I’ve been working for some time on a solution to predator-proof the open floor of The Garden Ark mobile chicken tractor. The challenge has been finding a way to secure the floor without closing it off completely or permanently. After all, you need the open floor for mobility, cleaning, and access to grazing. After much trial, I finally came up with an elegant solution (essentially a version of one of these turned upside down) then put it to the test. It works perfectly, and now I’m excited to share it. Read more and discuss »
Kristopher and his family in Spokane, Washington, built a beautiful chicken coop using our plans as a guide. I love the attention to detail, for instance, in their choice of hinges, ladder construction, dark blue trim, and neatly attached hardware cloth. They also added a nifty PVC feeder they can fill from outside the coop. Read more and discuss »
Heidi in Portland, Oregon, used our plans for The Garden Ark chicken coop to build a rabbit hutch for her two pet rabbits. While the ark works well for this in both size and functionality, there are some things you’d need to modify to make it work for bunnies. To get the discussion going, here are some tips Heidi sent in for others thinking of doing the same. Read more and discuss »
In the urban or suburban garden, limited space, pests, wary neighbors, and the like can make the idea of keeping chickens seem like more hassle than it’s worth. But by designing and building the right kind of coop, you can quickly get past these hurdles and add a whole new dimension to your garden.
Here are seven tips to put your coop project on the right path. . . .
1. Let it breathe.
A well-ventilated chicken coop helps keep your hens from suffering and your neighbors from complaining. Of course, you do need to stay ahead of any odors, making sure you balance out their poop with plenty of high-carbon bedding like straw, wood shavings, leaves, or shredded paper. We use the deep-litter method and continue to add straw as the chickens add droppings. This mixture begins to compost in place, and the volume builds only slowly. From time to time we move it all to a compost bin to finish doing its thing, then incorporate the rich fertilizer into the garden.
Dale sent us pictures of his amazing garden and chicken coop he built using The Garden Coop plans. Among many other additions, he built the henhouse walls to the ground on three sides, attached attractive outboard nesting boxes, and added rectangular windows to the henhouse. The rest of the post is from Dale. . . Read more and discuss »
Breanna in Sacramento, California, built this roomy chicken coop using The Garden Coop plans. She extended the run by twelve feet and added external nesting boxes to the hen house just left of the walk-in door. White paint and a well-placed tarp help keep her chickens cooler in the summer months.
Thanks to Breanna for sharing a picture of her chicken coop. If you like what she’s created, please let her know with a note below. And if you want to receive email notifications of future posts, subscribe to Coop Thoughts.
Let the chickens out. Let the chickens back in. Let ‘em out. Let ‘em in. . . .
Ian wasn’t having it anymore. While he wanted to give his chickens daily access to a larger space outside their coop, he couldn’t stay tied to their schedule. Not every day, anyway.
So being the tech savvy guy he is, Ian dug into his box of spare computer parts, added some components he found online, and fashioned a solution that has simplified his life. Read more and discuss »
Michael and family in Seattle built a modified version of the The Garden Coop to fit their backyard and needs. I particularly like the woodwork on this coop, like the tapers he cut into the ends of the purlins, the alternating corners on the siding, and the added depth and angle on the rafter tails. Michael sent us some great notes and several photos of their handiwork. Here they are: Read more and discuss »
Just a quick note to say that I’ll be introducing a new chicken coop design in the coming weeks along with detailed plans and a companion hardware kit. It’s an adorable stand-alone coop, perfect for up to 4 hens — and you can build it for under $200!
I’ve been working on and testing this design for some time and am excited to finally be able to share it with you soon. Stay tuned for more pictures and details.
In the meantime, we’re offering $5 off any of our chicken coop plans, now through April 21, 2014. The discount code is on the order page while it lasts. And we’re fully stocked on nipple waterers, if you’re looking to ease up on the chicken chores this spring.