flew the coop

Chicken coop

A chicken coop is a building where chickens are kept on a farm or homestead.

The inside of the chicken coop normally consists of several nesting boxes just large enough for the chickens to sit in while laying their eggs as well as perches for the chickens to use while sleeping. Often the floor of the chicken coop is covered with a material, such as straw or wood chips, to contain the chicken waste and to allow easier cleanup of the chicken coop. Sometimes the chicken coop contains feeding and watering devices for the chickens, but these may also be kept outside of the chicken coop. Most have some kind of ventilation to help air out any odors that may occur.

Since chickens are often prone to illness from drafts and poor weather, chicken coops are best designed to be warm at cold times, cool at hot times, and as draft free as possible.

Backyard coops

Many people, especially in rural areas, keep a small flock of chickens to provide themselves with eggs and meat.

These small coops are often surrounded by a fence (sometimes made with chicken wire) to allow the chickens an area to roam, peck, and hunt insects, while contained.

Other uses

  • In American English, the slang phrase "flew the coop" is used to refer to someone who has escaped impending confinement. For example, The police had a warrant for his arrest, so he flew the coop!
  • American truckers refer to weigh stations as chicken coops.
  • In the poem "Ballad of John Silver" by John Masefield, there is a reference to drowning merchants "lamenting the absent chicken coop". This maritime usage is archaic and may now be lost.

See also

Sources and notes

Different coop designs and pictures.

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