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. . .
Coop 1: Alison and Nathan’s Pine Beetle Kill Garden Coop, Boulder, Colorado
“We used local pine beetle kill siding. The pine beetles have devastated the forests here which is very sad. But here is a good use for the dead wood. We love the design and only had to make a few tweaks for us here at 5,000 feet elevation. It was great to start with plans instead of from scratch.”
Coop 2: Richard’s Salvaged Wood Garden Coop and Adjacent Passive House, Eugene, Oregon
Richard deconstructed a small house on his lot, salvaging what he could to use in building a passive house. With leftovers from that project, he built his Garden Coop.
“We salvaged a lot of gorgeous old fir and used every bit of it in the house except for a few offcuts. Those ended up in the coop. We used about 40% leftover materials from the house, and found all of the hardware at Bring Recycling in Eugene. We swapped the henhouse so we’d have a better view from the kitchen and put the ladder on the side, and we put board and batten on the exterior to match our house.”
Coop 3: Elizabeth’s Award-Winning Barn Wood Garden Coop, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Elizabeth’s coop took home one of three prizes in a local contest for building with reused materials.
“The challenge I set myself was to buy as little brand new as possible, and we used your wonderful step-by-step plans to make it work. Your advice along the way was invaluable, and I am grateful for that. Everything besides the SunTuf roofing panels, some hardware, and the hardware cloth was salvaged or bought at the local used building supplies nonprofits.”
“The reclaimed barn wood I used meant there wasn’t a straight angle in the place, so nothing was easy to install. I had made Warre beehives last year in a beginner’s carpentry class, but that was the extent of my experience. A former quilter, I observed that this is much like piecing quilts. . . in wood, in three dimensions. (That last bit changes everything.)”
“I also borrowed the idea from one of your customers for two small doors at ground level (the “hentrance” and “eggsit,” my husband calls them) on the short walls.”
Coop 4: John and Dora’s Barn Wood Garden Coop, Cincinnati, Ohio
“We used our planer on an old stack of barn siding and voila! Perfect addition. Many thanks again for a great plan.”
Coop 5: Derek’s Old Milk Barn Garden Coop, Oregon
Derek used siding boards reclaimed from the original Milk Barn on his property outside of Portland.
“I love the way they tie the new coop to the Milk Barn’s past.”
Coop 6: Edward’s Extreme Community Coop, Meyers Chuck, Alaska
“Building the coop turned into this huge community project. I live in a very remote fishing village in southeast Alaska. People brought scrap wood and materials to donate to the cause in hopes of eggs this spring. I guess you could say they were investing in egg futures.”
Click to see a video of just how fancy Ed’s chickens are.
Coop 7: Scott and Jennifer’s Texas Garden Coop
Says Scott: “I used tin for the roof material to give more shade during the Texas summers. The siding came from some old fence panels that a neighbor put on the curb. Our soil is rocky, so I kept all the rocks I found when digging the foundation holes and trench. Then before I buried the wire, I dumped all the rocks along the bottom of the trench for an added layer of protection. And I skipped the floating interior walls to provide a little more ventilation to the hen house.”
Coop 8: David’s Garden Coop, Brisbane, Australia
“The timber siding is mainly recycled timber that was quite old. I used a planer to take it back to bare and then added in some new pieces as well — a real mixture of different species!”
Coop 9: Alison and Sean’s Garden Coop with Recycled Shutters, Tacoma, Washington
“This was the first thing we have ever built! We used recycled house shutters for most of the hen house and opted to put the ramp on the side rather than in the floor of the hen house. Our chickens love it, and they seem very happy!”
Coop 10: James’s Thrifty Allotment Coop, Great Britain
“The theme of my coop was ‘thrift.’ The wood is secondhand from a charity (a massive saving). The wire was an online bargain. The roof was free (as the bits were lying around the allotment). The paving stones were also free. The guttering was free, exchanged for chili and tomato plants. I picked up an off-cut of vinyl flooring from a work colleague, which I stuck to the walls and floors. Even the chickens were free — given to me by someone who couldn’t look after them! Ironmongery was new, however, and the total bill came to just over £200 — a bargain for such a sturdy structure.”
A big thanks to all who shared their pictures and ideas to this sixth ride of the Krewe of Coops. Like how they’ve incorporated recycled material into their coops? Have a personal favorite? Let us know with a comment below.
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