The Best Backyard Chicken Coop

by Elaine Gaertner
Last Updated: 18/08/2020
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Chickens are one of the most popular pets in urban and rural backyards alike. They are easy to keep, good for the garden, and kids love them. Buying a quality chicken coop is important to make sure your chickens are protected from pests and weather conditions.

I have reviewed the best chicken coops you can buy online. I have taken into account user reviews, quality, durability, and safety for the chickens.

Another important aspect I took into consideration is the ease of cleaning. It is very important that you keep your chicken coop clean to ensure a healthy flock.

The Best Chicken Coops

1. SnapLock Formex Large Chicken Coop

Large chicken coop

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SnapLock Formex plastic chicken coop is easy to assemble and needs no special tools. All you have to do is snap the different parts and you have a large backyard chicken coop that can house up to 12 bantams. 

The parts are manufactured in the USA and the house is sturdy, easy to clean, and resistant to moisture and pests.

Pros

  • Easy to put together
  • Very easy to clean
  • Sturdy house
  • Nest, roosts, and litter trays are easy to access and clean
  • Very well ventilated and completely water-proof. The openings are also predator proof.

Cons

  • Some users received pieces that did not fit properly and had to be bent or their sizes had to be altered.

2. OverEZ Large Chicken Coop

chicken coop

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OverEZ chicken coop is clearly the most attractive chicken coop I found. It has been crafted by Amish craftsmen. This extremely well-thought of coop is easy to assemble.

The panels are resin treated which makes them water-proof and the product also includes touch up paint so your coop remains attractive all year round!

This walk-in coop has two roosts, five nesting boxes, two vents for ventilation, and 2 screened windows which can be opened and closed.

The roof profile ensures that water drains off easily and radiant barrier sheathing will keep your chickens warm in cool weather and cool in hot summer. OverEZ chicken coop easily houses up to 15 birds.

Pros

  • The coop comes in read-to-assemble parts with screws provided. Two adults can easily install it in less than 3 hours. Online videos are also available to help with the coop’s assembly. That will help save time.
  • Very sturdy, resin treated sliding and flooring. This keeps the coop moisture proof.
  • Your chicks will sleep safe and sound in this attractive chicken coop that looks amazing in the yard.
  • Value for money.

Cons

  • Need two people to assemble.

3. Polar Aurora Large Metal Chicken Coop

metal coop

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Polar Aurora’s large metal chicken coop is made with rust-proof galvanized steel and UV protective material that will keep your chicken or rabbits safe from predators and elements.

The coop comes with a waterproof cover to protect your chickens from snow, wind, rain, and sunlight. Being extremely sturdy, this metallic coop’s strong, solid wire will keep the coop well-grounded and stable. The coop can also be utilized for housing ducks, cats, and other domesticated animals.

Pros

  • Easy to set up – no tools or skills needed.
  • Great price; value for money
  • Protects against strong rain, wind, and snow 
  • Responsive seller, great customer service in case you need some replacement parts

Cons

  • You might have to buy extra tarp covers for covering the coop for enhanced protection.
  • Rain water forms a dam on the plastic so you might need to pierce holes to let the water run through.
  • Weasels can easily dig under the fence.

4. Tangkula Chicken Coop with Run

chicken coop with run

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Tangkula hen house or rabbit hutch is an attractively designed coop for outdoor animals and it comes with the run to allow your birds to free-range.

The coop is made with attractive fir-wood and painted with non-toxic paint to make it waterproof and attractive without harming the birds.

Tangkula’s beautiful house comes with nesting and resting boxes along with hinged doors which the birds can easily use to access the raised area. The coop’s wire fencing keeps your poultry safe and happy as they get to free range without the fear of predators or the elements.

A small window for viewing allows you to keep an eye on your bird without alarming them. A raised perch will keep your birds safe, dry, and warm.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to clean – a sliding drawer allows you to clean messes easily.
  • Attractive and inexpensive coop that offers value for money
  • Weatherproof coop that easily houses up to 5 to 8 birds.
  • Good for housing cats, ducks, and other household animals or poultry.

Cons

  • Some reinforcements may be necessary
  • Roosting pole tends to fall off in some units
  • Not very durable.

