You want backyard chickens? Here’s what you need in your coop


There are many perks to having backyard chickens, no matter whether you live on a couple of acres out in the country or have a large farm and need a few of the feathered critters roaming around it. It’s no joke that you’ll almost never have to grocery shop for eggs again if you have your own birds, and they might even make you a hit with your neighbors. 

Having a good shelter for the chickens — whether they use it all day long or just to lay in or only at night — is vital. The upkeep is minimal. Grabbing the eggs and helping to scoop out the shavings are chores perfect for even little kids, and it helps them feel connected to your property, no matter how big or small it is.

But there’s more than just a shelter that’s needed, of course. From feeding to play time, the right amenities will make life with backyard chickens all that much more fun! Best of all, most of it is very affordable, especially compared with other animals you could have.

Here are some items you’ll need for the chickens once they get past their earliest stage and can roam a coop more freely:

Miller 12-Pound Galvanized Hanging Poultry Feeder

If you’ve got a half-dozen or more chickens, you’ll need something that can hold a good amount of feed. This is what we use, and it works perfectly for our needs.

  • Hanging galvanized feeder holds 12 pounds of feed
  • Hanging feeders Saves floor space and cuts down on debris in the feed
  • Reduces feed waste by eliminating scratching
  • Hanging handle included

Of course, there are also feeder versions in smaller sizes and larger sizes — it’s hard to go too big, especially if the feeder is positioned somewhere that doesn’t get rained on, but it’s certainly a concern if you choose a feeder that’s too small.

Harris Farms Plastic Poultry Drinker, 5 Quart

As with the feeder, there are a few different styles and sizes to explore with a waterer/drinker. The one above is a tried-and-true design. It can sit flat on a cinderblock or some other surface, or it can be hung — just know that if it sits flat, there’s a greater chance of it getting knocked over (especially as the chickens reach full size) or getting stepped in with icky feet.

  • Easy-fill, easy-clean
  • Molded from long-life plastic with durable fountain
  • Features twist-lock system
  • Accommodates up to 32 poultry or game chicks

Really got a lot of birds to manage in just your backyard? Try this waterer on for size: 2 Gallon Chicken Waterer – Horizontal Nipple Setup

Fowl Play Products’ The Chicken Swing

No kidding, they use this! Especially once they get a couple of months old, it’s likely that you can see them fighting over the right to be on the swing.

  • An activity for all breeds and ages of chickens to use in the coop
  • Reducing coop boredom and bringing smiles to the people that care for them
  • Perch is 16.25 inches Long
  • Patented design allows the chicken to pump the swing
  • Mailbox shape of the perch with corn like texture allows a broad spectrum of sized/Aged fowl the grip and torque the perch

Harris Farms 2-Hole Nesting Box

There are a whole lot of ways to add nesting boxes to your coop, but if you don’t want to build them (and you are planning to keep them out of direct sunlight), here’s a solid solution.

  • 2-hole nesting box
  • This 2-hole nesting box with front and back panels is made of rust-resistant galvanized steel folded edges and ventilation holes features a hinged perch to allow closing
  • Bottom metal inserts are easily removed for cleaning

Two nesting boxes will suffice for most backyard chicken farmers, but if you need to go bigger, here’s the 10-hole nest. If wood is your preference, here’s a pre-made three-hole set.

Brillante Nesting Pads for Chicken Nest Boxes

As we’ve said, chickens can be a lot of fun, but the main purpose should be for getting eggs. These will help you get the best eggs possible.

  • Nesting box pads made from natural aspen material help provide cleaner and fresher eggs
  • Easy to place in chicken nesting boxes for faster egg gathering with less clean up
  • Each pad measures 13 x 13 inches with a thickness of approx. 3/4 in – 10 pads included in each pack
  • Helps to reduce the number broken eggs and keep a clean environment for your birds
  • Made in the USA from sustainably sourced Aspen wood excelsior material

Precision Pet Portable Roosting Bar

Backyard chickens are often in their “happy place” when they’re roosting, so a good roosting bar in your coop is a must. Scratch that — many roosting bars are a must. It’s relatively easy to build one, but if you want something out of the box and portable, this product is a solution.

  • Add to chicken coops and pens
  • Provides chickens with a perch that naturally offers comfort and a sense of security
  • Easy assembly
  • All natural materials


All this said, perhaps you’re in need of the coop itself. Maybe you don’t have much background in construction (totally fine!) or you haven’t found blueprints you like. There are several stock varieties that you can purchase for a reasonable price — just realize that you’re still responsible for the foundation, and you still have to put the coop itself together 🙂

Click on any of the pics to learn more about it on Amazon:


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