Written by Terry Smith
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UK’s 6 best chicken coops: keep 2-4 chickens in coops and runs with some larger options
This article was last updated on May 10th, 2022 at 10:55 am
A chicken coop sympathetically houses your chickens, keeping them safe from predators such as foxes (fox repellents help too) as well as keeping them happy and content. I’m happy to report both my PawHut Wooden Chicken Coop and Pets Imperial coop have stood up well in combination with the use of scoot and a sound deterrent that you can find on the fox page – no chickens lost in these best chicken coops! My chicken coop tests have proved interesting and will be useful info for both beginner and those seasoned in chicken rearing. From assembly to chicken comfort and well being! But the best bit as you follow the page, you’ll see my kids have grown up a few years since I initially wrote this review and still have a keen and healthy interest in our chickens and the garden! 🙂
A chicken coop should be a safe place to feed and drink, lay eggs (crucially for us) and in general keep the wellbeing of our chooks top notch. If you have the time, a chicken coop is easy to make but comes with the draw backs of being pricier compared to one off the shelf – largely due to the increasing timber costs and the flat packs using far less material as you’ll see from my latest test – the PawHut Wooden Chicken Coop. Surprisingly though, despite a few hidden split bits of wood it’s relatively strong and can be carried and actually feels pretty sturdy – for a budget chicken coop I was really pleased with that chicken coop test. If you follow the anchor link you’ll find some useful info on that (and interesting). As I say, I marginally still prefer the Imperial coop though this is cheaper and the chickens love it:
What is a chicken coop and what are the benefits to us?
There are many factors that go into the rise in popularity of keeping your own chickens. For some, the idea of getting their eggs as fresh as they come, without the risk of any ‘tampering’ being done on them before they arrive in the supermarket is a big draw to this pastime.
For me though it’s getting the kids involved they absolutely love our chickens. They spend all morning waiting for them to lay an egg (if they are out there early enough). And with these flat packs having super convenient lay boxes on hinges, the kids really can grab the eggs for you! Here’s Lillie doing so for us:
For others it’s a combination of this plus the ethical side of it. We have all seen the videos of thousands of chickens crammed into factory farm cages, in conditions that are quite shocking for some. Rearing your own chickens, especially rescue chickens, in a roomy chicken coop in your garden seems like a much better option. Our chickens are really happy and that does make me feel a great deal better about eating our eggs – especially when I get a double yolker 🙂
Keeping chickens is a nice mix of having a pet and personal farming. It’s a great way to get your kids interested in nature and also to teach them about caring for other living creatures and the value of hard work. Here’s a handy article for the laws of keeping chickens too. Here’s my son who now looks after the chickens for me 🙂 When it’s time for them to go away he rounds them up!
To get the most out of your chickens, they need a place of their own to perch on at night. A place where they feel safe and secure. In other words, they need a good chicken coop. To learn more about rearing chickens in the garden please see the link provided and also, the pitfalls of chickens in the garden.
Below you will find reviews of the most popular chicken coops in the UK and some hints and tips in the form of a best chicken coop buyer’s guide too.
So what are we waiting for? Let’s dive right in with the reviews section.
Best chicken coop top picks
- Pets Imperial® Wentworth Large Chicken Coop (My pick for the best chicken coop) [personally assembled, tested, used for three years and proven]
- PawHut Wooden Chicken Coop (Best value coop and run) [personally tested, assembled, and used] I decided to add additional run though and made it myself.
- FeelGoodUK Coop House Chicken Coop, Large (Best value chicken coop)
- Cocoon HALF MOON CHICKEN COOP (Best designed chicken coop for easy access and cleaning)
- FeelGoodUK CHICKEN COOP & Run
- COCOON CHICKEN COOP ECO ROOF HEN HOUSE
Testing chicken coops
I decided to have another test of these chicken coops that are largely flat pack. I have already used and tested the Pets Imperial so it puts me in a great place to test the PawHut Wooden Chicken Coop. First off the bat as you’ll see from my assembly video it can be a bit of a pain, but after that, I feel the usability wasn’t bad at all, and once I had forgotten the 90 minute long assembly, yeah I kind of really like how this turned out for the money. Here’s a look at the finished product – the video is selected to the walk around but there’s much more to the video:
I still slightly prefer the Imperial chicken coop but let’s get into the nuts and bolts of this chicken coop test:
Assembling the chicken coop
Unsurprisingly it was a pig of a job. If you are a novice DIY’er I would highly recommend a look at an impact driver and you definitely need an array of screwdriver bits and a 10mm spanner. If on a budget I’d highly recommend the Makita driver and drilling set as I used that and it had everything I needed but to be clear and save you money if you already have the tools, I used the following:
What tools I used:
- Impact driver
- Stanley knife – (mainly to cut my way through all the packaging)
- PH1, PH2, PZ2 screw driver bits.
