Chickens roosting in the run at night rather than in the henhouse?

Chickens roosting in The Garden Loft chicken coop at night

Three of our chicken coop designs (The Garden Loft, The Garden Coop, and The Garden Ark) have an integrated henhouse and run. So your chickens are free to move between the two areas as they wish. (You can add a door between them if you like.) In some cases, this means that your flock might choose to roost in the secure run at night, rather than inside the henhouse.

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Basic Coop with attached chicken run.

Make It Your Own: Rebecca’s Chicken Coop and Run

Basic plywood chicken coop built from plans.

Rebecca from just outside Philadelphia sent in a couple pictures of her new Basic Coop stand-alone chicken coop and attached run. I’m impressed by the height modification she made, her choice of siding and color, and the way she thought through the whole process to build a coop that would suit her needs. What’s even more impressive is that this is one of her first-ever building projects. The rest of the post comes directly from her. . .  Read More

Drawstring to retract chicken ramp.

7 tips for building a garden-friendly chicken coop

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 your chicken coop 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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