Keeping small poultry flocks has its advantages (such as less space required) but also its challenges (such as providing sufficient heat during cold weather).

Housing has several functions which should be taken into account when picking a design:

  • Provide shelter from the weather
  • Provide adequate ventilation
  • Provide protection from predators

In addition, the housing should be easy to build out of readily available materials, have low maintenance cost; and be able to support the changing needs as your flock changes.


A variety of different designs have been used over the years, each with its own pros and cons.

Backyard flock

Backyard flock

Backyard flock


As with backyard poultry housing, there is a variety of different styles of small flock housing. Much of the design depends on the size of the flock and the materials available. An easy and relatively inexpensive portable housing system is the hoop pen built with cattle panels.

Hoop barn

A series of videos show the step-by-step construction of a hoop house.

Poultry plans (North Dakota State University) - A collection of construction plans for poultry buildings of different sizes and functions as well as plans for miscellaneous poultry equipment (nest boxes, feeder, etc.)

Construction plans from the University of Tennessee

23 Simple ways to make a better chicken run and coop