Find Beautiful Plans for Your Next Chicken Coop

Is it time to take your chicken coop to the next level?

When it comes to creating the perfect home for your new flock, you may have something special in mind. 

But if you’re not familiar with planning a construction project, you might be looking for a little inspiration and guidance. 

So we’ve put together this list of ideas that will help get those wheels turning. 

Find Chicken Coop Plans on Instagram

Instagram is one of the most visual social platforms around. And if you follow some favorite chicken-loving accounts, you know there’s usually something beautiful to ogle over. 

Whether it’s pretty little eggs all in rainbow rows or a new chicken coop plan created al la Chip and Joanne from Fixer Upper, all you have to do is hit the right hashtags to get an eyeful of chicken fix-for-the-day.

Type in some of the following to bring up some fantastic chicken coop ideas to spark your imagination:

  • #chickencoop
  • #chickencoopplans
  • #coops
  • #chickencoopideas

And of course, don’t forget to follow us for your daily dose of poultry eye candy.

Find Chicken Coop Ideas on Pinterest

We’ll admit, one of our first places to dig up inspiration is usually Pinterest. And that’s because it’s one of the most visual search engines on the planet with millions of contributors, just like us.

In fact, we’ve got a board set up specifically for new chicken owners looking for coop-building inspiration. 

So go check it out, we’ll wait.

Oh and here’s a special tip: if you search for free chicken coop plans, a bunch of freebies will pop up for you to print out and work off of. 

Our advice? Find a predator-proof plan, use what you’ve got, and then snaz it up once it’s complete. 

Some of the most straightforward designs turn out to be the most beautiful. 

In fact, we’ve seen some pretty impressive coop designs out there (some are jaw-droppingly gorgeous, like this one).

Just remember, the most important thing is safety and functionality, beauty can come later!

Facebook Groups of Chicken Fanatics

Facebook can be like the wild wild west, at times. Everyone seems to have the all the answers. 

And, in truth, there’s plenty of good advice from experienced chicken owners on Facebook. 

But instead of falling down the rabbit hole, here’s what we suggest:

Join a handful of chicken groups and search for the term “chicken coop plans” or “chicken coop design” rather than asking questions or endlessly scrolling the feed.

Who’s got time for that? Not us! We’d rather be with our chickens.

By searching, you’ll avoid the know-it-alls and still get the inspiration you’re looking for when planning your first chicken coop design. 

And be sure to check out Henny+Roo on Facebook while you’re there!

Chicken Coop Planning Books

Lastly, you can always get find inspirational and coop-planning books that walk you through the exact process of building your first chicken coop. 

All you have to do is page through and find the design of your dreams…then head to the lumber yard!

These are some of our favorite chicken coop building books.

  1. DIY Chicken Coops: The Complete Guide To Building Your Own Chicken Coop

2. Building Chicken Coops For Dummies

3. 40 Projects for Building Your Backyard Homestead: A Hands-on, Step-by-Step Sustainable-Living Guide (Creative Homeowner) Fences, Chicken Coops, Sheds, Gardening, and More for Becoming Self-Sufficient

Coop-planning books are great for beginners who need a little extra advice when building their first coop. 

Usually, everything from the nesting box to the dust bath, and the roost is already planned out and included. 

Plus, you know that you’re following plans for a coop that’s been tested against the elements and predators. 

So go ahead, and take the experts’ advice. You can always add your personal touches after the coop is complete, like this coop sign now available in the Henny+Roo Shop:  

Amazon for Easy Peasy Chicken Coops

We know not everyone has the time, or ability, to design and construct their own chicken coop. But, if that’s you, it shouldn’t stop you from making your chicken dreams come true. 

