Chicken Coop Types, Large and Portable

Choosing the Right Chicken Coop Type...

OK, You've Decided on the Type of Chickens That You Want and How Many, Now It's Time to Decide How to House Your New Flock.

Two coops joined together to make a nice large one!

When it comes to housing your flock, there are a lot of different sizes, shapes, and designs to pick from.

To help keep it simple, I'm just going to cover the most common chicken coop types & sizes.

On this page we're going to talk about large and portable coop types.

 

Larger Sized Coops

There are two types of the larger coops permanent (stationary) and portable (mobile). Much like the small to medium sized coops, large coops can be portable, permanent or both.

 

The Permanent Chicken Coop Types are often affectionately referred to as hen houses or poultry houses because they’re often designed to look like a little house. They're generally large enough to walk inside which makes cleaning and maintenance a lot easier.

They have all of the same features as the smaller versions, but most everything is kept on the inside, like the nesting boxes, feeders and waterers.

These coops are usually large enough for 8 or more chickens.

If you’d like to have a hen house, you can build one from your own design or purchase plans. There are many sources for chicken coop plans and designs available online.

You can also pay someone to custom build one to your specs, or you can always re-use an existing building and modify it to function like a hen house. 

The Portable Chicken Coops are usually referred to as “tractors” in the U.S.  In the U.K, they often call them “arks”. Chicken tractors can be rectangular, square or triangular in shape and usually have wheels to make them easier to move although not all tractors have wheels especially the smaller ones.

They can look like normal chicken houses with wheels (pictured below, this is both a large and a mobile chicken coop) although they're usually short and covered in wire mesh or chicken wire. I think wire mesh with ½ squares is best for protection against predators as well as being stronger.

These work pretty good in cases where you want to be able to move a flock of about 12 to 15 chickens around that you can’t let range freely (free range) due to predators, etc.

I have one last thought about chicken tractors; I've seen websites that say you can position your tractor so that it is a source of fertilizer for your yard.

This is sort of true if you move it 2 or 3 times a day, rake over heavy concentrations of manure to spread and thin it out, and water it so that it gets diluted.

I have one last thought about chicken tractors; I've seen websites that say you can position your tractor so that it is a source of fertilizer for your yard.

This is sort of true if you move it 2 or 3 times a day, rake over heavy concentrations of manure to spread and thin it out, and water it so that it gets diluted.

Chicken manure has a high nitrogen content that can burn or kill your grass if allowed to build up in too large of an amount for too long as shown in the picture to the right (look under the tractor and to the left).

That said, grass does eventually grow back so it's not a huge issue.

A wonderful addition to these larger coops are automatic door openers that can usually be easily added to your design and will definitely make your life easier!

Look and Design

The coop in the top most picture belongs to our friend Rhiannon and her husband Robert in Riverside County, California. They joined two coops together and did a little customization to create this. It is a very nice, very well made coop with lots of room for their flock. Great job guys, we love it and bet your chickens do too!

How your Chicken Coop or Hen House looks is your choice. Coops can be made from leftover mix and match building materials or all new store-bought materials.

Chicken coops and hen houses can be painted to match your home or other structures. You can also just let them weather naturally although we do recommend some type of wood sealant and protectant to insure many enjoyable years of use.

Chicken coops can be bought pre-assembled, shipped with some assembly required or built from scratch using your own design or plans available for free or for purchase.

Remember, if you decide to build your own, you will need some basic construction skills.


We hope this section on Large & Portable Coops was helpful for understanding a little more about the differences in coop types and deciding what might work best for you!

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