Coolest Coops 2017 Winners

Coolest Coops 2017 Winners

Editors’ Choice

The winners of our fourth annual Coolest Coops contest are full of inspiring ideas and beautiful ways to create safe havens for your backyard poultry. Winners received prizes from Brinsea, Backyard Poultry swag, and of course, bragging rights!

Winner: April and John Andrews
Coop: Best Little Henhouse in Tennessee
Location: Elizabethton, Tennessee
Photographer: Brandon Hicks

In March, my husband asked what I wanted for my birthday. I jokingly told him chickens, which I’ve really wanted for a while now. A couple days and an extensive Pinterest board later, we decided to dive in! We have eight Silver-Laced Wyandotte hens. We chose that breed for their easy-going nature and gorgeous lacing. Our daughter, Lillian, and son, Fields, just adore them. They have so much fun spoiling them with treats. The first one we named was Birdie, after my mamaw, because she had such a take charge and bossy attitude.

My handy husband, John, had the coop framed up the day after we decided to get chickens. He can build anything from scratch (no pun intended). The siding is built from an old fence that had fallen down. The old door was donated by a friend. Most of the wood was sawmilled by my husband as well. My favorite thing has to be the little porch. All they need now are tiny rocking chairs. I also love the rain-fed watering system. That was designed and built by my husband as well. My best advice for someone wanting to build their own coop is to plan first and try to use as many recycled materials as possible. Not only is is less expensive, it gives it a unique look that is hard to make with all new materials.

The most important thing I have learned along the way is that it takes time to establish a flock. I thought we would just jump into it and have laying hens within weeks. I’m terribly impatient but soon realized that the time spent with our family as we created the coop and run was well worth it. We all enjoyed the experience and love watching the chickens play and explore.

– April

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Collecting eggs is easier with an access door to the nesting boxes.

 

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The Andrews installed a gate with a built-in trough.

 

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Oyster shell and sand box: Sand grit is insoluble. It stays in the gizzard and it’s used to grind food. Oyster shell dissolves in the gut and its job is to add calcium to the diet of laying hens.

 

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This is the intake for the rain-fed watering system.

 

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Roosting bars from local tree branches.

 

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The Andrews’ flock of Silver-Laced Wyandottes.

 

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Voter’s Choice

Winner: Mindi Moore
Coop: Storybook Coop
Location: Washington, West Virginia
Photographer: Nate Knobel

I had wanted chickens for a long time but could never find a way to make it work. I had never owned them, never really been around them, but as an animal lover with a large family (between the two of us we have seven children), having fresh eggs to go along with our garden seemed like a dream come true.

My husband, Emmett, designed the coop entirely on his own, most of it coming together as he went. He owns a sawmill and supplies most of his own wood by cutting up trees and sawing them by hand. Emmett has a full-time job as a city firefighter, and on the side, owns his own woodworking business (Eli Woodworks), so he built the coop in the evenings when he had time.

As Emmett was building the coop and posting pictures online, a friend saw it and said she had seven baby chicks we could have if we wanted them. Four weeks later, the coop was done enough for the fully feathered babies to live in, and we brought them home.

Shortly after that, Emmett completed the run, which reminds me of an aviary at the zoo. It’s spacious and open with a plastic corrugated roof over half of it. The corrugations are filled so that snakes can’t find their way into the coop. The hardware cloth is buried two feet under the ground with an apron secured by bricks and covered with dirt. He did everything he could to make a safe place to put the new additions.

The finished coop is better than I could have ever hoped for. I love it, and I love our new chickens. I spend way too much time out there just watching them and feeding them treats. It took a while, but now they come running when someone approaches the coop. They just know that we have something good for them. Eventually we’ll get those farm fresh eggs, but until then, I’m just happy to share our property with chickens that make me smile.

– Mindi

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Winner: Daryel Shaffer
Coop: Wild West Coop Town
Location: Webb City, Missouri
Photographer: Drew Kimble

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Our backyard chicken experience started with a friend giving us three hens and a small coop. By the next week, three became six, and we knew we needed a bigger coop. I had fun designing and building the first coop, so I wanted to try to build a bigger coop. One thing lead to another with the idea of building a chicken town to look like an old west town. My idea came from a little town in our area called Red Oak II. It’s a community that all the old buildings were moved there from the original Red Oak, Missouri. Most of the materials in our coop came from old barns and recycle stores. We spend a lot of time in the back yard and enjoy adding more vintage items to the coop as we find them.

-Daryel

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Honorable Mentions

Thank you to all the flock owners who sent us pictures and building notes of your inspiring custom-built coops. We had so many favorites! Here are just a few:

"Talies-hen" Living very close to Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin and his amazing architecture, we designed and built something we would love looking at just as much as our hens love living in. - Abbey March (Wisconsin) "Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral." - Frank Lloyd Wright

Owner: Abbey March
Coop: Talies-Hen
Location: Wisconsin

Living very close to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin and his amazing architecture, we designed and built something we would love looking at just as much as our hens love living in. – Abbey March
“Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

tracypavonesaintsimonsislandgeorgia

Owner: Tracy Pavone
Coop: Playset Conversion
Location: Georgia

Kids’ playset gets converted into a Park Avenue chicken coop! – Tracy 

shanemunhollonsangertexas

Owner: Shane Munhollon
Coop: Chicken Cabin
Location: Texas

We brought a little bit of the mountains to the country. On the deck, a handmade wooden chair made by local artist with coonskin cap hanging off the left side, piece of log for a table with a moonshine jug on top and spring traps hanging. Metal art catfish and pinecone above the deck, and a whirlybird for air circulation. Off the back is a 8 x 25 run. – Shane

priscillacoleandrewsnorthcarolina

Owner: Priscilla Cole
Coop: Nantahala
Location: North Carolina

I built this coop here in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. My goal was to provide a safe and entertaining coop for my chickens with a
beautiful park-like setting. The chickens love all the natural tree branch roosts swings, and the grapevines that edge their 65′ run. I love watching them each morning with coffee in hand! – Priscilla

karenjonesdanvillekentucky

Owner: Karen Jones
Coop: The Hen Shall~Lay
Location: Kentucky

The Hen Shall~Lay is the hilltop home of a bantam Wyandotte rooster and his six hens. A modified playhouse makes a perfect coop for a small flock. Some of the unique features of this coop are the custom walnut entry door, a rain chain attached to the gutter and chicken themed decor throughout the interior. – Karen

karenhopkinslinthicummaryland

Owner: Karen Hopkins
Coop: The Chick Inn
Location: Maryland

My hubby built this version of the Carolina Coop. He built it with no plans just a few photos and a lot of You Tube videos! I think he’s a keeper. – Karen

jessicafenderratcliffarkansas2

Owner: Jessica Fender
Coop: Barnyard Coop
Location: Arkansas

Our Coop was made out of repurposed barnwood and tin, everything from the door and window, to the old lantern made into a porch light! My favorite features are the barnwood flower box and window. But, I love everything about my coop! – Jessica
charleszauchachicagoillinois

Owner: Charles Zaucha
Coop: Barnyard Coop
Location: Illinois

I designed and built this hexagon coop and run. It has a linoleum flooring, heated perches, a chicken swing, open hatching sides and multiple perches. And of course a fruit cocktail tree in the middle, (one tree does plums, peaches and nectarines!). – Charles

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