When it comes to chicken coop designs, the sky's the limit! There are so many different sizes and shapes, as well as materials that can be used to make a coop.
Wood or plastic? These are the two most common materials used in construction of coops, with wood being the most popular. Wood is durable, easily repaired, and affordable.
Some newer coops are now being made from plastic. Plastic coops are easier to clean, more resistant to damage, and do not attract mites and rodents. This convenience comes at a price though. For example, the Eglu, a small coop that is popular with urban chicken owners, has a starting price of around $500.00.
Now let's look at some of the most popular shapes for chicken coop designs...
A chicken ark has a simple A-frame design that is suitable for raising a small flock of birds (generally two to four birds). One of the advantages of this design is that it is portable, and can be moved to various places in the yard, eliminating the need to maintain a run, as well as providing your birds with a healthy, varied free range diet. In chicken arks, the roosting space and nesting boxes are either above the run or integrated on one side of the run.
Another common type of coop is a raised hen house, with a ramp leading up to the pop hole. Many of these also include a covered, integrated run. This type of coop design has two major advantages. First, rodents can't take up shelter beneath the coop. Second, if the run is integrated in the design, it makes good use of space, because the birds will also be able to use the area under the hen house.
The last type of chicken coop design that I want to talk about is the shed style. These commonly have either a slanted or gable style roof. Many of them are existing structures that were first used for storage by their owners, and then later converted to coops. However, some people specifically build this type of coop because it can easily house several birds.
Well, that wraps up our quick look a the most common chicken coop designs. As always, if you are just getting started, we recommend making a small investment in a good set of chicken coop plans.
photo credit: jakesmome