The 10 Best Chicken Coops

Updated June 22, 2018 by Misty Alder

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Having your own flock of laying hens can be a great way to ensure you've always got fresh eggs on hand, and you don't need a big barn or complicated setup to get started. With one of these cozy chicken coops to provide protection from the elements and predators, all that's left to do is give them some inexpensive feed and a steady supply of drinking water to enjoy all the omelettes you can eat. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best chicken coop on Amazon.

10. Neocraft Medium

For an almost hassle-free approach to cleaning, the Neocraft Medium has a removable roof that is lightweight and resistant to rot. Its interior is fully insulated to keep its inhabitants cooler in the warmer months and toasty throughout the winter chill.
  • rust-resistant galvanized fixtures
  • uses non-toxic materials
  • can only hold 1 or 2 birds
Brand Neocraft
Model 51004
Weight 55 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Best Choice Sky2416

Whether you are housing beautiful Marans or the slightly more plain Buff Orpingtons that lay between 180-200 eggs per year, the Best Choice Sky2416 provides them with a log cabin-style homestead that is functional and aesthetically pleasing in your yard.
  • sliding doors for convenience
  • removable tray for droppings
  • no latch on the nest box
Brand Best Choice Products
Model SKY2416
Weight 30 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. SmithBuilt Two Story

The SmithBuilt Two Story is the penthouse of the poultry industry, standing seven feet high with multiple easily accessible entrance options. It can accommodate up to six bantams or a handful of larger breeds and gives them abundant room for exercise.
  • asphalt shingle roof
  • optional divider wall
  • wood is a bit thin
Brand SmithBuilt Crates
Model pending
Weight 117.7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Tangkula Hen House

Complete with a raised perch for a nice slumber and a non-slip ramp to provide sure-footed access to their domain, the Tangkula Hen House is an ideal lodging for a few of your small clucking friends to live out their lives safe from marauding predators.
  • all hardware included
  • metal fencing run
  • this isn't suitable for broody hens
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. The Leghorn Cottage

The Leghorn Cottage is the perfect item for someone who's just getting started managing a small flock. It offers your biddies a private place to raise their little chicks, and each piece is well labeled, so even a first-timer can erect this structure.
  • diagonal wood supports
  • 3 roosting rods
  • not for larger breeds
Brand The Chicken Coop Compan
Model SFT014
Weight pending
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Purlove Pet Hutch

If you want to give your barnyard fowl quality high-rise living quarters, you won't be disappointed with the Purlove Pet Hutch. With its easy-lift top and walk-in door, collecting breakfast supplies for the day and securing your faithful layers for the night is a cinch.
  • waterproof roof
  • slide pole for separation control
  • needs to air out before use
Brand Purlove
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Rhode Island Homestead

The Rhode Island Homestead features two roomy nesting boxes that give your hens ample space to lay their daily quota of eggs. It also has large vents on either side to help increase airflow and keep the inside environment as fresh as the outside.
  • panels come preassembled
  • hinged back door for easy access
  • tongue and groove construction
Brand The Chicken Coop Compan
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Tangkula Large

Constructed to resemble a classic red barn, the Tangkula Large is a well-ventilated boarding house for your favorite poultry. It comes complete with a lengthy run area that is surrounded with heavy galvanized wire to keep intruders out.
  • sturdy metal slide bolts
  • sides are completely removable
  • slide-out bottom for cleaning
Brand Tangkula
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Formex Snap Lock

The deluxe Formex Snap Lock is worth the hefty price tag if convenience and durability are at the top of your list. It's simple to assemble by yourself without any tools, and is made from a high-density polyethylene plastic that can withstand UV rays, water and chemicals.
  • virtually maintenance-free
  • good insulation
  • doors are lockable for safety
Brand SnapLock
Weight 67 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Pawhut Outdoor Run

The Pawhut Outdoor Run is a duplex design unit that will house your feathered friends in a comfortable, warm environment. It is elevated off of the ground to keep them and their lodgings dry and cozy throughout the damp, rainy seasons.
  • double nesting boxes
  • easy pull-out tray
  • constructed of fir wood
Brand Pawhut
Model D51-081
Weight 110.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

A Brief History Of Domesticating Chickens

Chickens are the most popular domesticated birds in the world. Each year, over 50 billion of them are raised to provide meat and eggs for human consumption. While they are one of the most popular sources of protein on the planet and, as of recent years, the single most popular meat in the United States, this was not always the case. In fact, large-scale chicken farming is only a few hundred years old.

