Many people are starting to reap the benefits of raising their own chickens at home, for meat, eggs, and companionship. No matter what your reason for wanting to raise your own chickens, you’re going to need a chicken coop to keep them sheltered. But how do you know which coops are the best, and which are a waste of your hard-earned money?
Option #1: Build your own
This is, by far, the cheapest option for most backyard poulterers. (This is the name for someone who raises chickens or other poultry for food and eggs). But, as with any other do-it-yourself project, there are mistakes to be made, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, your coop might not protect your chickens from the elements, or from predators.
Thankfully, there are a variety of resources available for those who want to build their own chicken coops – and we’ve done some research to find which ones are the best. Currently, the website we feel strongest about is Building a Chicken Coop. This website offers a complete guide to raising chickens, as well as many different chicken coop designs, along with detailed plans to build.
This package offers so much more than just a great chicken coop plan, and we love all the extra bonuses that come with it. They even tell you how to get your chicken coop built for the lowest price – which can save you hundreds of dollars over pre-built coops! Whether you will be raising just one or two chickens, or a commercial quantity of 60 chickens or more, they have coop designs that will keep your chickens comfortable and protected.
Best of all, the company behind the guide has decided to offer a 60-day money-back guarantee, so there’s really nothing to lose. At any time in the first 60 days, if you decide that chicken coop building really isn’t for you after all, you can message them and they’ll return your purchase price – no questions asked. We love money-back guarantees, since the companies that offer them rarely require you to actually use them!
(Writer’s note: This site does have an automatically-starting video at the top of the page. Be warned and adjust your speakers appropriately before opening the link!)
Option #2: Buy one online
Even though the above guide is aimed at absolute beginners, you may find that you’d rather buy a chicken coop that has already been built for you. (Hey, there’s no shame in letting someone else do the hard work!) Pre-built chicken coops offer convenience, as they will come with all the pieces you need to get the job done. Of course, most will still need to be assembled when they come in, and they will generally cost more than purchasing plans and your own materials.
We have researched and found the 5 best chicken coops currently available on Amazon:
Confidence Pet 62″ Rabbit Hutch / Chicken Coop
When buying a pre-packaged chicken coop, it’s important that the assembly instructions are clear and concise. When your directions are easy to follow, it gives you confidence as a new poulterer… And that’s what Confidence Pet 62” Rabbit Hutch/Chicken Coop gave us. Assembly was quick and easy, and most of the holes came pre-drilled. You won’t need any specialty tools, either – definitely a plus for any cage of this type. We found it was super simple to modify the design as needed, which is wonderful because it’s not exactly a wonderful plan in the first place. (It’s definitely not bad, but pre-built cages will always come with flaws.)
Assembly took right around an hour with the included instructions, although there were some issues with the ramp – it’s not made of the sturdiest materials. Additionally, this is a little on the small side, and really will only work for one chicken, and only if they have a separate area to run and play – this unit is not large enough to be an all-day home. It’s also not quite sturdy enough to keep them safe from four-legged predators, so keep that in mind when making your decision.
Overall, we think this coop was designed primarily as a rabbit hutch, although it’s not really the best for that, either. The material is soft (cedar) and it’s a bit on the small side. If you need something to hold you over and you don’t mind upgrading as you go, this is a good choice for a starter home – just be sure to let your chicken out during the daytime!
Petsfit Weatherproof Outdoor Chicken Coop
In the list of cheap chicken coops, Petsfit chicken coop is indispensable. With less than $ 200, you can own a chicken coop with all the functions and parts needed for a chicken shelter.
This wooden chicken coop can hold up to 3-4 adult chickens and it is specially designed for free-range chickens. With this size, you can also put this chicken coop in bigger cages or easily put it in the warehouse, garage easily.
However, the floor of this chicken coop cannot be easily pulled out to be cleaned like some other chicken coop so you need to clean it differently. You can disassemble three panels on the floor so you can clean them, or you can reach them from above. Removing the roof and accessing it from the roof is another option, and you can replace it with a more flexible roof.