5. Lazy Buddy Chicken Coop

chick house

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Lazy Buddy chicken coop will make an attractive addition to your backyard. This waterproof and weatherproof coop will keep your chickens dry and happy all-year round.

It is made with long-lasting fir and painted with an eco-friendly, non-toxic varnish. The coop includes a small run and a raised nesting box, a slide for your birds to ‘play’ and enter the raised area, as well as multiple doors to keep things fun for the birds.

Anti-corrosion, rust proof, and UV-resistant design makes this chicken coop long-lasting, attractive, and a great fit for every chicken enthusiast.

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to assemble
  • Attractive
  • Inexpensive; total value for money

Cons

  • Not very sturdy and durable; some users reported that pieces tend to crack and break too easily.

6. PawHut Large Indoor Outdoor Chicken Coop with Run & Nesting Box

coop with run and nesting box

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The first thing you notice when you see the PawHut’s chicken coop is the attractive and durable construction.

The coop comes in two distinct parts: one being the enclosed nesting area that provides a safe and cozy haven for your birds to rest in. This part also protects your birds from the elements.

The second section is a safe wire-enclosure that allows the chicken to run and walk freely without the fear of predators.

The roof of the structure is made with sturdy polycarbonate panels that keep the enclosure cool in summers and warm in winters. Nesting area has a hinged roof that can be easily lifted to clean the insides.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Very small, fits 3 small birds.
  • Wooden parts are prone to mould, particularly if you live in a wet region.

7. Best Choice Products Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop with Wire Fence

wooden chicken coop

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Best Choice Products Outdoor wooden chicken coop with a wired, fenced, run area is one of the best-selling coops on top retail sites.

It easily fits 4 birds and offers an attractive and comfortable housing region for your ducks, chicken, and other poultry.

The design comes with 2 doors which have a locking system. The unit is constructed with fir and coated with varnish that makes it water-proof.

The removable bottom sliding can be easily cleaned. There is a sliding ramp that the hens can use for accessing the covered nesting area.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to clean
  • Value for money
  • Weather proof
  • Sturdy and durable

Cons

  • Small – especially for certain larger chicken breeds.
  • Some users reported shoddy construction; missing parts, broken and warping wood
  • Nesting box is easily accessible to predators – needs extra protection.

8. Aivituvin Wooden Chicken Coop – Waterproof UV Panel

waterproof chicken coop

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Aivituvin hen house comes with an attractive design, a UV-proof run area, waterproof roof, removable pull-out tray, and a round-edged perch for your birds to roost.

The nesting box is large and spacious and the coop is made with 100% fir. The hinge-top design allows easy cleaning and egg collection.

Pros

  • Easily fits 3-5 small chickens
  • Attractive and sturdy design
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Has a strong chemical smell that sometimes lingers for weeks after assembly
  • Small size.

9. Petsfit Weatherproof Outdoor Chicken Coop with Nesting Box

outdoor chicken coop

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Petsfit weatherproof chicken coop comes in two attractive colors – red, and gray.

This affordable coop has received positive ratings from hundreds of customers. Its weatherproof roof can be removed for an easy clean up and the nesting trays also slide out at the bottom. Petsfit coop is made from water-proof and durable fir and can easily fit 3-4 large chickens.

Pros

  • Comes with a 1-year warranty and part replacement guarantee
  • It is easy to assemble and clean
  • Easily doubles up as a cat house too and some users also used it comfortably for their ducks.

Cons

  • Inadequate ventilation.
  • Wood swells up in the rain which impedes door movement. This allows easy access to predators.

10. Pets Imperial Double Savoy Large Chicken Coop with 2 Nest Boxes

chicken coop with nest boxes

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Pets Imperial Double Savoy chicken coop comes in a unique design that nests up to 5-8 small birds.

This is one of the most unique and attractive coops on the market and is sure to make a fantastic addition to your backyard. Animal-friendly timber guarantees a long-lasting house for your chickens.

It comes with two nesting boxes, six compartments, four perches, and galvanized metal pull out trays for easy clean up.

Pets Imperial also assures a fox and coyote-free design. The coop’s feet are protected with plastic caps to ensure freedom from rot and mold.