You can find pre-made, semi-started, chicken coops on sites like Amazon. Here are a few that have received good reviews:

  1. SnapLock Formex Large Chicken Coop Backyard Hen House 4-6 Large 6-12 Bantams
  2. GUTINNEEN Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop Large Hen House Poultry Cage, 69in, Waterproof UV Panel
  3. PawHut 114″ Wooden Customizable Backyard Chicken Coop with Nesting Box and Runs

Pre-made chicken coops come ready to snap together, and in most cases, all the designing and safety considerations are all done for you. 

With that being said, it’s still a good idea to review the materials the coop is made from. That way, you can ensure that it will hold up during bad weather and cold conditions (if that’s where you’re located). You may have to fortify premade coops by adding a 2×4 base frame, hardware cloth on any openings, a stronger door locking mechanism, and/or a protective wood finish to lengthen the life and protectiveness of the coop.

Also watch for treated wood and materials that might be toxic to chickens. 

An excellent way to ensure you’re purchasing a quality coop is to read through the reviews of what previous buyers have said about the chicken coop. 

We wish you the best in creating a safe and happy home for your flock!

A Look Inside the Henny+Roo March 2021 Box

The February boxes are being prepared to ship this week, so let’s talk about March!

Our monthly subscription boxes for chicken keepers are intended to be surprise boxes. We love hearing about the feeling you get when you open a box of goodies just for you and your flock!

The Henny+Roo March 2021 Box features our exclusive Spring Hen Pouch! At 9″x6″, it’s perfect for carrying all of your essentials. You’ll get a jump on spring decorating with the distressed silver sitting hen figurine – it’s made of resin and hand painted (4.5″ h x 6″ w). And for the flock, a big 1.5 lb. bag of Henny+Roo Pecktacular Grains and mealworms. Plus, 5 other items to care for your flock, The items in this box retail at over $60.

Not a subscriber? Sign up now or order without a subscription from our Shop.

The January 2020 Henny+Roo Poultry Supply and Gift Box

Well, 2020 was one heck of a year, right? That’s why we were so happy to get a box of happy mail out to our chicken keeper subscribers to celebrate the new year. If you’re not a subscriber, you can still order the January 2021 box here. Here’s what’s inside:

Mealworm Treats: High-protein treats to keep your flock happy and healthy. Encourages natural foraging during times when free ranging is not ideal. wildlifesciences.com

Aspirin: A staple for your poultry first aid kit. From poultrydvm.com: “Aspirin, a common name for acetylsalicylic acid or ASA, is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent used as an analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory agent. Giving aspirin to poultry may be effective in some cases of acute and chronic gout, or to prevent clot formation and embolisms secondary to egg-related peritonitis, granulomatous diseases, and shock. See dosage information and more at: http://www.poultrydvm.com/drugs/aspirin

Hen Healer:  For body, legs, head, face, comb and wattles. Temporarily protects and helps support healing of minor cuts, lacerations, scrapes and sores. Creates a barrier to insects and dirt. Blue color ointment to help prevent pecking. For use on all classes of poultry. mannapro.com

Hen Print Scarf: Stay warm and show off your favorite hobby in style. hennyandroo.com

New Years Keychain: Our wish to you for a healthy, safe, and prosperous 2021.

2021 Chicken Keeping Journal: Keep all of your flock notes in one place in this blank journal. hennyandroo.com

Items you may wish to record: Names, breeds, ages, expenses, egg production tracking, incubation dates and results, hatch dates, illnesses, treatments and medication, deaths/culls, observations, photos, 4H and show information, projects/repairs, to-do lists, to-buy lists, seasonal reminders, sketches, wish lists, and goal tracking.

Nesting Box Liner: In every box and compostable. For use with mature hens.

Henny+Roo is the first and only subscription box supporting new and experienced chicken keepers with monthly deliveries of supplies for your flock, and items to make you smile. Visit us at hennyandroo.com to learn about our monthly plans or purchase past boxes.

Start Your Backyard Chicken Flock in 2021

If you’ve been hoping to start a backyard flock, 2021 might be the perfect year to start your first flock of chickens. 

