5 Best Chicken Coops for Small Backyard Flock (Reviews and Buyers Guide)

chicken coop for small backyard flock

While chicken coops are relatively easy to build, provided you have the tools, materials, and time, it isn’t always the right solution for everyone. Sometimes you need a quality chicken coop in a hurry, or a second chicken coop for a growing flock. And sometimes you simply don’t want to make plans, buy materials, and build a coop yourself. So here are some of the best chicken coops for a small backyard flock that you don’t have to build yourself.

Chicken Coops Mentioned In This Article

Best Chicken Coop for Small Backyard Flock (Reviews)

Here is a closer look at the 5 best chicken coops for your small backyard flock. All of these coops are already built, and all you have to do is simply put them together!

1. SnapLock Formex Large Chicken Coop

SnapLock Formex Large Chicken Coop Backyard Hen House 4-6 Large 6-12 Bantams

This innovative large chicken coop from SnapLock snaps together in just minutes with no tools, and it’s  both sturdy and light weight, so it can easily be moved from place to place. It is made of the same sturdy, weatherproof high density polyethylene, the same plastic you might find in children’s outdoor playsets, to withstand years of use.

SnapLock Formex Large Chicken Coop Backyard Hen House 4-6 Large 6-12 Bantams

The SnapLock Formex Large Chicken Coop measures 63.6 inches wide x 39 inches long x 36 inches deep without the nesting boxes, and is 42.4 inches high at the peak. It weighs 65 pounds after assembly, and the door opening is 12 x 12 inches. It has four nesting boxes with removable dividers between them, three 36 inch roosts, and two adjustable gable vents for ventilation. 

SnapLock Formex Large Chicken Coop Backyard Hen House 4-6 Large 6-12 Bantams

It has removable nesting and litter trays for easy cleaning. It will house 4-6 large chickens, and 6-12 bantams. The walls are double-paneled for greater insulation, and the plastic material is water resistant, UV resistant, and chemical resistant. 

Because it’s made of plastic, it requires little maintenance. The litter trays pull out and the walls and roof can simply be hosed down for cleaning,

The SnapLock Formex Large Chicken Coop is made in the USA.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction is water and UV resistant
  • Easy to assemble with no tools
  • Easy to clean
  • Adjustable gable vents for ventilation  

Cons

  • Requires at least 3 feet of clearance on the back for tray removal, and 2-3 feet of clearance on both sides for access to nesting boxes, so it won’t fit well in longer, narrower runs
  • Plastic walls can build up moisture and condensation inside from chicken’s breath, even sometimes with the vents open
  • Roost placement can cause chickens to poop in nesting boxes

2. Best Choice Products Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop

Best Choice Products Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop Wire Fence Hen House Poultry Cage, 80in, Brown, for 4 Birds

This wood and wire chicken coop from Best Choice Products combines a coop and a small run into one cute design, for comfortable living space for chickens, and easy access and maintenance for you. Solid fir wood construction keeps out rain and lasts for years. 

Best Choice Products Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop Wire Fence Hen House Poultry Cage, 80in, Brown, for 4 Birds

The Best Choice Products Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop has a raised housing area of 24.5 x 23 x 33 inches, an incorporated run of 62.5 x 22.75 x 39 inches, and overall dimensions of 79.5 x 26.5 x 51.5 inches. It weighs 50 pounds and the internal housing door measures 10.5 x 15.75 inches. 

It has a nesting box with a half-wall divider for two nests, and two roosts. It will hold 2-3 large chickens, and up to 6 bantams. The generous doors, window, and lid give you access to every part of the coop, for easy cleaning, feeding, or egg collection. It also has a removable sliding tray for easy changing of litter. The enclosure is made of sturdy wire to protect and contain chickens.  

Best Choice Products Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop Wire Fence Hen House Poultry Cage, 80in, Brown, for 4 Birds

The Best Choice Products Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop comes in two boxes with assembly instructions. Best Choice Products also has an online assembly instruction video for easier reference. 

