rain or snow. It keeps the hens off the wet ground. Make sure the coop is placed in a well-drained region, not one where water will collect. Depending on the weather in your area, roof material is also important.
It’s not just during hot temperatures that good airflow is necessary. In cold weather, dampness from hens’ breath and excrement will result in freezing temperatures and possibly frostbite. Rooftop ventilation allows for adequate airflow while preventing draughts. Consider roof-mounted louvre doors or hardware cloth screen doors. Keep in mind that chickens in cold locations may require a heat lamp inside the coop throughout the winter, so keep that in mind while choosing a coop.
Chickens require constant access to clean, fresh water as well as food. Other animals won’t be able to get into the water and food if they’re kept inside the coop, so make sure your coop has adequate room for both food and water containers, as well as convenient access for you to check and replenish them.
While not every bird requires a nesting box, at least one box is required for every four chickens. Because hens prefer to sleep elevated above the ground and crowded together at night, installing a horizontal roosting pole or branch within the coop will make your flock feel more secure.
There are a lot of critters who want to eat the eggs, as well as the hens. Your backyard flock is threatened by coyotes, dogs, raccoons, skunks, weasels, foxes, owls, and hawks. It’s critical to have a coop that can keep these predators away. In order to continue laying, the chickens must also feel secure. Ensure that windows are covered with hardware cloth (mesh-welded wire) or screen rather than chicken wire, which is readily twisted.
Animals that approach low are kept out of a raised coop that is raised above the ground. (This also protects any wooden frame parts from decay by keeping them off the damp ground.) A predator-proof hen door made of metal, preferably with a bolt, is also required. Automatic doors that close and lock in your flock at night are available.
Because this can happen, make sure your coop is easy to clean. Some types feature removable manure trays, allowing you to scoop the waste into the compost pile directly.
You’ll need a door to gain access to the nesting boxes and offer food and water, as well as collect the eggs and clean the nesting boxes. If the chickens’ entry door is higher than the ground, a ramp is beneficial, especially for smaller birds or as they age.
Because the duration of the day affects the laying cycle of hens, consider using a hanging light during the short winter months to keep them laying longer. If you’re using a heat lamp, the light it gives off should be enough.
Make sure there aren’t any gaps where mice or other critters could get in. Rats, moles, and voles have been known to burrow under the coop from the outside and find a way through the floor, so be sure there are no access spots on your floor as well.
Hens don’t require a rooster to lay eggs; they will deposit an unfertilized egg every 24-48 hours on their own. In some locations, keeping roosters requires a permit, and it can cause problems with your neighbours if they don’t appreciate early morning alarms. If you’re producing fancy chickens, having a rooster is a must.
Prices for chicken coops
For roughly £150, you can acquire a simple coop for four hens. Large walk-in enclosures for roughly 25 hens will cost around £5,000, but specialised poultry palaces can cost as much as £50,000. Expect to pay around £400 for a decent coop for 8-10 chickens.
Laws governing the rearing of chickens
Check with your council to discover if backyard chickens are permitted and, if so, whether a permit is required. Fortunately, the shift to locally grown, organic foods has resulted in a more permissive attitude in many locations, while there may be some constraints.
Some ordinances may restrict you to simply have hens (roosters are noisy, and many neighbours don’t appreciate the early morning wake-up call), the number of the flock, and the dimensions of the coop, as well as architectural restrictions.
You may also be restricted in your coop’s location (e.g., within 15 feet of your property line). Before building a coop, you may need to acquire permission from your neighbours. If you live in a property with a homeowners association, you’ll need to look into their rules as well.
Chicken Coop FAQs
I’m not sure how many nesting boxes I’ll need.
A.Per four hens, provide one 12×12 nesting box with one or two inches of nesting material. Overcrowding the flock might have negative implications since the chickens may break the eggs by accident. If this occurs, they are more likely to eat them, and once this occurs, it can be difficult to break the habit.
Q. How old must hens be before they are allowed to use the coop?
A.While fluffy chicks are adorable, they will require extra attention indoors before being allowed outside. Pullets (12-16 weeks old) can be kept in outdoor coops with no problems. They should begin laying eggs between the ages of 22 and 28 weeks. If you reside in a colder climate, ensure sure the coop has enough heat, especially if you have young chicks.
