Chicken Coop for Beginners: Your Aussie Starter Guide

Chicken Coop for Beginners- Your Aussie Starter Guide

Are you ready to embark on the exciting journey of chicken ownership? But how do you choose a chicken coop for beginners? 

In this beginner’s guide, I’ll cover everything you need to consider before setting up your first chicken coop. From providing ample space and effective ventilation to choosing suitable nesting boxes and ensuring easy access for your flock, this guide covers all the essential aspects. 

I’ll also recommend some great Somerzby products that make a wonderful chicken coop for beginners. So let’s get started…

Understanding the Basics of Chicken Coops

Chicken coops play an important role in your flock’s health and productivity. Before raising backyard chickens, it’s important to gain an understanding of the most important aspects of any chicken coop.

The Importance of Space

In any chicken coop, space is paramount. Each bird should have enough yard area to move around freely; cramped conditions can lead to stress and disease spreading quickly among your flock. 

A good rule of thumb is to allocate about 1 square metre per hen inside the coop itself.

Nesting Boxes

Every chicken coop needs nesting boxes. They give hens a quiet place where they can lay eggs comfortably. Typically, one nesting area for every three hens will suffice.

Put something soft on the base of the nesting boxes, such as wood shavings, straw or hemp bedding.

Ventilation is Key

Your chickens need fresh air. Add ventilation into your coop to ensure that there’s circulating air while removing excess moisture and ammonia from droppings – all critical factors in keeping diseases at bay.

Ramp Access

An often overlooked aspect when designing coops is ramp access which makes it easier for chooks to get into their home without struggling over high thresholds. This is especially helpful for young chickens or small breeds such as Silkies.

ramp access which makes it easier for chooks to get into their home

Factors to Consider Before Getting Chickens

If you’re thinking about getting chickens, you need a bit of planning and preparation first.

Space Requirements

Your backyard size matters when it comes to raising chickens. Chickens need room to roam for their health and happiness. 

Ensure your backyard can fit a coop large enough to house your desired number of hens. As a guideline, each poultry should be allocated at least 1 square metre (or 10 square feet) of floor space.

Breed Selection

Chicken breeds each have their own personality traits and egg production abilities. When choosing a breed, consider what your goals are for your flock.

If you’re after the best egg layers, consider Australorps and Isa Browns. If you want a lap chicken that your kids can help out with, we recommend Silkies. If you want something hardy and dual-purpose, Rhode Island Reds are a great option. 

When mixing chicken breeds within a coop, consider how they will get along and where each would be on the pecking order.

Local Regulations

If you’ve decided to raise chickens, first check what regulations your local council has in place. Suburban areas will most likely have rules about keeping chickens including flock size, how close the coop can be to the neighbouring fence and if you can keep roosters.

Toni’s Tip: 

Chicken coops are like fortresses for your feathered friends, offering protection from predators day and night. They also provide shelter from harsh weather and a cosy space for egg laying, ensuring the well-being of your flock.

Essential Equipment for Your Chicken Coop

If you’re setting up a chicken coop for beginners, it’s important to have the right gear. 

Feeders and Waterers

The first things on your list should be feeders and waterers. Chickens need a constant supply of fresh water and chicken feed!

Somerzby’s Automatic Chicken Feeder protects your chicken food from rain and pests, saving you money in the long run! Chicken owners can easily train their chickens to open the lid by simply encouraging them to step up onto the treadle.

Nesting Boxes

If you have layer hens, you will need to provide nesting spaces. These are quiet, comfortable areas for laying eggs each day.

All Somerzby chicken coops come with nest boxes built onto the side. Each has an opening lid, so you can easily collect the chicken eggs each day without needing to enter the coop.

Roosting Bars

Chickens perch when they sleep, as an instinctive way to keep safe from potential predators on the ground. Ensure your chicken coop has a roosting area with enough space for all your flock to perch at the same time.

Dust Bath Area

Dust bathing is a natural behaviour that helps chickens keep their feathers clean and free from parasites. If your coop flooring is not naturally dusty, add in a shallow tray with dry, loose dirt or sand.

Dust bathing is a natural behaviour

How to Set Up Your Chicken Coop

Setting up a chicken coop is about creating a space where your chickens feel safe and happy.

Selecting the Right Location

The first step in assembling your chook house is to find the ideal site. Just as you wouldn’t build a house on unstable ground, you need to choose an area that’s level and well-drained for your chicken coop. 

It should also be somewhere with plenty of sunlight during the day, but protected from harsh winds or excessive heat.

Assembling your Coop

Building chicken coops from scratch can be tricky and expensive. It’s a good idea to buy a flatpack for stress-free assembly.

Somerzby chicken coops are easy to assemble, with the wire mesh already attached on the sides and guide holes pre-drilled. Instructions and screws are included. For tips on assembly, click here.


To help maintain cleanliness within the coop, line the floor of the roosting and nesting areas with absorbent, disposable bedding. Good options include shredded paper, wood shavings and straw.

Once per week, remove all the dirty bedding and replace it with clean bedding.

Toni’s Tip:

To keep your chooks healthy, maintain a clean coop by regularly removing waste and disinfecting. Ensure good ventilation without drafts, guard against pests, and provide fresh, clean water and balanced food for a thriving flock.

The Best Chicken Coop for Beginners

When it comes to quality and design, Somerzby chicken coops truly stand out. They’re made with the comfort and safety of your chickens in mind.

Bungalow Chicken Coop

The Bungalow is a great coop for beginners. Its easy clean design features an opening roof, wide opening front door and pull-out tray.

It has a sliding window with ventilation holes to minimise bad odours.

The Bungalow is recommended for 2 chickens if let out daily into your yard to roam.

Bungalow Chicken Coop


Deluxe Mansion Chicken Coop

The Deluxe Mansion is the ultimate coop for predator protection! Features to keep out predators include a wire mesh floor, fly screen on the sides, and a fully covered solid roof.

You can close the door at the top of the ramp using a rod. This means you can lock your girls up each night easily while standing outside the coop.

The Deluxe Mansion can house up to 6 hens if let out daily into your yard.

Deluxe Mansion Chicken Coop

Homestead Chicken Coop

The Homestead is our largest coop, with most adults being able to stand up inside it. It has a fully covered roof for full weather protection, meaning your chooks can happily wander around even when it’s hot or rainy.

At the back, two large coop doors give you easy access to the roosting area. This makes it easy to access your chickens and clean out their sleeping area each week.

It has three nesting spaces where the chickens lay their eggs. 

The Homestead has adequate space for a backyard flock of 12 hens, if they are let out into your yard daily for a run.

Homestead Chicken Coop

Toni’s Wrap

Before you buy your chickens, you need a chicken coop. But choosing one can be hard! To help decide which coop is best for you and your backyard, you need to understand what features are important.

Essential aspects of chicken coop management include providing ample space, ventilation, suitable nesting boxes, and ensuring easy access for your flock. Before embarking on chicken ownership, consider the required space, breed selection and local regulations.

If you’re looking for a chicken coop for beginners, Somerzby offers a range of high-quality products, including the Bungalow, Deluxe Mansion, and Homestead. These coops prioritise comfort, safety and durability, making them ideal choices for those new to keeping chickens.