Pros

  • Durable fir construction
  • Coop and run in one convenient structure
  • Removable tray for easy cleaning
  • Windows, doors, and lids for easy access to all parts of the coop
  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to move with open bottom to change chicken’s foraging area 

Cons

  • Design is fairly top-heavy, and should be anchored or protected from wind
  • Larger predators can simply knock it over
  • Most people end up upgrading this coop with more water-resistant roofing, sturdier hinges, better latches, and other additions. Because it is made of wood, it is easy to make these improvements, but they should be factored into the overall cost and assembly time. 

3. LAZY BUDDY Chicken Coop

LAZY BUDDY Chicken Coop, 41" Wooden Chick Cage with Egg Box, Indoor and Outdoor Use Chicken Coop with Waterproof Roof for Chicken and Other Pets (Medium)

This chicken coop from LAZY BUDDY has an attached enclosed exercise area so chickens can safely stretch their legs and forage naturally. The elevated design makes it easy to access and clean, and give chickens a lot of space with a small footprint. 

LAZY BUDDY Chicken Coop, 41" Wooden Chick Cage with Egg Box, Indoor and Outdoor Use Chicken Coop with Waterproof Roof for Chicken and Other Pets (Medium)

The LAZY BUDDY Chicken Coop measures 65.5 inches wide x 29.24 inches deep x 40.5 inches high including the nesting box. The coop is big enough for 1-2 large chickens, and 2-4 bantams. It is made of fir wood, varnished with waterproof, eco-friendly, non-toxic paints for durability and safety. 

The wire is waterproof and rust-resistant, with UV resistance for long durability in outdoor conditions. The coop is covered with a waterproof roofing material for additional protection. It has a removable tray for easy cleaning, and multiple doors for easy access to every part of the coop. The coop weighs just under 50 pounds. 

LAZY BUDDY Chicken Coop, 41" Wooden Chick Cage with Egg Box, Indoor and Outdoor Use Chicken Coop with Waterproof Roof for Chicken and Other Pets (Medium)

The LAZY BUDDY Chicken Coop is easy to put together. With the included instructions and your own electric drill/driver, it goes together in less than 30 minutes. It comes backed by a 12-month warranty. 

Pros

  • Cute design with coop and run in one structure
  • Easy to assemble
  • Waterproof, anti-corrosion, UV resistant materials
  • Durable fir wood treated with eco-friendly, non-toxic varnish
  • Easy to clean with removable tray and multiple access points
  • Easy to move with open bottom for foraging

Cons

  • Larger chickens may not be able to access the exercise area beneath the coop
  • Wire window with no solid closing panel against cold weather
  • Not secure; many people add locking latches for the doors, windows, and nesting box
  • Easy for larger predator to simply push over

4. Petsfit Weatherproof Outdoor Chicken Coop

Petsfit Weatherproof Outdoor Chicken Coop with Nesting Box

This chicken coop from Petsfit is weather proof, compact, and convenient. It comes in your choice of red and white or grey and white colors to match your décor and create a cute farmhouse look. 

Petsfit Weatherproof Outdoor Chicken Coop with Nesting Box

The Petsfit Weatherproof Outdoor Chicken Coop measures 53 inches long x 25 inches deep by 28 inches high. It has a shipping weight of 62.2 pounds. The nesting box has a divider for two nests, and there are two roosts inside. It can hold 2-3 full-size chickens. The slatted floor allows for ventilation, and can be lifted out for cleaning.

Petsfit Weatherproof Outdoor Chicken Coop with Nesting Box

It is made of cedar wood, with a waterproof roofing material for durability and weather resistance. The nesting box has a hinged lid for easy access, and two front doors, one with a ramp, make it easy for chickens to get in and out. The nesting box and front door are secured with latches. 

The Petsfit Weatherproof Outdoor Chicken Coop is easy to assemble, and backed by a one year warranty. 

