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. . .
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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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 backyards — Jessi 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
- Tips about growing backyard fruit, and more. . .
Enjoy the tours, interviews, and inspiration!
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 »
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.
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 »
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):
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!
Here in the city, we don’t have to worry so much about our vegetable garden getting gobbled up by foragers like deer or rabbits. But we do have our own band of interlopers to contend with: squirrels, crows, and, in our case, a curious tomcat named Po-boy.
Po-boy is our neighbors’ cat. He’s adorable, and he’s perfectly welcome in our yard. He’s welcome to visit the chickens. . .
He’s welcome to climb the persimmon tree. . .
But he’s no longer welcome to frolic in our garlic. Read more and discuss »
I changed out our rain barrel filter today and shot this quick video to show how we keep leaves and roof debris from entering our barrels.
Simply wrap a nylon stocking over the funnel between your downspout or diverter and your barrel. Insert the closed end of the stocking into the barrel and let it hang down. Debris will collect at the end, but won’t impede the flow of water (at least not for a while), since the stocking stretches and remains permeable above the debris.
Michelle built this adorable North Carolina chicken coop using The Basic Coop plans and hardware kit. Her four chicks moved in in the fall, and she wrote recently to say that they made it through the cold, snowy winter with no issues — and no added light or heat (or lava lamps). Read more and discuss »
It’s time again for the Krewe of Coops, a celebration of what people have been building with our chicken coop plans. This time, we’re featuring The Garden Coop design exclusively, with nine fantastic examples from across the U.S. and one from Australia. So gather your feathered friends, find a comfy perch, and enjoy the parade!