Make It Your Own: Matt’s Garden Coop, Long Beach, California

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The Garden Coop, Long Beach, CaliforniaMatt modified his Garden Coop to fit on an existing concrete slab next to his home. He also added in a loft for his Birmingham roller pigeons, a unique way to make added use of the structure. More about the pigeons later in the post.

First, some of Matt’s comments about building his chicken coop:

I must say, this was the biggest construction project I’ve ever undertaken, and your plans were worth every penny. It was fun and fairly easy.

I have my coop on the side of my house on a concrete slab. This made it easier because it removed the need to dig a trench. I put wood shavings down on top of the concrete.

Henhouse Siding With ArtworkThe biggest modification I made was to shrink the coop’s depth to make it fit. I have only three hens and they have plenty of room. Narrowing the coop like this, I had to make the door swing outward, otherwise there is not enough room to move around easily with the doors open.

I used cedar fence boards for the siding and added battens to the hen house. The battens help insulate and give it a nice look.

Thanks, Matt, for sharing your ideas and pictures. . . and for teaching me something about roller pigeons. Here’s a video link Matt sent showing what roller pigeons look like in flight. Apparently, their flips are caused by some sort of seizure they have as they fly. This anomaly makes for some dramatic aerobatics. . . but please, don’t let these pigeons drive the bus.

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4 Responses to “Make It Your Own: Matt’s Garden Coop, Long Beach, California”

  1. Kimmy says:

    Looks like a 1×4 was added around the bottom to help keep the straw & shaving inside the coop. I’ll be doing this as well since they throw the stuff everywhere.

  2. Laura, I re-checked the email Matt sent with his photos, and it turns out he made the coop less deep (front-back), rather than shorter in height. (He meant to write “vertically” instead of “horizontally,” a mistake I make a lot too.) I’ve changed the description to reflect what he intended.

    To your question, making The Garden Coop shorter should be as easy as shortening the studs and door to achieve the height you want. This will affect how much headroom you have inside, of course. You will also have to decide whether to make the henhouse shorter or simply reduce the space you leave below it.

    Reducing the size of the whole coop proportionally would be more of a challenge. I can’t advise on the numbers though, but if you start with what’s in the plan, you can work from there. The other option is to build The Garden Ark design, which gives you a similar style, but is only about 4′ high.

  3. laura says:

    What are the new dimensions of the coop? We are going to start building our coop but need to make it under 6′ so it’s not so obvious that we have a hen house. Any information on how you did it would be awesome! Thanks!

  4. Will says:

    I’ve been building coops for near on 30 years, and I feel like I’ve just had my eyes opened to the fact that you can do more with them than just a) paint them one lurid colour or b) leave them natural! I’ve found that, along with straw, tobacco stalks are a great addition to the bedding. I’m not sure why, but both chickens and pigeons seem to love it.

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