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Building or incorporating a chicken coop into your backyard may not seem like a priority high on your to-do list, but to the chickens that will inhabit it, their coop is a sanctuary worth putting thought and consideration into. Chicken coops were once humble structures that have seen a design evolution over the years, and nowadays can be customized to fit the function and aesthetic you desire.
A chicken coop is designed to offer protection and shelter to chickens, and should be an enclosure suitable for laying eggs in. If you can properly achieve these elements in the interior, why not have a little fun with the exterior? Chicken coops don’t need to be uniform in style, and building one can be a great DIY opportunity to showcase your creativity—while keeping your chickens’ needs in mind. Browse through these creative chicken coop ideas so you can build or buy the coop your chickens never knew they needed.
What Every Good Chicken Coop Offers
When it comes to building a backyard chicken coop, they need certain elements for it to meet the needs of the chickens who will live there. Two of the primary reasons to have a chicken coop are to provide safety and shelter, but there are other positive aspects that make a coop worth having for your chickens.
They allow a space for laying eggs
They provide a convenient feeding area
They’re a structure that can help build routine
They act as a secure place of enclosure
Must-Have Features in a Chicken Coop
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While the structural design of a chicken coop can take on many different forms, there are specific features needed for it to function properly.
Ventilation(Video) 100 Chicken Coop Ideas
Elevation from the ground (optional, but advised)
Space to accommodate the number of chickens you own
Access to outside
An outdoor chicken run
Places to Buy DIY Chicken Coop Plans and Blueprints
Wondering if there’s a best chicken coop design? When putting together your material list and building plans, the considerations to keep in mind include the number of chickens you’ll need to house, the yard space you have to use, necessary features to help the chickens thrive within it, and so on. Getting started from scratch can leave you scratching your head—but luckily there are popular online marketplaces that provide plans and blueprints for purchase, along with homesteading websites that let you browse free chicken coop plans to see if they’re the right fit for you and your chickens. If you’re not ready to get building just yet and prefer to simply peruse through your options, the compilation of chicken coop ideas below can help you see what’s already out there.
24 Chicken Coop Designs
If you thought chicken coops were a one-size-fits-all type of deal, think again. Similarly to how homes can range from portable tiny houses to sprawling mansions, chicken coops can come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles. Here are some examples of how you can customize yours.
1. Repurposed Playhouse
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Have your children outgrown their playhouse? Instead of sending it off to the dump, give it new life by transforming it into a coop. You’ll save yourself a step by not having to do any design work to the exterior and the interior is yours to renovate as you please.
Photo: eurobanks / Adobe Stock
Chickens and barns go hand-in-hand, and this red barn-style coop will make them feel like they never left the farm. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter for your next backyard barbecue.
3. Portable Coop
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A portable chicken coop, often referred to as a chicken tractor, is typically an A-frame chicken coop that offers many benefits. One such positive aspect is sanitation. The ability to move the coop to different areas of your yard helps to keep your chickens’ living area clean, as each time you move it they’ll have a fresh patch of ground beneath them. Moving the coop to various locations on your property will help to fertilize it as a whole, as opposed to just one section of it.
4. Chicken Coop and Garden Combo
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Speaking of fertilization, what better place to have a garden than near the area most conducive to growing? Placing your chicken coop and garden near each other will be beneficial to both the chickens and the plants you intend to cultivate. Be sure to place the coop in a section of the garden prone to sun and shade so your chickens can stay cool when they need to, and bask under the sun on cooler days.
5. Cottage Style
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The space where your chickens will go to rest and lay eggs shouldn’t feel cold and uninviting. They may not notice the cozy aesthetic of a cottage-style coop, but perhaps you’ll sleep a little better at night knowing they’re tucked away in a comfy miniature bungalow.
6. Walk-In Accessible
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If you need to collect eggs frequently, you’ll want easy access to them. Building a coop large enough for a human to enter, or enclosing a standard size coop within a mesh fence area will allow you the convenience of walking right in without having to constantly bend over. To gather your fresh eggs.
7. Converted Shed
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Repurposing an old shed is a great way to create a large coop from an already put together structure. Cut a section out of the side of the shed and surround the area it leads out into with mesh fencing, so your chickens will have an enclosed run space right next to the nesting room. Plus, you’ll be able to walk right into your new shed chicken coop to collect eggs as needed.
8. Half Hen House Half Bunny Hut
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If you’ve got a plethora of outdoor pets that need housing, instead of building or buying multiple housing units, dedicate one large section of your property to house them all in—if it’s safe to do so. If you own chickens and bunnies, for example, use one side of the unit as a hen house and the other end as a bunny hut, and save yourself yard space overall.
