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Enjoy fresh eggs from your own backyard!

Standard Chicken Coop

This chicken coop comes fully assembled and the options are nearly limitless for you to design your own custom coop. This coop makes a perfect addition to your backyard.

Mini Chicken Coop

Don’t let his name fool you, he’s smaller than the Standard Chicken Coop but is built with the same quality construction. This chicken coop also comes fully assembled. You are able to choose from different color options and accessories.

chicken coop kit

OverEZ Chicken Coop Kit

These amazing chicken coops assemble in less than 30 minutes with only a screw gun. The OverEZ Chicken Coop brand has lots of different sizes and accessories to choose from.

Frequently Asked Chicken Questions

chicken pen run

Am I allowed to raise chickens in my backyard?

Each state and county has its own laws and ordinances about raising chickens. These ordinances will answer your questions about:

  • Whether you need a permit to own backyard chickens.
  • How many chickens you’re allowed to have.
  • Whether you’re allowed to have roosters, or just hens.
  • Where your coop and pen must be located.
  • Whether you’re allowed to sell chicks / chickens, eggs, or compost made from chicken manure.

Visit your city or county’s website to view their chicken ordinances — they may be labeled as Livestock, Domestic Fowl, or Small Animal ordinances. Also, check in with your homeowner’s association to see if they have any additional rules or ordinances.

Are chickens noisy?

Roosters crow throughout the day starting when they’re around 6 – 10 weeks old — this is why they aren’t allowed in many neighborhoods. Hens may squawk when they are agitated or excited, but no louder than the sounds other household pets make.

Do chickens smell?

Chicken coops will only start to smell if the inside gets damp or if they haven’t been cleaned properly. Be sure to clean the chicken coop and surrounding area at least once a week.

Are home-grown chicken eggs better than store-bought eggs?

Fresh eggs from backyard chickens generally have more vitamin A, D, and E than store-bought eggs, and have less saturated fats and cholesterol. Eggs are even more nutritious the more varied a chicken’s diet is.

How much does it cost to raise chickens?

Your startup cost will depend on what kind of coop you choose, what materials you use for the enclosure, and where you buy your accessories. It will usually be around $500 – $2000 for your chicken coop, heater, feeders, chicken pen materials, and the chicks / chickens themselves. On a monthly basis, four hens will use around $20 a month in food and straw bedding. This cost may be less if your yard has lots of insects and weeds for the hens to forage, and if you supplement their diet with table scraps.

Can I raise chickens if I already have a dog or a cat?

Your new chickens should have a few hours to get accustomed to their new home before meeting your pets. Some chicken breeds are more confident than others, so ask your local hatchery which breed is the most likely to get along well with your pets. After getting used to seeing and hearing your dog or cat for a few days, your chickens generally won’t mind being around them at all. It can be trickier to predict how your dog or cat will react to the chickens. There’s always some risk involved in allowing your pets to be around the chickens unsupervised, and in the end it will depend on your particular pet’s temperament. To be safe, you can cover the top of your chicken pen with additional wire to prevent your pets from getting into the chickens’ area.

Can my kids be around the chickens?

Chickens don’t mind being around kids at all, and most kids love chickens. It’s safe for your children to play near the chickens, pick them up, and feed them from their hands. Be sure to show your children how to step carefully around the chickens and pick them up without touching their claws.

Do chickens attract mice or rats?

Chickens don’t attract pests, but leaving their food uncovered does. Keep extra chicken feed in a sealed container, and remove any treats or scraps that your chickens didn’t eat.

Chicken Coops & Accessories

backyard chicken coop

What size chicken coop do I need?

Your chicken coop should have one nesting box for every three chickens you want. The nesting box is where the chickens will lay their eggs. Our standard chicken coop and OverEZ chicken coops have room for up to fifteen chickens, and our mini chicken coop houses eight.

Where can I buy a chicken coop in my area?

Use our online map to find out where to buy a chicken coop near you, or check your local home / farm store.

What accessories does a chicken coop need?

Chickens need access to food and clean water, and you’ll need several feeders or containers within easy reach. It’s a good idea to keep the feeders off the ground to prevent spillage and accidents. You’ll also need bedding to keep the floor of the coop clean.

What materials can I use as bedding?

