15 Chicken Coop Types For A Happy Flock

With so many DIY and pre-built chicken coop designs, it can be daunting to pick the best one for your chickens. To make the process easier, we’ve compiled 15 chicken coop types that you should consider before buying or building a coop.

As soon as you’ve chosen your style, head on over to our best chicken coops roundup list to purchase a new coop, or click the links throughout this article to find DIY plans and instructions.

1. Elevated/Off-The-Ground Chicken Coops

A raised coop is elevated at least 2 feet off the ground, with chickens making their way in through a small ladder or staircase.

raised chicken coop graphic

This is an effective way to avoid burrowing animals, and it also allows for easy cleaning and maintenance access. 

Another benefit of this option is that the space under the coop adds to that of the run area. It also provides the chickens with extra shelter from the elements, and prevents flooding and/or rotting of the floor.

Raised coops are generally stationary, which means that the green garden patch under the run will soon turn into a dirt floor as your wacky little birds tear up everything in their way.

Therefore, when choosing this coop, one has to be ready to sacrifice a slice of green lawn.

Coq au VinBasic plans for 6 chickens. Neat looking, practical, along with proper ventilation.
Cute Trevor Made Chicken Coop​A rough explanation on the building process, plus its respective chicken coop plans for 12 chickens worth $19.00.
The Real Housewives of Riverton Chicken Coop Plaans​An overview of how to make a chicken coop for 12 chickens.
“The Coop” est. 2013​The illustration of the building procedure and dimension information of this chicken coop for 8 chickens.
Modern Green-Build Chicken Coop​An idea for a simple eco-modern coop build.
Urban Chicken CoopA spacious house for 4 hens and the coop plans free download!
Home Depot Easy to Build Coop​This guide is done in a “building chicken coops for dummies” fashion, with detailed explanation on the materials, tools and steps involved.
Kansas Barn Chicken Coop​Learn how to build a chicken coop step by step, and take a look at their free chicken coop plans download!
​13 Hen DIY Chicken CoopPerfect large plans to comfortably home 18 chickens.
The “South City” Small Chicken Coop Plan​Small chicken coop plan great for reduced urban area spaces.
The Choo Choo Coop​Another interesting, yet peculiar, idea for a large chicken coop.
Natalie’s Free Chicken Coop PlanEnjoy this PDF containing DIY plans free, featuring precise instructions on how to build your own chicken coop!
The Palace Chicken Coop PlanPlans for 6 chickens, including a PDF download for $10.00.
Trictle’s Chicken Coop​A small and suspended hen house apt for 4 hens and its corresponding free chicken coop blueprints.
Steadfast Chicken Coop From “Swing and Slide” set to a large DIY coop, an inventive repurposing idea!

2. Repurposed Shed Coops

Many people simply decide to convert a shed into a chicken coop.

By repurposing a shed, chicken owners avoid any heavy and time-consuming construction work.

shed chicken coop graphic

It is perfect for those who have a large flock or who plan on expanding it in the future, as sheds often cater more than enough space.  

Take a look at how this family turned a once forgotten and worn-out shed into a lovely chicken chateau!

Some things to consider when modifying the shed, however, is to raise it a few inches off the ground to prevent flooding or the rotting of its floor, in addition to cutting enough holes for proper ventilation.

Shed Chicken CoopTake a look at this nice hen house as well as its coop plans for free…

3. Triangle Or A-Frame Coop (A Cheap Chicken Coop)

Because of its simplicity, the A-frame coop is quite popular nowadays. With all materials at hand, one can have it built within a day or two.

In addition, A-frame coops can be easily cleaned, and moved from one place to another due to its lightness.

A-frame cihcken coop graphic

Some people even add wheels that easily screw in or out, to turn it into a tractor. 

In the case of this triangular-shaped coop, however, these benefits frequently come at the price of having to sacrifice space and, at times, even ventilation.​

It is therefore most suitable for small or medium flocks of bantam varieties. 

Harvey Ussery’s A-frame Pasture Shelter​There’s plenty of info. on how to make this chicken coop: design, materials, cutting, framing, roofing, and using wheels!
Red, White and Blue Chicken Coop​This polished small chicken coop reminds us of the importance of playing with colours!
Swing Set Chicken Coop​If by any chance you have an old swing set, think twice before throwing it away.
Another A-frame Chicken CoopSneak a peek at this uncomplicated coop and its free printable plans.

4. Curved Roof Coops

Curved roof coops, like A-frame coops, have a relatively simple build.

curved roof chicken coop graphic

They provide more height, can withstand extreme weather- especially storms, hail, and strong winds- and allow for more heat and light to enter its inner spaces.

Nonetheless, the installation of this coop’s roof may prove difficult, though this will largely depend on what material is used.

Hoop CoopA large, but painless build with free plans for 15 chickens.
​Geodesic Dome Chicken House​A futuristic design with step by step instructions.

5. Planted Green Living Roof Coops

Imagine a garden full of vibrant flowers, green herbs, or both, right on top of your feathered friends’ little house!

