Alternative Chicken Coop Ideas

7 Chicken Coop Ideas: Protective & Cheap Projects

If there are unusual homes, there are unusual chicken coops too! There have been several chicken coop ideas that seem weird to look at, but are actually helpful to the chickens and their owners.

Old Trampoline Chicken Coop

But these chicken coops were not built just to be different, they’re also a great way to repurpose or upcycle old washing machines, trampolines, and other scrap materials.

They are also great options for when you want to raise your own backyard chickens, but you can’t build a regular chicken coop. Aside from functionality, these chicken coops look like cute play areas for chicken, adding an interesting decorative feature in your backyard.

7 Chicken Coop Ideas

Even if you don’t have the budget for new materials, the time or the skills for building, you can still DIY one of these chicken coop ideas.

Is there anyone you know who could also get an idea or two from this list? :)

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Old Washing Machine Chicken Coop

Transforming an old washing machine into a chicken coop is a brilliant example of creative recycling. This approach not only gives a new life to an appliance that would otherwise end up in a landfill but also results in a highly distinctive and conversation-worthy chicken home. 

The circular drum of the washing machine can be repurposed into a cozy nesting area, while the exterior, with some modifications for access and ventilation, serves as a protective shell against predators and the elements. Decorative touches can be added to integrate the coop into your garden’s aesthetic, making it a functional and stylish addition to your backyard.

Old Trampoline Chicken Coop

An old trampoline offers a spacious and secure foundation for a larger chicken coop. By utilizing the frame and netting, you can create an enclosed space that allows your chickens to roam freely and safely. 

The flexibility of a trampoline frame means you can add a roof made from tarpaulin or metal sheeting to provide shelter from rain and sun, ensuring your backyard chickens are comfortable in various weather conditions. This type of coop not only repurposes large items that are difficult to dispose of but also creates a sizable and airy habitat for your chickens to thrive in.

Small Dorking Chicken Coop

The Small Dorking Chicken Coop, crafted from recycled plastic, is an exemplar of sustainability and functionality. This coop’s material choice addresses common concerns associated with wooden coops, such as rotting and pest infestation, by offering a durable, weather-resistant, and easy-to-clean alternative. 

Its small footprint is perfect for tight backyards or city spaces where every inch counts. Even with its snug size, it can easily fit up to three large chickens, giving them a cozy and clean place to call home. The ease of cleaning and maintenance ensures a healthy environment for your chickens, minimizing the risk of disease.

Nogg Chicken Coop

The Nogg Chicken Coop, with its sleek and modern design, transcends the traditional concept of chicken coop ideas. Its aesthetic is akin to a contemporary piece of garden art rather than a mere shelter for chickens. Constructed from cedar wood, the coop doesn’t just boast an appealing look; it offers practical benefits too. Cedar wood is renowned for its durability and resistance to decay, ensuring the coop withstands the elements over time. 

Furthermore, cedar possesses natural antibacterial properties, providing a healthier living environment for the chickens. This coop is deceptively spacious, capable of housing up to three chickens, making it an excellent choice for backyard poultry enthusiasts who appreciate design and function in equal measure.

Old Playhouse Chicken Coop

Transforming an old playhouse into one of many chicken coop ideas is a splendid example of repurposing with a twist. This idea breathes new life into a child’s outgrown toy, turning it into a functional and charming home for chickens. The playhouse’s existing structure, often colorful and whimsical, adds a playful element to your backyard while serving the practical purpose of housing chickens. 

With some modifications for ventilation and security, an old playhouse can become a secure and weatherproof coop. This approach not only recycles an otherwise discarded item but also provides an attractive and imaginative habitat for your backyard chickens.

Empty Spools Chicken Coop

Utilizing empty spools, typically discarded by the textile industry, for constructing a chicken coop is a unique and eco-friendly approach. These spools can be stacked or arranged to create a distinctive and visually appealing structure that doubles as a chicken coop. 

The hollow centers of the spools provide natural nooks for nesting, while the sturdy outer parts offer protection from predators. This innovative use of materials demonstrates how industrial by-products can be repurposed into functional and creative chicken coop ideas, contributing to sustainability and reducing waste.

Old Swing Set Chicken Coop

Converting an old swing set into an A-frame chicken coop is both ingenious and practical. The existing structure of a swing set lends itself perfectly to being transformed into a spacious and airy coop. By attaching wire mesh across the frame and adding a roof for protection, the swing set becomes an enclosed space that allows chickens to move around while keeping them safe from predators. 

This chicken coop idea is particularly appealing for its simplicity and the ease with which the transformation can be achieved. It represents a quick and effective solution for repurposing old outdoor play equipment into a new home for chickens, adding a functional and attractive feature to your backyard.

Sustainable Building Materials for Chicken Coops Ideas

When it comes to creating a home for your backyard chickens, choosing sustainable building materials is not just good for the planet—it can also contribute to the health and happiness of your feathered friends. Opting for eco-friendly materials can reduce your environmental footprint while ensuring your coop remains durable, safe, and harmonious with your garden’s aesthetic. 

