The Perfect Chicken Coop

I have built, then rebuilt, many coops over the years. Some things worked, some did not. I am trying to define, design, then build, the ultimate coop. Comments and advice are welcome and will be incorporated here if possible. Send an email to with your comments and suggestions.

Design Considerations / Requirements

  • Movable so cleaning is easier
  • Only used for 3 seasons (could use over winter in right conditions, but not designing for that)
  • Best value per bird kept, but no cheap materials that need replacing
  • As attractive and durable as possible
  • Functional for breeding or growouts
  • Enclosed area on west side (where prevailing winds are usually from) extends to ground on 3 sides
  • Window on enclosed side that can be opened to see the other end. When pulling backwards, this allows you to see before you run over a bird.
  • Door on lower part of enclosed end to allow easy servicing of food and water for ducks/geese


  • Movable by one person
  • Not affected by strong winds
  • Multi-species – Chickens and ducks, for example
  • Roosts adequate for the species kept
  • Wall attached feeders protected from precipitation
  • Must move backwards as easily as forwards, plan how to move sideways as well.


  • No wheels, will drag this with a hard truck from Harbor Freight
  • No handles for pulling either, too complicated as we need to pull it backwards also
  • No tarps – they tear and look cheap

Under consideration

  • Removable nest boxes
  • Built-in waterer – so the water does not need to be removed before moving the coop. This can add weight, so maybe not
  • Roof over entire pen, or just sleeping/nesting area?
  • How to watch that we don’t injure birds when pulling it backwards
  • How to pitch the roof so rain goes where we want it
  • Can it be divided into separate breeding pens for smaller groups?


  • 1/2″ hardware cloth for sides
  • Corrugated plastic or metal panels for roof
  • Pressure treated wood where expose to ground or rain

Ideas and Examples

Nice overall, like the white paint
Side skirt is a nice idea to give the birds security, maybe too heavy
Roof needs more pitch
Wheels and handles are hard to get right and often fail
Pop door and ramp are not needed
outside attached next box is more work than it is worth

Roof seems too flat for snowy area
narrowness can freak out birds when you go inside
Wire not hardware cloth
Chain link panels are strong, but need hardware cloth attached
Enclosed area needs open front in summer

Efficient use of materials
Enclosed area prone to overheating in summer

Like the whole roof coverage