- 10mm socket that fits on an impact driver (contained in the set linked above) but you can use a 10mm spanner just fine
Off the bat the packaging took some getting through. And in a double edged sword you’ll find loads of foam – yes it’s keeping the contents sensibly protected but it’ll half fill your bin unless you give it a good push down. Also, there’s loads of cardboard but I’ve started putting those under my planters as well as the red recycle bin.
Firstly, sorry about the picture quality – I have had to drop it as there are so many images on this page, some have complained about load times! Assembly is a bit of a pain but due to having some wood dowels screwing the four walls together becomes considerably easier than it would otherwise be. And with three walls up it was pretty sturdy and easy to screw – for a novice DIY’er I dare say two people would make a big difference and if you don’t have a drill then an absolute must:
The runners will annoy you as the instructions make them look like they are in the wrong place – you’ll realise the runner are for the removable tray. and it’ll all make sense – I have to say the instructions are a sensible guide but not perfect. As for the laying box, that is probably the best designed part of all. At first it feels like it’ll be flimsy, until you see it’s bolted on with metal thread:
The roof is very easy because the dowels force you into alignment – This has been well thought out and I have to say once the coop walls dealt with, the install becomes much more apparent and easy:
With the dowels in I turn my attention to the run – very easy and all the holes are pre-drilled for the screws so you can see how this all goes together quite nicely:
Then I put the roof on, as I mentioned this is pretty easy as a result of the dowels. I need to pull the frame into square a little but that square is obvious from the other edges aligning too:
And that’s it – the final product is ready to go. I decided to extend the run myself. It’s in the veggie patch so no big deal that it looks rough:
I have to say if you got this far pat yourself on the back – you are ready to read my reviews to see which chicken coop is best for you. The one I’ve assembled is my second choice overall in the UK at the moment.
Best Chicken Coops
Here’s a look at the best chicken coops following all the testing and research I’ve done. Personally owning these and using them for years has given me a good idea of what works and doesn’t. I hope this helps and saves you time / stress and money!
1. Pets Imperial® Wentworth Large Chicken Coop
Specification: Size: 203 x 75 x 103 cm, Material: Wood/Metal, Weather-resistant: Yes, Suitable for: 3 chickens
You’re probably wondering why this is my top pick when the PawHut Wooden Chicken Coop is nicer looking and considerably cheaper. Well my opinion is it’s a coin flip – I feel this is slightly better built but crucially the roof lid raises so access much much better than the PawHut overall.
Off the bat let’s talk safety, what you’ll first notice is Pets Imperial have thought this through with this model and added a galvanised mesh around the enclosure that has been reinforced to keep those intruders out. One thing that you have to be careful of when raising and keeping chickens is possible attacks by foxes – I now highly recommend a fox deterrent– it worked for me, especially if you are living on the edge of town or in the countryside.
There’s room for about 4 birds to live comfortably in this chicken coop but I wouldn’t say more than that. Inside the main hut there are 2 removable perches and a dirt tray made of galvanised steel that can be pulled out and cleaned. I always give them a run out as we don’t have a run connected to this coop – being ‘cooped’ up all day isn’t ideal for anyone or thing!
A good design feature of this Wentworth deluxe chicken coop is that the dirt tray doesn’t double up as the actual floor, and there is a wooden floor under it when compared to the FeelGoodUK. This means that it is safer for your birds when you remove the tray as they won’t fall all the way through. Here’s a look at this coop:
On the front of the main hut there is a good sized, sliding door that is also lockable and a ramp in front of it for the chickens to use to get down to the enclosure. In addition to this there is another door on the side with Perspex windows and this could be used to let your birds out of the chicken coop to roam freely around the garden – if you like.
The roof of the whole coop is hinged and can be opened up to get easy access for feeding and just having a look at your chucks. The hinges used didn’t seem like the highest quality I’ve ever seen so I would recommend replacing them after a while if you decide to go for this otherwise very good value chicken coop.