Pros

  • An attractive coop that is super easy to assemble and clean.
  • Sturdy design.
  • Holds about 5 to 8 small birds and 3 to 4 ducks.
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Few users complained about the unit falling apart after a few months of assembly.

Benefits of having a chicken coop

Supports healthy and green living

Most people who keep chicken coops are already a part of the clean eating, healthy living, and green lifestyle. And most of them are already eating local foods. So what could be more local than one’s own backyard? If you are already growing your own fruits and vegetables, then why not add your own eggs and chicken to the mix?

Endless supply of organic eggs

This is probably the best reason to keep a chicken coop. You and your family members can enjoy delicious, fresh tasty eggs from your backyard.

Today, most people want to know where their food comes from. Grocery stores label their eggs as ‘free-range’ and organic. Free range means the fact that the chickens that lay those eggs are allowed to roam about freely and are not kept caged. They get a free run of the farm where they can peck worms to their hearts’ contents [1].

Many of these labels are misleading as often there are no standards for defining them. So when you keep your own chicken coop, you can get comfort in actually seeing these practices implemented.

Compost and dispose your kitchen waste

Chickens can drastically reduce the amount of garbage you set out on the curb each week. Got leftover watermelon skins after that summer party? Toss it to your chickens!

Don’t know what to do with rotting pumpkins post-Halloween? Chop them up and feed them to your chickens; it makes a great natural dewormer too.

Found a rotting tomato or apple in your fruit/vegetable pile? Give it to your chickens. Chickens can eat most kitchen waste. Just make sure you remove all uneaten waste right away to prevent rot from setting in the coop.

Good for your garden!

If you keep a garden, then a chicken coop is a great addition. Your garden and chickens will have a harmonious relationship and nothing will go to waste.

Chicken poop is naturally rich in nitrogen and can benefit most plants. You can mix the poop with other fertilizer or compost to create healthy soil.

Moreover, chickens also peck away bugs that may harm your plants.

Great for educating your kids

Most of the kids today don’t know where their food comes from. They think that broccoli comes from a store which gets it from a truck! This is a sad state of affairs but parents can change that.

Kids that are old enough to take responsibility can easily care for chickens. The process of watching a chick hatch from an egg (as well as that of a chicken laying an egg) is highly educational.

Kids can learn a great deal about food chain, food cycles, about eating healthy, and also about nature thanks to a backyard chicken coop. By handling chicken coop cleaning, disease management, and other responsibilities, your children can evolve into the mature citizens of the world.

You can make friends in the process!

You might wonder what a chicken coop has to do with friendships! The people who have joined the urban backyard chicken coop movement have local meet-ups and they are also joining forums online to discuss eggs, chicken health, and all other related topics [2]. 

It is therapeutic!

Chickens are funny and entertaining birds. Some are friendly enough to come and sit in your lap for petting.

Most enjoy basking in the sun or rolling around in the dust. Just watching chickens frolicking about can be therapeutic, even meditative. So that is just another reason to keep chicken coop around.

What to look for when buying a chicken coop

You can buy a ready-to-assemble chicken coop on the Internet, from thrift stores, and even from custom coop builders.

Chicken coop kits are readily available as well and these are compact and modular and literally take minutes to install. All these are great options if you are not the DIY type of person (or are just too busy!) to build your own coop.

When you put thought and effort into your coop’s selection, there is no reason why you won’t have a very successful venture. Here are some factors to consider when buying a chicken coop.

Space requirements

This is the most important among all considerations when purchasing your chicken coop. To start with, you must know how many square feet of coop space each chicken needs. This will, naturally, depend on the size of each bird.

Most medium to large sized chickens take up 3 to 10 sq. feet of coop space per bird. However, the coop’s space requirement also depends on how often you allow your chickens to free-range.

If you allow free ranging more often, then the coop can be small or compact and come with its small run attached. Chickens do not take up too much space when they sleep at night. So if your birds will be using the coop only at night time, then you can go for smaller square footage designs.

Chicken coop expert Jessi Bloom – the author of Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard – recommends at least 10 sq. feet per bird. If you go for a design that has a run attached, then it should have a minimum of 10 sq. feet with 5 sq. ft inside and 5 sq. ft outside.

