Four Must-Haves For Sheltering Your Backyard Poultry

Fresh eggs from feathery friends are an appeal to many frugal and down-to-earth people. If you've always dreamed of homing chickens in your backyard, you've come to the right place for the first step in becoming a poultry owner. 

Two backyard chickens looking into camera

Before becoming a raiser of chickens, do your homework on a breed that will work for your climate. And before you buy your precious clucking family, you'll need to create a safe, warm and spacious coop. A good living space for your hens and roosters should include all the necessary accessories to make it cozy, comfortable, and easy to clean.

The Essentials for Sheltering Backyard Poultry

The four following habitat essentials are a must to ensure healthy, happy chicken littles.

1. Space to Run and Nest

Various chickens roaming outside

Consider whether your chickens will have the option to range free with a coop as their haven or if the pen will be their only area to roam. This detail will determine the expanse of your DIY coop. Basic spacing needs are as follows:

  • With outdoor space. Interior space measuring three to four square feet per bird, assuming availability of outdoor range space. The outdoor or "run" space should measure approximately 10 square feet.
  • Indoor space only. If you are housing your chickens in a secure coop without outside roaming room, be sure the indoor space is large enough to allow your birds to fully spread their wings.
  • Keep to your feet. Your coop's entrance and height should also allow you to enter comfortably for maintenance. You shouldn't have to crawl or stoop.

Keep in mind that the more space made available to your feathered friends, the better.

Inside of chicken coop

2. An Ideal Garden Spot

Your chicken coop is best in a raised area, where flooding and water damage are unlikely to occur. Any build-up of moisture is unhygienic for your flock. 

Also place your coop close to your home; this help you keep an eye on things that might need attention. Additionally, a high-traffic area, clear of nearby shrubbery, will protect unwanted predators from attempting a chicken heist. 

Finally, the coop should have good sun exposure, as well as plenty of shade. This helps keep your cluckers cool in summer, while offering ample sunshine to stimulate egg production. 

3. Interior Necessities

Your chicken coop will need the following:
  • Nesting boxes of approximately 12 to 15 inches in height and width and about 12 inches deep, depending on the breed
  • Roosting bars for sleeping
  • Various feeders and drinkers that are topped up daily
  • Ample ventilation and airflow
  • Artificial lighting and a timer, so chickens have 15 hours of daylight year-round

4. Tools for Maintenance

Little girl feeding chickens within chicken coop

Other must-haves for your shed include:

  • A poop scoop or spade
  • A rake for clearing the floor
  • A large bucket or wheelbarrow for removing waste
  • An egg basket for your "eggcellent" breakfast foraging
  • A stiff brush for cleaning surfaces
  • Gloves and a mask to protect yourself from birders lung and histoplasmosis
  • Vinegar to use as a natural disinfectant
  • Diatomaceous Earth to sprinkle in and around the coop to deter parasites like mites, worms, and lice

Perfecting Your Possession of Poultry

Keeping chickens can be incredibly rewarding and by starting off on the right foot, you'll ensure the wellbeing of your little clucking friends. By providing a shelter that is safe, dry, spacious, and clean, your roosters, hens, and baby chicks will thrive and add some joyful chatter and activity to your yard. 

Need more advice on caring for your backyard poultry? Then visit and shop at for all your chicken-ownership needs from treats, feed, and care items. We're also here to answer any questions you may have about caring for your fluffy friends.