Chicken Coop Design Dos and Don'ts: Common Mistakes to Avoid — Roobeez (2024)

Written By Cherryl Macalino

Welcome, poultry enthusiasts, to our guide on chicken coop design dos and don'ts! Whether you're planning to build your own chicken coop or considering purchasing one, it's essential to approach the process with careful planning and attention to detail. After all, the well-being of your feathered friends depends on it.

Mistake 1: Neglecting Proper Ventilation

One of the most critical aspects of coop design is ventilation. Adequate airflow is essential for regulating temperature, removing moisture, and preventing the buildup of harmful gases like ammonia. A common mistake many backyard chicken keepers make is not providing enough ventilation or improperly placing vents. Ensure your coop has windows, vents, or openings near the roof to allow hot air to escape and fresh air to circulate without creating drafts.


  1. Cross Ventilation: It's a good idea to install vents or openings on opposite sides of the coop. This allows for cross ventilation, ensuring a consistent airflow throughout the coop.

  2. Use Hardware Cloth: Cover your ventilation openings with hardware cloth or mesh. Doing so will prevent predators from entering while still allowing airflow to circulate freely.

  3. Regular Cleaning: Make it a habit to clean the ventilation openings regularly. This will help keep them free from debris and ensure that the airflow remains unobstructed.

  4. Monitor Temperature and Humidity: To create optimal conditions for your chickens, it's important to keep an eye on the temperature and humidity levels inside the coop. Regular monitoring will help you make any necessary adjustments.

  5. Provide Shade: Whenever possible, position your coop in a shaded area. This can help regulate the temperature and reduce heat buildup, making it more comfortable for your feathered friends.


  1. Neglect Cleaning Ventilation Openings: Avoid allowing ventilation openings to become clogged or blocked by dirt, dust, or debris.

  2. Forget About Seasonal Adjustments: Don't overlook the importance of adjusting ventilation based on seasonal changes in temperature and humidity.

  3. Use Flimsy Materials: Avoid using flimsy materials for vents or openings that can easily break or degrade over time, compromising ventilation.

  4. Block Ventilation with Overgrown Vegetation: Prevent vegetation from growing too close to ventilation openings, as it obstructs airflow and provides hiding spots for predators.

  5. Overlook Predators: Don't forget to consider predator-proofing measures when installing ventilation openings to prevent unauthorized entry into the coop.

Chicken Coop Design Dos and Don'ts: Common Mistakes to Avoid — Roobeez (1)

Roobeez is the ultimate farming community resource system. Find local events, resources, and more.

Sign up for our FREE membership for immediate access to the online marketplace.

You might also be interested in…

Orpington Chickens: 3 Things You Might Not Know

Chicken Coop Design Dos and Don'ts: Common Mistakes to Avoid — Roobeez (2)

Mistake 2: Overcrowding the Coop

When it comes to housing chickens, it's important to resist the temptation of overcrowding the coop. While it might seem like a good idea to maximize space and fit more chickens, it can actually lead to some unpleasant consequences. Overcrowding can cause stress, aggression, and even increase the risk of disease among your feathered friends.

To keep your chickens happy and healthy, they need sufficient space to move around, roost, and nest comfortably. As a general rule, it's recommended to provide at least 2-3 square feet of coop space per bird. By giving them enough room, you'll be ensuring their well-being and overall welfare.

If you really want to go the extra mile in creating a comfortable living environment for your chickens, consider large chicken coops. A large chicken coop with run will provide ample roosting and nesting areas, reducing the risk of overcrowding and promoting a harmonious atmosphere within the flock.

Remember, a spacious coop not only benefits your chickens but also allows you to build a strong and healthy community within your feathered family.


  1. Provide Outdoor Space: Allow chickens access to outdoor runs or free-range areas to supplement indoor coop space, promoting natural behaviors and reducing overcrowding. A chicken coop run is critical for backyard coops.

  2. Consider Breed Requirements: Take into account the size and breed of your chickens when planning coop space, as larger breeds may require more space to move comfortably.

  3. Monitor Behavior: Regularly observe chicken behavior for signs of overcrowding, such as aggression, feather pecking, or stress, and make adjustments to coop space accordingly.

  4. Create Separate Areas: If housing multiple chicken breeds or ages, consider dividing the coop into separate areas to prevent overcrowding and conflicts between groups.

  5. Provide Enrichment: Offer environmental enrichment such as perches, ramps, and platforms to utilize vertical space and provide additional areas for chickens to roost and explore.


  1. Ignore Space Requirements: Avoid disregarding recommended space requirements per chicken, as overcrowding can lead to health issues and decreased egg production.

  2. Overlook Roosting Space: Ensure there are enough roosting bars for all chickens to comfortably roost at night, preventing overcrowding on individual perches.

