The Difference Between A Chicken Coop And Run

Let’s talk about the difference between a chicken coop and a chicken run. To break it down, a chicken coop is a house for your chickens. The coop contains nesting boxes and roosts and can be completely closed at night to protect your chickens from nocturnal predators.

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A chicken run on the other hand is located outside of the coop and is usually a fenced-in space that allows your chickens with an area to dust bathe and forage. Runs are optional but are nice to have to keep your chickens out of your garden and flower beds. A run also helps keep your chickens safe from most daytime predators. Most runs are attached to the coop, and a small pop door opens to allow the chickens to come and go as they please between the coop and the run.

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Electricity and a water source are nice to have near your chicken coop. So if you have not already set up your space for a chicken coop and run, consider how far you will need to carry water buckets if you do not already have a space with water nearby.

You also may want to think about the type of flooring you want in your coop. A building may already have an existing wood or concrete floor, so you may not have an option. Both of these materials have their good and bad points. You will need to use some type of bedding over either of these flooring materials and change it out regularly.

A dirt floor is another option if you are building a coop from scratch or using a portable coop. A dirt floor allows excess moisture inside of coop to drain naturally. You also may be able to use little to no bedding in the coop. The downside to a dirt floor is that predators can more easily tunnel under the coop wall to get access to your chickens.

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Remember to keep possible “chicken math” in mind when planning your coop and run. The ability to expand your flock size to accommodate the need for a growing family, local egg sales or a desire to add more beautiful hens is a good thing to consider. Make sure your coop and run has some extra capacity.

General Building Considerations

  1. Ventilation, even in the winter months. Make sure all windows and other openings are predator proof. 
  2. Nesting boxes: access from the outside is nice. Rollaway nesting boxes also make egg collection easier and keep your eggs clean/safe.
  3. Coop ceiling height: make your coop as comfortable as possible for you to work in to make chores easier.
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We hope you enjoy reading a little more about the difference between a chicken coop and a run, and also things to consider when you are choosing a coop location and design. Leave us a comment below and let us know what your top coop and run design considerations are. Happy chickening!

Learn More On Our Podcast!

In Episode 13, our podcast provided some considerations in regards to your new or existing coop, including the differences between a coop and run, general building considerations, and add-ons! 

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