Q. Will the chickens enter the coop on their own or will I have to entice them?
A. It’s preferable to keep chicks in the coop for a few days so they can get used to it and feel safe. (Do not do this during the summer or during periods of extreme heat when the coop will overheat during the day.) The hens will make the coop their home, and you’ll quickly understand what it means to “go home to roost,” as they cheerfully go to bed each night, generally when the sun sets.
Best Outdoor Chicken Coops To Buy
- USEFUL FOR A VARIETY OF ANIMALS: Pawhut's large outdoor chicken coop cage is suitable for 6-8 chickens and a fantastic home for rabbits, ducks, and other small animals.
- HEAVY-DUTY FRAME FOR YEARS OF USE: Crafted from a galvanized metal frame, this outdoor pet cage run is solid and rust-resistant and built to last in an outdoor environment.
- PEACE OF MIND FROM PREDATORS: The Oxford-welded hexagonal wire mesh walls keep your animals safe inside the enclosure and protect your animals from predators.
- PERFECT FOR OUTDOOR BACKYARD USE: The durable water- and UV-resistant cover is made to protect your poultry from weather and other outdoor elements.
- LOCKABLE TO KEEP ANIMALS SAFE: The lockable galvanized door of the small animal enclosure offers extra safety and security to ensure that your backyard chickens don’t escape their cage.
- Provide your chickens, hens, ducks, gooses, as well as many other animals comfort with our chicken cage!
- Overall dimensions: 1,5 x 3 x 1,5 m (W x D x H);
- Equipped with a lock, the gate features an easy-to-open lockable door with included latches
- Additionally, thanks to the galvanised steel wire grid, it allows you to keep an eye on your animals
- The chicken cage needs to be assembled.
- Our galvanised steel chicken cage will keep your chickens, hens, ducks and other small animals comfortable.
- Dimensions: 2.75 x 2 x 1.92 m (W x D x H);
- It is also suitable for large birds and can be used as an aviary.This chicken run is made of high-quality galvanised steel for durability and has a 100% polyethylene roof
- The gate is equipped with a lock
- The product is easy to assemble.
- SPACIOUS DESIGN: Features an elevated living area, nesting box, ramp, run, and ladder which offers a spacious living space for raising chickens or other small outdoor animals.
- DURABLE: Solid fir wood structure is suitable for everyday use, coated with non-toxic and safe paint for extra protection.
- PROTECTIVE SLOPING ROOF: UV and water resistant, prevents water build-up to keep the inside house dry and healthy.
- EASY ACCESS: Two doors and run box with door makes it easy for you to clean inside. Inner ramp allows your pets to move inside and outside safely.
- DIMENSIONS: 166L x 120W x 112Hcm. House: 124L x 63W x 112Hcm. ASSEMBLY REQUIRED.
- PERFECT OUTDOOR ADDITION: The chicken coop is covered with a water-resistant material canopy that ensures full protection from rain. Suitable for 6-10 chickens in your backyard.
- DETACHABLE DESIGN: Constructed of a main living house and an outdoor run, gives your chickens lots of room to rest and be active, while these two parts can be used individually. A chicken nesting box is included and can be easily opened to extract eggs.
- CONVENIENT ACCESS: With multiple doors for easy access and cleaning, as well as middle doors, allow your chickens to enter the housing area or outdoor run easily.
- STURDY CONSTRUCTION: Made of steel wire and steel frame, this metal cage supports a solid house for your chickens, and it also is enough for daily use.
- PRODUCT INFORMATION: Overall Dimensions: 201.5L x 156W x 120H cm. Nesting box size: 50L x 40W x 45H cm. Run size: 125L x 95.5W x 49.3H cm. Assembly required.
- SPACIOUS DESIGN: A large hen house that's suitable for chickens, rabbits and other small pets.
- LOCKABLE DOOR: Keeps pets safe, secure and prevents them from escaping.
- SOLID MATERIAL: A galvanised metal frame with water and UV-resistant silver-coated oxford top – prevents rust, making it perfect for outdoors.
- DIMENSIONS: 172H x 302L x 107Wcm. Eave: 100cm. Suitable for 6-8 chickens.
- ASSEMBLY REQUIRED.