And if you’ve already made the decision to start your flock this year, you’re in luck, because we’ve put together this list of things you can do now so you’re ready to bring your chickens home when the weather is better!

What to Do Now To Prepare for Your Chickens

Thinking ahead puts you in a position to have a smooth beginning to your journey as a proud flock owner. 

One of the best things you can do right now, while you wait out the winter, is to read…like, a lot!

While chickens aren’t a complicated animal to care for, they do have their quirks and special considerations. 

For example, did you know that chickens need grit to digest their food? 

Yup… it’s because chickens don’t have teeth like we do, so they need stones to grind up their dinners. 

You can learn all about a chicken’s dietary needs along with other essential things you’ll need to know to raise a healthy, happy, flock in books like:

Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, 4th Edition: Breed Selection, Facilities, Feeding, Health Care, Managing Layers & Meat Birds
The Chicken Health Handbook, 2nd Edition: A Complete Guide to Maximizing Flock Health and Dealing with Disease
Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally

 

Determine Your Budget

Now is the time to think about what you’re willing, and able, to spend on a flock of chickens. 

Because, well, you can’t just have one chicken.

And yes, they are like potato chips, and you’ll almost always want more chickens.

But in reality, chickens need each other. So wanting more than one is perfectly acceptable.

At a minimum, you’ll want at least three chickens in the coop so they keep each other company and so they can cuddle up and keep each other warm during winter. 

You might be surprised at how close a couple of chooks can become. Some will appear to be attached at the hip.

So when determining your chicken budget, think about things like feed costs, bedding, nesting and coop supplies, feeders, and waterers. Then factor in how many chickens you’ll have so you don’t fall short on supplies.

Oh, and don’t forget the grit!

How Many Chickens Can You Have

How many chickens you want to have and how many you can physically keep are two very different things. 

We completely understand how you feel…we’d have all-the-chickens if we could.

But before you place a massive order with your hatchery, other things you need to consider are:

  • Your physical space
  • The buildings you already have and how you might use them to house your chickens
  • How much time you have to care for your chickens
  • Your other pets that may interact with your chickens

These things are important because they directly affect your ability to care for a happy, healthy flock. 

But one of the most important things to look into before you bring a single chicken home is ordinances. 

Yup, each city, town, county, and state may have laws regarding keeping chickens. 

Some cities allow chickens, while others prohibit them, for example.

So make sure you look into the local laws where you live to ensure you can have the ginormous flock you’ve been dreaming of. 

What Kind of Chickens You’ll Keep

There are many different breeds of chickens to choose from. And the kind you decide to raise depends on things like:

Where you live: If you’re in a cold climate, you’ll need to think about choosing breeds that are cold hardy.

Your purpose: Are you mostly interested in layers, or would you rather have a dual-purpose breed and raise your chickens for both meat and eggs. 

Your personal preferences: Do you like ornamental chickens or are you a fan of solid-colored birds?

Availability: Are the chickens you’ve chosen available to you either locally or through a hatchery?

Coop Considerations

Don’t forget to think about the future home of your flock!

Will you buy coops online, at your local farm supply store, or will you DIY a coop castle, for example. 

Think about the kind of space you have available and how much of that space you’re willing to gift to your hens. 

Remember, chickens love to forage, and if you’re planning on keeping them in confinement, make sure you’re willing to part with the lawn you’ll be keeping them on. 

Or, better yet, consider free-ranging your chickens if you have a safe space to do so. 

And, of course, think about what you want your coop to look like…will it be simple, repurposed, or will it be grand and decorative?

Some are really creative when it comes to their chicken coops, and while you wait for spring to arrive, maybe you can spend some time designing the coop of your dreams!

Buy Ahead of Time

Of course, the last item on your list of to-do’s before the spring showers bring flowers is to purchase your chickens. 

While you should make sure not to have chicks shipped to you during the cold months, many hatcheries will allow you to place your orders ahead of time.

Doing so ensures you’ll get the breeds you have your heart set on. 

