The three main types of backyard chicken coops are stationary coops, tractors, and small coops that can be lifted and moved from one area to another. In terms of design, many backyard chicken coops feature traditional farmhouse architecture and color schemes, though there are also modern, igloo-shaped coops that focus more on function than form. Coops may come with runs which allow chickens to spend time outside in a confined area or may open up into an unfenced yard or farm. The size of chicken coops varies considerably from tiny chicken houses made to hold a couple of hens to large structures that house dozens of birds.
The most common types of backyard chicken coops are stationary coops. These structures are usually built in a person's backyard because once they are constructed, they are too large and heavy to move. Typically, these coops are large enough to house a dozen or more hens and are elevated off the ground by the use of posts which keep the coop dry and the chickens safe from predators. A door, sometimes large enough to allow a person to walk through, makes the interior of these coops easy to access to collect eggs and to clean. A fenced chicken run may be attached to this type of coop so that backyard chickens do not escape into a neighboring yard.
One of the other popular types of backyard chicken coops is the chicken tractor. These coops have a small enclosed henhouse and a larger fenced off area so the chickens can forage outside without escaping. In a chicken tractor, the entire structure is placed on wheels so that it can be moved from one part of the backyard to another. This is very useful because a group of chickens will turn a patch of grass into a patch of dirt in a few weeks, so moving them from one spot to another allows the chickens access to fresh grass while keeping the lawn safe from damage.
Small, portable backyard chicken coops are also popular among people who have only a few chickens. These coops may open into the yard or may be attached to a fenced run. Often they are made out of plastic because wooden coops are heavy, even when they are small. Plastic coops are often shaped like igloos and come with sliding doors so that the chickens can be confined at night if there are predators in the area.