Remember: a bigger coop is always better since smaller and confined spaces mean more social struggles and health issues, particularly pest troubles, among the birds.

Mobile or stationary

Mobile coops are suited for people who want to move their coop in different areas of their yard. These models are also more suitable for people who might consider moving in the future and want to take their coop to their new dwelling.

Stationary coops are suitable for people who want the structure fixed and are more likely not to relocate.

Mobile chicken coops come with wheels and can be moved easily from one place to another. However, they have limitations in their design and the materials used for building them.

Stationary coops are more versatile and you have plenty of choice in their materials and design.

You can also select modular stationary coops which can help accommodate a possible move.

Possible expansion

When selecting your chicken coop, you may want to think about the possibility of expanding and adding more birds in the future. So it is always better to select a larger coop which is also good for the existing birds.

Tall enough for one to stand inside it and clean

The height of the coop should allow an average-sized human to easily stand inside and clean the coop properly.

Coop cleaning can be a strenuous activity and if you have to remain hunched inside, it can add to the woes. Adequate height is also important for the chickens to feel safer and it also enhances air circulation.

Number of doors

Chicken coops should ideally have two doors: one for humans to enter it for cleaning, and the other smaller one for the chickens to exit and enter the coop.

The smaller door should approximately be 10 inches x 10 inches. It can be hinged so that it forms a ramp that the chickens can walk on to enter or leave the coop. The door for humans can be the roof of the coop or even its entire wall.

Safety from predators and the weather elements

Finally, the chicken coop should offer safety and security to the birds. It should protect the chickens from snow, rain, harsh sunlight, and especially from wind-chill if you live in a cold climate.

Then there are dangers in the form of cats, dogs, and snakes. Persistent predators like these can try to get inside the coop. So you must ensure that the coop’s hinges and doors are difficult for little paws to open.

Metal coops that are installed into the earth must be secured properly so that weasels and snakes cannot dig their way in.

Related post: The Best Chicken Coop Heater

Types of chicken coops

Walk in

A walk-in coop, as the name suggests allows a human to easily enter the coop for cleaning and maintenance. Ideally, it resembles a tool-shed and many DIY coop builders actually construct their walk-in coops using tool-shed designs.

The size of walk-in chicken coops can range anywhere over 8 ft x 8 ft and its gabled roof can stand up to 9 feet tall. You can easily enter the coop through its door which measures about 6 feet. Chickens have their own hinged door.

Large walk-in coops can easily house up to 10-20 birds and you can install a bank of 10 nest boxes. These boxes can also be accessed by the caretaker separately from the backside.

A walk-in chicken coop is usually a free-standing structure and most do not have their own runs.

You can include a run separately so your birds can free range. Walk-in chicken coop kits are readily available and you can easily assemble them. The cost of walk-in chicken coops depends on their size and material used.

Smaller chicken coops

Small chicken coops are equally popular and people with busy, hectic and urban lifestyles are opting for these. Smaller does not mean a restricted construction and poor ventilation for the birds.

There are many sturdy and good quality small coops that are highly popular with people who have space restrictions in their backyard.

A small coop looks nice and is easy to clean and maintain. You can easily house anywhere between 5-10 chickens in a small coop.

The materials used in making smaller coops are just as efficient as those used for making walk-in or larger coops. Naturally, when you are selecting smaller coops, you must account for the following:

  • Is the coop easy to clean?
  • Will it provide safety from predators?
  • Is the entrance size adequate for the chickens to enter?
  • How many windows does the coop have?
  • Are the materials used sturdy?
  • Will the coop look good in my yard?
  • Does it have perches?
  • Is it spacious and comfortable enough for the birds?

Related: The Must Have Backyard Chicken Supplies

Material

The material of your chicken coop will depend on your budget, the number of birds you have, as well as the climate of the place you live in.

Wood

Wooden chicken coops are sturdy and attractive, typically made of fir, and can come in walk-in, small, or large sizes. Some wooden coops have wooden flooring but that can make the coop susceptible to rodents.

Also, moisture from the watering stations, chicken poop, and roosting areas can create a soggy mess on the wooden floors. Eventually, this moisture can also lead to rot.

