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First Place: The Hen’s Bed and Breakfast
Lyn dia Decker , Arkansas
This is the hand-built log cabin we call “The Hen’s Bed and Breakfast.” We notched each log and built this cabin, log by log. We put on a tin roof and roosting bars inside with baskets for laying. I have the sweetest chicks ever.
Second place: Coop Saloon
Lin dsey Brian , Ontario , Cana da
Photos courtesy Lindsey Brian.
Our Wild West-themed coop. The coop was our first carpentry project. It is a 6-foot by 8-foot winterized coop that currently houses 11 layers.
Third Place:Reclaimed Garden Coop
Denise Krainock , California
I built this coop using mostly reclaimed and repurposed materials. The only items purchased were the cement, wire and the four main posts. We were tearing out an old corr
al and used the lumber for the main structure, the window and door were from an old house. I also repurposed some old PCA crates (Poultrymen’s Cooperative Association) into nesting boxes. It’s been a great coop for a small backyard flock, and I even have had four batches of chicks hatched in it.
More great coop ideas submitted in 2016!
“The Bird House” — Our goal for our coop was to incorporate it into the neighborhood. We live in an old town in the historic district, and there was not a lot of room for us to work with. I wanted the coop to look like it belongs with the house, which was built in 1871. The build incorporated many existing architectural items, which I had scavenged over the years including all windows, porch brackets, wooden shutters, an old wood storm door (cut apart and reconfigured), barn flooring, garage door scrap wood, local store front display wood window casing, porcelain light shade, even an old explosives box, which lines the nesting box. — Tom Baldoni
“Buff Orpington Dwelling” — Our chicken coop was built from recycled materials. The frame and sides were a combination of materials cut from our homebuilt sawmill and recycled siding from our home. The tin roof was recycled from our home porch roof. The skylight window was recycled from greenhouse glass. The brooder house was a dog house we had and just added a back door and a divider for the brooder and her feed/water inside. The dust bath was from miscellaneous wood left from the sawmill. Fencing was reused from another animal pen. The high ceiling allows for great venting. There is a rope which allows us to close the door at night and open it in the morning without disturbing the chickens. — Barb Britch
“Chicken Mahal” — My wife caught the chicken bug and wouldn’t stop talking about getting a backyard chicken coop. I like to think of myself as a handy guy so I quickly started to sketch out and lay dimensions to the plans. I considered things like pitch of the roof, size of the man door, size and mechanism for the pop door, external nesting box for easy egg collection, large back door and vinyl floor in coop for easy cleaning, ceiling height enough to stand in, roof ventilation, electricity, insulation, heat, ergonomically friendly perches made from trees, windows with screens for ventilation, fully enclosed run for year round and safe outside access, an additional fenced in paddock area and many more features. Most of the wood was reclaimed lumber from my place of work. Much of the hardware, including latches, nails and screws, we already had. We found a 100’ role of fencing on clearance that we used in combination with hardware cloth to enclose the entire coop. There was even enough material left over to build a matching picnic table and we finished it off with just the perfect color scheme inspired by the national park look! — Dale & Sarah Burgun, Ohio
“The Chicken Ranch” — We quickly outgrew our tractor coop so I attached it to what had become an unused tree fort that I had built with my kids when they were younger. I then wrapped it in chicken wire and predator proofed it. It is hard to see the fenced in free range area that our chickens enjoy daily, and what started as a 5 foot fence was heightened to a 15 foot or so fence. The cedar trees protect our chickens from hawks, a constant threat where we live. The “Birthing Coop” is a smaller coop that I put on the second floor for brooding hens. When the eggs hatch and after a few weeks, they and the momma hen move into the Green Tractor Coop where it is separated from the tree fort coop by chicken wire. They love having the dirt to scratch around in while they grow and learn from momma. Once they are old enough, they are then integrated into the flock of adults. — Don Tomasco, Texas
“Coop to Go!” — We have a small back yard in the middle of the city, and wanted chickens. We had a trailer sitting in the yard for a couple years and decided to repurpose it! We now have a movable coop that takes care of all the chickens’ needs. It’s like a tiny chicken mansion. There is a removable tray for cleaning, removable dividers in the nesting boxes for easier cleaning, and removable roosts so if we need to get inside, we can. It’s only 4’ tall, but an adult can easily get inside. And my favorite part, the sky lights! The girls love them too! — Danielle Gates
“The Palmer Coop” — We are new to chickens but I LOVE my girls!! The coop is 6’ x 12’. I added linoleum tiles for easier cleaning “upstairs.” I’m in the process of building a chicken tunnel for more free-ranging time. — Gina Palmer
‘Tudor Mill House Coop” — My better half built my coop. We have a very happy, close-knit family of four hens and a rooster living here. Hope to add a couple more girls. — Jennifer Taylor