Posts tagged with ‘Neighbors’


Review of The Garden Ark metric coop plans at

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Matt used our metric chicken coop plans to build this modern backyard coop in his Cape Town garden.Matt Allison of Cape Town, South Africa has posted this article about being the first in his neighborhood to start keeping chickens, adding a flock of four to his growing backyard garden. If things trend the way they have in many of the neighborhoods I’m familiar with, his neighbors will soon be following his lead.

I owe Matt a debt of thanks for pushing me to complete the metric version of The Garden Ark plans. He worked with me to review measurements, materials, and process. And his suggestions will help others avoid mistakes that I never would have caught. Most importantly, his coop turned out great, as you can see by the coop pictures at his post. Thanks, Matt!

Where in the world are you building our chicken coop designs? Leave a comment and let us know.

Quail in the house! Stephanie’s North Carolina Garden Coop

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Keeping Quail in a Backyard Chicken Coop Can you house quail in a backyard chicken coop? Quail yes!

Just ask Stephanie near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She and her son used The Garden Coop DIY chicken coop plans to build a spacious poultry paradise for a mixed flock of quail, bantam hens, and. . . read on to see what else.


Yet even though people have been keeping quail for thousands of years, you won’t find them at the top of the list of common backyard pets.

“By far we get the most requests for chicks, and ducklings are becoming more popular as well,” says Naomi Montacre, owner of Naomi’s Organic Farm Supply in Portland, Oregon. “We do get some requests for quail, though, and we have sources to put people in touch with.”

Naomi believes that as more city folk get into raising chickens, they’ll open up to other possibilities over time. “I don’t think any bird will surpass the chicken in popularity,” she says. “It’s easy and classic. But I do know that the people who like quail really like them.”


Guest article at The Urban Garden Project

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

I’ve got a guest article up at The Urban Garden Project offering seven tips for building a garden-friendly backyard chicken coop. Check it out, then click around The Urban Garden Project site for more tips on backyard gardening, square foot gardening, chickens, and more.

Thanks, Ben, for inviting me to post!

Make It Your Own: Mike and Dara’s Garden Coop

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Portland Chicken Coop Family Portrait

I got a nice message the other day from Mike and Dara P. of Portland who built their backyard chicken coop using The Garden Coop plans.

Their coop works beautifully in their city backyard and fits well into their neighborhood. It also makes a great backdrop for their family holiday card!

In the note they sent, they shared tips from their experience building The Garden Coop as well as some of the ways that they customized the design to work for their situation. Here are some excerpts:


Birds of a feather. . . get together!

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

There’s a good post at with resources for finding others in your area who are keeping chickens.

This was a necessity for us when we were just starting out. We’d read all the books. My wife even had experience with chickens on a farm as a kid. But until we met neighbors who were keeping chickens and found a group of locals online to turn to for answers, we stayed on the side of the pool.

Of course, having help and advice really comes in handy when you’re building your own coop. Whether you use plans or create your own design, being linked in can help you find deals on materials, get a helping hand or a work trade, and learn how to prepare your coop for your climate. 

As with most things, the whole endeavor is just so much more fun when you’re doing it with others. So if you feel like you’re the only one in your area keeping chickens or wanting to keep chickens, put out some feelers. I bet you’ll find plenty of company.

Looks matter

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

If you’re thinking about building a chicken coop, you’re probably most concerned about things like predators, space, location, and cost. But you might want to add appearance to your list, as it can affect every one of the other considerations.

Where we live, four neighboring homes have views over the fence into our yard. Our first impulse was to build a coop quickly and cheaply, and, out of respect for the neighbors, keep it low and out of sight. But then we remembered who’d be staring at the coop most often: us.

Focusing on making the coop look nice actually helped us arrive at a more functional, low-maintenence, and inexpensive design. In the end, the chickens may not notice the difference, but our neighbors do. And so do we.