House Design for Small and Backyard Poultry Flocks

Small and Backyard Flocks May 05, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Written by: Dr. Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky

Accessibility, safety, exterior appearance, and appropriateness of design are important aspects of housing for your poultry flock.

Before you begin building, consider how you will access and maintain your poultry housing. Choose a design that allows for easy access to nests, perches, feeders, and waterers. Suitable access will make it easier to clean all areas of the coop.

When designing, building, and maintaining your coop, take action to prevent possible injury to you or your birds. Remove any loose or ragged wire, nails, or other sharp-edged objects from the coop. Ensure that the birds can perch on only roosts that you provide. Remove or eliminate access to other perching areas, such as windowsills, nest box tops, or electric cords, whenever possible.

If your poultry house is visible to your neighbors, you may want to ensure that it does not detract from the overall appearance of its surroundings. You can improve the looks of your poultry coop by painting and properly maintaining the exterior. Removing weeds and trash from around the coop not only enhances its appearance but also helps with rodent control. Landscaping can screen your poultry coop from neighbors as well as help muffle the sounds your flock produces.

Choose a poultry housing design that meets your particular needs. Figure 1 shows four examples of urban poultry housing.

Fig. 1. Urban poultry housing of various sizes. Photos: Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky.

Pasture poultry ark - University of Wisconsin

Also, you can find designs online. The Louisiana State University AgCenter provides a variety of poultry housing designs, including plans for the following types of housing:

Connect with us

  • Facebook
  • YouTube


This is where you can find research-based information from America's land-grant universities enabled by



This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.