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Comes in two colors
  • Comes with hardware latches
  • Compact size
  • Weather resistant
  • Comes with a one-year warranty

Cons

  • Floor needs to be lifted out for cleaning, but instructions say to secure the roof with screws, making it difficult to remove floor panels and reducing inner ventilation. Many people choose to add hinges to the roof instead. 
  • Not very durable

5. OverEZ Large Chicken Coop

OverEZ Large Chicken Coop (Houses up to 15 Chickens)

This luxury chicken coop from OverEZ is beyond spacious, with room for up to 15 chickens. It comes in nine pre-drilled and pre-assembled parts that go together easily with your own electric screwdriver, and has lots of thoughtful design details, like a latch that holds the nesting box lid and chicken door in the open or closed positions for easy access and cleaning. 

OverEZ Large Chicken Coop (Houses up to 15 Chickens)

The OverEZ Large Chicken Coop is a deluxe chicken coop, with plenty of space for you and your flock. It is elevated off the ground, and measures 74 inches long x 60 inches wide x 72.5 inches tall. It comes with panels and trim painted and assembled, doors and windows pre-installed, along with the nesting boxes, hardware, and metal roofing pre-installed, so that your assembly is fast and easy. It holds up to 15 full-size chickens. 

It has a nesting box with dividers for up to five nests, two long roosts, two screened windows that open and close, two air vents, one latching chicken door with ramp and one human-sized door. Built by Amish-trained craftsmen, it is made of wood and has walls and flooring treated with resin for moisture resistance. 

OverEZ Large Chicken Coop (Houses up to 15 Chickens)

The roof is angled to direct water off the back, and lined with a metal radiant barrier sheet that keeps the interior cool in hot weather. The elevated design reduces moisture build up on the flooring, and makes it easier to clean. 

The OverEZ Large Chicken Coop ships with curbside delivery, because it is so large and heavy. It comes with easy-to-follow instructions and all the hardware necessary for assembly, along with touch-up paint if needed. 

Pros

  • Spacious design with lots of room for a flock and easy human access for cleaning and feeding
  • Durable materials are pre-treated and moisture-resistant
  • Roof is water resistant and heat resistant
  • Easy to access and easy to clean
  • Easy to assemble, with many pieces pre-assembled and easy to follow instructions
  • High quality latches and hardware
  • Added ventilation with gable vents and screened windows

Cons

  • Window screening is not designed to resist predators
  • Gable vents are a bit small for the overall size of the coop
  • While it is possible for one person to assemble this coop, it is better to have at least two. It is delivered curbside, and you will need to carry the pieces to the correct spot, and eventually lift the roof into place. The job goes faster and easier with two people.

6. LINLUX 62″ Large Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop

LINLUX 62" Large Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop, Garden Backyard Bunny Hen House Small Animal Cage with Hutch Wire Fence, Ventilation Door, Removable Tray

This chicken coop from LINLUX is a sturdy little shelter for chickens, with an attached enclosed exercise area and a ramp. It is comfortable and safe, without being as top-heavy as similar designs. 

The LINLUX 62″ Large Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop measures 62.4 inches long x 20.1 inches wide x 28.2 inches high. The enclosed run measures 34.1 x 20.1 x 20.5 inches. It can hold 2-3 full-sized chickens, and has a shipping weight of about 42 pounds. It is made of sturdy fir wood that has been sealed with a waterproof, non-toxic paint. 

LINLUX 62" Large Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop, Garden Backyard Bunny Hen House Small Animal Cage with Hutch Wire Fence, Ventilation Door, Removable Tray

The enclosure is made with galvanized corrosion-resistant wire fencing for durability, and it has a sloped green asphalt roof for rain resistance. The coop has a removable tray for cleaning. Both main compartments have lids that open completely for easy access, as well as two windows into the coop itself for cleaning or egg collection. 

The LINLUX 62″ Large Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop is easy to assemble, and comes backed by a one year warranty. 

