There is a huge selection of chicken coops currently on the market. Whether you have a large garden flock of 10-12 Bantams or just a couple of Gingernut Rangers to have some eggs each morning there is a perfect coop for you.
The green Eglu Go Up chicken coop looks great in the garden and chickens love it
The bigger the coop, the more hens you can have but you would be surprised by how many hens can fit in even some of the smaller coops. When your hens are sleeping they will roost on bars and huddle together to keep warm. You may think that your coop is totally full but try opening it at night and you will be amazed by how much space the chickens leave as they huddle as close together as possible.
Most people keep 2-8 chickens as their garden pets. This is usually because of space limitations or if they simply don’t need as many eggs as larger flocks produce.
In our book a larger garden coop should house 6 or more hens. You obviously want to pick a coop that has plenty of room but sometimes coop adverts can be misleading. You have to assume that a coop advertised to hold 6 hens is talking about smaller breeds of chicken such as Bantams therefore your 6 Orpingtons may struggle to squeeze in. Here at Omlet we always try to give an estimate for the number of hens and the size of hen we are talking about.
Helen Goodson's four Bantams and two Cochins absolutely love their Elgu Cube
Our larger chicken coops include two wooden coops designed by the famous Forsham Cottage Arks; the Lenham (6-8 large breed hens/10-12 medium breed hens) and the Boughton (6 medium breed hens) as well as the fantastic plastic Eglu Cube (6-8 large breed hens/8-10 medium breed hens) which we designed here.
A medium/small garden coop will comfortably house around 4 hens. Most first time chicken keepers will get between 2-4 hens so this is where there really is an abundance of different coops to choose from. For any chicken keeper but particularly the first time keepers you really want a coop that is minimal fuss with maximum reward.
We designed the Eglu Classic and Eglu Go to fit perfectly into this role. Both these coops are designed to make keeping chickens as carefree as possible and both will house up to 4 medium sized hens and 2-3 larger hens.
The biggest benefit to have a coop that is raised off the ground is the extra run space you get without increasing the footprint of the coop. Raised coops give your chickens a shaded area underneath them and are perfect to maximise the space you dedicate to your hens. For wooden coops, a raised coop may also have a longer life expectancy as they generally remain dryer and have less chance of rotting. An added benefit of a raised coop is that they tend to be at a more convenient working height, this can be perfect for us chicken keepers that prefer not to be bent double or have limited mobility.
Stephanie Croft's Gingernut Rangers Daphne and Velma enjoying their new Eglu Go Up and Run
The raised wooden Boughton chicken coop is really easy to use
If you already have an Eglu Go and want to convert it to an Eglu Go UP then things couldn’t be easier. All you need is the Frame and Ladder and then you can choose the optional wheel set and a 2m run to fit your needs.
The Material that your coop is made of can make a huge difference to the coop’s lifespan, its likelihood to harbour parasites, how easy it is to clean and insulating properties.
One main benefit of plastic coops is that they are much less likely to become infested with red mite. This is because there are almost no nooks and crannies for the parasites to hideaway in. If you do have red mite you can just disassemble a plastic coop and pressure wash it to get it spotlessly clean.
An Omlet Eglu Cube is really easy to wash and dry
Plastic coops also won’t absorb any moisture like a wooden coop will. This not only means you can pressure wash them but also that they won’t become sodden and start to rot. An added benefit, no waiting for the coop to dry...
If you are a traditionalist then you might only be considering wooden coops. Wooden coops have been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years and are a fantastic way to keep hens. One thing you need to look out for is cheap materials that simply won’t last more than a couple of years.
The Boughton chicken coop being used by a brood of bantams
Here at Omlet we use sustainably-farmed Canadian Pine that has been ground contact pressure treated in all our wooden coops to ensure they are sturdy and stand the test of time. Just check out the Boughton and the Lenham.