Narrow Garden Loft chicken coop modified from plans

How much room should I leave around my chicken coop when I build it?

Narrow Garden Loft chicken coop modified from plans

If you have the space in your yard to build a walk-in chicken coop, I’d leave at least two to three feet of working room on all sides of it. This will make construction easier, particularly when it comes to attaching hardware cloth and siding. And after the coop is built, having that space will make it easier for you to access the entire exterior of the coop should you need to. But what if you don’t have that much space to spare? Read on for some ideas. . .

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“Krewe of Coops” Chicken Coop Tour, No. 14 — Fifteen (Anything But) Basic Chicken Coops

Basic chicken coop painted green with pink and light blue decorative flowers and attached enclosed chicken run

When we named our stand-alone chicken coop design “The Basic Coop,” we meant it purely as a compliment. The design is basic, of course, in that it’s easy to build and easy to afford.

But that simplicity makes it a great starting point to extend, customize, and create the perfect housing for your small backyard flock. In this sense, The Basic Coop design is anything but basic. These fifteen customer builds will show you what I mean. . . .

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Instant download. A project to share.

Building A Chicken Coop

As I wrote last year, you should save this last-minute gift idea for someone you truly love. Because when you give the gift of chicken coop/run plans, it’s only fair that you also help with the project. 😉

Enter discount code ORPINGTON at checkout for $5 OFF plans for The Garden Run – Complete Series, good through December 31, 2015.

The Garden Run is our popular chicken run design series, a modular system that connects to any coop to expand your chickens’ yard securely and beautifully. The plans for the complete series of designs are quite beefy, full of illustrations, photos, and detailed instructions — 80 pages in all! And as with all our plans, you can download, print, and gift them right away.

Click here to browse all our chicken coop plans. We wish you happy holidays and a great start to the new year.

Photo courtesy of Dan and family in North Carolina. You can read about their chicken coop build here

Cat at peace with backyard chickens

Po-boy & The Garlic: Or how to protect your vegetables with a secure garden enclosure

Here in the city, we don’t have to worry so much about our vegetable garden getting gobbled up by foragers like deer or rabbits. But we do have our own band of interlopers to contend with: squirrels, crows, and, in our case, a curious tomcat named Po-boy.

Po-boy is our neighbors’ cat. He’s adorable, and he’s perfectly welcome in our yard. He’s welcome to visit the chickens. . .

Cat at peace with backyard chickens

He’s welcome to climb the persimmon tree. . .

Po-boy climbs the persimmon tree by the chicken coop

But he’s no longer welcome to frolic in our garlic.  Read More

VIDEO: Chickens exploring The Garden Run chicken coop run extensions

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

We’ve since added perches, grazing frames for chickens, 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 modular chicken run enclosures 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.

Mark and John building the Garden Coop

Instant download. Instant gift. A chicken coop building project to share.

Building A Chicken Coop

Okay, this last-minute gift idea will only work with someone you truly love. Because while it’d be so easy to print out chicken coop plans, put a bow on them, and say “best of luck with that,” it would mean a whole lot more if the plans came with your promise to help in the project. So gift away, but be ready to roll up your sleeves!

Enter discount code ORPINGTON at checkout for $5 OFF plans for The Garden Run – Complete Series, good through December 31, 2014.

The Garden Run is our latest design series, a modular system that connects to any coop to expand your chickens’ yard securely and beautifully. The plans for the complete series of designs are quite beefy, full of illustrations, photos, and detailed instructions — 80 pages in all! And as with all our plans, you can download, print, and gift them right away.

Click here to browse all our chicken coop plans. We wish you happy holidays and a great start to the new year.

Photo courtesy of Karen and family in Maine. You can read about their chicken coop build here

The Garden Run modular enclosure series

Introducing The Garden Run modular chicken run enclosure series

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 at the chicken coop extensions 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.