How Tall Should A Chicken Coop Be?

Raising chickens isn’t an exact science, but there is information you can use to keep your birds comfortable (and improve egg yields). The height of your chicken coop can have a dramatic impact on your flock; in this article, we’ll explore exactly how tall your coop should be. 

The Minimum Height of a Chicken Coop

The minimum height of your chicken coop will depend heavily on both the breed of chicken that you have and how many chickens you have—but we’ll talk more about that later.

While it’s hard to give an exact figure, we’d recommend that your chicken coop offer your chickens at least 30-46 cm (12”-18”) of headroom in their roosts. Most chicken roosts are 30-46 cm (12”-18”) off the ground; that means your chicken coop should be at least 91 cm (3 feet) tall (we’re accounting for the size of the chickens).

Of course, there are many factors that will affect the total height of your chicken coop—but we’ll cover those in a later section. For now, keep a minimum height of 91 cm (3 feet) in mind. 

The Maximum Height of a Chicken Coop

There’s no maximum height for a chicken coop; you could build a chicken skyscraper if you have the permits to do so. Realistically, though, anything over 274 cm (9 feet) is probably excessive for a backyard flock, and most chicken coops are about 183-244 cm (6-8 feet) tall. 

Building your coops too high can have a number of disadvantages: 

  • The coop will be harder to clean and maintain
  • Chickens and eggs will be more difficult to access
  • There’s a greater risk of chickens injuring themselves
  • Heat rises, and chickens roosted higher up may experience heat exhaustion
  • Building a bigger coop leads to more expenses!

After a certain point, it’s best to build wider and longer rather than taller. 

How Tall Should a Chicken Coop Be?

Now that we’ve discussed minimum and maximum heights, we can get down to the meat of this article: Figuring out how tall your chicken coop should be.

First, we have to account for how much space we’ll need. 

Let’s start with nesting boxes. How many nesting boxes you’ll need depends on the breed and temperament of your chickens; generally, you’ll want one nesting box for every four or five chickens. You don’t need a nest box for every chicken; too many nesting boxes can cause chickens to sleep in them instead of sleeping on the roost. This can lead to soiled eggs. On the other hand, unless you have a very small flock, one nest box is not enough. 

Nesting boxes are around 30 cm (1 foot) tall. Ideally, roosts should be 61-122 cm (2-4 feet) above the nesting boxes. Your chickens will need about 30-46 cm (12”-18”) of clearance between the roosts and the ceiling. That’s 30 cm (1 foot) for the nesting boxes, about 91 cm (3 feet) of space between the boxes and the roosts, and another foot of clearance for the roof; about 152 cm (5 feet) of interior height.

Of course, all of this depends on the size of your backyard flock. Larger flocks will need more nest boxes and more roosting space; this often leads to slightly taller chicken coops, as vertical space is perfect for building more roosts.

Ventilation space and insulation also play important factors in the height of your build. You’ll generally want vents placed at least 46 cm (18”) above the roosts.

Ridge vents, for example, provide excellent ventilation, but may increase the overall height of your coop. Gable vents, on the other hand, provide excellent ventilation and don’t affect the height of the coop.

Ventilation is one of the reasons a taller coop can have its advantages. More vertical space helps increase air circulation in the coop. 

This leads us to the conclusion that most backyard coops should be at least 183 cm (6 feet) tall; that gives you room for chickens, insulation, roosts, boxes, ventilation, and more.  

How Tall a Chicken Run Should Be

The fencing around your chicken run only needs to be tall enough so that a large rooster from your chicken’s breed couldn’t jump it easily; usually about 30 cm (1 foot) taller than the rooster. 

There’s a better question, though: How much room do you need to access the chicken run? Most backyard chickens have a run with fencing 183 cm (6 feet) tall or taller, to provide easy access for the chicken’s owner to clean the run. 

Building Your Ideal Chicken Coop With Horizon Storage Sheds

When you buy a chicken coop with Horizon, you’re buying a coop built right here in Manitoba, and designed to endure our harsh weather. Our chicken coops come with roosting bars and nesting boxes, two gable vents and a solar vent for better ventilation, windows, durable framing, and everything else you need to keep your chickens comfortable.

Interested in one of our coops? Get in touch with us today!