Pros

  • Low design is stable
  • Lids open for easy access and cleaning
  • Waterproof, rust-resistant, UV-resistant, and durable
  • Removable tray for easy cleaning
  • Open bottom for exercise and foraging

Cons

  • No nest boxes or roost
  • Wire window won’t exclude cold weather or wind 

Chicken Coop Buyer’s Guide

Here are some of the essential features you need to evaluate before buying a chicken coop. 

How Big of a Chicken Coop Do You Need?

Size is the first thing to consider before buying a chicken coop. Chickens need sufficient space to be happy and healthy, and if you get a chicken coop that is too small, you may end up spending a lot of time and money expanding or replacing it. Here is how to determine what size chicken coop you need:

Number and size of chickens

You should allow 2-3 square feet inside the coop per chicken for standard-sized breeds, along with 8-10 square feet per chicken of outdoor space in a run. Large chickens will need more room, and small breeds need less. If the chickens don’t have a lot of outside exercise area, or you live in a climate where the weather is poor and the chickens spend a lot of time inside the coop, they will need even more space per chicken. 

Roosting size and space

chickens roosting in a coop for small backyard flock

Chickens naturally sleep off the ground, perched on low branches. Roosts should be about 1.5 to 3 feet off the ground for standard-sized chickens, but they can be as low as 6 inches. In fact, lower roosts may be a good choice for chickens who are aging and struggle to get to higher perches, or for large, heavy breeds that may land hard when they jump down. 

Every chicken needs about 10 inches of roosting space. In cold weather, they may shift closer to each other for warmth, but they should have enough space to spread out if they choose. 

hen and rooster perched in a small flock hen house coop

Roosts also need to be large enough in diameter that chickens can stand on them with flat feet and settle their bodies down, rather than wrapping their claws around and gripping the roost. Roosts should give chickens 2-4 inches of surface to spread their feet out. Finally, roosts should be placed higher than nesting boxes, or chickens will end up sleeping in nesting boxes and making a mess of them. 

Nesting space

While nesting boxes aren’t strictly necessary in a chicken coop, nesting space is. Each nest needs about a cubic foot of space inside the coop. Chickens prefer individual nesting boxes with dividers, rather than long shared areas, and it’s best to have a nesting spot for every laying hen. 

Room for food and water

chickens drinking water in a chicken coop for small flock backyard chickens

Adult chickens can go without food overnight, but young chickens should always have food freely available, and all chickens need to have water available at all times. Chickens may spill or mess water in a crowded coop, where they don’t have enough room to move comfortably.

Before buying a chicken coop, make a plan in your mind for where you will place water, where the chickens will roost, where they will nest, and how much room they will have to move around. 

Can a chicken coop be too big? 

Actually, yes. If a chicken coop is too large for the number of chickens, they won’t be able to warm it with their body heat. If you have a particularly large or tall chicken coop, you may want to add a mild heat source to keep them from getting too cold. 

Additional Features To Look For In A Chicken Coop

Once you know how large your chicken coop needs to be, here are the other key features to look for.

Ventilation

Ventilation is critical, even in cold weather. Chickens exhale a lot of moisture, and that moisture can reduce the air quality inside of a coop, leading to mold and mildew. A chicken coop needs to have good air flow at all times to reduce the moisture build up. However, the roost(s) should not be placed directly in the air flow, as it may chill chickens. 

Ease of access and cleaning

man cleaning out a chicken coop hen house

It goes without saying that you will need to clean the chicken coop frequently, and that you will also want easy access to refill water, remove eggs, or interact with your chickens. Think about how you will access the interior of the coop, particularly if you don’t want to do a lot of bending or stooping while lifting. 

Door and window latches

The doors, windows, and access points of a chicken coop should be able to be securely latched, and even locked if necessary. Secure doors can protect chickens from bad weather, accidental escapes, and predators. 

Steepness of the ramp

Some chickens take better to ramps than others. As a rule, the ramp should be about a 45 degree angle to be friendly for multiple chicken breeds, which means the ramp can end up taking up quite a bit of space in the run. Don’t forget to allow for this space when determining the size of a run. 

