Are you considering keeping chickens as pets? If so, you’re not alone!
With the rising popularity of backyard chickens, it’s no surprise that more individuals and families are taking up this fun and rewarding hobby.
But before you decide on what type of chicken coop to get, one question looms: are walk in chicken coops the best option? Read on to learn more about the advantages of walk-in coops and why they could be the best option for your pet chickens.
Are Walk In Chicken Coops Better?
The choice of whether a walk in chicken coop is better for your needs depends on a variety of factors. Walk in coops tend to provide better air flow and ventilation, making it easier to maintain healthy chickens.
They also offer extra space for your chickens, allowing them more room to spread out. Cleaning and maintenance is usually easier as well, since you don’t have to reach into small crevices or corners to clean them out.
In addition, the walk in design provides easy access and convenience to collect any eggs laid inside the coop.
However, there are some drawbacks to walk-in chicken coops. Since they are usually larger structures, walk in chicken enclosures tend to be more expensive than smaller coops.
Their larger size also means you will need to create a lot of space in your backyard to accommodate them – meaning they may not suit those with a small yard or garden.
Due to their larger size, walk-in chicken coops cannot usually be moved around like smaller ones can. If you want to the flexibility to move your coop around your yard, a smaller more mobile coop might be the best option.
Ultimately, the decision as to which type of chicken coop setup is best for you depends on your budget, size limitations and other factors specific to your situation.
Do I Need a Walk In Chicken Coop?
Most flat pack chicken coops available today have many functional features such as pull-out trays and accessible doors, allowing all cleaning and egg collecting to be done from outside the chicken coop.
This eliminates the need to step foot inside your chicken house.
Walk-in style coops might be preferable if you enjoy spending time with your chickens, however, many pet owners are deterred from spending time inside their coops due to the smell.
Most walk-in chicken coops still require you to duck your head when entering due to their door height. You may wish to build your coop on a raised timber frame to increase the height and allow access to walk in.
How High Should a Walk In Chicken Coop Be?
A walk in chicken coop should be tall enough that a person can comfortably navigate the internal area without having to maintain a hunched posture.
The ideal height for this purpose is approximately 6 feet, or 1.8 meters.
This will ensure sufficient overhead clearance to avoid any accidental head bumps and provide adequate room to move around safely when changing your hens water, feeders or bedding.
How Many Chickens Fit in a Walk-In Coop?
When it comes to determining the number of chickens that can fit in a walk-in coop, there are a few factors to consider. The size of the coop and the breed of chickens will play a significant role in determining how many birds it comfortably house.
For example, a bantam chicken will require less space than a full-sized breed, as they are smaller in size. Other factors to consider when determining the appropriate number of chickens for a walk-in chicken house include:
Chooks need a place to roost at night and should be provided with adequate room to perch without being too crowded. Overcrowding can cause stress and bullying amongst your flock.
If you plan to keep hens for egg laying, you will need to provide them with an adequate amount of nesting boxes. A good rule of thumb is to allow one nesting box for every 3-4 hens.
Chickens also need room to move around, stretch their wings, scratch for food, and dust bathe. Ideally, there should be some ground space in the coop to allow for these activities.
In addition to these factors, it’s important to remember that not providing the necessary features or adequate space for your chickens can lead to health problems and increased aggression.
It’s always best to provide a bigger house than you think your birds need.
Should My Chicken Coop Have a Floor?
Whether or not your chicken coop should have a floor largely depends on your personal preference, goals, and the specific conditions in your backyard.
There are several factors to consider when deciding on adding a floor to your coop, including predator protection, ease of cleaning, and the well-being and natural behavior of your chickens.
One of the main benefits of having a floor in your coop is the added protection to keep your hens safe against predators.
A solid floor, especially made of a strong material like concrete or heavy plywood, can prevent predators such as foxes from gaining access to your chickens.
A solid floor can make cleaning your chicken coop more convenient. Solid flooring materials like concrete can be quickly swept or hosed down, making the process more efficient and manageable.
On the other hand, a dirt or grass floor may require more cleaning effort as you will need to rake or shovel out accumulated mess.
