The Best Chicken Coops for Your Backyard (2024)

The Best Chicken Coops for Your Backyard (1)

If you want to raise chickens in your yard, you'll need to provide them with a spacious coop where they can lay eggs. Having a safe, secure place to sleep at night, away from nighttime predators, is one more reason chickens benefit from living in a coop.

When shopping for a chicken coop, purchasing a structure that can comfortably accommodate your flock is essential. “How much room they need per bird will vary a bit from breed to breed, but one good rule of thumb is 10 square feet per bird for standard breeds," says Chris Lesley, a fourth-generation chicken keeper with more than 20 years of experience, and founder of the authoritative blog Chickens and More.

Look at the coop’s recommended capacity, and be sure to factor in the potential expansion of your flock. After getting a few birds, many people end up wanting more chickens, so it doesn’t hurt to buy a coop that’s larger than you need initially, as long as your budget allows it. If you want to provide your chickens with a better living space and cleaner air, keeping their coop population below the recommended limit is a good idea.

You should also consider the number of nesting boxes and roosting space available within a coop. Generally, you should have one nesting box for every four chickens and 8 to 10 inches of roosting space per bird. Also, look for coops with a chicken run, which is a fenced-in area with a roof over it, if you wish to allow your chickens to spend some time outside. Runs can be attached to a coop so that chickens can move around freely whenever they want and still be safe.

The good news is that if you're new to exploring chicken ownership, you don't have to go at it alone. We evaluated coops based on their size, construction materials, capacity, and special features to come up with a thorough list of suggestions to help you decide.

Our Top Picks

In This Article

  • Our Picks

  • What to Look for

  • FAQ

  • Why Trust The Spruce

Best Overall

Omlet Eglu Cube

The Best Chicken Coops for Your Backyard (2)

What We Like

  • Draft-free ventilation

  • Double-wall insulation system

  • Easy to clean

  • Multiple run sizes

For most flocks, the Omlet Eglu Cube Chicken Coop is a secure and reasonably priced home for up to 10 small chickens. If you have larger chicken breeds, this coop may only fit six to eight birds. ("Six is probably the maximum number a beginner can manage successfully," advises Lesley.) The elevated coop is crafted from 100 percent recyclable UV-stabilized polyethylene, and it’s held up by a powder-coated steel frame with a steel ladder leading up into the coop.

The double-wall design helps keep the coop warm in winter and cool in summer, and its draft-free vents let fresh air inside. It's also great for cleaning, as the owner can then just step right into the coop. The interior of this coop is sectioned into two areas—one for roosting and one for nesting—and the nesting box is large enough to hold three chickens at a time.

A door on the side of the coop opens up into the nesting area, allowing you to collect eggs easily. And there’s even an interior divider that allows you to close the nesting area at night to deter chickens from sleeping there. When it’s time to clean the coop, a slide-out droppings tray is easy to empty, and the smooth surfaces can simply be wiped or rinsed down with a garden hose.

This coop has a variety of other optional features that may come in handy for your flock. It can be purchased with a run if desired, and there are 6-, 9-, and 13-foot options available. You can also opt to have the coop mounted on wheels, which allows you to move it around your yard as needed. Finally, the coop is designed to accommodate the brand’s popular automatic door, which lets your chickens out in the morning and closes them into the coop at nightfall.

Size:91 x 61 x 46 inches | Materials:UV-stabilized polyethylene, powder-coated steel| Capacity:Up to 10 chickens | Chicken Run:Yes

Best Budget

Producer's Pride Sentinel Chicken Coop

The Best Chicken Coops for Your Backyard (3)

What We Like

  • Easy to assemble

  • Integrated run

  • Removable tray for easy cleaning

What We Don't Like

  • No ventilation

If you’re new to chickens and just want a couple of birds, the Producer’s Pride Sentinel Chicken Coop is a small and affordable housing option. The manufacturer claims that it can house up to six chickens, but most people agree it’s best suited for a maximum of four. However, this coop is extremely easy to assemble and comes with an integrated run where your chickens can spend their days, making it an all-in-one option for beginner chicken owners.

This small coop is made from thick wood panels and a powder-coated steel frame, and it comes with a wooden ramp that allows your chickens to climb into and out of the enclosed area. There are three nesting boxes, which you can access via a hinged lid and a sliding door that allows you to shut your birds in as needed. The metal floor slides out for easy cleaning, and access doors on both sides of the structure can be locked with predator-resistant latches. The one shortcoming of this coop is that it lacks ventilation panels, but you can always install a few onto the wooden siding.

