Make It Your Own: Abby and John’s Garden Coop (Lafayette, California)

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California backyard chicken coop built with The Garden Coop chicken coop plans

Abby and John used The Garden Coop chicken coop plans to build this gorgeous coop for their California backyard. It’s a wonderful example of how something as functional as a chicken coop, when done right, can add beauty to an already beautiful outdoor garden space.

I’ve actually been meaning to post this coop profile for some time, so without further delay. . . here are Abby and John’s photos and notes on how they built a Garden Coop and made it their own. Enjoy!

Thanks for putting together such great plans. We made a few adaptations:

  • We added a window on the front so the chickens can keep an eye on us from inside the hen house. This is basically the same cutout that is called for in the plans for the original egg door. Since we were going to build external nesting boxes, we just flipped that internal wall upside down so that the hole was up higher and more at window height.
  • We rotated where the ramp came out of the henhouse so that there would be more room and shade for the chickens under the hen house. This worked well except that we got a lot of pine shavings from inside the hen house falling through the floor opening for the ramp and landing in the food/water. Our solution was to hang a shield that came with an old birdfeeder over the water – so nothing could fall in.
  • Tip for how to install hardware cloth on The Garden Coop plansFor the upper roll of hardware cloth we found that hanging it by bungee cords as we worked our way around the coop made the job SO much easier (see picture).
  • We used The Garden Coop plans for the external nesting boxes.
  • We painted and stained everything before we built the coop (except the redwood siding). We were putting a lot of effort into it and wanted it to stay in good shape. We were concerned if we raced through the plans and built the coop, got the chickens in, it was unlikely we would really do all the work to paint and seal it.

It was a lot of work for us novice carpenters — but totally worth it. It is a beautiful and functional addition to our backyard. We are happy and the chickens are happy (and safe).

—Abby and John, Lafayette, California

More photos of their chicken coop. . .

Run in The Garden Coop chicken coop plans

Nesting boxes in The Garden Coop chicken coop plans

Roosting in The Garden Coop

 

UPDATE: Their new Garden Ark chicken tractor

And introducing the newest member of John and Abby’s flock. . . The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop. Don’t these two coops look great together?

A big thanks to Abby and John for sharing their pictures and tips. Like what they’ve done here? Any tips of your own to share? Let us know with a comment below!


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12 Responses to “Make It Your Own: Abby and John’s Garden Coop (Lafayette, California)”

  1. John Cunningham says:

    Hello All…sorry for the delay in responding to some of these posts. Our coop is holding up very, very well. A few comments/observations:

    - The external nesting boxes are presented as an option, we definitely like them…thumbs up all the way on those.

    - The redwood boards that enclose the henhouse are starting to get dried out…they get some pretty intense direct sun. I will have to investigate what is the best treatment for them.

    - A few roof leaks that I will have to address before winter but that is to be expected.

    GREAT plans, great coop…if we move I would build another using the same plans.

    - John Cunningham

  2. Michael Gallo says:

    Beautiful combination of paint and stain. Just wondering how it’s holding up. How much maintenance are you having to put into it? I’ve read that deck stains need to be refreshed yearly. We’re trying to decide whether to use the recommended Wood stabilizer which does not allow staining.

  3. Vanessa G. says:

    Love the colors you chose for your chicken coop!! I want to copy exactly what you did!! ;) It definitely add beauty to your backyard!

  4. Derek Renz says:

    Hi, thanks for doing a metric plan, I am a qualified carpenter and have done a lot of research on the net regarding chicken coops, I would buy your plans right now if we hadn’t cancelled our credit card three days ago! Your interactive website is also fantastic. I am very keen to build to your design as I have a good suppy of untreated red gum harwood which is extremely durable. I would also like to make some to sell as their are some AWFULL cheap import kitset chicken coops being sold on the internet in New Zealand which gullable people are buying ( if only they would research ‘buyer feedback’! ). I think I saw an option of $19.00 or so as a donation, surely that would be for each coop built for sale. Thanks, will be in touch.

  5. Derek Renz says:

    Hi, I just saw your chicken coop while some research to build our own one here in New Zealand, awsome design!

  6. This coop is just beautiful — and how encouraging to know that something so sleek was done by novice carpenters! Great job!

  7. Karen says:

    Hello!
    Love your coop…..we are beginning construction on our Garden Coop today! How many hens do you have? We are brooding six chicks currently and have two more ordered for next week delivery. Just a little considered we may have too many. Any suggestions? Anything else with the coop you would have done differently? We still have time for modifications. Thanks!

  8. This is quite an enhancement to the backyard!

  9. Felicity says:

    It looks beautiful! I love the green!

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