Chicken Coop Essentials - Raise a Better Chicken | Chicken Coop Basics

As the nation moves toward self-reliance and sustainable development, backyard chickens become increasingly popular. Raising your flock of chickens is an excellent way to learn more about chicken farming practices and what they need to thrive. 

It doesn't matter if you're building or purchasing your chicken coop; still, there are some chicken coop essential components that must be present to ensure that you'll raise better, healthy, happy, and productive chickens. 

However, a poorly designed chicken coop can be a major source of frustration for chicken keepers. Thus, by following the tips listed below, you can avoid these problems and have a much more enjoyable time with your flock.

Related Article: Learn How to Clean and Disinfect a Chicken Coop

Chicken Coop Basics

building a perfect chicken coop

To this day, there are numerous designs for building a perfect chicken coop, but they all need to have the same basic components: four walls, a roof, and proper ventilation for the birds, as well as nesting boxes and perches. However, if you are wondering what a chicken coop needs, how big should a chicken coop be, and what should be inside a chicken coop, keep on reading below. 


Choosing a location for your OverEZ XL Coop is a critical first step in planning. So that they can run around and peck and release their energy, chickens require a coop and a place to go outside. A safe location away from predators like raccoons and coyotes is essential, but you don't want your hens to get too far out of bounds either. 

Indeed, hens return home at the end of the day, but they tend to roam, and some neighbors may not appreciate having their grass pounded to near extinction. This coop is best accomplished with an attached or fenced-in yard for the chickens.

Roof and Walls

Consider drawing up a detailed plan of how big a chicken coop needs to be before beginning construction. When making your plans, remember that each chicken needs a minimum of 4 square feet of space. 

Use wood for the coop's frame and walls when you're ready to start building. Air and watertight chicken coop roofs are essential. For this reason, many chicken owners prefer roofs made of sheet metal, shingles, or PVC.

Nesting Boxes and Roosting Spaces

what should be inside a chicken coop

Every chicken coop must have a spot for your chickens to lay their eggs. A nesting box is required for every two to three hens, and each box should be at least 12" × 12" in size. Because your hens need a place to rest, you must provide a roosting space in your coop, and an
OverEZ Large Chicken Coop is what you need!

A high bar, a branch, or a thin plank, however, can all be utilized as a nighttime roost for your hens. If you have a large flock, you'll need to build a coop with enough bars, branches, or planks to keep them all in one place (you can stagger the rungs so that chickens can sleep on top of or below one another).

Ensure your coop's roost is separate, secure, and high above your coop's nesting box. This strategy will keep your chickens secure and snakes out of the coop. However, this is not a feasible alternative because chicken droppings would rapidly contaminate the space beneath the roost.

Ensure Proper Airflow/Ventilation 

All chicken coops must have adequate ventilation. Ventilation holes and windows can be used to accomplish this. On the other hand, to keep rodents and other pests out, ensure your ventilation system is properly screened and does not expose your hens to an excessive amount of wind. 

Runs & Fencing on the Go!

how big should a chicken coop be

Your chickens' health and happiness depend on the presence of a
Walk-in Run in their coops. There should be about 4 to 5 square feet of run space for each chicken in your coop. Make sure your run is constructed with the proper fencing. 

Thus, you should use T-Posts, U-Posts, or Wooden Fence posts to build your chicken coop. Predators and rodents will be deterred by burying your chicken wire 12 inches underground while erecting the fence for your chicken run. If you want to keep out disease-carrying wild birds, you'll need a mesh roof over your run.

Warmth and Lighting

Electrical heating and watering systems are commonly used in colder areas, so you must plan to insulate a chicken coop. Nonetheless, heat lamps and flat-panel heaters, both of which are cool to the touch, are popular choices when asked about how to heat a chicken coop. To lay eggs, hens require a minimum of 16 hours of daylight each day. Alongside, if you are wondering how long chicken eggs are good for in the coop, they could be kept for about 4 weeks with proper ventilation.

On the other hand, artificial lighting is used by chicken keepers to simulate for 16-hours a day, specifically during winter months when sunlight is less. Besides lamps and heaters, cold climate coops have extra insulation in the floor, walls, and ceiling. It's no secret that chickens are drawn to the light. Also, lots of light and warmth come from windows facing south, especially during the winter.

Chicken Feeds

what does a chicken coop need

In terms of chicken feeds, a layer feed should be fed to chickens at least 5-6 months old that have reached the laying stage. It's possible to buy organic or non-organic feed that is also nonGMO or supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and other nutrients. 

All-day or at least half an hour in the morning and half an hour at night should be the minimum amount spent feeding a pet. Chicken feed must also include grit or coarse dirt to aid digestion. Grit can be purchased commercially, but most free-ranging chickens have their own.


Laying hens need calcium supplements in addition to layer feed, which can be in the form of crushed oyster shells or eggshells. Also, there should be plenty of supplements available for each hen to eat at their leisure in its container. But chickens that aren't laid eggs do not require the supplement.


Water that is clear, cool, and fresh should be used in the chicken’s bathing process. Each week, add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to each gallon of water to avoid bacteria, molds, and algae from growing in the water and give your chickens some added health benefits as well.

Dust Bath

what does a chicken coop need

Chickens require easy access to dry, loose dirt or sand for a dust bath; that is how they keep their feathers free of mites and their coats looking good. Alternatively, you can provide them with a kiddie pool or other large container in which they can relax and play. As long as it is somewhere they want, they will find a place for themselves!

Cleaning & Maintenance

When we are asked how to clean a chicken coop, we often advise that an efficient way to do it is when you have easy access to the outside, just like collecting eggs. Regular cleaning of the coop is essential if you keep chickens. Their droppings, manure, and dribbled feed all contribute to the mess. Prior preparation saves time and effort when it comes time to clean and maintain the coop after being built.

In addition to a basic daily clean-out access door, you may want to include a larger access door that allows for "big time, all-out, clean-outs." For the most part, linoleum floors are popular because of their ease of maintenance and clean-up.

Poultry Licenses

Obtaining a building permit before beginning construction or having a chicken coop is something you should check into ahead of time. However, it still depends on where you reside, if you may or may not necessitate getting a permit. In most cases, a coop's small footprint may be enough to keep it from needing a permit.

However, a coop without a proper foundation may also be exempt from permitting. If a permit is required, there may be restrictions on the size, height, number of windows, location, and more. Alternatively, keep an eye out for any existing ordinances prohibiting the keeping of poultry altogether while you're at it! A larger flock or the noise of roosters would be more of a problem in an urban setting.

Further, you might find local ordinances that describe how to store chicken feed sources and control chicken manure. The best-case scenario is that you can build a successful coop regardless of whether you have the necessary permits or not.

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Raise Better Chickens with These Chicken Coop Essentials!

how long are chicken eggs good for in the coop

Chicken coops can be purchased or built from scratch, but they must adhere to the fundamentals we've laid out. Keeping healthy and happy hens is possible for anyone willing to put in the time and effort required. 

For all of your backyard chicken needs, from equipment, runs, and coops, Buffalo Backyard Store can help. Finally, once your coop is up and running, daily care becomes a routine — a routine that pays off in the form of healthy, delicious, and organic eggs almost every day.