Chicken coop kits come in a variety of styles, but the most common way to categorize coop kits is by function. Standard coop sizes based on the number of hens, mini coops for people who have limited space, coops with enclosed yard areas and movable coops are just a few of the different types of chicken coop kits. Each type of kit further expands options to include aesthetic style, material construction, carpentry skills required and many other customizable features and benefits.
Average chicken coop kits, regardless of design specifics, contain all the basic materials, including lumber and hardware necessary to build a particular coop. Additional specialty materials vary based on the type of chicken coop kits selected. Coops with enclosures, for example, include additional lumber, fencing and hardware needed to complete a closed grazing yard, in addition to the basic coop structure. Mobile coops, on the other hand, require the addition of wheels, axles and any necessary hardware or materials needs to build a handle for pulling the coop.
Future or expanding flock owners typically select a prefabricated chicken coop kit based on the space available and local climate. For example, a person who wants to raise a small flock in an urban environment might have only enough room for a mini coop. Alternatively, a small hobby farm might prefer chicken coop kits designed with wheels for mobility. Owners who want to raise free-range hens without threats from predators might, in turn, choose from a variety of chicken coop kits that include enclosures with ground access.
Full-size or standard chicken coop kits generally are intended for flocks of six or more hens. Smaller coop kits or mini coops house smaller flocks with less than six hens. Both standard and mini coops usually consist of a housing structure with nesting boxes and trap doors for collecting eggs. Although a flock can live comfortably in such a completely self-contained structure, healthy flocks typically need open areas to forage and scratch. As such, standard and mini coops typically are intended to sit inside a fenced area.
Concerns about predators are addressed with both mobile chicken coops and kits with enclosed yards. With these types of chicken coop kits, hens have secluded areas to nest as well as the ability to forage under the cover of wire mesh or fencing to keep out predators. A-frame coops, enclosures that resemble covered dog kennels and raised coops are all examples of this type of chicken coop kit.
Owners and chickens alike reap the benefits of mobile coops. Such prefabricated kits are favorites of organic gardeners, hobby farmers and urban permaculturists. Hens have secluded nesting spots as well as access to fresh land to forage and scratch each time the coop is moved. Benefits to the owner include the ability to control where and for how long hens can work a particular area. The hens clear the area of pests, and the chickens leave behind valuable natural fertilizer for both garden areas and lawns, saving owners both money and coop cleaning time without threats from predators.