Small Chicken Coop Plans for Novice: A Beginner’s Guide

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Wondering about small chicken coop plans for novices? I’ve got you covered:

If this is your first time building a chicken coop, you will often face the decision to choose between a small chicken coup or a larger one.

Choosing the proper chicken coop depends on factors such as the number of chickens and the location, with a small coop suitable for breeding three to five chickens.

Keep reading more to learn all the GLITTER about small chicken coop plans for novices…

Key Takeaways

  • Building a small chicken coop is a great way for novice chicken keepers to start without breaking the bank.
  • Location is key when it comes to building a chicken coop. Choose a high, well-drained spot to keep your flock healthy and happy.
  • Essential features for small chicken coops include proper ventilation, roosting bars, and a nest box for your chickens to lay their eggs.
  • You can build a small chicken coop using recycled materials or follow one of the three easy plans: the simple A-Frame, the compact cube, or the portable tractor.

Benefits of Easy Small Chicken Coops for Novice Chicken Keepers

Small chicken coop plans for novices aren’t always as easy to get by. But, today, I’ve got something in the pipeline:

chicken coop

Get started on your chicken-keeping journey with a SMALL coop! It is easier to build, requires fewer materials, and is simpler to maintain.

Perfect for novice chicken keepers who want to dip their toes into the world of chicken-raising.

But don’t just settle for any small coop – choosing the right plans is crucial to ensuring your chickens’ comfort and well-being.

Consider the number of chickens you want to breed and where the coop will be placed.

Investing time in the right design, materials, and location can lead to a successful chicken-keeping experience, with happy and healthy chickens laying eggs like nobody’s business.

So why wait? Start planning your small chicken coop today and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.

Factors to Consider Before Building a Small Chicken Coop

So, you got the brilliant idea of building a small chicken coop, wondering about plans, and getting on with ideas ― now it’s time for the BIG 4 FACTORS:

#1 Space Requirements: Optimal arrangement

Building a chicken coop is not only a fun project for novice chicken keepers but also a crucial aspect of keeping your feathered friends healthy and happy.

When planning out your chicken coop, the most critical factor to consider is to ensure there is enough room for all the chickens to sleep, eat, and exercise, which increases their ability to lay eggs.

It’s essential to understand that chickens require a specific amount of SPACE to thrive.

They need at least 2-3 square feet of floor space per chicken inside the coop and 4-5 square feet of outdoor space per chicken.

Choosing a small chicken coop plan that meets these requirements will ensure your chickens are comfortable and happy.

With this, having adequate room will keep the chickens happy and healthier with less possibility of spreading disease.

#2 Placement: Choosing the Best Location for Your Flock


People are religiously obsessed with levels ― competing or measuring ― and seldom think of it as more than a broader metric.

Guess what? Your chickens benefit from this beautifully symmetrical word, level:

It should be on high ground that drains well.“, says Yvette Johnson-Walker, DVM, Ph.D., speaking about correctly placing your coop (1).

But why are levels necessary? For starters, a dry coop can help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, which can cause diseases and infections in your flock.


If you’re considering raising chickens in your backyard, choosing the right location for your coop is essential.

Choosing the location for the coop should be somewhere out of DIRECT SUNLIGHT, especially if you live in a warmer climate.

An ideal place will be under a tree or close to a structure that provides shade for half of the day.

If you don’t have any location providing shade, you can place sunshade screens on top of the coop to help keep the heat out.

While most chickens should not have any problems being under the sun, shading will help keep the chicken’s coop cool…

Proper Ventilation

Ventilation is ANOTHER ESSENTIAL in a small chicken coop (2).

A small coop usually consists of one or two windows and holes in the roof to allow ammonia to escape.

The windows should face each other to keep air flowing throughout the coop.

Predators Proofing Proper

Using predator-proof screens on windows is crucial to prevent foxes and other predators from going in and eating the chickens. For the roof, puncture small holes to allow hot air to escape.

No sleazy foxes allowed!

#3 Materials: The Rough and Smooth

Choosing the Right Materials

The materials for building a small chicken coop typically consist of wood and nails.

Plywood and OSB (Oriented Strand Board) are the most POPULAR types of wood for building coops.

OSB is cheaper than plywood and equally sturdy, but ultimately, the choice of material depends on personal preference.