So once you know what you can handle, go ahead, and start chicken shopping!

Then, go ahead and start shopping for the rest of your supplies. And if you’d like a head-start, don’t forget to check out our monthly chicken subscription boxes.



Henny+Roo is the first and only subscription box supporting new and experienced chicken keepers with monthly deliveries of supplies for your flock, and items to make you smile. Visit us at hennyandroo.com to learn about our monthly plans or purchase past boxes.

Preparing Your Chicken Coop For Winter

When winter temperatures roll in and the days get shorter, it’s time to winterize your chickens for the months ahead. 

And if you do plan ahead, you and your chickens will be ready for the frost when it arrives. 

Most importantly, your chickens will be happy, healthy, and laying eggs all winter.

So how does one winterize their chickens for the cold months ahead?

Well, we’ve got a few simple-but-necessary items to tick off your winter prep list. 

So rest assured, your chickens will be cozy and comfy all winter long. 

Keep your chickens healthy this winter. Chicken in snow.

Prepping With Cold Hardy Chicken Breeds

Before we dive into prepping your chickens for winter, let’s first consider the breeds of chickens in your coop. 

Do you know whether they’re cold hardy breeds? If so, there may be a bit less prep work for you to worry about. 

Some breeds, like the Wyandotte for example, are suited well for colder climates. 

Breeds like the Wyandotte are heavier, have shorter combs, and have dense, loose feathering that can handle a long cold winter. 

On the other hand, breeds with large combs may struggle with ailments like frostbite. Similarily, breeds with tight, lighter, feathering will not insulate as well as the larger, fluffier breeds of chickens. 

Other breeds that can stand up to the cold temps are:

  • Buff Orpington
  • Americauna
  • Dominique
  • Rhode Island Red
  • Jersey Giant

So if you’re at the beginning of your chicken-keeping journey, take some time to research the breeds you’re most interested in. Then ensure your breeds of choice will tolerate the climate in which you live. 

If Your Chickens Aren’t Cold Hardy

Heat lamps can cause fire in chicken coops. Panel heaters are safer.

If you’ve got a few chooks in the coop that cannot tolerate the temps, you might need to consider adding a heat source to your coop. 

Typically, artificial heat sources are discouraged because they can be dangerous fire hazards. 

Additionally, heating your chicken coop could set your chickens up for failure if your electricity goes out. You see, your chooks won’t have had the chance to adapt to the cold winter temperatures. 

So plan accordingly, and if possible, do your best to allow your chickens to manage their own body temperature. 

With that being said, if you’ve determined that your beloved flock will indeed need a heater, you can find safer options like the PetNF Chicken Coop Heater

Prevent Drafts in Your Coop During Winter

Even more dangerous than cold temperature is a draft during bitterly cold weather.

Drafts can cause otherwise hardy chickens to become chilled, get frostbite, and contract respiratory problems. 

So before you even worry about the coop temperatures, test your coop to ensure your chickens are safe from rogue drafts. Look for nooks and crannies facing the direction winter weather most typically comes from.

With that being said, your coop should never be completely closed off. In other words, your chickens do need some ventilation. 

The trick is to make sure there is adequate airflow, but not where your chickens roost.

Give Your Chickens Fresh Water During Winter

One of the biggest challenges for chicken lovers is to keep water fresh and unfrozen 24/7. 

It’s a common misconception that chickens (or other animals for that matter) can eat snow and remain sufficiently hydrated. 

Don’t make this mistake, or you’ll end up with sick chickens. 

You can find heated waterers at your local supply store or online. And while heated waterers are generally safe, make sure you supply electricity to these waterers with fire safety and prevention in mind. 

Chicken Litter Options for Cold Winter Months

When bedding your chickens for winter, you have the unique opportunity to consider different litter options. 

You can simply choose to use straw or pine shavings (never use cedar as it is considered toxic for chickens).