Below, we explore various sustainable materials that can be used in constructing or updating your chicken coop, making it a green haven for your chickens.

Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood is environmentally friendly and adds character and rustic charm to your chicken coop. Salvaged from old barns, warehouses, or even discarded pallets, reclaimed wood is a sturdy and cost-effective option that minimizes waste. 

Each piece has its own history, providing a unique look that cannot be replicated with new lumber. When building your coop with reclaimed wood, you’re not just offering your chickens a safe retreat; you’re crafting a story-rich sanctuary that stands out in your backyard.


Bamboo is a remarkable choice for a sustainable chicken coop due to its rapid growth rate and strength comparable to traditional timber. It’s wood that easily grows quickly and replace ones used for different furniture or objects. 

Bamboo panels or poles can be used to create a lightweight, yet robust frame for your coop. Integrating bamboo into your chicken coop design promotes a green lifestyle and gives your chickens a naturally insulated and ventilated home.

Recycled Plastic

Recycled plastic lumber is an innovative material that offers a practical and durable solution for chicken coop ideas. As the name indicates, the material comes from recycled bottles, boxes, and packages. Recycled plastic is great for various chicken coop ideas since it does not attract pests. 

Chicken coop ideas built from recycled plastic are easy to clean, maintain, and can last for years without needing repairs or replacement. This kind of sustainable material lets you contribute to a low carbon footprint within your neighbourhood. 

Green Roof

Incorporating a green roof into your chicken coop ideas not only enhances its sustainability but also provides additional benefits for your chickens and garden. A green roof, covered with vegetation, helps insulate the coop, keeping it cooler in summer and warmer in winter. It also absorbs rainwater, reducing runoff and promoting a healthier garden ecosystem. 

Moreover, a green roof can increase biodiversity in your yard, attracting beneficial insects and birds. This living roof concept brings a slice of nature to your chickens’ doorstep, making their environment more pleasant and vibrant.

Natural Finishes

Choosing natural finishes for your chicken coop ensures that your chickens are not exposed to harmful chemicals. Linseed oil, beeswax, and non-toxic wood stains can protect and preserve the coop’s materials without compromising air quality or the health of your chickens. These natural options are safer for both your chickens and the environment, providing a clean and safe space that supports your chickens’ well-being.

Creating a chicken coop with sustainable materials is a rewarding project that benefits the environment, your chickens, and your conscience. By selecting eco-friendly options like reclaimed wood, bamboo, recycled plastic, and incorporating features like a green roof and natural finishes, you’re building more than just chicken coop ideas. 

You’re crafting a sustainable, safe, and healthy habitat that echoes your commitment to a greener, more conscientious way of living.

Chicken Coop Upgrades for Climate Adaptation

Adapting your chicken coop to handle various climate conditions is crucial for the health and safety of your backyard flock. Whether facing the scorching heat of summer, the chilly winds of fall, or the unpredictable extremes of spring, your coop must be equipped to offer protection and comfort. 

This guide explores chicken coop ideas designed to withstand different weather conditions, ensuring your chickens remain happy and healthy throughout the year.

Insulation for Winter Warmth

One of the most important chicken coop ideas for colder climates involves adding insulation. Materials such as foam boards, straw bales, or even recycled denim can be used to line the coop’s walls, reducing heat loss and keeping your chickens warm. Remember to seal any drafts in the coop’s structure to prevent cold air from entering.

Ventilation for Summer Cooling

Good ventilation is key to preventing overheating and ensuring a healthy airflow during hot months. Consider installing adjustable vents or windows that can be opened in the day for air circulation and closed at night to keep predators out. Solar-powered fans are another innovative chicken coop idea to promote air movement without increasing your energy bills.

Waterproofing for Rainy Seasons

To protect your chickens from wet conditions, waterproofing your coop is essential. This includes ensuring the roof is leak-proof, possibly by adding a layer of roofing felt or installing a green roof. Raising the coop off the ground on stilts is a practical chicken coop idea to avoid flooding and keep your chickens dry.

Sun Protection for Hot Climates

Providing shade is critical in areas with intense sun to keep your chickens comfortable. Consider coop ideas, including large overhangs, shade cloths, or planting deciduous trees nearby for natural shade. A covered outdoor run allows chickens to enjoy fresh air without the risk of overheating.

Windbreaks for Windy Areas

Creating windbreaks can make a significant difference in comfort for coops in windy locations. This can involve planting a hedge or constructing a fence on the windward side of the coop. Additionally, positioning the coop near a building or natural landscape feature can serve as a protective barrier against strong winds.

Adaptable Designs for All Seasons

Integrating adaptable features into your chicken coop ideas offers the best protection across seasons. Removable panels can be added for winter warmth and removed for summer cooling. Adjustable roofs or awnings provide an excellent chicken coop idea for managing sunlight exposure and rain protection simultaneously.