Size:76 x 36.4 x 48 inches | Materials:Solid wood, powder-coated steel | Capacity:Up to 6 chickens | Chicken Run:Yes

Best Small

Petmate Superior Construction Chicken Coop

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What We Like

  • Can be stained or painted to your preference

  • Rear door allows for easy egg collection

  • Adjustable ventilation

What We Don't Like

  • Wood can show wear after a while

For an attractive yet practical coop, this selection from Petmate will check all the boxes for a basic coop with a small footprint. It includes some helpful details and conveniences that can come in handy for a flock of up to 10 chickens, including a tall cleaning tray that can accommodate thick, comfy bedding and a rear door on the nesting box, which allows for easy egg retrieval. As with some of our other picks, customers tend to agree that fewer birds are better, with four to six being a running theme among users. Your comfort with their space may also depend on whether they'll have room to roam during the day, so you'll want to factor that in, too.

The body of this coop is thick wood with a plastic roof. While less durable than our best overall pick, it still protects your birds from the elements. We also like that this coop has adjustable ventilation, so you can accommodate temperature changes and keep your birds as comfortable as possible.

Size:72.75 x 46 x 76 inches | Materials:Wood | Capacity:Up to 10 chickens | Chicken Run:Yes

Best for Beginner

Tucker Murphy Pet Cicely Chicken Coop with Chicken Run

The Best Chicken Coops for Your Backyard (5)

What We Like

  • Stylish design

  • UV roof panel

  • Spacious nesting box

What We Don't Like

  • Assembly required

If you're a beginner, you can’t go wrong with the Tucker Murphy Pet Cicely Chicken Coop. This coop can accommodate up to 2 chickens, which is the recommended number of chickens to get if you're just getting started. Although you might long for a larger flock of chickens, starting with a smaller one will give you the experience you need to care for them properly.

This thoughtfully designed coop comes with several features that make it easy to tend your flock. There are two nesting boxes with a hinged lid for egg collection. It's attached to a run that is covered in heavy-duty galvanized wire mesh to protect your chickens against predators—a threat even in urban areas, says Lesley. "City dwellers will have fewer predators to worry about," she says, "but there will still be birds of prey to contend with, and maybe even a higher risk of rats and other rodents stealing their eggs." This coop doesn’t include assembly, so you'll need at least two people and basic construction knowledge to put the coop together.

Size:47.6 x 21.3 x 63.5 inches | Materials:Fir wood | Capacity:Up to 2 chickens | Chicken Run:Included

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What We Like

  • Houses up to 15 chickens

  • Heavy-duty construction

  • Easy to assemble

  • Suitable for all climates

What We Don't Like

  • Small air vents

If you’re planning to have a dozen or more chickens, the OverEZ Large Chicken Coop is our top choice for your flock. This large coop can comfortably house up to 15 full-grown chickens, and despite its heavy-duty wooden construction and sizable design, it’s quite reasonably priced. The design features two windows and five nesting boxes with a hinged lid. Its moisture-resistant design is ideal for warm and cold climates, helping to keep your chickens comfortable year-round.

This coop is hand-built in the USA and can be assembled in around 30 minutes using an electric screwdriver. The interior features two spacious roosting bars where your chickens can sleep, and the slanted roof profile ensures that rain and snow run off in the opposite direction of the nesting boxes. The only downside of this large chicken coop is that its air vents, which are located on each gable, are quite small and might not be sufficient for airflow when the windows are closed.

Size:74 x 60 x 72.5 inches | Materials:Solid wood | Capacity:Up to 15 chickens | Chicken Run:No

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Best Splurge

Williams Sonoma Cedar Chicken Coop & Run with Planter

The Best Chicken Coops for Your Backyard (7)

What We Like

  • Attractive cedar design

  • Built-in run

  • Integrated garden planter

  • Includes white glove delivery and assembly

What We Don't Like

  • Small capacity

  • Not ideal for cold climates

This adorable coop is perfect for housing a small flock of up to four chickens. Not only is it handcrafted from solid red cedar, but it also has an integrated 25-square-foot run where your chickens can hang out, as well as a built-in planter box to grow herbs or other plants. The coop is hand-built in Washington state at a family-run sawmill, and your purchase includes white glove delivery, meaning they assemble the structure exactly where you want it.

The interior of the coop includes two nesting boxes with a drop-down door for egg collection, as well as a perch where your chickens can sleep at night. A drop-down ladder allows chickens to climb into and out of the run, but you can also keep it closed when needed, using a cord located next to the egg door. The run is wrapped in a heavy-duty galvanized-wire mesh that’s too small for predators to reach through, and the coop’s door is lined with the same material, providing plenty of ventilation.The one big downside of this coop is that the interior floor is only lined with mesh, which makes it easy to keep clean but won’t provide sufficient wintertime insulation in cold climates. For colder weather, consider the OverEZ Classic Large Chicken Coop instead.

