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8 styles of chicken coops for backyard flocks

By Karen Weir-Jimerson

Not all chicken coops have to look the same. Adding seating to your hen house is just one way to get a little closer to your chickens. You can also add glass windows, lights, or even wire enclosures to keep outside predators away from the hen house. If you want to go the extra mile, you could add a green roof of drought-tolerant plants to keep your chicken coop cool during the summer heat and warm during the cold winter. These are just a few ideas for adding more character to your chick coops. Check out what these 8 farmers did to renovate their hens’ experience.

1. Hen house with seating

This dual-purpose chicken coop welcomes egg-collectors and chicken aficionados with lights and colorful containers of flowers. 


2. A cushy coop

Inside, the sun streams in through leaded glass windows where happy hens inhabit the over-the-top coop nestled amid a gorgeous backyard garden. Aside from straw-cushioned nest boxes for the hens, this coop includes comfy family lounging areas for viewing and communing with the chickens. The viewing area, lit with skylights and suspended lights, offers cushioned seating and colorful rugs for visitors. Spaces for fowl and family are separated by a screen door. 


3. Repurposed hen house

The day the chicks grew large enough to hop out of a box was the day they were moved into the coop reused from an old tool shed that had been on the owner’s property since the 1940s. Openings cut in the shed and lined with small-gauge chicken wire provides cross ventilation. The owners also added old rack shelving for roosting and nesting boxes. The coop has an outdoor run area for the chickens to wander about and scratch up bugs as snacks. 


4. A red roost

A plastic awning, made from recycled oilcloth, protects the nest boxes and offers the laying chicks a little privacy. 


5. Fanciful hen house

The “Villa des Poules” chicken coop features hand-painted flourishes and scalloped trim. It’s located within a wire enclosure so the Mille Fleur bantams can scratch and roost in safety. 


6. Rose-covered tunnel

A rose-clad walkway tunnel leads to this coops’ enclosure. The coop sits within a wire enclosure that allows the chickens to scratch in contentment and safety. The enclosure is a necessity against the local coyotes, bobcats, and raccoons—the fencing is extended 18 inches into the ground so that no predator can dig its way in. There is also a layer of wire under the sawdust-covered ground to discourage ground squirrels from burrowing into the enclosure. 


7. Green-roof coop

This living, green roof is covered with drought-tolerant plants like sedums, alliums, grasses, and campanulas. The green roof helps insulate the coop, keeping it cooler in summer and warmer in the winter. 


8. Green roof with enclosure

When not keeping comfy in their coop insulated by a green roof, the hens come out to eat pests in the garden and contribute droppings that fertilize plants. 


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