The dimensions of the Wentworth Deluxe chicken coop are 203cm x 75cm x 103cm and it is made out of pre-treated wood to protect it from the elements so that saves you a job. You still have to assemble the coop yourself though but thanks to good instructions and no problems with things not lining up, you can get this thing up within a couple of hours.
Once up, the structure felt reasonably solid but just to be on the safe side I would reinforce it a little as the UK’s strong winds and wet weather could cause it problems over time. Given the height it could go over in a serious blow – mines located in a sheltered area but I would suggest some pegs to hold it down if your area is quite open.
What I don’t like is the door to feed them and they always try to escape when the laying box is opened! Changing the water and feed is a pain as they try to bolt – and that’s fine if I am letting them out, but that’s not always the case. I much prefer the setup on the PawHut Wooden Chicken Coop where the door is smaller – I send in the feed and then collect the eggs.
If I had a run I’d recommend a max of 4 chickens in this coop – if I wasn’t going to let them out frequently I would house 2-3 hens max I think.
2. PawHut Wooden Chicken Coop Backyard Hen Cage House Poultry with Comfortable Nesting Box Run Ramp Sliding Tray Outdoore
Specification: Size: 175 x 95 x 100 cm ,Material: Wood, Weather-resistant: Yes, Suitable for: 2-3 chickens
I’ve been waiting for a chicken coop/run to come along that can rival the FeelGoodUK CHICKEN COOP & Run. This is pretty much the same size overall 1.8m * 1m and so you’re getting the same square footage for 2-3 chickens to wonder comfortably – here’s the kicker though – it’s considerably cheaper and doesn’t have too many problems in terms of build quality either! Just some hidden wood splits which bother me a little but not to the point I wouldn’t buy this again – here’s a look:
When I tested this coop and assembled it I pulled my hair out, but apart from the assembly the new chickens have become very happy in this coop in no time at all:
You’ve got a couple of entry points – one on the run and one directly into the house, the usual chicken ramp – they have no problems getting up that in the evening, and comes with a tray that slides out – this is a big bonus – keeping your chooks clean without a tray just isn’t easy – it then makes it a real chore and something we put off! The tray is a galvanised base so easy to blast clean with a cordless pressure washer – this is how I keep the coop in good condition for my hens:
On your nesting box you’ve got a hatch entry, very easy to lift and grab your eggs – my chickens always dart for this – so I feed them to distract, and then head in for my prize – or at least the daughter does – how she loves our chickens 🙂
One thing I didn’t like is the box closing point. Where I’ve placed ours next to a wall it’s very difficult to slide the door closed. It’s hard to visualise so here’s a picture of that:
The manufacturer doesn’t normally provide such detailed measures so I thought fair to share their picture of them:
All in all an excellent coop and run – I expect it’ll cause my previous top choice some headaches over the next few months while this is bought up for being cheaper.
In fact, I have to say I’m impressed it’s made of sensible quality timber – this was enough to prompt the update in fact. It’s unusual to get such a sensible quality product come into this category at a bargain price – I’ll expect to see this climb as more and more reviews come in to be honest. What with the price of manufacture, materials, and delivery spiralling out of control I don’t think there’s any margin here at all for them – I can’t make it myself at this price!
I decided I won’t be letting the chickens out often, and I think this is too small for 3 chickens under those conditions. So I then decided to knock up a run to neutralise that issue. Nothing fancy as it’s in the vegetable patch but I feel it’s a bit more humane this way:
3. FeelGoodUK Coop House Chicken Coop, Large
Specification: Size: 85 x 115 x 90 cm, Material: Wood/Alloy Steel, Weather-resistant: Yes, Suitable for: 1-2 chickens
For those of you who wish to let your chickens roam free around the yard during the day and just need a nice place for them to perch, or if you want something to put inside a larger enclosure, you can’t really go wrong with this chicken coop from FeelgoodUK.
Standing 90cm high, 115cm wide (at the widest part), and 85cm deep, there should be enough room in here to keep up to 4 chickens according to guidelines set out by the RSPCA. When I compare this to the other FeelGoodUK chicken coop and run, I do think size wise this could be better value.
There are three lockable hinged doors, a smaller one on the front and back, and a larger one on the side, and they act as ramps once opened making it easier for the chickens to come and go. If you don’t wish to use the side door, you can buy and set up a second nesting area here instead, sitting directly opposite the other nesting area on the other side.