Other Potentially Important Considerations To Look For In A Chicken Coop (Depending on Your Area and Your Flock)

The presence of predators or other animals

Most chicken coops are designed to keep chickens in, and not well-designed to keep out pests and predators. If you live in a region with coyotes, raccoons, weasels, or even feral dogs, you may need to take extra steps to protect your chickens. It’s a good idea to also protect the inside of the coop from common pests like mice, rats, or snakes. So you may need to get more robust hardware, place your coop inside a sturdy enclosure, or add other safety features. 

For more information about protecting your chickens from predators, you can read my article Top 5 Hawk Deterrents For Chickens | How To Protect Your Flock.

Weather

Generally speaking, chickens do better staying warm in cold climates than they do cooling off in hot weather. If you live in a hot area, place your coop in the shade, provide plenty of ventilation, and consider adding a fan or other cooling mechanism to your chicken coop. If you live in a cold climate, place the coop out of the wind, and consider adding a heat source inside the coop. 

Lighting

Some chicken coops can be very dark inside, and sometimes that can make it hard for you to see to clean or care for the chickens. Some chickens don’t like it very dark, particularly on long winter nights. For those reasons, you may want to add a source of light inside the chicken coop. 

Other Chicken Coop Features

These features are not strictly necessary, but can be nice to have in order to save time, simplify maintenance, and make your life easier. If your chicken coop doesn’t have some of them, you may want to consider adding them as an upgrade. 

External access to nesting boxes

The ability to quickly and easily gather eggs without going inside the coop is just a convenient time-saver. Having this access low enough for children to use is also a nice feature, so that kids can gather eggs themselves. 

Doors, windows, and lids that can be locked/latched closed AND open

It may not seem like a big deal, but  the ability to lift a lid or open a door and have it stay open by itself is a big plus in a chicken coop. Not only do such doors and windows improve ventilation, or give chickens free access, but it makes your life easier too. There are many chicken coop cleaning and maintenance tasks that require both hands, and leaving a lid or door held open for a minute makes things a lot easier. 

Removable cleaning tray

Many modern chicken coops have floors that are long trays that can be pulled out. This makes cleaning them much easier, because it’s simply a matter of dumping and hosing them off and then replacing them. For smaller chicken coops, where there is less room for you to move around with cleaning equipment, removable trays can be a great feature. 

Automatic door opener

It may seem a bit over-the-top, but an automatic door opener is a great feature in a chicken coop. It opens and closes the chicken’s access to the coop, so that they can be automatically let out in the morning, and closed up at night. 

Different door openers can be controlled by programmable timers, a remote control, a light sensor, an app, or by a combination of controls. When choosing an automatic door opener, the first thing to consider is the power source; you may need to have a battery-operated one unless you have electrical supply to your chicken coop. 

Final Thoughts

While chicken coops are pretty easy to build, it may not be the right solution for you. Sometimes you need a quality chicken coop in a hurry, or a second chicken coop for a growing flock. And sometimes you simply don’t want to make plans, buy materials, and build a coop yourself.

Either way, if you have a small flock of chickens in your backyard, and need a quality chicken coop to protect them, you can’t go wrong with any of the houses that I mentioned in this article.

With that said, if I were to choose only one of them as the best chicken coop for a small backyard flock, I would go with the SnapLock Formex Large Chicken Coop. What I like the most about this small chicken coop is that because it’s made out of plastic, it will outlast any of the other hen houses that are made out of wood. It’s resistant to the sun and the rain. And when it comes time to clean it out, you can literally just hose it out.

Click the image below if you want to learn more about the SnapLock Formex Chicken Coop.

SnapLock Formex Large Chicken Coop Backyard Hen House 4-6 Large 6-12 Bantams

More From The Hen’s Loft

best small chicken coops

Share on email
Email
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2019 All rights Reserved. Design by The Hen's Loft