The 7 Best Chicken Coops of 2021

Bring farm to table to your own kitchen when you raise backyard chickens

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You can take a big step in reducing your carbon footprint when you grow your own food, and raising chickens for fresh eggs is a great place to start. As you set out on this adventure, one of the first things you’ll need is a good chicken coop. It’s likely the most expensive (and important) purchase you’ll make for this hobby, so it's worth taking the time to find the right coop for you and your specific needs. 

If you're really handy, the most cost-effective chicken coop is one you build yourself from upcycled or salvaged materials. Here are a few handmade coops for inspiration, but don’t let them intimidate you. There are plenty of simple plans out there to get you started, and of course finished coops like the ones we recommend here. Whether you DIY or buy a ready-made coop, remember that raising chickens is a definite commitment. If you’re on the fence, consider reading about this woman who decided to give up her backyard chickens.

Ready to take on this rewarding hobby and bring chickens to your yard? Here are some of the best chicken coops on the market right now.

The Rundown
This house is made from reclaimed wood and plastic, making for an eco-friendly coop.
Truly a dream coop, follow this design to build an amazing space for up to 16 chickens.
This affordable option is a good starter coop or addition for your growing flock.
It’s one of the best coops for easy access, giving you a large door to enter the run area.
Enjoy six-hen flock right in your own backyard with this double wooden barn.
You want a ready-to-go option that will hold a lot of chickens? This is the one.
If you want to build your own coop, this kit will give you a good start.

Best for Small Spaces: New Age Pet Fontana ECOFLEX Jumbo Chicken Barn

Fontana ECOFLEX® Tan Jumbo Chicken Barn

The ECOFLEX house is made from reclaimed wood and plastic, making for an eco-friendly and sturdy coop that can hold up in any weather. This waterproof product doesn’t hold moisture, so cleanup is as easy as getting out the garden hose and spraying it down. Inside the 41 x 36 inch design, you’ll find nesting boxes and roosting areas, enough space for as many as six to eight chickens total.

You can even buy the ECOFLEX expendable pen to give your chickens even more room to roam. With material that won’t warp, crack, or split and a 10-year warranty to back it up, you can really feel good about this purchase.

Best Plans: The Garden Coop Large Walk-In Chicken Coop

The Garden Loft Large Walk-In Chicken Coop

Want to build your own coop? Etsy has some of the best chicken coop plans out there from designers and builders who really know chickens. This design here is truly a dream coop, showing you how to create an amazing space for up to 16 chickens.

With a design that optimizes ventilation and lighting, this extra wide (11.5 feet), extra long (9 feet), and extra tall (8.5 feet) coop will give your chickens plenty of space to nest, roost, and roam. The plans include nearly 90 pages of illustrations and instructions to make assembly easy. There’s a full tool and supply list. They estimate with materials for this coop to come in around $1,600.

Best Budget: Tucker Murphy Pet Diego Enclosed Outdoor Backyard Chicken Coop With Chicken Run and Nesting Box

Tucker Murphy Pet David Chicken Coop

On a budget? This coop has all the elements you need to get started, including a run, a nesting area, a liftable roof, and a pull-out tray for easy cleaning. It has two levels total and includes a window for extra light and ventilation.

At 59 inches long and 21 inches wide, it’s enough for about two to three chickens total. Assembly is easy, and the mesh wiring will keep predators away. It’s a good starter coop or add it to your current space for your growing flock.

Best Walk-In: Roost & Root Round Top Stand Up Chicken Coop

walk-in-coop

If you're looking for a coop that's large enough for a person to walk into without bending down, this coop stands nearly 86 inches tall and can house up to six hens. The base measures 58 x 66 inches. Roost & Roots offers a menu of different features, like storm protection panels for cold climates and different feed and water systems.

The coop is made from cedar, pre-wired panels and galvanized metal hardwear. It includes a roost, run and eggbox, with access to collect eggs from both the inside and the outside. It does require about four hours assembly, but there are tutorial videos and a "Handyman Hotline" in case you get stuck.

Best for Double Nesting: Tucker Murphy Pet Gaenside Chicken Coop with Chicken Run

Gaenside Chicken Coop with Chicken Run

It’s your chance to have a six-hen flock right in your own backyard with this classic wooden barn. It measures 42.5 x 27.6 x 123.2 inches, for a total of 24 square feet. With two separate nesting boxes, you’ll have room for six hens total. The elevated nesting areas not only allow plenty of space for a chicken run, but they also keep the nests above wet conditions on the ground. It has four doors total, plus two removable ramps and two pull-out trays.