Pets Imperial Monmouth Large Chicken Coop
Pets Imperial Monmouth Large Chicken Coop is one of the good options for you if you are looking for a home for about 4-5 chickens. This product has now been upgraded and improved a lot to bring a better quality living space for your chickens.
This product has a pull tray so you can clean up chicken waste and food easily and effectively. This pull-out tray is made from galvanized metal so it has a fairly long service life and is not easily destroyed. This material also makes it easy to wash away waste with water or other detergents.
This design saves you time and effort when not having to spend a lot of time removing the floor or removing the roof from the chicken coop. It also has an all-round galvanized metal grating to prevent the escape of chickens and the attack of other animals.
The chicken coop is made from natural wood so that it is quite environmentally friendly, longer service life. However, since there is no weatherproof paint, it is quite humid when it rains, so it really needs a little impact from you.
New Age Pet ecoFLEX Fontana Chicken Barn
If you are looking for a cheap and durable chicken coop then don’t miss New Age Pet ecoFLEX Fontana Chicken Barn. This product is made from recycled polymers and wood by-products so it is more durable than regular wood. And special products are warranted for up to 10 years.
Recycled polymers are materials that can withstand the effects of the outside environment without deforming or destroying them, making it ideal for an outdoor chicken coop. It is also safe from heavy rains or high temperatures during the summer. This product is completely waterproof.
You can clean and collect chicken eggs by reaching through the roof. This roof can be easily disassembled and assembled so that you do not have to worry about hygiene for the chicken coop (though a bit inconvenient).
This product also looks good enough so you can place it right in the backyard. Well, it also has a well-ventilated space for unpleasant odors to escape, so it also helps prevent disease-causing bacteria and mold from growing.
Best Choice Products 80in Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop
If you are looking for an affordable chicken coop with more operating space for about 3-4 chickens, Best Choice Products 80in Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop is a wise choice for you. This is a product that many people choose and appreciate.
This product is made from fir wood so that it can withstand the harshest weather conditions. You do not need to worry every time it rains, this product will become an ideal place to shelter from the sun for your chickens. Firwood also does not contain any chemicals or allergens to chickens.
This product has been maximized to caged running areas so that the chickens will be healthier and have an entertainment area every day, no longer constrained in a cramped space.
It has two doors with safety latches so that it becomes safer at night from predators, and it is also easier for chickens to get in and out of the barn. It also has sliding doors and ramps so chickens can easily move into the barn, as well as become a recreational activity for them during the day.
You can easily clean the chicken coop by dragging the slide tray at the bottom to remove the waste and leftovers of the chicken. You can also clean the slide with water or detergent without worrying it will be destroyed.
As with any other online purchase, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. Even with do-it-yourself coops, you’ll need to know what your specific needs are, in order to know what you’re looking for in the reviews.
How many chickens will you be raising?
A coop for one or two chickens is significantly smaller than a chicken coop for 5 chickens, for example, and larger broods will require even more space. In many cases, it might be a good idea to start with one small coop and expand as necessary. Additionally, some cities limit the number of chickens you can keep, so make sure you check with your local officials.
How much room do you have?
Of course, the room you have will probably determine how many chickens you’ll have, but if you have a smaller yard and want to raise more chickens, there are multi-story coops that can provide the smaller footprint you need.
How much time do you have to build your coop?
Even “pre-built” designs will require some assembly, but the complexity of the design will determine how much time needs to go into it. Keep in mind the time it takes you to gather supplies, too – this is what makes design plans take longer than pre-built coops.
What is your budget?
For those with a lower budget, building your own coop will often save you up to 50% of the price of a ready-made package. For those who have more money, but perhaps less time, pre-built kits offer the convenience of coming with everything you need.
What’s the weather like in your region?
If your area is prone to cold winters and/or harsh summers, you’ll need a chicken coop that keeps your feathered friends safe from the elements. If your coop does not come with an elevated base, keeping it on top of cinder blocks can help. An automatic door can help keep out the weather, too.