Chickens need a layer of soft material over the floor of the coop. There are a few different options:

  • Pine Shavings: The highest-quality bedding, but a little more expensive.
  • Hay / Straw: Affordable, absorbent, and soft, but it may allow for mites.
  • Sand: It will work in a pinch, but sand it isn’t as soft or absorbent as wood shavings or hay.

What do my chickens need in a cold climate?

If the temperature is less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll need a heat lamp outside of the coop to warm the chicken pen area. You’ll also need a heated pad under the water container to prevent the water from freezing.

What do my chickens need in a hot climate?

Chickens are prone to heat stress if they don’t have a way to cool off during hot weather. Hose of the roof of the chicken coop and floor of the chicken run with cool water daily. Put the water feeder in an area shaded by a tree or tarp.

How much room do chickens need outside the coop?

The chicken run, or chicken pen, is the area around the coop where the chickens can walk around freely. This area should be about 4 – 5 square feet per chicken, enclosed by a fence of mesh wire, chicken wire, or deer wire.

How tall does the fence around my chicken pen need to be?

6 – 7 feet is a good height to prevent chickens from flying over the top of the fence.

What are free-range chickens?

Free-range chickens do not have a pen, and instead roam your yard freely. The benefit to this is that it eliminates the cost and effort of building the chicken run, it allows your chickens to find much of their own food while cleaning your yard of weeds and insects, and you get to enjoy the sight of your chickens roaming freely around the yard. Many people say free-range chicken eggs taste better because of all the extra nutrition they find. But free-range chickens are not allowed in many areas, because there’s a greater chance they’ll be attacked by predators or escape into the neighbors’ yard. If you have a garden, they may also eat plants that you don’t want them to eat.

Chickens & Eggs

backyard chicken egg basket

How many chickens should I have?

Chickens are sociable animals, so you’ll want to start with at least three. Your total amount should depend on how much room is available in your yard and how many eggs you want per day. Your local laws will tell you the maximum amount of chickens you’re allowed to have.

How many eggs do chickens lay each day?

Hens lay eggs every 1 – 3 days, or sometimes even twice a day. They lay most frequently in spring, summer, and fall, when it’s sunny and warm. They will lay less often and less often in winter when it’s colder and darker. On average, you can count on two eggs a day per three hens. You would need 18 hens to get a dozen eggs each day.

What breed of chickens should I get?

Each chicken breed is different. Check your local hatchery, feed store, state fair, or farmer’s markets to find out the breeds of chickens for sale in your area. There are many breeds to choose from, but here are a few popular ones:

  • White Leghorn: The classic white-feathered chicken, produces more eggs than average and excels in a cold climate.
  • Ameraucana: Medium-sized brown and white chickens that can thrive in a hot or cold climate. Its eggs sometimes have a blue or lavender hue.
  • Jersey Giant: Large gray chickens that lay 3 – 5 large brown eggs a week, prefers a cold climate.
  • ISA Brown: These confident chickens are a good choice if you have dogs or cats at home.

Do I need a rooster?

Hens will lay eggs whether or not there is a rooster present, but if you want the eggs to hatch into chicks you’ll need a rooster to fertilize the eggs. If you only want to raise chickens for eggs, there’s no need for a rooster.

How tall are chickens?

This depends on breed, but adult chickens can be around 8 – 17 inches tall. Bantam chickens are much smaller than regular chickens — sometimes half as tall, or even 1/4 as tall. Bantam eggs are slightly smaller than a regular egg, but there’s no difference nutritionally. These “mini chicken” breeds include Sebright Bantams, Silkie Bantams, and Pekin Bantams. There are also large chicken breeds that are sometimes bred to be bantams, including Araucana and Ameraucana bantams.

What’s the difference between brown eggs and white eggs?

Different breeds of chickens produce different egg colors, usually ranging from white to brown. But it’s not unusual for certain breeds of chickens to produce eggs that are pink, blue, green, or a variety of other colors. There’s no nutritional difference, but you may have a personal preference based on flavor or aesthetics.

How can you tell what color eggs a chicken will lay?

You can tell by the color of the chicken’s earlobes — the patch of feathers on the side of their neck. A hen with white earlobes will lay white eggs, and a hen with red earlobes will lay brown or light-brown eggs. If you’re not sure, ask your local hatchery what color eggs their chickens lay.