But on top of your chosen litter, you can also employ the deep litter method in your chicken coop. 

This is a newly embraced method of bedding, which includes the accumulation of absorbent materials over time. 

In other words, you keep adding bedding to existing soiled bedding. Piling bedding, rather than removing soiled bedding, creates natural insulation against the frozen ground and a lovely compost for use later. A product that helps neutralize ammonia in the coop while remaining safe for garden use is Sweet PDZ Coop Refresher. We’ve included samples of this product in our Henny+Roo monthly supply and gift boxes for chicken keepers, and our subscribers have noted that it dramatically reduces odors.

The trick is to agitate the deep litter and add more clean bedding when needed so your chickens aren’t living in feces (which can create parasite and respiratory problems…among other things).

Speaking of parasites, since your chickens are all hunkered down together for the snowy months ahead, they are also more susceptible to sharing external parasites.

Routine fluffy-butt checks will help you identify and treat an external parasite problem before it’s out of control.

Frostbite Prevention for Chickens

Just because your chickens have big beautiful combs doesn’t mean they’ll contract frostbite during the winter. 

But if you’re worried, you can find products like Green Goo All Natural Poultry First Aid to help prevent and treat frostbite on your prize-winning rooster’s comb. 

Certain balms and salves help insulate your rooster’s comb so that it isn’t exposed directly to the bitter cold. Some even opt for a simple application of Vasoline if the forecast predicts sub-zero temps. 

Extra Protein and Treats To Keep Warm and Busy

The cold weather takes its toll on farm animals during the winter. And that’s because more energy is needed to stay warm; thus, adding extra protein to your flock’s diet helps your birds stay healthy and warm through blustery winter months. 

Provide chicken-friendly table scraps or scrambled eggs for your chickens as an extra snack to both boost energy and prevent boredom (which can also lead to pecking). 

Special treats like FlyGrubs or Henny & Roo’s Pecktacular Grains and Mealworms are always a hit in the henhouse, and during the winter, everyone could use a little extra to snack on. 

If you’ve done your due diligence and prepped your coop for winter, your chickens will come out the other side happy, healthy, and maybe even a little more portly than before. 

At Henny+Roo, we’re here to help support you and your clucks with monthly boxes filled with treats, tools, and valuable info that can help you raise happy and healthy chickens all year long. 

Avoid Coop Fires

Sadly, we are already reading of coops lost to fire caused by heat lamps. If you have cold hardy breeds suited for your climate, they do not need supplemental heat in the coop. Here in Northern IL, our issue is frozen water, and since we were given this panel heater from PetNF to try out, we decided to install it and hang the waterer nearby. It’s doing a great job of keeping their water from freezing, and in the spring, we will use it to heat the chick brooder. If a panel heater is on your Christmas list, find it on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/3ahmkB7

December 2020 Henny+Roo Box Product List

If you haven’t received your December Henny+Roo box, and you wish to be surprised, don’t scroll down!


Due to a printing issue, the December box product insert was delayed. Knowing that USPS has been slammed with increased volume this year causing delivery delays, we decided not to wait for the product inserts, so that we could get your boxes to you as soon as possible. Below is the product insert for your review. We hope you LOVE your December box, and we wish you a very happy holiday season!

December Product Insert Card Links:

Henny+Roo Pecktacular Mealworms and Grains, Ornament, and Greeting Cards
Pokey Jr., by Brad Hauter
Coop Care Chick Fresh
Chicken Banquet Mineral Block
Catchmaster Fly Ribbon

Henny+Roo on Instagram
Henny+Roo on Facebook
Henny+Roo Shop

Email us: info@hennyandroo.com

Urban Farm Style: Farm and garden themed apparel and gifts

6 reasons why NOW is the perfect time to start your backyard chicken flock

You may have noticed that there is an increased interest in backyard chicken keeping, and many first-timers are starting their flock. And while Spring is typically the time for increased chick sales regardless of world events, this New York Times article explains how in times of economic uncertainty, sales of live chickens increase. 