Inside this chicken coop are three roosting perches and galvanised steel dirt tray that can be easily slid out for easy cleaning. The nesting boxes did seem a little small to me but thankfully the divider can be removed making this an easy solution.
The chicken coop arrived as a flat pack but didn’t take too long to assemble. The screws and holes are all aligned properly so there was no need to wrestle things into place and the whole thing took me about 45 minutes working at a medium pace. There was a problem with the instructions for the side panels as the drawings had been done upside down, but it was still easy to figure out.
The wooden panels are made from fir, but they are a little on the thin side and also not really coated well enough to be weatherproof so I would suggest two things. First, get some wood seal or paint and coat the wood before you build the chicken coop. It won’t take long to do and will prolong the working life of the coop by more than you can imagine (I would suggest doing this for most, if not all newly bought, wooden constructions).
Secondly, when the weather starts to get chillier you should think about using some kind of insulation on the chicken coop to keep your little egg laying wonders snug and happy.
While not perfect, and having a few minor faults, this is still a good, affordable, chicken coop that is easy to assemble, and should last as long as you prep it for weather before construction.
4. Cocoon HALF MOON CHICKEN COOP
Specification: Size: 250 x 102 x 75 cm, Material: Wood, Weather-resistant: Yes, Suitable for: 3-4 chickens
Not keen on the traditional look of most chicken coops and are looking for something a bit more aesthetically pleasing?
The half-moon chicken coop from Cocoon is a beautifully designed home for a small number of chickens (3-4) to live in and just like the other picks in this guide you’re getting sensible value for money. The curved lines that are a major part of the design really help to make this coop feel special, and would suit someone who enjoys modern, stylish garden features.
To keep predators at bay, and your chickens safe, there is wire mesh protecting the running area, and a fox proof lock on the main door which has also been given a round design to keep up with the rest of the chicken coops original look. On the side of the coop there is a double nest box with a hinged lid for easy access that can also be locked for safety.
The roof on both the sleeping area and the running enclosure can also be opened up to provide ventilation or to help with cleaning the chicken coop.
The chicken coop arrives in a flat pack and the instructions advise weatherproofing the wood before building it, so that’s what we did. Actual construction only took about an hour or so and was fairly straightforward, and it was good to see that Cocoon had included spare screws just in case.
I have to say though, that even after weatherproofing the wood and building the chicken coop as well as we could, it rained on the first night it was up and there was a small leak in the nest box. It was easily sorted with a bit of plastic sheet, but I still have to knock a point off for it.
The floor of the coop is made of plastic and it is removable and washable. It does what it is supposed to and does it well, but personally I prefer metal pull out trays as they tend to be more durable, and I’m surprised that Cocoon didn’t make theirs out of that material instead.
This chicken coop is priced at around the same as our two previously reviewed products, but I have to say that the build quality isn’t quite up to the standards of those, and I think you are paying more for the looks of this coop rather than the substance.
I’m not saying this coop is not any good, because it is a very nice product, I’m just saying that it isn’t exactly on par quality-wise with others in the same price range when you really look at all the smaller parts. Still, it is light years ahead in the appearance department. I guess it all just comes down to what you are looking for.
5. FeelGoodUK CHICKEN COOP & Run
Specification: Size: 175 x 95 x 100 cm ,Material: Wood, Weather-resistant: Yes, Suitable for: 2-3 chickens
Our next review is another quality product from FeelGoodUK that combines a spacious design with quality workmanship, all for under a hundred and fifteen pounds.
What I really like about this chicken coop is that the main house is raised up quite high and this increases the area of run for the chickens and enjoys the full 175cm x 95cm of space to exercise in. Some models of chicken coop have a run that is barely big enough for one or two animals, but the clever use of space in this product has ensured that a few good sized birds would be happy pottering around in it. They can also get easy access to the run by using the good sized ramp that leads from the door of the coop.
The whole run area is enclosed in and protected by wire mesh within a sturdy wooden frame and should be enough to keep your mind at rest when it comes to predators coming for your birds in the night. The doors are all lockable and feel solid enough to offer extra protection on top of the wire mesh.
On the side of the main coop sits a large nest box that has two nesting sections and this also comes with a lock for its lifting roof. Inside the chicken coop you will find a galvanised steel floor that slides out and acts as a dirt tray just like most other modern designs.
