Top 3 reasons to have a second coop

Let's talk luxury. After all, there are chicken needs, and there is chicken indulgence. I'll be the first to admit that most people view a second coop as an indulgence, not a need. But there are certain circumstances where the second coop can quite literally be a lifesaver for your flock.

What do you want a second coop for? Here are the top three reasons.

second coop with chickens and child

An extra coop can really benefit your family's pet chickens!

Top 3 reasons to have a second coop

1. Second coop as a broody coop:

If you're having your hens hatch and/or raise chicks of their own, having a safe place to house the little family away from the rest of the flock can save a lot of heartache. Mingling mother and chicks together with the rest of the flock? You may have no trouble. Mother hen will do her utmost to protect her babies. But occasionally another hen will regard the babies as unwelcome intruders--and will attack! Can you imagine the heartache of having your new baby chicks injured or killed by some other flock members? Giving them time and space in a a second coop--a broody coop--until the babies are a few weeks old and better able to withstand a peck or two or to run, if need be, can be a lifesaver.

keeping young chicks in a second coop

You'll want to keep the babies separate from the rest of the flock until they're five weeks old or so.

2. Second coop as a hospital coop:

If you have an injured bird, possessing a place to be able to keep her separated during recovery can mean all the difference. It's instinctual for chickens to peck at things, particularly when those things are red in color. For that reason they're often driven to peck at a bare spot or a wound on a flock mate. For obvious reasons, this is not good. Having a second coop--a hospital coop-- to allow your wounded chicken to recover can also be a lifesaver. Additionally, having your injured chicken in a separate space will allow you to administer medication via drinking water, if need be.


Keeping an injured chicken in a separate, second coop allows her time to recover without harassment from her sisters.

3. Second coop as a quarantine coop:

If you rescue or adopt adult birds, having a second coop--a quarantine coop---to keep your new birds away from the rest of the flock for four weeks is not only a lifesaver, it is a LIVES saver. We love to hear when people rescue battery hens and hens from other bad situations. But the concern is that if the rescues were kept in dirty, unsanitary conditions--and if you're rescuing factory farm hens, they certainly were--then they could bring illnesses or infestations into your own beloved flock. The last thing you want is for your soft heart and kindness to lead to the death or suffering of the rest of your pet hens! Even if it's just a matter of dealing with mites or lice, it's much easier to treat one or a few rescue hens than to have to treat your entire flock.

Pet chickens and children

This hair looks yummy, sis.

The bottom line

If you're like me, you may already be thinking about next year's flock, such as what breeds to add (more Speckled Sussex? More Marans?).  You may be thinking about what equipment you're going to buy or replace (A heated waterer? A new incubator? ) You may also be thinking about improvements you'd like to make to the coop and run (Reinforcing fencing? Adding a chicken swing? Creating more roost space?)

Well, think also about adding a small second coop. You'll probably find a million ways a second coop will help your flock. Just knowing you have one can ease your mind. If you want to be really sneaky and use some good Chicken Math, this is the time you can upgrade to a bigger coop so you can have a larger flock.

small second coop

This is a perfect size for a second coop, to use as a quarantine, hospital or broody coop.

Use your small, starter coop as your second coop, and upgrade to a larger one as your main coop. With a second coop, just think how many cool breeds you'll be able to enjoy next in the future!

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8 years ago

My second coop is to give some of the most frequently "loved" chickens a rest from the rooster. He is going to the next swap meet. He is just abusive.

[…] for several small coops including the Clubhouse. After all, even if you have a coop, you may need a second coop so you can do your best chicken […]

8 years ago

I definitely need more room for More chickens!

8 years ago

my bantees want to raise there own babies and this way they wouldn't get bothered by my big layers. It would be there own little area

[…] lover won’t be interested because he or she already has a coop, think again. There are three good reasons to have a second, or even a third, coop. And if you’re really hard up for ideas for chicken stocking stuffers, just print out a photo […]

Barbara Nevinger
7 years ago

Please ! In desperate need of coup as I have new babies and I'm recovering from breast cancer ..thank you ! Hugs !

Patricia Needels
6 years ago

I live in a small subdivision, they say I can only have 3 chickens, looks like I will be ''fostering'' 3for my daughter.

Shawn Hall
5 years ago

Is the baby chick at the top with the red feeder a Speckled Sussex?

5 years ago
Reply to  Shawn Hall

Yes, good eyes! That's a Speckled Sussex (among the favorite breeds of many of our employees)

[…] can include any livestock buildings you choose in your coverage. Do you have several coops? Farm insurance will include them all. If you keep other types of livestock—horses, for […]

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