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Backyard chickens meet contemporary design! Matthew Wolpe and Kevin McElroy give you 14 complete building plans for chicken coops that range from the purely functional to the outrageously fabulous. One has a water-capturing roof; one is a great homage to mid-Modern architecture; and another has a built-in composting system. Some designs are suitable for beginning builders, and some are challenging enough for experts. Step-by-step building plans are accompanied by full-color photographs and detailed construction ...
Backyard chickens meet contemporary design! Matthew Wolpe and Kevin McElroy give you 14 complete building plans for chicken coops that range from the purely functional to the outrageously fabulous. One has a water-capturing roof; one is a great homage to mid-Modern architecture; and another has a built-in composting system. Some designs are suitable for beginning builders, and some are challenging enough for experts. Step-by-step building plans are accompanied by full-color photographs and detailed construction illustrations.
During the process of designing and building coops for this book, we became accustomed to quizzical looks when explaining our latest projects. There were plenty of positive responses, but just as often came the question, "Why would you want chickens?" It was an easy thing to answer: "For the eggs, of course." However, this wasn't the question we were hoping most to be asked: "Why would you want to build a chicken coop?" What appeals to us about the form is that there's a set of design parameters for a well-designed coop, and beyond that it can really be anything. Also, most coops are informal structures and typically do not require building permits or messy bureaucracy. With coops, ordinary people can actually build something of architectural significance next to their home and be proud of the statement it makes: "I made this thing, and it brings me closer to the food I eat every day."
Along with our desire to explore the idea of what a chicken coop could be, like any thoughtful designers we wanted to be cautious and deliberate. A new idea isn't always a good one, and a classic, time-tested technique is not something to be dismissed. We wanted the design choices we made to be significant, not random, guided by the site and concept for each coop. We also wanted to experiment with conventional and unconventional building materials and to treat the chicken coop like the hybrid structure it is—part outbuilding, part outdoor furniture, part sculpture. Throughout the project we often joked with each other that our mission was to bring the coop from the backyard to the front yard.
Given the scope of what we were taking on, however, it was important to stick to our fundamental premise: To design really good coops for the chickens and their owners. An experimental design that looks incredible but functions poorly and doesn't pass the scrutiny of an experienced hen raiser would be a failure on our part. Therefore, we approached each coop project with the following design considerations in mind. The same guidelines and questions can help you when making modifications to your own projects.
GENERAL SPACE REQUIREMENTS
While there are many different breeds of chickens and, of course, different sizes, our rule of thumb is to provide roughly 8 to 10 square feet of space per chicken. This number is the coop and run space combined. Keep in mind that if you live in a cold climate where the chickens will be inside for a good portion of the year, you should increase your coop size so that it remains a healthy living environment.
Excerpted from REINVENTING THE CHICKEN COOP by KEVIN McELROY MATTHEW WOLPE Copyright © 2012 by Matthew Wolpe and Kevin McElroy . Excerpted by permission of Storey Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Posted April 14, 2013
Super easy construction ideas. Half the reading is explaining first project fundamentals. Good for a first timer maybe. Almost insulting to anyone who has ever built anything in a wood shop or has a rural upbringing. Not for me. Basic principles for first project.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.