Coop Construction

 

VIDEO: Chickens exploring The Garden Run

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

I shot this just after opening up The Garden Run to our chickens for the first time last spring, expanding their secure daytime space threefold.

We’ve since added perches, grazing frames, an herb/succulent garden (on top of the half-height module), a small roof, and vining jasmine to the run. Yet even without those features in place, you can see that the hens are very much engaged in the run right from the start, moving from one “room” to another to forage together or separately.

You can configure The Garden Run however you like, building one module or many. As you can see in the video, multiple modules work together to create a variety spaces for your chickens to explore.

Introducing The Garden Run

Monday, November 24th, 2014

The Garden Run chicken run plans

The Garden Run is a series of modular enclosures that attach to your coop and to each other so you can extend or create a beautiful, secure habitat for your backyard chickens, rabbits, ducks, and more.

Take a closer look here. And please help spread the word!

The three core designs include a knee-high hinged-top module, a chest-high garden-top module, and a walk-in pergola. You can build one or link a few (or more) together. They connect neatly to all our chicken coop designs and to any other coop or hutch. And they can be mixed, repeated, stacked, inverted — whatever you want. I’m really excited to see the configurations people come up with.

A big thank you to all of you who’ve shared photos and ideas, read the blog, and generally stayed in touch over the years. It takes a lot to get from an idea to a finished design — and then even more to get to finished plans. It helps me to know that the work will be appreciated. So thank you! I hope you find that these chicken run designs make keeping backyard chickens even more fun.

How to move The Garden Coop chicken coop

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Moving The Garden Coop chicken coop Portland Oregon

Why did the chicken coop cross the road? 

I’d love to hear your punchline in the comments, but first let’s address the fact that sometimes a chicken coop does indeed have to cross a road — sometimes even several roads.

Maybe you’re moving and you want to take it with you. Maybe you sold it to someone in town. Either way, it’s gotta roll. And while that’s easy with a smaller coop, if you built a walk-in coop like The Garden Coop, relocating it takes planning and effort.

In this post, I cover a few things that may help:

  • Tips for building The Garden Coop so it’s easier to move later
  • How to move The Garden Coop once it’s built and in place
  • Alternatives to moving your chicken coop

Stay to the end for a special treat: Chevy’s Big Garden Coop Move pictures and video of a real-life, cross-town chicken coop move. Portlandia’s got nothing on this action.  (more…)

Make It Your Own: Rob and Tansy’s Veggie Garden and Chicken Coop, Bendigo, Victoria (Australia)

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Rob and Tansy's Australian Garden Coop chicken coop from metric instructions
Spring is right around the corner. . . in Australia, anyway, where the season starts the first of September. In honor of that, I’m featuring the gorgeous garden and coop of Rob and Tansy K. of Bendigo, Victoria. They used the metric version of our plans to build The Garden Coop to house their chooks, modifying the size somewhat to fit atop an existing brick raised garden bed and to incorporate found and recycled materials. The result is not only a beautiful backyard chicken coop, but one with character and history right from the start. Read on for more, including a look at a regional magazine feature that showcased their creation. The rest of the post comes directly from Rob. . . . (more…)

How to predator proof the open floor of The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop

Monday, August 4th, 2014

How to close floor of chicken tractor coop

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.  (more…)

7 tips for building a garden-friendly chicken coop

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

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.

Window on the front of Dan's Austin chicken coop.

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.

NOTE: The pictures in this post feature coops built by us and by customers of our chicken coop plans. Click on them to learn more about each DIY chicken coop build.

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Introducing The Basic Coop

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Our latest coop design is ready! It’s called The Basic Coop, and plans and hardware kits are now available. Take a look. . .

The Basic Coop Chicken Coop Plans

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Make It Your Own: Christey’s Illinois Garden Coop with Eglu Cube Henhouse

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Modified chicken coop from Garden Coop plans with Eglu Cube henhouse and run added to each side.

Christey built this modified version of The Garden Coop just outside of Chicago, using her existing Eglu chicken coop as the henhouse and adding the Eglu run to the other side as additional space for her hens. She writes: (more…)

Make It Your Own: Susan’s Tennessee Garden Coop with an A-frame henhouse inside!

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Chicken coop modified to include an existing a-frame mobile coop.

Susan at Gum Tree Farm in Tennessee already had a small mobile chicken coop, but was looking for a larger, more secure space to complete her chicken habitat. So she cleverly used The Garden Coop chicken coop plans to build a custom enclosure into which she installed her existing A-frame chicken coop for use as a henhouse.

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How to find the tools you need to build your own backyard chicken coop

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Wood clamps holds wood together to be drilled.

So you want to build your own backyard chicken coop, but you’re afraid you might not have the right tools for the job. Luckily, it doesn’t take that many tools — a few common hand tools and power tools. And if you can’t find them in your garage or tool chest, don’t despair. Here are some other places to look, and a few tips should you decide to buy them new or used.  (more…)

Chicken coop workshop this Saturday (Oct. 5)

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

I’ll be leading a Chicken Coop Building Basics workshop this Saturday, October 5th from 10-noon at Growing Gardens in NE Portland.

If you or anyone you know (in or near Portland, of course) is thinking of keeping chickens and wants to get past the intimidating part of building a coop — or if you already have some ideas for an amazing DIY coop and just want a place to bounce them around — this is it.

We’ll talk about what chickens need in a coop, different coop styles, options for building materials, and tips on how to incorporate your coop and flock into your home garden. I’ll do some small demonstrations, but you don’t have to worry about getting your hands dirty. Just come learn!

A separate workshop, Intro to Urban Chicken Keeping, will follow at 12:30p.

Register for one or both of the workshops here.

Make It Your Own: Peter and Maelanie’s Garden Coop with Pergola

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Peter and Maelanie used The Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop plans as a jumping off point for their beautiful Wisconsin coop. The rest of this post comes straight from them. . .

Chicken coop built next to home.

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Make It Your Own: Mary’s Split-Level Garden Coop, Laguna Beach, California

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Mary's split-level Garden Coop chicken coop.

The foundation of The Garden Coop design allows you to easily accommodate a slight slope when building your chicken coop. But what do you do when your site has a much steeper grade?

Split it up! At least, that’s what Mary did with her chicken coop project in Laguna Beach, California, tucking a beautiful split-level, narrow Garden Coop into a sloped strip right next to her driveway. The rest of this post comes directly from her. . .  (more…)

Make It Your Own: The Swifts’ North Carolina Garden Coop

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

North Carolina chicken coop

Caity and family used The Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop plans to build and customize the perfect coop for their North Carolina home. Take a look at the details they added, including the painted chicken art, and read on for her notes on all they did to make the coop their own. The rest of this post comes straight from her. . . .  (more…)

How to build raised garden beds to fit The Garden Ark mobile chicken tractor

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

How to build a chicken coop that fits a raised garden bed.

One of the nice things about The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop is that you can move it around your yard or garden to focus your chickens’ grazing activity where you want it — just roll it across your lawn or place it atop your vegetable rows.

But what if you prefer to garden in raised beds? How can you incorporate The Garden Ark into your garden rotation so that your hens can graze, till, and help fertilize your garden before or after harvest?

In this tutorial, I show you how to build a raised vegetable bed that fits The Garden Ark design perfectly.  (more…)