You can separately install cement floors that are easy to hose off and help reduce cleaning time. The downside to cement floors is that they make your coop immobile.

If you have a walk-in wooden chicken coop, avoid one with felt roofing. Felt roofs are a haven for the dreaded red mites.

Once you have red mites, you’d need to strip off the entire roof. That is the only way to get rid of red mites.

You can go in for rubber or ONDULINE roofs. These are corrugated and can be easily sprayed with pesticides to repel red mites. Moreover, they also allow better ventilation at the top of the coop.

Wooden coops in placed in areas with heavy rain are susceptible to swelling, mould, and rot.

Plastic

Plastic coops come with a few disadvantages. First of all, they are never large enough; the largest size can house only up to 5-8 birds. Secondly, they tend to get condensation build-up at night when the birds are roosting. This can encourage mould and it is not healthy for your birds.

An advantage of plastic coops is that they repel mites. Also, you can easily hose down plastic and that enables you to get rid of mites and other parasites quickly.

Plastic coops are a lot easier to assemble and install. They might also last longer than wooden coops which tend to swell and rot due to rains. Plastic coops come in attractive colours and make a nice addition to your backyard.

FAQs

How to clean a chicken coop?

Chickens will thrive in a clean environment whereas a dirty coop is a surefire invitation to diseases, fleas, rot, mites, and mold. Here are the steps to clean a coop:

  • Clean the manure box under the roosting bar by skimming it. You can collect the muck and use it for composting.
  • Rotate your chicken coop bedding on a regular basis. Empty the used bedding from the nesting boxes and throw it in the manure box. Empty the manure box and take the manure and used bedding to the compost bin.
  • Replenish walking bark around the coop.
  • If you have vines, plants, or vegetations around the coop, weed, clip, prune, and shape as needed.
  • Never let trash linger around and inside the coop as it attracts rodents.
  • Provide fresh, clean water and a healthy balanced chicken feed to ensure your birds’ health.

Annual deep clean up

The coop also needs an annual deep clean up. Equip yourself with a nose-mask, gloves, goggles, a shovel, a rake, a sturdy brush, some bleach or diluted white vinegar.

Remove all the birds, nest boxes, roosts, bedding, feeders, and heat lamps from the coop. Hose down the coop and wipe down all surfaces with bleach and/or vinegar solution. Let the coop air-dry.

Once completely dry, replace the nesting boxes, bedding, feeders, heat lamps, and other items. Mix in some diatomaceous earth powder in the bedding. Allow your flock to come back.

How often to clean chicken coop?

Ideally you should clean your chicken coop every couple of days by removing the bedding and uneaten food, and by skimming the trays.

Perform a deeper, once-a-month-cleanup using bleach or vinegar and hose down the coop thoroughly. You can also do an annual deep clean using rakes, shoves, brushes, and bleach.

How to disinfect chicken coop?

The best way to disinfect a coop is with bleach. Remove the birds, their bedding, nest boxes, and perches. Hose down the coop. Wipe down or spray bleach all over.

If needed, hose down with water again. Allow the coop to air dry. Mix diatomaceous earth powder in the bedding to deter fleas and mites.

How to keep snakes out of chicken coop?

  • Collect eggs right away; snakes love chicken eggs.
  • Deter mice. Mice are the main food for snakes and if your coop has rodents, then you are also inviting snakes. So get rid of one and the other will be taken care of.
  • Find out how snakes are getting into the coop and cover and seal those access points. Block the tunnel points with rocks.
  • Trim the grass and bushes that create hiding areas for snakes.
  • Sprinkle sulfur powder mixed with cayenne powder around the run. Snakes hate the smell of both.
  • You can also use ultrasonic devices like to repel mice, snakes, and other predators. These are generally safe to use around dogs, cats, and chickens.
  • Use ½ inch welded wire around the bottom part of your chicken run to deter snakes.

Conclusion

Keeping a chicken coop is an activity you will love and will be rewarded for in the form of healthy, organic eggs on a daily basis.

Chickens are also good for your garden and they help compost kitchen waste. Some chicken coop enthusiasts have also turned this passion into a successful commercial venture. We hope the reviews above help you get started with your coop! Good luck!

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