  3. Underestimate Nesting Box Needs: Provide adequate nesting boxes to accommodate all hens comfortably, reducing competition for nesting space and potential egg breakage.

  4. Disregard Social Dynamics: Don't overlook the social dynamics within your flock, as overcrowding can lead to increased aggression and hierarchy disputes among chickens.

  5. Forget About Future Growth: Consider the potential growth of your flock when designing coop space, allowing for expansion if you plan to add more chickens in the future.

Chicken Coop Design Dos and Don'ts: Common Mistakes to Avoid — Roobeez (4)

Mistake 3: Failing to Consider Predator Protection

Predators are a real danger to backyard chickens, presenting risks such as raccoons, foxes, and birds of prey. Neglecting to take proper precautions against these predators can lead to severe losses. To safeguard your chicken coop and run, make sure it is completely predator-proof. This can be achieved by using robust hardware cloth or welded wire mesh to cover windows and openings. Additionally, consider burying wire mesh around the perimeter to prevent digging, and install secure latches on doors and access points. Taking these measures will help protect your precious chickens from potential harm.


  1. Regularly Inspect and Maintain: Conduct regular inspections of your coop's predator protection measures to ensure they remain intact and effective over time. Repair any damage promptly and reinforce weak spots.

  2. Utilize Motion-Activated Lighting or Alarms: Install motion-activated lights or alarms around the coop perimeter to deter nocturnal predators and alert you to potential threats.

  3. Implement Double Barriers: Consider adding double barriers, such as an outer perimeter fence or an additional layer of wire mesh, to further deter predators from accessing the coop.

  4. Utilize Predator Deterrents: Explore natural predator deterrents, such as scent deterrents or predator decoys, to help discourage predators from approaching the coop.

  5. Consider Livestock Guardian Animals: If feasible, consider introducing livestock guardian animals, such as dogs or geese, to help protect your flock from potential predators.


  1. Overlook Potential Entry Points: Avoid overlooking less obvious entry points, such as gaps in fencing or openings near the ground, where predators may gain access to the coop.

  2. Underestimate Climbing Abilities: Don't underestimate the climbing abilities of predators like raccoons and snakes. Ensure coop walls and fencing are tall enough and slick or angled to prevent easy scaling.

  3. Neglect Nighttime Security: Don't neglect nighttime security measures, as many predators are nocturnal and pose a greater threat under the cover of darkness.

  4. Rely Solely on Visual Deterrents: While visual deterrents can be effective, don't rely solely on them. Implement multiple layers of protection, including physical barriers and deterrents, for added security.

  5. Forget About Predatory Birds: Don't forget about aerial predators like hawks and owls. Consider covering outdoor runs with netting or providing covered areas for chickens to seek shelter from overhead threats.

Mistake 4: Ignoring Drainage and Moisture Control

Moisture buildup in the coop can lead to damp bedding, bacterial growth, and respiratory issues for your chickens. It's crucial to design your coop with proper drainage and moisture control in mind. Elevate the coop off the ground, slope the floor slightly towards the door for drainage, and use absorbent bedding materials like straw or pine shavings. Regularly clean and replace wet bedding to maintain a dry and healthy coop environment.


  1. Install Gutters and Downspouts: Consider installing gutters and downspouts on the coop roof to direct rainwater away from the coop, preventing moisture buildup around the foundation.

  2. Use Sloped Roofing: Choose roofing materials with a slight slope to facilitate water runoff and prevent pooling on the coop roof.

  3. Install a Vapor Barrier: Incorporate a vapor barrier, such as plastic sheeting or pond liner, under the coop flooring to prevent moisture from seeping up from the ground.

  4. Provide Adequate Ventilation: Ensure proper airflow within the coop to help reduce humidity levels and prevent moisture accumulation. This complements the drainage efforts by allowing moisture to escape.

  5. Use Durable Flooring Materials: Select flooring materials that are resistant to moisture and easy to clean, such as concrete or vinyl flooring.


  1. Neglect Cleaning Gutters: Avoid neglecting the maintenance of gutters and downspouts, as clogged or damaged gutters can lead to water pooling around the coop, increasing moisture levels.

  2. Ignore Standing Water: Don't ignore standing water around the coop or in the surrounding area, as it can contribute to high humidity levels and moisture buildup inside the coop.

  3. Use Poor-Quality Bedding: Avoid using bedding materials that retain moisture, such as sawdust or newspaper, as they can contribute to damp conditions and bacterial growth.

  4. Neglect Routine Maintenance: Don't neglect routine maintenance tasks, such as cleaning and replacing bedding, inspecting for leaks or damage, and repairing any issues promptly to prevent moisture-related problems.