…it’s quite a fascinating picture, isn’t it?

living roof chicken coop graphic

But, apart from being aesthetically charming, living-roof coops work well as natural insulators, keeping the coop warmer in the winter and cooler during summer.

They also function as a small pollinator habitat, and help reduce runoff caused by storm waters. 

One can install them on gable or flat roofs.

Some chicken keepers go all the way and, instead of planting flowers, they plant edible gardens right on top of the coop!

Lavender, parsley, dill, and tarragon are some herbs that are not only good for us, humans, but for the chickens also.

Yes, this truly is a functional coop!

Before picking this option, however, make sure you have the extra time and energy needed to make this roof work. That is for waterproofing it, adding a drainage system, securing the soil on the roof, and planting.

For more information check out this article to learn how Rebecca Nickols and her husband built their own.

The Urban Chickens Cube​Eco-roof inspiration!
​Alive Roof Chicken Coop​…and another alluring idea for a green-roof coop.

6. Portable Chicken Coop (Aka Chicken Tractor)

This is one of the most common mobile chicken coops – read our in depth guide on chicken tractors here.

chicken tractor coop graphic

It is generally small, for portability, but one of its most notable features is that it is floorless. Therefore, chickens are in direct contact with the ground.  

What are the benefits derived from this?

Well, many…

Just like the traditional tractor, chickens can be moved around a terrain preparing the soil on the way as they dig, forage, and turn the ground around.

Another service they offer is that of fertilizing the soil, with their excrement!

In other words, this coop helps you to free-range chickens in a controlled way.

In turn, this allows for parts of the terrain that are outside their limits to remain untouched, and for the rest of the area to recover before the wacky little birds go back in.

Fenced wire floors that have openings big enough for the chickens to eat and scratch through, are the trick for those who live in areas with burrowing predators.

Despite all its pros, the major disadvantage of the chicken tractor is that it is usually not suited to small spaces, such as backyards or urban living areas, unless one builds a small one.

Justin Rhodes’ Chicken TractorFree printable coop plans ready for use!
Kevin’s Chicken Tractor​A step by step guide on how to make a chicken coop in tractor style.

7. Triple P: Pastured Poultry Pens

Generally bigger than the chicken tractor, the pastured poultry pen is mostly used to move large numbers of birds.

pasture poultry pen coop

As a result, one has to move it on to new pasture at least once a day. 

Besides providing the same benefits as those of a chicken tractor, poultry pens are simple in their design, and sturdy enough to withstand predators and harsh winds.  

Take into account that, although a 10’ x 10’ x 2’ can be moved by one person, its weight can make it quite difficult to do so. Always be careful that no chickens are injured when moving your pen.

Though this coop is normally used in medium or big terrains, a pen more reduced in space can be built to adapt to smaller flocks and smaller spaces.

​Joel Salatin Pastured Poultry PenClick for a free plan download
​Pastured Poultry PenFree PDF available.

8. The Chicken Rickshaw (The Chickshaw)

Built on big wheels, this coop is made for those chicken enthusiasts who have to move their flock long distances to new pastures and across rugged terrain.

chick shaw graphic

The best part of it is that one person can effortlessly move the chick shaw! 

Homesteader and permaculturalist Justin Rhodes, shares how he built his own chick shaw in his article “Finally, a Mobile Chicken Coop One Person Can (Easily) Move”

Justin Rhodes’ Chick ShawAnother free download!

9. Recycled Pallet Chicken Coops

You don’t have to go out and spend a fortune in new raw materials when wooden pallets are fairly painless to find and cost somewhere around $0.00!

These can be used to build the coop as they come (assembled) or disassembled… the choice is yours.

pallet chicken coop graphic

Although it may considerably vary from pallet to pallet, bear in mind that the quality of the wood might not be as good as when looking at other options (…this is one of the low-cost alternatives after all!).

So, if you get the chance, make sure to get your hands on the newest or least worn out pallets to avoid having to rebuild parts of your coop in a few months time.

Rough Pallet Chicken Coop​A few tips on how to build a chicken coop out of pallets.
The Pallet Palace​A huge coop made almost entirely of free pallets!
Judy’s Free Pallet Chicken Coop​Another big pallet coop… offsetting about $1,000 in wood expenses.
Sided Pallet Coop​A one-day construction project and… for free.

10. Recycled Wire Spool Chicken Coops

If pallets can be recycled, so can wire spools…

wire spools chicken coop graphic

Some people choose to build their coop entirely out of wooden wire spools, while others use them only to build parts of it.

Wire Spools Chicken Coop​Building your own chicken coop doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. This is an example of how one can use recycled wire spools to create a petite hen house.

11. The Classic. Wooden Chicken Coops

wooden chicken coop graphic

A classic.

Let’s face it, there’s nothing like a high quality wooden chicken coop. Most of them, in fact, are made of wood and they have been for centuries.