Metal or tin roofing is the most preferred material as it provides better protection from the elements.

Cider blocks are ideal for placing the coop on to prevent the rotting of wood and the breeding of mosquitoes. 

#4 Coop Flooring & Interior Layout

The flooring of a small chicken coop should be completely sealed to prevent drafts, and waterproof caulk should be used to seal any holes.

One side of the interior should have roosts, while the other should have nesting boxes. The roosts should be elevated and closed by a door to keep the chickens safe at night.

The door leading into the coop should be large enough for the chickens to get in and out. Ensure the door has a lock only a person can lock and unlock.

Manual open and close doors are the most common, but automatic doors are available depending on your budget.

Here’s a fun demonstration on building your DIY chicken coop:

Three Easy Small Chicken Coop Plans

If you’re starting with chicken keeping and looking for easy small chicken coop plans, you’re in the right place!

Here are three simple and affordable options you can build on a weekend, regardless of your level of woodworking experience:

#1 Simple A-Frame Small Chicken Coop Plan

The A-frame chicken coop is a classic practical, and beautiful design. This coop features an angled roof that makes it easy to build and provides extra chicken headroom.

The coop plan typically includes a small door for your chickens to come and go, a roosting bar, and a nest box for your hens to lay their eggs.

The A-frame coop is perfect for a small flock of chickens and can quickly move around your yard.

#2 Compact Cube Small Chicken Coop Plan

A compact cube coop is an excellent option for those with limited space. This coop is small and easy to build but still provides ample room for a small flock of chickens.

It typically features a slanted roof, which makes it easy to clean and provides protection from the elements.

The compact cube coop plan usually includes a nest box, a roosting bar, and a small door for your chickens to come and go.

#3 Portable Tractor Small Chicken Coop Plan

The portable chicken tractor is a UNIQUE and FUNCTIONAL option for those who want to move their chickens around their yard.

This coop is built on wheels and can quickly move from one location to another.

The chicken tractor typically features a slanted roof, a roosting bar, and a nest box.

This type of coop is great for those who want to give their chickens access to fresh grass and bugs while keeping them safe from predators.

Regardless of your chosen plan, follow the step-by-step instructions carefully and use the recommended materials and tools.

With time and effort, you’ll have a beautiful coop that your chickens will love to call home!

And if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly option, consider using recycled materials in your build. Not only will this save you money, but it will also reduce your environmental impact.


1. How much space do I need for a small chicken coop?

A small chicken coop can comfortably house 3-5 chickens, so you’ll need at least 12-15 square feet of space.

2. How long does it take to build a small chicken coop?

It depends on the design and your experience level, but it can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

3. Can I use recycled materials to build a small chicken coop?

Most certainly!
You can use recycled materials such as old pallets or lumber to build a small chicken coop.

4. Do I need a roosting bar in my small chicken coop?

Chickens need a roosting bar to sleep on at night. The bar should be at least 2 inches wide and elevated off the ground.

5. How often should I clean my small chicken coop?

You should clean your small chicken coop at least once a week, removing any soiled bedding and replacing it with fresh bedding.


Now that you know some remarkable small chicken coop plans for novices, let me summarize it all in a heartbeat:

Building a small chicken coop can be a fun and rewarding experience for novice and experienced chicken keepers alike.

You can create a comfortable and safe home for your flock of chickens with the right location, materials, and design.

When planning your small chicken coop, it’s essential to consider the number of chickens you want to breed, the location where the coop will be placed, and the vital features needed for your chickens’ comfort and health.

Proper ventilation is also CRUCIAL to prevent respiratory issues in your chickens.

If you’re new to building a chicken coop, several easy plans are available, such as the A-frame, compact cube, and portable tractor plans.

These plans provide step-by-step instructions and are designed to require fewer materials and labor compared to larger coops.

Lastly, don’t forget that you can also use recycled materials to build your small chicken coop, making it functional and eco-friendly.

Building a beautiful coop for your feathered friends can be a fun and fulfilling project to enhance your backyard and bring you and your chicken joy.

small chicken coop


1. Care and Feeding of Backyard Chickens [Internet]. Veterinary Medicine at Illinois. Available from:

2. Alvarado D. Backyard Chicken Coop Design [Internet]. Extension Communications. 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 20]. Available from:

Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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