Solar-Powered Ventilation Systems

In hot climates, maintaining adequate airflow can be a challenge. Integrating solar-powered ventilation systems into your chicken coop ideas helps keep air circulating and reduces heat buildup, ensuring your chickens stay cool without the need for constant electrical power.

Rainwater Collection Systems

For areas prone to heavy rainfall, adding a rainwater collection system to your chicken coop ideas can be a practical upgrade. This system can capture rainwater from the coop roof, which can then be used for watering your garden or even providing water for your chickens, making your operation more sustainable.

Elevated Coops for Flood Prone Areas

If your area is susceptible to flooding, considering elevated chicken coop ideas can prevent water from entering the coop and causing distress or harm to your chickens. Raising your coop off the ground on stilts or a platform can protect your flock and provide peace of mind during rainy seasons.

Windbreaks for Windy Climates

In regions with strong winds, constructing windbreaks around your chicken coop can shield your chickens from harsh winds. Planting dense shrubbery or building a fence as a barrier as part of your chicken coop ideas can significantly reduce wind speed and protect your coop from potential damage.

Reflective Paint for Heat Reduction

Applying reflective paint to the exterior of your chicken coop ideas can significantly reduce temperature buildup inside the coop. This paint reflects sunlight away from the coop, keeping it cooler during hot summer months, a simple yet effective upgrade for areas with intense sun exposure.

Insulated Nesting Boxes

Adding extra insulation to nesting boxes of your chicken coop ideas ensures they remain a warm and cozy retreat for your chickens during colder months. Insulation materials can vary from straw to more modern, eco-friendly options, providing a snug environment for egg-laying and resting.

Movable Coop Designs

For those who experience a wide range of weather conditions throughout the year, movable chicken coops offer a flexible solution. These coops can be relocated based on seasonal needs, whether it’s moving to a sunnier spot during the winter or a shaded area in the summer, ensuring your chickens have the ideal environment year-round.

Considering these upgrades for your chicken coop ideas, you can create a resilient and comfortable home for your chickens, no matter the weather. These adaptations ensure your flock’s wellbeing and contribute to a more sustainable and efficient backyard poultry experience. Adapting your coop to handle the challenges of your specific climate is an investment in the health and productivity of your chickens.

Predator-Proof Chicken Coop Ideas

Well-designed chicken coop ideas can distinguish between a secure flock and one vulnerable to attacks. The following upgrades and features focus on fortifying your coop against potential predators, offering peace of mind and promoting the well-being of your chickens.

Secure Locking Mechanisms

Predators like raccoons are notorious for their ability to open latches. Installing locks that require human operation, such as spring-loaded latches or padlocks, can prevent these clever predators from gaining access to your chicken coop.

Hardware Cloth Instead of Chicken Wire

While chicken wire keeps chickens in, it doesn’t keep predators out. Replace chicken wire with hardware cloth, a much stronger wire mesh that predators cannot easily tear or bite through, ensuring your coop is more secure.

Solid Floor Protection

Burrowing predators pose a significant threat to chicken coops. A solid, preferably concrete, floor for your chicken coop ideas can prevent animals from digging their way into the structure. If concrete is not an option, burying hardware cloth around the perimeter of the coop can also deter digging.

Elevated Coop Design

Raising the structure off the ground when building your chicken coop ideas can protect your chickens from predators that attack from the ground level. An elevation of at least 2-3 feet can make it significantly harder for predators to reach your chickens.

Covered Outdoor Runs

Outdoor runs allow your chickens to enjoy the outdoors safely. Covering these areas with hardware cloth, including the top, protects chickens from aerial and ground-based predators while allowing them to roam freely.

Automatic Door Closers

Doors that automatically close at dusk and open at dawn keep your chickens safe when they are most vulnerable. This technology reduces the risk of human error, ensuring your chicken coop ideas are securely closed at night.

Predator Deterrents

Implementing predator deterrents such as motion-activated lights or ultrasonic repellents can scare away potential threats before they reach your coop. These deterrents can be an effective addition to physical barriers, creating an unwelcoming environment for predators.

Regular Maintenance Checks

Regular Maintenance Checks: Regularly inspecting your coop for signs of wear, tear, or potential entry points for predators is crucial. Promptly repairing any damages ensures that your coop remains impenetrable to predators.

Incorporating these predator-proof features into your chicken coop ideas helps create a haven for your flock. From secure locking mechanisms to using hardware cloth and implementing deterrents, each measure adds an extra layer of protection against predators. By taking these steps, you can enjoy the rewards of backyard poultry keeping with added confidence in the safety of your chickens.


Implementing these chicken coop ideas can transform your backyard into a safe haven for your flock, shielding them from predators. Integrating innovative features like hardware cloth, elevated designs, and predator deterrents elevates the security and functionality of your chicken coops. Ultimately, these thoughtful and protective chicken coop ideas ensure that your feathered friends enjoy a secure, comfortable home, allowing you to raise a healthy and happy flock.



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