Overall workmanship on this FeelGoodUK chicken coop is really well done and the tongue and groove style panels slipped together easily when I was setting it up. The wood has already been treated to be anti-mould/fungal but I would still give it another coat of stain after a couple of months just to make sure.
Once built, this was probably the sturdiest of all our reviewed coops here on this page and I felt confident that I could leave it out in strong winds without it falling apart. I would probably reinforce the run with an extra layer of mesh and upgrade the locks just to be on the safe side when it comes to foxes, but apart from that, this coop and run arrives in a very usable state, as is.
6. COCOON CHICKEN COOP ECO ROOF HEN HOUSE
Specification: Size: 152 x 61 x 110 cm, Material: Wooden & Plastic, Weather-resistant: Yes, Suitable for: 2-3 chickens
We bring our reviews section to a close with this model from Cocoon, priced at £129.99 on Amazon at the time of writing.
Although this chicken coop model doesn’t include a run, it does have a feature that makes it stand out from our other reviews. We are, of course, talking about the fact that this coop has not just a single nest box, but two, and these are double sized nest boxes too.
Both nest boxes have roofs that can be lifted up and locked, and both of them are covered with the same ECO corrugated plastic that covers the rest of the main chicken coop. This plastic is strong and secure, good for the environment, and very waterproof.
The only problem with the main roof is that, unlike the nest boxes, it can’t be opened and this makes cleaning the chicken coop out harder than it could be.
The main door on the front of the coop slides up to open and there is a ramp to guide your chickens down to the ground from there. Above the door is another sliding door, this time to provide ventilation to the inner chicken coop. This ventilation window is covered and protected with wire mesh.
Other extra features include a slide out metal floor/dirt box, and plastic covers for the feet of the coop to protect them from mould and rot. How effective they will be in the long run, I can’t say but it’s always good that makers are trying to limit natural wear and tear as best they can.
As with a lot of these products, a look at the instructions will tell you that you need to treat the wood to protect it from the weather or you’ll probably be complaining about rot, warping and other weather related damage once autumn and winter roll along.
The instructions for constructing this chicken coop weren’t exactly great but decent enough for me, and I had no trouble building it, and the overall structure felt strong despite my initial concerns over the lack of weight.
To sum up, this is a well-designed chicken coop that offers the nice feature of having two nest boxes and a nice eco plastic roof. However, just like the other Cocoon chicken coop we reviewed, the level of finish and some of the materials used aren’t quite up to the standard of their main competition.
Chicken Coop Buyer’s Guide
What is there to know about chicken coops? They’re just boxes with chickens in them right?
Well, no they’re not, and you should educate yourself by reading this little buyer’s guide so that you know the product you are buying is worth the money you are paying for it. Here are a few aspects you should be aware of.
How many chickens do you have, or intend to have? How big are they? How much space do you have in your garden?
These are the very first questions to ask yourself before you even start looking for a chicken coop. Then you should check out the dimensions of the products you are interested in to see if they would offer enough room for your birds.
It is also important that you take into account the design of the chicken coop when looking at dimensions. Two products may have the same dimensions on paper, but one might have half of that space taken up by the run while the other is the size of the coop only.
Coop only or Coop and run – value compared?
Some models are chicken coop only and don’t have a protected area (known as a run) for the chickens to walk around in. This means that you will either have to let them walk freely around your garden, or build an enclosure for them. When you compare the complete set together you’ll notice you almost always get better value benefitting from economies of scale to coin a phrase.
If you opt for a coop and run design, try to get one where the coop is raised sufficiently off the ground so that the chickens can enjoy the extra space underneath.
Materials and finish
This is important for all products, but especially wooden ones that will sit outside. Good quality wood that has already been treated is ideal, but you will probably find that most low priced chicken coops will require you to paint or stain the wood yourself to protect it.
The little details like the quality of the handles on the doors, or the locking mechanisms is also important and the best way to learn about these is to read customer reviews.
Good features to look out for are floors that slide out to be cleaned easily, waterproof roof materials such as plastic or asphalt, high quality mesh for protecting the run, and large, or even better, multiple nesting boxes. Removable roofs or at least ones that can be lifted are desirable, again for cleaning purposes, and ventilation windows that protect against intruders are also good features.
So, there you have it. A fairly comprehensive look at the best chicken coops here in the UK. We hope you have enjoyed this page, and would like to explore our site some more. We have dozens of pages of reviews and buying guides on just about every gardening product you can imagine so feel free to dive right in.