You’ve seen those cute pictures of chickens happily pecking and clucking away in roomy coops. But have you ever wondered how you could provide that for your flock without breaking the bank? Shipping container coops are the stylish and affordable solution. These upcycled containers are ideal for creating a safe and spacious home for your chickens. In this article, you’ll discover how to transform a basic shipping container into a chic and functional coop. We’ll cover everything from choosing the right container to adding roosts, nesting boxes, and chicken runs. Get ready to give your chickens the 5-star treatment they deserve without spending a fortune. With a bit of DIY know-how, you can create the coolest crib for your cluckers!

Why Use a Shipping Container for Your Chicken Coop?

Shipping containers are ideal for converting into chicken coops for several reasons. First, they are very sturdy and secure, protecting your chickens from predators like hawks, foxes, and coyotes. The steel construction is durable and weather-resistant, keeping your flock sheltered from harsh elements.

Spacious and Customizable

Shipping containers come in a range of sizes, so you can choose one large enough for your flock. A standard 20 to 40-foot container provides plenty of space for nesting boxes, roosting bars, and amenities for your chickens. The open floor plan allows you to customize the layout to suit your needs. You can partition off areas for different purposes or leave it open.

Moveable and Stackable

Another perk of shipping containers is that they are designed to be moved and stacked. You can relocate your chicken coop to different areas of your yard to give your grass time to recover. Multiple containers can also be stacked on top of each other, doubling your available space. The solid construction will support the weight with no issues.

Affordable and Sustainable

Converting a shipping container into a coop is an affordable, sustainable option. Containers that are no longer seaworthy can be purchased for a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Giving these retired containers a second life helps reduce waste in landfills and pollution from producing new materials. With some DIY skills and elbow grease, you can transform a shipping container into a stylish coop to house your flock for years to come.

Using a shipping container as the framework for your chicken coop offers many benefits for both you and your feathered friends. Your chickens will enjoy a safe, spacious home, and you’ll have an affordable, sustainable coop option to keep your flock happy for generations.

Shipping Container In Village With Chickens Around

Designing Your Container Chicken Coop

Choosing a shipping container as the base for your coop gives you a sturdy frame to build upon.

Size Matters

First, determine how many chickens you want to house. A 20 to 40-foot container should suit a small flock of 3 to 12 chickens. For more chickens, you may want to connect multiple containers together.

Shelter and Security

You’ll need to cut openings in the container for doors, windows, and ventilation while still protecting your flock. Install wire mesh over large openings for airflow and consider shutters or flaps that can close off the coop at night. Place the coop in a spot sheltered from harsh weather. Burying part of the container in the ground or building a wooden frame around the lower walls can help regulate temperature.

Roosting and Nesting

Chickens need places to roost off the floor at night and nesting boxes for egg-laying. Install wooden beams, platforms, and ramps at multiple levels in the container for roosting. Provide one nesting box for every 3-4 chickens and fill it with straw or wood shavings. The nesting boxes should be enclosed on three sides for privacy.

Feeders and Waterers

You’ll need to add feeders and waterers that attach to the walls or hang from the ceiling to keep food and water off the floor. Look for models that won’t tip over easily. Refill and refresh food and water daily.

Flooring and Bedding

Cover the metal floor of the container with a layer of bedding such as sand, straw, wood shavings or shredded paper to provide insulation and absorb moisture. A deep layer of bedding, around 4 to 6 inches, will make it easier to clean the coop by simply removing soiled bedding. Add fresh bedding regularly and completely replace it every few months.

With some modifications for comfort and access, a shipping container can make an ideal coop for an urban or small farm flock. Your chickens will enjoy the spacious and secure home you’ve designed for them. Happy building and enjoy the fresh eggs!

Setting Up the Interior for Happy Hens

Roosting Bars

Chickens love to roost, so install several wooden roosting bars at multiple levels in the coop. Place the bars 2 to 3 feet apart and at least 1 foot from the walls. This gives your chickens space to flap their wings and easily hop from bar to bar. Roosting bars also keep the chickens up and off the floor at night, which helps keep the area underneath clean.

Nesting Boxes

You’ll need nesting boxes for your chickens to lay eggs. Provide one box for every three to four chickens. Fill the boxes with nesting material like wood shavings, straw, or shredded paper. Place the boxes off the floor, such as on a platform. This keeps eggs clean and prevents breakage. Check nesting boxes daily and collect eggs promptly to avoid chickens developing a taste for them!

Feeders and Waterers

Your chickens will need constant access to food and fresh water. Install feeders and waterers that attach to the coop walls or hang from the ceiling. This prevents waste and keeps food and water off the floor. Refill and clean feeders and waterers regularly. In warm weather, also provide electrolytes or vitamin supplements in the chickens’ water to keep them hydrated.

Shipping Container In Village With Chickens Around


Cover the floor of the coop with 2 to 3 inches of bedding material like wood shavings, straw, or shredded paper. Bedding absorbs moisture and manure, keeping the coop clean and dry. Stir or completely replace bedding every week or two. Build a manure pit or tray under the bedding to make cleaning out soiled bedding easier.