9. Elevated Coop
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As many chicken owners know, elevating a chicken coop is a good rule of thumb for a multitude different reasons. In areas prone to flooding, having a lifted coop will better ensure that your chickens remain safe and dry. Having a space between the ground and coop will also help to prevent small rodents from nesting beneath it, and provide airflow access. In the worst-case scenario, the space between the ground and the chicken coop offers a getaway route for the chickens in the event that a predator gets into the area.
10. Tall and Angled
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If you don’t have a lot of real estate in your yard to allocate for a chicken coop, build up instead of out. Add a roosting perch to the run area of the coop for your chickens to hop up on to so they’re not so cramped in the smaller space below.
11. Modern Coop
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If your home has a modern feel to it, give your chickens one to match. This coop design has a fully shingled roof with overhead protection for when it rains, along with a large space beneath it to diverge from flooding and prevent rodent infestation. Choosing an exterior aesthetic like this will turn your chicken coop into a chicken house.
12. Large and Spacious
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If you’re a chicken farmer, chances are you have an abundance of chickens under your care. If that’s the case, you may need to size up when it comes to floor space and opt for a large chicken coop. Invest in an industrial sized coop or repurpose a small trailer to accommodate your many feathered friends.
13. Sufficiently Small
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Just a few chickens to look after? No need to set aside a large area of space to house them in. Go for a minimalist style, small chicken coop that’s small enough to comfortably fit the chickens you have, while still providing them with everything they need.
14. Made of Cedar
Photo: Piero Intraligi / EyeEm / Getty Images
Cedar is a pricy material to use for building a chicken coop, but most coops built from it last longer than others. Cedar is also naturally resistant to bacteria and fungus, which is a huge selling point when you consider how dirty coops can get and how frequently they need to be cleaned.
15. Recycled Wood Pallet
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Planning a DIY chicken coop? If one of your hobbies is woodworking, you might already have all the materials you need around your property to build a simple chicken coop. Wood pallets make for excellent construction material to help you build a sturdy structure to give your chickens comfort and security. You could also use wood pallets to build a roosting bar, which will help maintain the hierarchy of the flock while in the coop.
Chicken Coops With Customizations
Once you’ve ensured the interior of the chicken coop meets all the basic—and upgraded—requirements, show off your style by customizing the exterior to match your ideal backyard aesthetic.
16. Flower Planters
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If you’ve designed your chicken coop to look like a cottage or small house, installing flower planters near the window could be the finishing touch needed to tie the whole vibe together. It’ll look so quaint and cozy that you might just want to move in there yourself.
17. A Front Yard
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While they likely won’t be putting up a picket fence around it, your chickens may still enjoy a small DIY yard in front of their coop. Installing a bed of grass around the bottom section of the coop adds an undeniable fun and homey feel to an otherwise simple housing structure.
18. Surrounded With Shrubs
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No need to reside on a farm to enjoy the companionship of chickens. Urban chicken coops are fast on the rise, making the idea of raising chickens a reality for many, regardless of location. If you don’t have an abundance of square feet to work with in your outdoor space, you’ll simply have to get strategic with your chicken coop plans.
Placing your coop in an area of the yard where shrubs grow plentifully will help provide coverage and shade to your chickens. Trees and large plants can also act as a natural barrier against predators, however, they aren’t a catch-all and you should still take the proper precautions to ensure your chickens have a secure coop to stay in.
19. Earth-Tone Exterior
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Painting your coop with an earth-tone color can help it blend into the backdrop of your yard, which can be useful if you don’t want the coop to stand out. Or if you prefer a matching aesthetic, use a paint color that matches the exterior of your house so that the chicken coop looks like a miniature version of your home.
20. Fenced In
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Predators such as foxes, raccoons, and coyotes can be hard to deter from your flock, and you may have to go on the defensive to protect it. Adding a fence made of chicken wire or hardware cloth to act as an extra barrier can help to give you and your chickens some peace of mind. If you prefer to not raise free range chickens, a fenced-off area will prevent them from wandering off into dangerous or unsupervised areas, while simultaneously helping to predator-proof the area where your chickens reside.
21. Featured Drop-Down Wall
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Make egg collection easier by incorporating a drop-down wall in your chicken coop. The convenience that drop-down access doors offer will make for easy cleaning and also provide an opportune way to replace bedding material while you’re clearing out the coop.
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Give your chicken coop a fresh feel by painting the exterior a light pastel color. A lavender or light yellow exterior will make it feel like springtime in your yard year-round.
23. Carved-Out Design
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When it comes to carving designs into a wooden chicken coop the possibilities are endless. Show your chickens just how much you love them with a heart carved right above the entrance to the coop.
24. Bright Stained Wood
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Using a bright stained wood to construct your chicken coop will help make it stand out in your backyard by creating a focal point with a pop of color.