Posts tagged with ‘Nest Boxes’


Make It Your Own: Deb and Donovan’s Flower Box Garden Coop, Kirkland, Washington

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Flower box on the front of Washington State Garden Coop chicken coop.

Deb and Donovan from near Seattle sent in several views of their backyard chicken coop build. Look at that flower box and window! They were kind enough to share some thoughts on their experience finding and building the right coop for their needs. The rest of this post comes from them. . . (more…)

Make It Your Own: Dan’s Garden Coop on Austin’s “Funky Chicken Coop Tour” (VIDEO)

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Dan in Austin produced this beautiful video of his backyard coop, built using The Garden Coop chicken coop plans. His coop is one of several to be featured in Austin’s upcoming Funky Chicken Coop Tour (April 7, 2012). 

So check out the video, then read Dan’s review of our plans below. And if you’re in Austin in early April, stop by and see his coop on the tour!


Make It Your Own: Richard and Ellen’s “Secret Layer,” Vista, California

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

This spacious California chicken coop was built using The Garden Coop walk-in coop plans.

Richard and Ellen shared several pictures of their Garden Coop build along with notes about how they customized it for their California backyard. The rest of the post comes from them. . . (more…)

Make It Your Own: Joy’s Maryland Garden Coop

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Joy built this backyard coop herself following chicken coop plans from

Joy used The Garden Coop plans to build a backyard chicken coop at her Maryland home. She adapted the design by moving the henhouse to the right, moving the ladder entry to the side of the henhouse, adding insulated external nest boxes, and using foam closure strips with the polycarbonate roofing panels (these strips also come in wood). Below are a few of the pictures Joy sent in, along with her notes on how the construction went. The rest of this post comes from her. . . (more…)

How to build external nest boxes for your chicken coop

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Instructions to add external nesting boxes to your chicken coopWhether you’re building The Garden Coop, The Garden LoftThe Garden Ark, The Basic Coop, or pretty much any other chicken coop, the instructions that follow will show you in detail how to add external nesting boxes to your coop.

First, a little background. I designed our chicken coops to make efficient use of space, be easy to build, and to have everything under one roof — including the nesting boxes. Personally, I prefer the simplicity of having the boxes in the henhouse, and it has worked well for us and many others for years.

So if you’re new to chicken keeping or coop building, please do not feel as though you have to add exterior nest boxes to your coop.

That said, there’s something about external nesting boxes that just captures the fancy of backyard chicken keepers. . . . (more…)

Make It Your Own: Mary’s Garden Ark, Atlanta, Georgia

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Easy to build chicken tractorThis Garden Ark in Atlanta’s West End neighborhood is a good example of how anyone can use our chicken coop design plans to create something wonderful. According to Mary, “I did it all by myself with no help. . . I had never used a circular saw before this project!”

Not only did the plans help Mary build the coop herself, they also gave her the skills and confidence to take the design even further. Her adaptations include:

  • Using 2×6 for the skids and 8″ wheels
  • Adding a ladder and changing the placement of the perch
  • Adding a reclaimed window instead of the egg door
  • Outboarding the nesting boxes
  • Covering the floor of the henhouse with vinyl stick-on tiles
  • Building and connecting an additional run
  • Shortening the double doors to work with additional run

Fruit crate nesting boxes

Recycled Fruit Crate Makes Perfect Nesting BoxOne of the features that adds a personal touch to her chicken coop is the old wooden fruit crate Mary transformed into outboard nesting boxes. “I removed the top two of three slats on the side facing the henhouse and covered it in plywood,” she says. “I made a shelf with some extra 2×6 lumber and two corner braces to attach the boxes. I’m not sure the shelf was necessary, but it is nice to put things down on.”

Extra chicken run

Mary also added a modular run that attaches to her Garden Ark with carriage bolts. “The run is twenty square feet, so it increases the girls’ total space from fifteen to thirty-five square feet,” she says. “Although they didn’t seem to be crowded in just the ark, I think they’ll be pretty happy with the run.”

So how was the experience overall?

“The instructions were very good,” Mary says. “There was nothing frustrating about them. And as I have said, I have practically no building experience. I didn’t even know what a corner clamp was. (Very useful, the corner clamp!) I am very happy with the way it turned out.”

Thank you, Mary, for sharing your pictures and tips. If you’ve built a coop using one of our design plans and have ideas or photos to share, leave a comment here or send us an email.

How to break a broody hen

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Quit hogging the nesting box!I’ve been looking into this recently, since one of our hens, a Welsummer, is passing the typical three-week window of broodiness. Here are three of the most common methods we’ve found for breaking a hen’s broody mood:

  1. Put the hen in a small cage with a wire bottom (at least 1″ square openings) and elevate it off the ground so that cool air can circulate underneath. Include food and water, of course. It may take a few days in solitary to do the trick.
  2. After dark, move the hen from her nesting box onto the perch with the rest of the flock, and block her access back into the nesting box for the night. It may take a few nights of doing this to see results.
  3. Dunk the hen in a bucket of cool water up to her neck. Some claim luck with this, others not.

All these methods have something to do with cooling down the temperature of the hen’s chest. There’s also always the option of finding someone with fertile eggs to hatch and letting your hen do the job. It’s worth noting too that some breeds (Buff Orpingtons, for instance) go broody more often than others.

From a coop design standpoint, this is where an extra nesting box can come in handy. When a hen is broody, she will not want to get out of her box. That leaves the others either searching for a new place to lay their eggs or — as we’ve seen with our flock — to climb into the box with the broody hen and lay their eggs there anyway.

Strange birds.

Have you successfully broken a broody hen? How’d you do it? And if you couldn’t snap her out of it, what happened next? Leave a reply and let us know!