When do chickens start laying eggs?

Hens start laying eggs at about 20 – 26 weeks old.

How long will hens continue to lay eggs?

Most will continue laying eggs into their teens, although some will stop sooner.

Caring for Your Chickens

What do chickens eat?

A diet with lots of variety will improve your chickens’ health and the flavor of their eggs. Keep in mind that chickens will need different types of food as they grow. You should be able to find all these at your local feed store, farmer’s market, or co-op.

  • Less Than Six Weeks Old: Chicks need store-bought starter feed to encourage growth.
  • 6 – 20 Weeks Old: Young chickens need pullet grower feed to improve their weight and health.
  • After 20 Weeks: The chickens can switch to the basic layer feed.

Chickens also love to eat insects and worms that they forage from around the yard, and just about any leftover table scraps that you give them.

What are the foods chickens SHOULDN’T eat?

The main things that chickens should NOT eat are avocados, raw potatoes, raw nuts and beans, chocolate, processed foods, and anything rotten or moldy. Some people say that garlic, onions, and citrus make eggs taste unusual.

What type of chicken feed should I buy?

The ideal chicken feed has a protein content of 16%.

How much do chickens eat daily?

A six-pound chicken will eat around 4 oz. of food and drink 4 oz. of water per day. If you have lots of insects and worms in your yard, your chickens may require less food from you.

How often do I need to feed my chickens?

Generally you should feed your chickens and replenish their water daily, although you can buy an automatic feeder than will dispense food for them at a specific time every day.

How do I clean the coop?

Your chicken coop, chicken run, and the surrounding area should be cleaned several times a week. You’ll need to clean the inside of the coop and change the bedding once or twice a week to keep the chickens healthy and reduce odors. The inside of the coop should always be dry.

How do I clean chicken eggs?

Many people say cleaning chicken eggs is more unsanitary than not cleaning them. Washing them in cold water may cause the bacteria on the outside of the egg to soak into the inside, where it may make you sick or at least cause the egg to taste less fresh. If you keep your chicken coop clean, the outside of your eggs should also be clean. If you have an egg that does need to be cleaned, rubbing it with a dry, abrasive surface such as a rough sponge, sandpaper, or a loofah should remove all debris from the outside of the shell. If the egg is extremely dirty, you can clean it with warm running water (never let an egg soak in water) and wipe it clean with a towel. After this, you can spray it with a solution of bleach diluted in water and let it dry.

What should I do if a chicken gets sick?

If a chicken does get sick, keep it separate from the rest of the flock until you can figure out the problem. You can keep the chicken in a small cage or cat carrier. Make note of your chicken’s symptoms and search online or ask your local chicken expert.

Why aren’t my chickens laying eggs?

There are many different reasons your hens might not be laying as often as you’d like, or sometimes not at all. This can happen naturally while chickens are molting — they molt once a year for around 2 – 6 months. They will also naturally lay less often after they turn three years old. If neither of these is the case, consider if your chickens are having one of these problems:

  • Not Enough Light: It’s natural for chickens to lay less during the fall and winter. You can provide your own lighting around the chicken coop to ensure the hens are getting the 14 hours of light they need each day.
  • Stressful Times: Your chickens may be stressed if they’ve been moved around recently, they’ve been handled more frequently than usual, or any new and scary stimuli have entered their lives. If you figure out what’s causing the stress you may be able to improve the hens’ laying.
  • Unhealthy Food: You may be feeding your chickens too many table scraps, and not enough chicken feed that’s high in the protein, calcium, and the other vitamins they need.
  • Not Enough Water: If the chickens don’t have access to enough clean water, or their water is freezing over in the winter, it may affect their laying.
  • Temperature Problems: The chickens will lay less in extreme temperatures. They may need a heater in the winter or a cool, shady area to sit in the summer.
  • Parasites or Diseases: If none of these basic solutions have worked, your hen may have come in contact with mites, fleas, lice, roundworms, or tapeworms. It’s recommended to deworm your flock once every six months. If your hen is still showing signs of an unknown disease, remove her from the rest of the flock until you can diagnose the problem.

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