  5. Underestimate the Impact of Condensation: Don't underestimate the impact of condensation on coop moisture levels. Address any sources of condensation, such as inadequate ventilation or insulation, to reduce moisture buildup.

Chicken Coop Design Dos and Don'ts: Common Mistakes to Avoid — Roobeez (6)

Mistake 5: Forgetting About Access and Maintenance

Don't forget to consider the ease of access and maintenance when designing your coop, as it plays a vital role in taking care of your chickens in the long run. To ensure convenience, make sure your coop has access points for cleaning, collecting eggs, and inspecting chickens. Incorporating features like removable roosting bars and nesting boxes, hinged doors, and easy-to-clean flooring can simplify maintenance tasks and make caring for your flock much easier.


  1. Consider Human Access: Ensure there are sufficient access points for humans to enter the coop comfortably for cleaning, feeding, and inspecting chickens. This includes designing a chicken coop door that is wide enough for easy entry and exit.

  2. Include Removable Components: Incorporate removable roosting bars, nesting boxes, and flooring materials to simplify cleaning and maintenance tasks. This allows for easy removal of soiled bedding and thorough cleaning of coop surfaces. This is especially important in a mobile chicken coop!

  3. Design for Ergonomics: Consider the ergonomics of coop design, such as the height of roosting bars and nesting boxes, to make maintenance tasks more comfortable for caregivers. A walk in chicken coop provides an easier experience than having to stoop and reach while cleaning.

  4. Provide Storage Space: Include storage areas within or adjacent to the coop for storing feed, bedding, and cleaning supplies, keeping them easily accessible for routine maintenance.

  5. Utilize Easy-to-Clean Materials: Choose materials for coop construction that are durable, non-porous, and easy to clean, such as plastic or metal, to minimize the buildup of dirt and bacteria.


  1. Neglect Cleaning Access Points: Avoid overlooking access points during coop design, as inaccessible areas can become breeding grounds for pests and pathogens.

  2. Forget About Egg Collection: Don't forget to design the coop with easy access to nesting boxes for egg collection, preventing damage to eggs and minimizing disturbance to nesting hens.

  3. Overlook Safety Considerations: Ensure that access points, such as doors and latches, are secure and designed to prevent accidental escape or injury to chickens during maintenance activities.

  4. Underestimate Maintenance Frequency: Don't underestimate the frequency of maintenance tasks required for coop upkeep. Regular cleaning and inspection are essential for maintaining a healthy coop environment.

  5. Ignore Future Expansion Needs: Consider the potential for future expansion or modifications to the coop layout, such as adding additional nesting boxes or roosting bars, to accommodate changes in flock size or management practices.

Chicken Coop Design Dos and Don'ts: Common Mistakes to Avoid — Roobeez (7)


Embarking on the journey of chicken keeping involves much more than just getting the birds, it requires thoughtful consideration of their living environment. Whether you're building your own coop or thinking about buying one, paying attention to detail and careful planning are essential for ensuring the comfort, safety, and productivity of your feathered friends. By avoiding common mistakes and following the helpful tips provided in this guide, you'll be well on your way to success in poultry keeping.

Proper ventilation, ample space, predator protection, moisture control, and easy access are all critical factors to consider when designing a coop. By incorporating these principles, you not only ensure the well-being of your chickens but also make maintenance tasks easier, creating a more enjoyable experience caring for your flock. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned expert, we hope this guide has given you valuable insights and practical tips for creating the perfect coop for your feathered companions.

With careful planning and attention to detail, your coop design can become a resounding success, providing a safe and comfortable home for your chickens for many years to come. Happy chicken keeping!

If you’re looking for local chicken coop builders, Roobeez can help. Roobeez is the first-of-its-kind online farmer’s market designed specifically for poultry lovers. Search for chicken coops for sale from local builders. Becoming a Roobeez member is FREE and has many benefits, including unlimited online marketplace access, helpful informational guides, a supportive farm and homestead community, and more.

Create your FREE Roobeez Account

Chicken Coops for Sale

You might also be interested in…

  • Chicken Heat Safety Tips

  • How To Prepare Your Chicken Coop for a Storm

  • A Quick and Easy Way to Sell Farm Fresh Eggs

  • Chicken Feeding Stations: Essential Considerations for Setup

Cherryl Macalino

Chicken Coop Design Dos and Don'ts: Common Mistakes to Avoid — Roobeez (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Last Updated:

Views: 5612

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Birthday: 1999-09-15

Address: 8416 Beatty Center, Derekfort, VA 72092-0500

Phone: +6838967160603

Job: Mining Executive

Hobby: Woodworking, Knitting, Fishing, Coffee roasting, Kayaking, Horseback riding, Kite flying

Introduction: My name is Msgr. Refugio Daniel, I am a fine, precious, encouraging, calm, glamorous, vivacious, friendly person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.