Best Splurge: OverEZ Large Chicken Coop

OverEZ Chicken Coop

You want a ready-to-go option that will hold a lot of chickens? This is the one. While the price tag on this coop is higher than most, it’s really one of the easiest options for you. The coop is delivered via tractor trailer; they set up a delivery time with you ahead of time and then pull up and unload it.

Right away, it’s pretty much ready to go. The 74-inch coop has five nesting boxes and two large vents. The design includes natural wood flooring and eco-friendly paint. It sits off the ground for good ventilation and to keep predators away. It will hold up to 15 chickens.

Best for the DIYer: E-Z Frame Chicken Coop with Chicken Run

EZ Frame Chicken Coop

If you’re considering building your own coop but want a head start, then this kit might be right for you. This set of brackets is designed to build an eight foot by 15 foot coop, for a total of 128 square feet. It has a chicken run area and a spot for nesting, though nesting boxes are not included.

Keep in mind that this kit is just a starter. You’ll still need to finish it off with lumber, a roof, walls, and screws. They also recommend setting up on a concrete pad. But if you want a really nice, large coop, this will give you the exact framework you’ll need.

Final Verdict

If you’re new to caring for chickens and want to start with a small coop, consider the ECOFLEX house (view on Walmart). If you’re looking for a larger, walk-in style coop, the the Round-Top Stand-Up Chicken Coop (available on Roost & Roots) might be right for you.

What to Look for in a Chicken Coop 

Overall Size

Some of the cutest chicken coops are also the smallest. So they might look adorable but only be able to house a few chickens. This is fine if you don’t plan on getting a lot of chickens, but it’s good to keep in mind up front. You don’t want to fall in love with the perfect coop for your 8-10 chickens, only to realize it’ll only fit three or four. Most coops will list how big they are, along with how many nesting spots there are. 

Ventilation

This is such an important part of a good coop. While most do have some sort of ventilation system, some are a lot better than others. More is better, so look for a coop with multiple ventilation spots built in. Also, look at how big the ventilation is overall. It definitely matters on those hot days and sticky nights. 

Perching and Roosting Space

A nesting spot isn’t the same as a perching or roosting area. A good coop will have both, giving chickens ample room to lay eggs, perch, and roost at night. Chickens can share spaces—for instance, you don’t have to have a separate perch for every chicken. But there should be multiple options for overall chicken comfort. 

Chicken Run

This is a “nice to have” feature for many, but if you don’t have a lot of space where you’re at, it might be a “must have.” A chicken run will give your chickens extra space to run, stretch, and exercise. This is especially important if you’re not able to let your chickens out on their own throughout the day. They need to stay active and moving!

FAQs

How do you clean a chicken coop?

Cleaning your coop should be part of your regular outdoor chores. On a daily or every-other-day basis, you should be scooping out poop, leftover food, and any other waste. Then on a weekly ro bi-weekly basis, you’ll want to clean out any hay or insulation you have in your coop. Long-term, it’s good to give your coop a more thorough cleaning using a water/vinegar mixture. To do this, clear everything out ahead of time and then scrub with a brush, mop, or any other clearing tool you want to use.

How big of a coop do you need?

A general rule of thumb is that you need about 2 to 3 square feet inside your coop per chicken and then another 8 to 10 feet outside the coop for an exercise area. This isn’t the time you want to go with the bare minimum, though. If you’re able, definitely give your chickens more room and space for their needs.

Can you make your own chicken coop?

Chicken coops can get really expensive, especially if you have your eye on one of the more unique or cute designs. You can find plans to make your own if you’re handy. Then another option is to repurpose an old building, shed, or outdoor unit to turn into a coop. This can be a cost-effective way to give your chickens a home.

How do you winterize a chicken coop?

It’s so important to winterize your coop, especially if you live in a cold area. To do this, consider insulation that you can pick up at your local home improvement store. If this isn’t an option, consider hanging blankets along the walls. When you do insulate your coop, be mindful of what you’re covering. You don’t want to cover up the ventilation at all. If you do for any reason, make sure to add ventilation back in. Keep in mind that straw doesn’t do a lot to retain heat in a chicken coop, which a lot of people don’t realize.

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We want to help our readers make the best choices for their gardens, because food can't get any more local than when it comes from your own backyard. Author Stacy Tornio comes from a family of chicken tamers and has helped both her mom and grandma with their flocks. She's also been researching and writing about the art of raising chickens for many years.