Size:63.25 x 61.75 x 83.25 inches | Materials:Solid western red cedar | Capacity:Up to 4 chickens | Chicken Run:Yes

Best Walk-In

Roost & Root Round Top Stand Up Chicken Coop

The Best Chicken Coops for Your Backyard (8)

What We Like

  • Walk-in design

  • Many customization options

  • Built-in storage compartment

  • Free personalization

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive shipping

  • Not suitable for cold climates

The Roost & Root Round-Top Stand-Up Chicken Coop has a convenient walk-in design with a full-size door, which makes it easy to check on your chickens, clean out the coop, and refill food and water dishes. The coop, which can comfortably house up to six chickens, is built from solid cedar wood and has a sizable run that’s covered with heavy-duty welded wire to deter predators. Inside the coop, there are several roosting bars, as well as two nesting boxes. But because the roosting area is not fully enclosed, this coop might not be the best option for cold climates.

You can customize this chicken coop in a number of ways to suit your flock. For instance, you can purchase a larger run area, “EZ-fill” water and food containers, as well as storm panels that can be mounted to the walls of the run. You can stash food and other supplies in the built-in storage compartment within the coop, and the design can even be personalized with your farm name for free. This coop does require assembly upon arrival, and because it’s fairly large, freight shipping can be quite expensive.

Size:58 x 66 x 85.88 inches | Materials:Solid cedar | Capacity:Up to 6 chickens | Chicken Run:Yes

Best Run

Producer's Pride Universal Poultry Pen

The Best Chicken Coops for Your Backyard (9)

What We Like

  • Knock-out panel can attach to coop

  • Walk-in design

  • Expandable

  • Hard mesh roof

What We Don't Like

  • Need to purchase a coop separately

Unless you’re planning to let your chickens free range in your yard, you need some type of run—a term for an enclosed area for poultry—where they can spend time during the day. The Producer’s Pride Universal Poultry Pen is a top choice for this purpose, as it’s extremely well-built and designed to protect your chickens from predators when they’re outdoors. The run is 8 x 8 feet and more than 6 feet tall, and its full-size door allows you to walk inside without crouching.

This run is made from rust-resistant powder-coated steel, and its hard mesh roof can protect your birds from aerial predators such as hawks. If you want to connect it directly to your chicken coop, there’s a knock-out panel for exactly that purpose, and the door is compatible with most padlocks if you want to provide an additional layer of protection. While this run is fairly pricey, it’s extremely well-made and should keep most predators out. Just keep in mind that it needs to be paired with a coop to provide sufficient housing for your birds.

Size:96 x 100 x 78 inches | Materials:Rust-resistant powder-coated steel | Capacity:Up to 6 chickens | Chicken Run:Yes

Best Plans

CoopExpert Chicken Coop Plans

The Best Chicken Coops for Your Backyard (10)

What We Like

  • Accommodates up to 12 chickens

  • Thorough step-by-step instructions

  • Easy to customize

What We Don't Like

  • Requires basic construction skills

If you are fairly handy and own a few basic power tools, you canbuild a beautiful chicken coopusing the CoopExpert Plans. The plans include detailed step-by-step instructions for constructing a large coop that can hold up to 12 chickens. The best part is you can easily tweak the design to suit your needs, adding additional roosts, ventilation, access doors, and more. As the plans are written, the coop includes two single-hung windows, three roost rails, and five nesting boxes that are accessible via a hinged lid.

These coop plans are extremely comprehensive, including 31 pages of detailed diagrams and CAD drawings, as well as a material list, cut list, and recommended tools list. Depending on the cost of lumber, the coop will likely cost between $900 and $1,200 to build, but you’d likely pay twice as much for a pre-made coop of this size.

Size:60 x 72 x 81 inches | Materials:N/A | Capacity:Up to 12 chickens | Chicken Run:No

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Final Verdict

For small-to-medium-sized flocks, the Omlet Eglu Cube Chicken Coop is a well-priced and thoughtfully designed chicken coop. It can hold up to 10 small chickens, and you can add on a matching run and/or coop wheels, depending on your needs. If you only plan to have a few chickens, the Producer's Pride Sentinel Chicken Coop is a small, budget-friendly option that can comfortably accommodate up to four small birds.

What to Look for in a Chicken Coop

Ventilation

Chicken coop ventilation is extremely important yet an often-overlooked feature in pre-made coops. Proper ventilation provides chickens with fresh air during the night and helps minimize odors within the coop. Additionally, for those living in cold climates, draft-free ventilation prevents moisture buildup in the winter, helping avoid frostbite among your flock.For example, our best overall pick, the Omlet Eglu Cube, promises draft-free ventilation that doesn't blow right over the roosting area, while our best small pick, Petmate's Superior Construction Coop, offers adjustable ventilation.

