Make It Your Own: “Krewe of Coops” Virtual Chicken Coop Tour No. 8 — A Dozen Garden Coops

Large chicken coop from do it yourself instruction plans
In this eighth installment of the Krewe of Coops, we’re featuring a dozen examples of The Garden Coop backyard chicken coop design from all across the country. Enjoy! Read more and discuss »

Make It Your Own: “Krewe of Coops” Virtual Chicken Coop Tour, No. 7 — The Garden Loft Large Walk-In Coop

Spacious chicken coop from blueprints
In this seventh installment of the Krewe of Coops, I’m excited to show off five examples of our latest and largest coop design, The Garden Loft. . . Read more and discuss »

Building a chicken coop and a whole lot more

The Garden Loft large walk-in chicken coop design

Steven in Pennsylvania built this spacious backyard chicken coop using The Garden Loft plans and hardware kit. He sent us pictures of his build along with a wonderful note describing the impact the project has had on his life and neighborhood. The rest of this post comes directly from him. . . Read more and discuss »

Make It Your Own: “Krewe of Coops” Virtual Chicken Coop Tour, No. 6. . . 10 Garden Coops Built With Salvaged Materials

Colorado Chicken Coop from Plans
Some of the most interesting chicken coops feature repurposed, recycled, or salvaged materials and decorations. Whether done for the sentiment, the looks, the environment, or simply to save money, incorporating available and found materials into your backyard coop will make it one of a kind. . . Read more and discuss »

NEW: Hardware Kit for The Garden Loft Walk-In Chicken Coop

Pre-packed hardware kits are now available for our latest walk-in chicken coop design, The Garden Loft. . .

Hardware kit for The Garden Loft large walk-in chicken coop

The Garden Loft Quick Kit contains all the hardware you need (screws, staples, hinges, latches, etc.) to put this design together. Just add the bulky stuff like wood, roofing panels, hardware cloth, pier blocks, paint, and so on. It’s priced near what you’d pay at your local big box store, and it ships free to your door from sales-tax-free Oregon.

Click to learn more about The Garden Loft chicken coop plans and hardware kit

Introducing The Garden Loft

We are excited to announce that plans for our latest coop design are now available! We call it The Garden Loft, and it is our largest chicken coop design yet — offering many of the same features as our most popular design, The Garden Coop, but with twice the space. Take a look. . .

The Garden Loft Large Walk-In Chicken Coop Plans

Read more and discuss »

Coming soon: Our largest coop design yet!

Large walk-in chicken coop plans
I’m putting the finishing touches on our newest chicken coop plans, an option for the many folks who’ve told us they love The Garden Coop walk-in coop design, but want to build something even bigger.

A few things I’ll tell you about it now:

  • It is a very spacious walk-in coop, twice the size of The Garden Coop. That means it’ll house up to 16 chickens quite comfortably, and you can modify it or add extra run space to house even more.
  • It is a brand new design. You’ll notice a family resemblance with our other coop and run designs, of course, and it’s built using similar construction materials and techniques (so it’ll match nicely).
  • Like all our chicken coop and run plans, this one is written for beginner builders and walks you through the entire process. It’s the perfect project to share with a partner or two, given the scope of it.

I started working on this design in earnest about two years ago and have been refining it, building and testing a model coop, and creating the plans for it ever since. Now I’m close, and I can’t wait to show you.

We’ll be unveiling the new design here on the blog soon, so stay tuned!

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Make It Your Own: “Krewe of Coops” Virtual Chicken Coop Tour, No. 5 — Nine Garden Coops with Clever Modifications and Accessories

Chickens on roost
Ideas are tested and problems solved in this fifth installment of the Krewe of Coops, featuring nine coop examples from customers who’ve personalized The Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop design with clever modifications or accessories. Enjoy the ride!  Read more and discuss »

VIDEO: A behind-the-fence look at two inspiring urban homesteads

Jessi Bloom and Erica Strauss on Growing a Greener World

This episode of Growing a Greener World on modern homesteading aired a while back, but I just came across it again on Northwest Edible Life and wanted to point you to it. Click here to read the post and watch the show.

It features two of my favorite chicken/gardening writers and a closer look at the worlds they’ve created in their backyardsJessi Bloom, author of Free-Range Chicken Gardens, and Erica Strauss, author of The Hands-On Home as well as the blog linked above. (See our Buyer’s Guide for links to their books.)