However, like poultry expert Andy Cawthray explains in an article for The Guardian​, we should learn to avoid the mass-produced models whose wood will remarkably fail on the first rainy or sunny day of the year.

Wood is a natural breathable material that is highly flexible and adaptable even if modifications are required in the future.

Naturally rot-resistant wood such as cedar, redwood, or tropical hardwoods are amongst the best to purchase. Another appropriate option is exterior-use plywood.

12. Post Modern Plastic Coops

Plastic is a relatively new material when it comes to chicken coops and it frequently attracts people because of it easy to clean and zero-maintenance nature.

Another reason why some are attracted to plastic coops is because they are less prone to housing red mites.

plastic chicken coop graphic

Red mites are tiny parasites that feed off birds’ blood. They tend to cling onto chickens and wild birds when conditions work in their favour, but can also hide within small cracks inside the coops.

Because plastic presents a completely smooth and crackless surface, unlike wood, there are less chances of red mites becoming a plague inside the coop. 

Learn more about this topic in another one of Cawthray’s articles called “Talking Chickens: Plastic vs. Wooden Houses”.

Two of the major problems related to plastic coops are ventilation and a lack of adaptability.

Contrary to wood, plastic is not a natural breathable material and is more likely to hold humidity, heat, or cold in its interior; and with this material one doesn’t have the advantage of altering its design to suit it to unforeseen situations or new needs.

13. Small Chicken Coops

Regardless of being stationary, small coops are easy to move from one spot to another.

small chicken coop graphic

In fact, some chicken keepers choose having two small coops instead of a large one just to be able to move them around the area or to separate the flock when breeding.

Small Backyard Chicken Coop​Instructions for building this coop, suitable for accommodating 2 to 4 chickens.
Green Living Chicken Coop Consider​Free printable chicken coops blueprints for building this and a few other easy to build chicken coops.
Melissa’s DIY CoopIt took only 18 hours and $137.00 to build this portable chicken coop and the builders give a broad view of the process.

14. Grand Designed Large Coops

large chicken coop graphic

As anticipated, large coops are the complete opposite… they are totally locked to one place.

Therefore, one has to inspect the backyard thoroughly to make a wise decision on where to place the coop.

But, you can customize a large chicken coop like in this video:

It is more practical in terms of feeding, watering, and cleaning to have a large coop over several small coops!

Sunrise Chicks Chicken Coop​Chicken coop for 25 chickens or more, with access to plans and pictures!
8 x 10 Large Chicken CoopTake a look at this chicken house for 20 chickens along with its free plans for 20 chickens!

15. The Backyard: Chicken Runs

A chicken run is an enclosed or fenced outdoor space that’s attached to the coop.

Though some pro full-time-free-range chicken keepers choose not to use it, hooking up a chicken run can truly benefit your flock.

One of the main perks is that you are giving them the freedom of safely roaming outside at night time, thus encouraging their natural behaviour.

chicken run coop graphic

Likewise, a run can give you a lot of flexibility as a bird keeper.

If, for instance, you leave town for a few days, a chicken run allows your birds to exit and access the coop at their own accord while safeguarding them from predators. 

If it is not possible to free-range your chickens throughout the day, then the importance of a chicken run doubles, triples… or, maybe even, octuples!

Only then will your flock be healthy, and the eggs they lay rich in Vitamin E, Omega-3, and Beta Carotene.

As mentioned previously under the raised coops subsection, one of the cons of using a run is the impact on the portion of lawn on which it will be placed.

Chickens will work their magic in a matter of days, by transforming lush green grass into a dusty paradise!

steps to build a chicken run graphic

It is often suggested that all coops have a run attached to it, so chickens can go in and out of their coops whenever they desire without the risk of being attacked by a predator.

Here a few links to chicken run plans:

Other Clever – Easy To Build – Chicken Coop Ideas

Final Thoughts

No matter what type of chicken coop you decide is best for your flock, remember chicken coops have one purpose, and that is keep your roosters and hens safe from outdoor elements and predators.

Let us know in the comments what chicken coop type you have! Also, don’t forget to share this article to your friends and family.


Yes, ventilation is a requirement in a chicken coop. If it doesn’t have proper ventilation, chickens can die from extreme heat – especially during summer. Also, ammonia fumes can build-up inside and cause respiratory problems for your flock. It is generally advised to have one vent per 10 square feet of flooring. Let’s say, you have 30 square feet of floor space. Your coop should have three vent windows, one square foot each.

A good chicken coop should have enough space for chickens to freely move. It should also be sturdy and durable to protect them from heat, rain, snow, and predators. Don’t forget that chickens need perches and nesting boxes as well. Lastly, for your convenience, it should be easy to clean.

The best type of chicken coop will depend on your coop and run needs. The off-the-ground design of an elevated chicken coop is a great choice if you want to keep your chickens protected from burrowing predators while preventing premature floor rotting. If you have large chicken breeds, a chicken run coop may be more suitable for the flock. Ultimately, you have to decide based on flock size and breed, predator protection, budget, and backyard space.

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