- MULTI-FEATURE COOP: Features a nesting box, living house and outdoor chicken run area, gives chickens indoor and outdoor space to move around.
- LIVING FEATURES: Multiple doors with locks to refill inside, slide-out tray for easy cleaning, ramp to move outside and in the chicken house easily and safely. The nesting box opens easily to collect eggs.
- FIR WOOD FRAME: A solid and tough structure which houses your chickens properly. Painted all over for light protection, with asphalt on the roof to prevent light-mild water leaking inside. Metal wire around the run to prevent chickens from escaping.
- EASY TO CLEAN: This chicken playpen comes with multiple lockable doors for easy access and the slide-out tray is easy to pull out for convenient and quick cleaning.
- PRODUCT DETAILS: DIMENSIONS: 103H x 168L x 75Wcm. House: 70H x 66L x 61Wcm. Nesting box: 37.6H x 52.5L x 33.2Wcm. Run: 33H x 66L x 61Wcm. ASSEMBLY REQUIRED. SUITABLE FOR 2-4 CHICKENS.
- FOR TWO-FOUR CHICKENS: Size perfect for small pet households, keeps them safely together in one place.
- THREE-PART DESIGN: Formed of two sheltered rooms and a run, with three ramps, so they are able to move from inside to outdoors easily at their choice. Also features nesting box and a slide-out tray (for easy cleaning).
- PRACTICAL: Constructed of fir wood, this chicken coop and run is sturdy and durable. The waterproof surface helps this chicken house resist rain or other bad weather, and it is also convenient for you to rinse with water.
- PERFECT OUTDOOR ADDITION: This rustic cottage design chicken house and run kit with a safe waterproof paint is perfect chickens, ducks and any other small poultry in your backyard.
- PRODUCT INFORMATION: Overall size: 167.5L x 109W x 100Hcm. Main house size: 70L x 56W x 68Hcm. Nesting box size: 55L x 32W x 34Hcm. Assembly required.
- ESSENTIAL FEATURES: Solid wooden framed coop with tongue and groove panels, twin section nesting box, secure outside run area, ridged access ramp, sliding access door between house and run for securing overnight, 2 x roosting perches and easy clean slide out tray.
- FUNCTIONAL DESIGN: External hen nest box with two nesting sections and a lid prop allow for the easy collection of fresh eggs as well as making it easy to clean. The slide out galvanised cleaning tray in the house section helps to ensure the coop is easily and thoroughly cleaned. Multiple locking doors allow you to access the nestbox, coop and run easily when changing bedding, food and water.
- PET PRIORITY: Keeping your chickens happy is top of our list when it comes to the design of our coops. The Windsor model features 2x internal roosting perches inside the coop for your birds to sleep at night keeping them secure. An outside run to safely scratch around, the run has a locking door that can be left open if you want to provide a free range option throughout the day. A nestbox that has been carefully designed and includes a weather strip to prevent water dripping down into the coop.
- PEST & PREDATOR SECURE: Our solid wood tongue and groove roof does not have felt on, this is essential to preventing red mite infestation. We urge you consider this as a priority as red mite is common occurrence in coops and will usually mean having to discard the coop to get rid of the infestation. All woodwork is Jointed, Sanded and Screwed and is finished in an attractive tongue and groove style. Secure wire mesh and latches features throughout to keep birds safe from predators.
- SIZE & EXTRAS: Overall Width 175cm x Overall Depth 95cm x Overall Height 100cm an added Extension run is available from the supplier which can significantly increase the run space if you are not able to offer a free range option.
- BEAUTIFUL DESIGN: Looks wonderful placed in your garden and other outdoor surroundings.
- SPACIOUS LIVING HOUSE: Suitable for hen or small chicks and gives them privacy when wanted.
- PROTECTED OUTDOOR AREA: They can roam freely and safely with the spray wire enclosure.
- SOLID FIR WOOD CONSTRUCTION: Finished with non-toxic paint to keep your chickens safe.
- NESTING BOX: Easy access to collect your chickens’eggs. Small coop, 2 grown chickens suggested. DIMENSIONS: 150.5L x 54W x 87Hcm. House: 50L x 46W x 64Hcm. Run Box: 50L x 46W x 21Hcm (under house), 66L x 46W x 65.2Hcm (side). ASSEMBLY REQUIRED.
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