In general, you should allot about 1 square foot of ventilation per 10 square feet of coop floor space. Vents should be installed in a location that encourages airflow but doesn’t cause a draft to blow on your chickens while they’re roosting. Cover vents with hardware cloth to keep out predators.

Chicken Run

Some chicken coops come with attached runs—enclosed outdoor areas where chickens can eat and forage. This is typically where chickens spend most of their time during the day. We named Producer's Pride Universal Pet Pen as best run, because it's durable and spacious, with a walk-in design.

Of course, "The best exercise for chickens is free-ranging and foraging, or looking for their own food," says Lesley. "If it is at all possible to let your birds free range, you should; the exercise they get from roaming around is great for their physical health and their moods, and the added protein and variety they get from foraging for plants and insects will improve their health and give you tastier, more flavorful eggs and meat. If you can’t let them free-range, the next best thing is putting toys in their run will help keep them occupied and exercising."

If your coop doesn't come with a run, you need to build one or place your coop inside a fenced-in area. To keep out predators, the run's walls and roof should be constructed from welded wire fencing, ideally with openings less than 1 inch.

Predator Protection

There are many predators that maytry to access your coop and the birds inside, but proper predator-proofing deters raccoons, foxes, hawks, weasels, and more. "Raptors can generally be fended off with shiny things, like reflective tape or old CDs suspended around the coop, or by covering the run with a tarp or wooden shelter," advises Lesley. "For small ground-based predators, the best defense is hardware mesh and making sure your coop is thoroughly sealed." Most poultry pros prefer hardware cloth with half-inch wire spacing over chicken wire for predator protection, since many predators can rip chicken wire right open.

Cover any area of the coop that is open, including windows and vents, with hardware cloth. Install secure latches on any doors, as raccoons are often able to open basic latches. While all the coops we've featured here offer protection, our best overall choice, the Omlet Eglu Cube in particular has an anti-tunnel skirt to prevent digging, too.

FAQ

  • How big should a chicken coop be?

    The size of your chicken coop should be determined by the number of chickens you plan to keep. It's best to start larger rather than smaller, in case you want to expand your flock. If your chickens have access to outdoor foraging, allow at least 2 to 3 square feet per bird inside the coop. If your birds stay cooped constantly, give them around 5 to 10 square feet per chicken. You may also want to consider whether or not you want to be able to walk in to your chicken coop (the Roost & Root Round Top Stand Up Chicken Coop, our best walk-in pick makes that easy), or whether you're comfortable reaching in to collect eggs and to clean.

  • What do you need to have inside a chicken coop?

    Your chicken coop needs depend on what kind of birds you have. Laying hens neednest boxes.Figure at least one nest box or 1 square foot of community nesting space for every four to five hens. You also need roosts for laying hens; those should be 2 feet off the ground, with 6 to 10 inches of roosting space per bird.

    Additionally, you need shade, ventilation, dust baths, andpredator protection.Dust baths are an area of dry soil where birds dig up and then cover themselves with mulch, sand, and other detritus. The routine absorbs excess moisture and oil, helping to control parasites. Predator protection is also key to keeping away unwanted animals such as dogs, cats, and foxes.

  • How do you clean a chicken coop?

    If you have a fixed coop, you have to muck it out several times a year. For most other coops, start by cleaning out old droppings, feathers, dirt, and nesting materials. Hose it down, scrub the surfaces, and let it dry before replacing any nesting materials. Adding things like floor bedding make cleaning the bottom of your coop easier, as it helps keep droppings from sticking to the floor. Certain features can make this process easier, so if cleaning is a concern, consider a coop with a mesh bottom (like our best splurge pick, the Williams Sonoma Cedar Chicken Coop & Run if you live in the right climate for this) or a coop with removable trays.

  • How do you insulate a chicken coop?

    Insulation methods include using budget-friendly options, such as styrofoam or cardboard. You can place these materials between the studs of your ceiling to help lock in heat at the top. Other materials, such as straw, can also be used on the bottom of your coop to help insulate from the cold ground during the winter.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. She’s the proud owner of 12 chickens and four ducks, and she and her partner used the CoopExpert Chicken Coop Plans to build a sturdy coop for her flock.

Our Experts:

  • Chris Lesley, founder of the authoritative blog Chickens and More
  • Dena Ogden, commerce writer at The Spruce
  • Daniela Galvez, senior editor at The Spruce

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