Install wooden perches, branches, or platforms at varying heights in the coop. Perches give chickens spots to rest, preen, and simply enjoy being off the floor. Place perches away from nesting boxes and roosting bars so chickens have separate areas for different activities. Provide at least 6 inches of perch space for each chicken.

With the proper interior setup, your chickens will thrive in their new home. Provide opportunities for eating, drinking, sleeping, laying eggs, and exercising, and your feathered friends will live the five-star life in their shipping container coop!

Must-Have Features for Your Container Coop

One-Trip shipping containers offer unparalleled safety and security for your cargo. Since they’ve only been used once, there’s no chance of damage or contamination from previous loads. You won’t have to worry about punctures, dents or rust compromising the container’s structure


Since shipping containers are made of metal, they can get extremely hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Add weatherstripping around doors and windows and consider installing a small AC unit or heater to keep your chickens comfortable year-round. You’ll also want to insulate the container by installing fiberglass insulation between the walls.


Chickens need plenty of fresh air, so installing vents, windows, and a fan in your container coop is key. Cut openings for windows and cover them with wire mesh to keep predators out. Place an exhaust fan at one end of the container and vents at the other to keep air circulating. Make sure not to place the fan too close to roosting areas where chickens sleep.

Nesting boxes

Provide your chickens a place to lay eggs by building nesting boxes inside the container. You can construct simple wooden boxes with a perch in front of the entrance. Place some wood shavings or straw inside and hang the boxes along one wall of the container, about 2 to 3 feet off the ground. Allow one nesting box for every 3 to 4 chickens.

Roosting bars

Chickens like to roost off the ground at night, so install wooden bars or beams across the width of the container for them to perch on. Place the bottom roosting bar about 2 to 3 feet high, with each additional bar spaced about 1 to 2 feet apart. Round wooden beams, 2x4s, or tree branches all work well for roosting bars.

Easy access

For convenience, you’ll want to build a way to easily access your container coop and collect eggs. Cut an opening in one end of the container and frame it, then hang a door that you can securely close at night. Add a ramp so your chickens can get in and out easily. Place nesting boxes near the door for easy egg collection.

With the right modifications and features in place, a shipping container can make an ideal coop for a small flock of chickens. Your feathered friends will enjoy the extra space and shelter, and you’ll have fresh eggs daily!

FAQs About Using Shipping Containers for Chicken Coops

Are shipping containers safe for chickens?

Absolutely, as long as you take some precautions. Shipping containers are made of galvanized steel, which is non-toxic and weather-resistant. However, the flooring and any exposed metal need to be properly sealed to prevent corrosion. You’ll also want to ensure there is adequate ventilation, nesting spots, roosting bars, and any wiring is inaccessible to curious beaks. With some DIY modifications, shipping containers can make perfect coops.

How much space do chickens need?

The general rule of thumb is 4 square feet of coop space and 10 square feet of run space per chicken. A standard 20-foot shipping container provides about 320 square feet, so you could comfortably house around 30-50 chickens depending on the size of your attached outdoor run. Be sure to include multiple nesting boxes, perches, food and water stations at different spots to give them plenty of room.

How do I make it predator-proof?

To fortify a shipping container coop against predators like coyotes, rodents, and birds of prey, you’ll need to secure all access points. Cover any vents, doors, or windows with 1/2-inch wire mesh. Bury the edge of the wire at least 6 to 12 inches into the ground to prevent digging predators. Consider an electric fence charger for the run. Place motion-activated lights, noisemakers, or sprinklers around the outside of the coop. Secure the doors, nesting boxes, and any other openings with locks or latches that open from the inside out.

With some creativity and elbow grease, you can easily transform a shipping container into a stylish, secure home for your feathered friends. By addressing ventilation, flooring, space requirements, and predator-proofing, a shipping container coop can keep your chickens comfortable, safe and happy for years to come. If you have any other questions, your local farm supply store is a great resource. They can provide guidance for your specific climate and chicken breeds.

Shipping Container In Village With Chickens Around


Ending a long day of pecking and scratching with a cozy roost in a decked out shipping container sounds like chicken paradise. With a bit of DIY ingenuity, you can create a trendy urban coop that gives your flock a safe, stylish home. A storage container offers durability and size options to meet your needs. Add nesting boxes, perches, feeders and creative flair to design their dream home. Your chickens will thank you for the upgrade with a daily dose of farm-fresh eggs. So go ahead, give your flock the 5-star treatment they deserve with a shipping container chicken coop!

Shipping containers so tough, they come with a 25-year warranty!

At Shipping Conex – Official Affiliate of Used Conex LLC you have the opportunity to get a FREE quote today and unlock the endless possibilities that shipping containers can bring to your storage space. By simply filling out a quick form on our website, you can take the first step towards transforming your cluttered storage area into a well-organized and efficient haven for your belongings.