What Makes a Good Coop: The Fundamentals

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 16 July 2020

Everyone wants to create the perfect living environment for their poultry pals, but with an overwhelming amount of options readily available, choosing the perfect chicken coop designs can seem a daunting task.

How big should my coop be? Do I need a run? Should there be nesting boxes? Do I really need a perch? To avoid being sent into a flap, there are a number of key features of chicken coop designs to look at to ensure your hens home can be a happy one.

1. Nesting Boxes

To provide an optimum egg laying habitat for you chickens, it’s important that chicken coop designs includes nesting boxes. As our girls prefer a little peace and privacy when it comes to that all important time, you should make sure that the nesting boxes provide a feeling of safety by being partly secluded and free of draft, the more comfortable they are the more conducive the egg laying will be! Luckily chickens are sharing and caring creatures, so one box between three to four feathered friends is a perfect fit. When it comes to chicken coop designs, external access to nesting boxes means your morning egg hunt will be easier than ever, perfect for the chilly months!

2. Perches

Perches are an integral part of all chicken coop designs as it is where your flightless friends get their forty winks-not in the nesting boxes like many people are led to believe! The perfect perch is 50mm and should be designed with your chickens fragile feet in mind. Anything too small or too large will cause your chickens to get sore feet and could lead to further foot problems. As most hens prefer to roost up high the perch should sit at least 45cm from the ground. If you’re looking at  chicken coop designs with multiple perches, they should be based at different heights to help replicate their natural environment, after all we do want our poultry pets to be pleased!

3. Sturdy Timber Build

Just like with any home, the sturdier the materials you build with means a sturdier and safer home, and the same goes for your hens humble abode. There are a lot of options on the market that claim to be strong and weather-proof, but they are light and flimsy-our coops are double the weight of most! To avoid having to re-home your hens every month, make sure you choose chicken coop designs that are built with a thick, heavy duty timber that is weather, mould and white ant-resistant. This will ensure that your sometimes fussy friends will be kept safe and sound rain, hail or shine!


Just like we love and adore our chickens, unfortunately so do many other wild and domestic animals, and our beloved pets are often the meal of choice for many pesky predators such as foxes, dogs, cats and snakes. To help prevent predators from harming your hens it is important that you are choosing chicken coop designs  that are fitted with a galvanised wire mesh that is fixed firmly in place. Your chosen coop should also be fitted with proper sliding locks, bolts and padlocks, not flimsy twist closes, to ensure that your girls don’t end up as a frisky fox’s dinner! (photo) If you’re after a little extra security for your flock, an automatic door opener for your chicken coop designs allows you to set the open and close time of your chicken coop designs door-perfect if you’re away and still want to give your feathery friends some space to play! (photo)

5. Mobility

While you don’t need to move your coop, especially if you let your hens out to free range, chicken coop designs with wheels is ideal if you have to house your chickens full time so the coop can be moved around the yard, providing your hens with a fresh view, fresh grass and a little more freedom.

Just like any other pet, we want the best for our chickens and that means a happy home environment that will keep them out of harms way, which is why it is important to take all the above points into mind when looking at ideal chicken coop designs. Besides your love and attention our funny feathered friends just want a chicken coop design that they can call home! Give them this and they will repay you in love and fresh eggs, we promise…

Backyard Chicken Coops can make choosing chicken coop designs easy as one, two, three! With chicken coop designs to please even the fussiest of your feathered friends.

With so many options and different equipment needed, getting the best coop to keep your flock happy and safe can be a daunting task. To build or to buy? Do you know how many nesting boxes & perches you need? Do you know how much space you need & why? Choosing the perfect coop requires the right knowledge and equipment. You don't want to have all the gear and no idea!

Cluckily for us, our feathered friends at Chickenpedia have created a Coop Sweet Coop course filled with advice and information to help you become a proper eggspert! Find out all the options when buying or building a new coop including the best materials, sizes and locations. This extensive course will give you the confidence to make the right decision on a suitable and safe home for your feathered friends. This is why I recommend Chickenpedia to all my readers!

Click here to check out their beginner-friendly courses today!

Sources and further reading