The first chickens were domesticated at least 7,000 years ago. This is based on the discovery of chicken bone fossils in northeastern China that date back to 5400 B.C.E. Scientists were able to determine that these were not the bones of wild chickens because the birds are not indigenous to the cold, dry plains of the region. Instead, they were brought from Southeast Asia, where the red junglefowl, the domesticated chicken's primary progenitor, has existed for millions of years.

Based on studies of mitochondrial DNA found in ancient chicken bones around the world, scientists have traced the lineage of all domesticated chickens back to those found in Asia. From there, they made their way to Europe and, later, to European colonies in the Americas. The domesticated birds would also eventually replace the native guinea fowl as the poultry of choice in Africa, largely due to their poor flight abilities, which makes them easier to capture, raise, and kill.

While the vast majority of chickens raised now are destined for dinner plates around the world, it is believed that they were originally domesticated not for eating but for fighting. Technically, the animals of interest were roosters, though they couldn't have existed without hens . Evidence of cockfighting as a spectator sport dates back over 4,000 years, to ancient civilizations in the Indus Valley. The practice has remained popular throughout history, though it is now outlawed in many parts of the world, including all 50 American states.

Evidence of egg harvesting dates back to Ancient Egypt, where eggs were a symbol of fertility. The Egyptians developed complex methods of incubation where eggs were kept in temperature controlled spaces in order to efficiently breed more chickens. The ancient Romans, by contrast, considered chicken meat a delicacy. Roman farmers spent centuries strategically fattening the birds, though they returned to their natural size after the fall of the empire.

Chicken farming didn't explode in popularity until the mid-20th century. This was due to the advent of fortified feed, which supplies the birds with the vitamins they need from grazing and sunlight, allowing them to be raised indoors. Feed is also used to pump chickens with antibiotics that prevent them from contracting diseases, allowing them to be packed closer together.

Indoor chicken farms protect the birds from bad weather and natural predators. Todays chicken farms are overflowing to cope with consumer demand, which has increased dramatically in recent years. Some facilities contain upwards of a quarter million birds at a time. Today, it's estimated that the average American consumes 80 pounds of chicken meat each year.

The Benefits Of Maintaining Your Own Coop

Today's factory farmed chicken is full of antibiotics and hormones used to make the birds grow bigger, yielding additional profits. Industrial chicken farms are not a pretty sight. They are dirty, overcrowded, and often inhumane. While there have been some advancements in protecting poultry raised as livestock in the European Union in recent years, the United States still allows farmers to keep the birds in cages barely larger than their bodies.

To protect yourself from ingesting the chemicals in store bought chicken, not to mention put some distance between yourself and the animal cruelty of the poultry industry, you might want to consider raising chickens of your own. While it may seem like a farfetched concept, about 1 in every 100 households in the United States has its own chicken coop.

Anybody with a bit of outdoor space can raise chickens. The benefits you'll reap will include a constant supply of incredibly fresh eggs, delicious and humanely raised meat on your dinner table, and a few pets to keep you company. If you're interested, it's a good idea to invest in a coop to contain your chickens and protect them from predators, even if you let them roam free during the day.

The type of coop you choose depends on your needs as well as where you live. If you live in an area with a lot of precipitation, make sure to choose one with adequate sheltered space. This will benefit both you and your chickens, as wet feed and hay aren't the best smelling additions you could make to your property. If you plan on allowing your chickens out of the coop, make sure to choose one that's easy to corral them back into at the end of the day. If you don't, the fewer possible points of exit, the better.

To ensure the happiness of your birds, make sure to stock your coop with a healthy supply of feed, water, and insulation in winter. You may want to cover the surface with hay to make it easier to clean as well.

My Own Experience Living With Chickens

I once spent about a month on a farm where the proprietors raised goats, rabbits, and chickens. I was new to the livestock enterprise, but I found several benefits the chickens had over the other animals.

For one thing, roosters make great alarm clocks. They help keep you on schedule with the sun, which, if you don't have nighttime obligations, is a great way to regulate your body's internal clock. Furthermore, while goats and rabbits may provide a few delicious meals when their lives are over, chickens are the gift that keeps on giving.

Waking up to fresh eggs every day is more of a treat than you might think. They're also fun to collect, and it's a beautiful thing to personally know the chicken that laid the eggs with which you made your omelette. Just don't let her know what you did with them.

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Last updated on June 22, 2018 by Misty Alder

Born and raised in the American Deep South, Misty's career in elder care took a sharp left turn when she was swept away to the land of Robinhood by her very own Merry Man. She's a coffee-swilling master of stitch-witchery with a magical touch in the kitchen and a never-ending stream of Disney gag reels playing in her head.

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