Topics covered include:

  • Deep-litter method
  • Free-range vs. confined range
  • Keeping ducks and chickens together
  • Involving your kids in garden and chicken chores
  • Making your home more productive
  • Perennials vs. annuals for growing your own food
  • Compost
  • Tips about growing backyard fruit, and more. . .

Enjoy the tours, interviews, and inspiration!

 

Keeping bees with chickens

Keeping bees and chickens in the same coop

Bryan in Atlanta sent in photos of his finished Garden Coop, which he expanded so that he could keep bees and chickens together. I found the idea fascinating, so I asked him to explain how his plan to incorporate a bee hive informed his chicken coop build. The rest of this post comes directly from him. . . .  Read more and discuss »

Make It Your Own: Matt’s Copper-Top Garden Coop, Raleigh, North Carolina

Chicken coop roof painted with copper paint

Matt in Raleigh used The Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop plans and hardware quick kit to create a beautifully customized copper-top coop. It looks stunning new, and the copper will only gain character as it ages. The photos and notes that follow come directly from him. . .  Read more and discuss »

Instant download. A project to share.

Building A Chicken Coop

As I wrote last year, you should save this last-minute gift idea for someone you truly love. Because when you give the gift of chicken coop/run plans, it’s only fair that you also help with the project. ;)

Enter discount code ORPINGTON at checkout for $5 OFF plans for The Garden Run – Complete Series, good through December 31, 2015.

The Garden Run is our popular run design series, a modular system that connects to any coop to expand your chickens’ yard securely and beautifully. The plans for the complete series of designs are quite beefy, full of illustrations, photos, and detailed instructions — 80 pages in all! And as with all our plans, you can download, print, and gift them right away.

Click here to browse all our chicken coop plans. We wish you happy holidays and a great start to the new year.

Photo courtesy of Dan and family in North Carolina. You can read about their chicken coop build here

 

How to heat your chickens’ nipple waterer in the winter

Heater for poultry nipple waterer

Just a quick post to share what we did last winter to keep our chickens’ nipple waterer from freezing. We bought an immersible birdbath heater (see our Buyer’s Guide for more details). Because the element rests at the bottom of the bucket, near the nipples, the warmth not only kept the nipples from freezing, but also kept any drops that formed on the outside of the nipples from freezing.  Read more and discuss »

Introducing the Peck-It-Clean Veggie Feeder for Chickens

We feed our chickens lots of loose greens, veggies, and garden scraps. They love them. But since chickens eat by pecking and tearing, loose foods like these can get tossed about in the coop, trampled in the run, and sometimes not eaten at all.

So we looked around for a device — something like a hay feeder for larger animals — that would hold loose veggies in place, providing enough resistance to allow chickens to eat more naturally and efficiently. We didn’t find anything, so we set about to create our own DIY veggie feeder, something that would be easy to make and would work in any coop or run.

The final product was so simple and so perfect for the job. It’s now our favorite thing in the coop (after the chickens, I’m obligated to say):

Chickens eating from Veggie Feeder

How it works

To see how it works, take a look as our flock makes quick work of a large zucchini in the veggie feeder. The video is at 20x speed, actually, so this one piece of fruit kept them active for a full 20 minutes:

Make your own, or get one from us

You can easily make your own veggie feeder if you have the supplies on hand (a grill/grate/grid or a section of heavy-gauge wire mesh with openings of around 1″ or 1.5″; a weather-proof elastic cord and toggle; and outdoor-rated zip/cable ties).

If not, order one of ours — the Peck-It-Clean™ Veggie Feeder for Chickens. It’s priced right, ships free and fast, looks nice in matching black, and goes up in minutes. And while it’s a handy accessory to have in your coop year round, it’s particularly useful for helping your chickens stay active and well nourished in the colder months.

Check it out, leave a comment or question below, and pass the idea along!

Make It Your Own: “Krewe of Coops” Virtual Chicken Coop Tour, No. 4 — A Dozen Larger Garden Coops

Karen's larger Garden Coop with expanded hen house
We’re blowing it up in this fourth ride of the Krewe of Coops, featuring a dozen examples of coops from customers who’ve modified The Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop design to build larger, wider, deeper, taller. Enjoy the parade! Read more and discuss »