If being a backyard chicken keeper has always been a dream of yours, we think now is a great time to start, and here’s why:

  1. You have the extra time. Many Americans are under shelter-in-place orders to avoid the spread of COVID-19. And that means that many adults are working from home (gaining the time they typically spend commuting) or are out of work. If you have extra time and wish to start your flock, set aside ample time to research all that is involved in caring for a backyard flock. When things return to normal (which we hope is soon!), will you still have time to care for your chickens? These are live animals you’re considering, so be responsible and determine if this is the right hobby for you.

    What are your chicken keeping goals? Will you raise chickens for eggs? Meat? Stress reduction? Are chickens even allowed where you live? Many HOA’s and municipalities do not allow home chicken keeping. If yours does not, perhaps it’s a good time to get involved and push for more freedom in the ordinance.

    Assess your yard and determine the best place for your coop, and what kind of predators inhabit your area. Ensure you’re selecting a sturdy coop and adequate predator protection. Here is a good list of considerations in regard to chicken coops from our friends at My Pet Chicken.

    To prepare yourself for the ups and downs of chicken keeping we also suggest The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow, and Fresh Eggs Daily by Lisa Steele.

  2. Chicken keeping is good for kids. Most schools are closed, and parents are looking for meaningful and educational activities in which to engage their kids. Not only are chicks super cute, but learning about how to care for them is a great way to teach responsibility. Kids can catch up on their reading and research skills by looking up what it takes to raise a flock. They can sharpen their math skills by calculating startup costs. They can help design the coop if you’re building it yourself, or draw a picture of the coop in the yard. They can practice their instruments by playing to their new pets. Here are 9 tips for keeping chickens with kids from our friends at Tilly’s Nest.

  3. Wider varieties may be available right now. Spring is the best time to get started because you’ll be able to find a wide variety of breeds from hatcheries and breeders (though this year, many will be sold out). Research the breeds that are hardy to your climate and fit your chicken keeping goals. Here is a good article on selecting chicken breeds to get you started. 

  4. It’s warmer in spring and summer, and chicks need warmth. Chicks need a warm, draft-free environment, which spring and summer often provide. Be sure to have a proper brooder indoors if it’s too cold to house the chicks outdoors. And you’ll want to start growing chicks early enough in the year to ensure they are full grown and fully feathered before winter, depending on your location. Here’s what you need and what to expect during the first 60 days of raising chicks.

  5. Chicken keeping provides food security. Chicken eggs and meat are excellent sources of protein when grocery store supplies may be reduced or sold out.But it takes an investment of time, supplies, and care to get chicks to the mature laying stage, so don’t rush into this hobby thinking you’ll have eggs right away. Depending on the breed, hens will start laying between 18 and 26 weeks. And no, you don’t need a rooster to get eggs!

  6. You have support. There is a wonderful chicken keeping community out there, and most of us love to help newbies. But don’t expect people on the internet to teach you everything. Learn what you can on your own, and join online chicken keeping groups to ask specific questions. Join us on Facebook at Henny+Roo Poultry Supplies, on instagram @hennyandroo, and in our Facebook group, Chicken Coop Connect.

    Henny+Roo offers support for new and experienced chicken keepers, delivered to your door each month. You don’t have to leave your house to get treats,health and first aid items, coop supplies, and gifts for owners. Check out our monthly plans and one-time shop at hennyandroo.com. For a limited time, you can save 15% sitewide with code SPRING15. 


We chicken keepers invite you to experience all that we love about this hobby, the least of which is tasty, fresh, and available eggs. But we want you to be sure to consider your lifestyle and resources before jumping in. Take the time to learn all you can, which is a fun activity regardless if you decide to move forward or not. 
From all of us at Henny+Roo, we wish you and your flock health and wellness. Please feel free to reach out to us with questions at info@hennyandroo.com and check us out at hennyandroo.com.