24 May Building a Chicken Coop
While rural homeowners have sported chicken coops for generations, in recent years, it’s the city dwellers who’ve turned into farmers. And as with most urban dwellings, lots are smaller and houses have a wide range of architectural styles. So, this begs the question — how do you design a chicken coop that complements your home?
Now, to be clear, we’re not talking about matching your coop to your house — just like a purse, it doesn’t need to match, it just needs to “go.” So, start with the architecture of your house, then consider what your own design/decorating aesthetic is before ordering plans or raising the hammer. Need some inspiration? You got it.
Contemporary: Got a sleek, modern abode? Your chicken coop needs the same level of sophistication. No barn-style coop for you. Look for boxy or linear coops with modern touches like flat roofs and industrial materials — or go out on a limb with a geodesic dome or a coop in an egg shape.
Some contemporary coops have all neutral colors, while others have a pop of orange or aqua, or bold black and white.
Country: This one’s easy, right? Say you have a traditional country style or farmhouse home. You can opt for a barn-style coop in rusty red with white trim, or a coop made with recycled materials like weathered wood and corrugated metal.
Add in touches like window shutters, planter boxes, and these types of coops usually boast muted colors like sage/forest green, rusty red, brown, or white, and in designs that blend in rather than stand out.
Eclectic/Artistic: Ranch style or vintage homes offer flexibility that other styles do not — it’s these homes that allow more creative license, artistic flair, or even a touch of whimsy. Want a purple coop? Go for it. How about a planted roof? Check. This is the approach we took with our chicken coop five years ago.
We have a white stone ranch house, which allowed us to build whatever kind of coop we wanted. We tend to be on the eclectic side, so we created a 6’ x 8’ coop out of repurposed wood and corrugated metal, with a slanted roof, stained glass window, and colorfully painted vintage door. Works for us, and it’s been featured in a number of blogs, articles and magazines.
A practical note: It’s easy to get carried away by all the pristine, Pinterest worthy chicken coops on the web as you start your planning. But if you’re new to chicken farming, be aware of the practicalities of having chickens when you’re finalizing your design and decorative elements. Plainly said, chickens poop on everything, so I’d forgo the fancy chandelier or the all-white interior. Those kinds of coops will look great for about 10 minutes — just long enough for you to take the glamour shot before the chickens do their thing.
About the Author:
Jenny Peterson is a landscape designer and urban farmer living in Austin, Texas. She comes from a family of gardeners and her gardens include drought-tolerant plants, herbs, veggies, and a wildflower pollinator garden. As a breast cancer survivor, Jenny specializes in gardens that heal from the inside out.