shed & run design
chicken hutches
A chicken hutch is a term I use to a describe chicken coop that is too small for an adult human to walk into.  They are really only designed to house two or three small to medium sized chickens.  They usually come with a micro chicken run attached they work best when the chickens can be let out to roam away from the hutch.  While chicken hutches are usually light enough to be moved they have no wheels (unlike chicken tractors) so cannot be easily moved.

advantages/disadvantages summary

Photo of a commercially available chicken hutch
Commercially available chicken hutch.  Visually it looks great but it offers very limited space for the chickens to move about.  Image courtesy of the internet.

Photo of a commercially available flat roofed chicken hutch.
A flat roofed commercially available chicken hutch.  Image courtesy of the internet.

Photo of a  larger homemade chicken hutch.
A larger homemade chicken hutch with room to stand inside the main section.  Image courtesy of the internet.
  • Visually very pleasing.
  • Suitable for small backyards as they take up very little space.
  • Can be bought ready made, so no building skills required and little work needed to set them up.
  • Difficult to clean as an adult cannot stand up inside them.
  • Cost as much or even more than larger walk in chicken coops.  This is because the designs are usually more intricate than standard rectangular shaped coops
  • As they are usually made of wood they offer plenty of cracks for spider mites to hide in.
  • Generally only suitable for two or three small to medium sized hens.
  • A chicken that is being henpecked by another dominant chicken will have no space to escape to.
  • Not suitable for a rooster.

Chicken hutches suffer from lack of space for the chickens and have maintenance problems due to having to stoup to get into them.  They are only suitable if you have a small backyard or just want to keep two or three small to medium sized hens.

Note that I have never actually owned a chicken hutch so the above observations are second hand.