Raising chickens has become a popular pastime for families looking to have a steady source of fresh eggs or those looking to keep them as pets. A backyard chicken coop to house and provide shelter for your flock is a necessity for those looking to take up this hobby.
Standard and custom coops are available in a variety of sizes and with many features. Depending on the size of your flock, you’ll want to customize your coop to be both functional and unique. We’ve made a listing of our favorite chicken coop ideas to inspire you to construct your own customized creations.
Chicken Coop Design Ideas
1. Give the Run & Coop Some Landscaping
Landscaping around the coop and run is a great way to quickly change the look and feel of your space without changing the structures themselves.
In addition to visual appeal, planting flowers and shrubs around your backyard chicken coop has many functional benefits too! Plants can provide shade, protect your flock from the wandering eyes of predators, and attract tasty insects for your birds to eat. Some plants can be harmful to chickens, so make sure to research your choices before planting.
2. Personalized Signs and Accompanying Structures
While signage is a purely decorative addition, crafting and decorating signs for your coop can be a great way to get the family involved in the fun! Your signs can reflect your personal style and can range from humorous puns to “farmhouse chic” designs and everything in-between.
In addition to signage, you can craft some additional structures for your coop, as well. Wire mesh is a simple and practical addition for enclosing the run, but don’t be afraid to go big with more striking features such as archways, decorative fencing, and roofing for the run. We recommend choosing a roof that will still allow sunlight to penetrate through, such as corrugated plastic.
3. Give the Coop Interior Some Styling
The main purpose of your backyard chicken coop is to provide shelter and safety for the flock from predators, but there’s nothing wrong with sprucing up the interior with a little decor! While most might consider interior styling to be a waste of time or money, many styling additions can also be functional.
Wood walls can be hard to keep clean. Covering the bare wood with a water-resistant wallboard and adding a treatment to the floor can deter pests and provide surfaces that are much easier to clean. Paint is also an option for a visual facelift, but be sure to choose paints that are non-toxic in case the flock should ingest any of it.
Hens seek out dark places to lay their eggs; adding some coverings or curtains to the nesting boxes can help provide them with the ideal environment. Many use burlap or similar fabrics, but don’t be afraid to have some fun with bright and colorful options too.
For the nests themselves, consider using nest boxes that are easy to clean and access for egg collection.
You can add other functional items to your coop’s interior, such as a bucket of sand for dust baths, baskets for egg collection, and a thermometer to check for an ideal temperature inside the coop, too. The possibilities really are endless!
Making Your Chicken Coop Its Best
4. Make Sure the Run Has Some Shaded Space
Providing your flock with shade is essential for their health. Extreme heat can cause problems—perhaps more so than extreme cold—if your flock is of a heartier breed. Having a shady spot to block the sun’s heat is essential. In addition to providing shade for the run, consider putting the coop itself under the shade of a large tree, if available.
5. Ensure Proper Manure Management
Consider adding an easy-access panel to collect the droppings and make clean-up an easy task.
6. Light the Interior If You’re Concerned About Winter Production
Hens lay eggs on a specific cycle of daylight. During winter months, when the days are shorter, having an interior light source can help to ensure steady egg production throughout the season. Lighting is also a practical addition that will make it easier to tend to the flock in the evenings.
7. Make Sure Your Security Handles Predators
Having a fenced space provides shelter from ground predators. When installing your backyard chicken coop’s fencing, be sure to extend it underground to ward off any burrowing predators, as well.
Be wary, though, because fencing in your flock may make them vulnerable to birds of prey. Having a roof over the run that provides protection from larger birds is essential for your flock’s safety. If you live in an area that hosts larger predators, having a guard dog or even an electric fence for added defense is a strong recommendation.
Sun Rise Sheds Is the Des Moines Area’s Backyard Chicken Coop Resource
If you’re looking for the perfect coop to house your flock, you can learn more about our options by visiting our showroom in Redfield, Iowa, to get a look at how we can meet your needs.