Reinventing the Chicken Coop: 14 Original Designs with Step-by-Step Building Instructions

Reinventing the Chicken Coop: 14 Original Designs with Step-by-Step Building Instructions

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by Kevin McElroy, Matthew Wolpe
     
 

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Why settle for functional when you can have fabulous?

Your backyard chickens need a coop to call home, and you want a structure that not only keeps your hens safe and comfortable but also looks great. You'll be delighted by this collection of 14 contemporary designs, including the simple Chick-in-a-Box, a Modern Log Cabin, the multi-use Kippen House Garden

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Overview

Why settle for functional when you can have fabulous?

Your backyard chickens need a coop to call home, and you want a structure that not only keeps your hens safe and comfortable but also looks great. You'll be delighted by this collection of 14 contemporary designs, including the simple Chick-in-a-Box, a Modern Log Cabin, the multi-use Kippen House Garden Roof Chicken Coop, and the intriguing Coopsicle. Choose the one that's perfect for your home and yard and then build it yourself with the complete step-by-step instructions. Your chickens will love it, and you'll love what the structure adds to your property!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bay area artisans Wolpe and McElroy, whose coop was Editor’s Choice for Design at the Bay Area Maker Faire, dish the complete scoop on the coop for those just starting the yard-chicken journey or for experienced woodcrafters longing to bring chickens to their back-porch scene. Readers just getting their claws wet in chicken shelters will start with the basics of how many square feet per fowl, bedding, and waste disposal, beginning with A-frame and square nesting boxes that can be built in a weekend. Various living situations (urban, suburban, and country) are addressed as instructions are provided for confined housing with an attached run and open housing within a fenced run, with degree of difficulty warnings. Multipurpose issues (water-catching roofs, composting the coop, and a green-roof garden) are addressed for all levels of the DIY-er. In order to keep chickens without alienating the neighborhood, chicken-raisers can add some “bwawk” to their block with log cabins or the “Cupe,” a mid-century modernist design suitable for front yard art. “Stoop Coop’’ can double as a small staircase or a sitting spot, to add some poultry to the garden party. Chicken-raising instructions not included, but full-color photos and illustrations are. (Jan.)
Book Page
“All 14 designs are architectural wonders of reductive space and ample imagination.”

Backyard Poultry
“Splendid illustrations, both drawings and photographs, provide a sort of virtual tour of more than a dozen interesting and unusual coops without leaving home. Some are simple, some are elaborate, a few are downright extraordinary, and most have innovative features that could be incorporated into any design. … has the feel of an Architectural Digest for chicken people.”

Los Angeles Times
“Bay area artisans Wolpe and McElroy … dish the complete scoop on the coop for those just starting the yard-chicken journey or for experienced woodcrafters longing to bring chickens to their back-porch scene.”

California College of the Arts
"Their care shows. The book is easy to read, and illustrations offer insight into egg access doors, cantilevered nesting boxes, worm compost bins and rooftop vegetable gardens."

author of Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens Gail Damerow
“All 14 designs are architectural wonders of reductive space and ample imagination.”

Author of Farm City Novella Carpenter
“Splendid illustrations, both drawings and photographs, provide a sort of virtual tour of more than a dozen interesting and unusual coops without leaving home. Some are simple, some are elaborate, a few are downright extraordinary, and most have innovative features that could be incorporated into any design. … has the feel of an Architectural Digest for chicken people.”

From the Publisher
“Hey backyard chickens: meet contemporary design!”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781603429801
Publisher:
Storey Books
Publication date:
01/01/2013
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
541,099
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

REINVENTING THE CHICKEN COOP

14 Original Designs with Step-by-Step Building Instructions
By KEVIN McELROY MATTHEW WOLPE

Storey Publishing

Copyright © 2012 Matthew Wolpe and Kevin McElroy
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-60342-980-1


Chapter One

CHICKEN COOP ESSENTIALS

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.

(Continues...)



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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What People are saying about this

Author of Farm City Novella Carpenter
"For us hen-lovers, building a secure, sanitary, and aesthetically beautiful chicken coop is a tall order; but with the genius guidance of Reinventing the Coop, anyone can now do just that.The designs are the perfect blend of innovative and whimsical, this book belongs on every urban farmer's bookshelf."
author of Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens Gail Damerow
"This book offers plenty of clever ideas to get you started creating your own unique chicken chateau."

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