A coop without a floor allows your chickens to scratch and forage in the dirt, which is a natural and instinctive behavior.
Chickens benefit from being able to dig in the ground for insects, worms, and small stones (used for grit to aid digestion), as these activities can help keep their beaks and nails trimmed and provide them with a more natural, engaging environment.
If you decide to have a floor in your chicken coop, you can provide your chickens with a “dust bath” or litter area where they can dig and scratch.
This can be achieved by placing dirt, sand or even a mixture of both on top of the floor or in a designated area.
Providing a space for your chickens to express their natural behaviours will contribute to their overall well-being.
Do Walk In Chicken Coops Need to be Closed at Night?
It is generally recommended that all chicken coops, including walk in designs, be closed at night.
Chickens rely on the protection of their coops from predators and extreme weather, and closing the door to the coop will help protect your flock from potential danger.
Closing the door also helps regulate chickens internal temperature, as warm air can escape, especially during colder months.
Keeping the chickens inside their coop at night also prevents them from roaming freely in your backyard, which will decrease chances of injury or illness due to contact with wild animals or exposure to hazards.
Closing the door at night can also prevent pests such as rats or mice from entering your coop, which can potentially bring in diseases or and steal eggs.
Ensuring that your chicken coop is closed at night will help give you peace of mind that your chickens have a safe place to rest when the sun goes down.
Predator Proof Elements in Your Walk-In Chicken Coop
Predator proofing your walk-in chicken coop is essential to protecting your flock. There are several elements you should consider when you purchase or build your own chicken coop, to prevent predators from getting in:
A solid base such as concrete, brick, or pavers can be used for the floor of the coop. This will guarantee no foxes or other animals will be able to dig in from underneath and gain access.
A wire floor in a chicken coop acts as a barrier between your chickens and burrowing animals such as foxes, snakes, and rats. It is easier if you place the wire down when assembling your chicken coop as the weight of the enclosure will help secure it.
If you would prefer to keep the ground in the run area free for your chickens to scratch around, you can place wire mesh or pavers as an apron on the ground around the outside perimeter of your coop instead.
This will discourage animals from digging close enough to gain access to the coop’s interior.
Secure Locks & Latches
All doors, windows, and other openings should have secure locks and latches that can’t be easily broken into by predators looking for an easy meal.
Check all locks and latches on your coop regularly to ensure they are in good working order.
Having an enclosed roof will prevent climbing animals such as foxes and cats from getting into your chicken coop. Alternatively, you can cover the top with strong mesh that other animals can not rip through.
What are the Best Walk In Coops for Sale
When it comes to finding the best walk-in chicken coops for sale, it can be overwhelming to choose between the range of different options available.
However, if you are looking for a practical and stylish solution for your backyard hens, there are a few choices that stand out.
One of the top walk-in chicken coops for sale in Australia is the ‘Homestead’ from Somerzby. This coop is spacious in size and can house up to 12 chooks if you let them out to free range daily.
Reaching 1.8 metres high at the peak, it is suitable for most adults to easily stand in. It is manufactured using long-lasting materials, including rot-resistant Fir wood and galvanised wire mesh.
The Homestead also comes with a fully covered run area to protect from rain and the harsh sun. It is easy to assemble, making it a great product for those with limited building skills wanting a well-constructed chicken coop.
Another popular option is the Coops and Cages ‘Castle’. This walk-in chicken coop comes in a classic and stylish white stain with black latches.
The enclosed area has ample space for your flock to roost at night, as well as a nest box on the side for your girls to lay their eggs in.
The Castle stands out from its competitors with its stainless-steel pull-out tray and long-lasting wire mesh with black coating for extra protection.
Construction is a breeze as it comes with detailed instructions and the panels have pre-drilled holes for easy assembly.
The Coops and Cages Castle can cater for up to 12 chickens if let out daily to roam your garden.
There is also an additional extension run available to purchase that can be added to increase the length of the coop by an extra 3 metres.
The Castle is an ideal choice for those who want an easy-to-maintain chicken coop that looks good in their garden or outdoor area.