Reinventing the Chicken Coop: 14 Original Designs with Step-by-Step Building Instructions Paperback – Jan 1 2013
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“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.”
“All 14 designs are architectural wonders of reductive space and ample imagination.”
“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.”
"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."
“Hey backyard chickens: meet contemporary design!”
From the Back Cover
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!
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A few other problems:
Almost every design has the nesting area (nest box, platform, etc.) *higher* than the roost. Chickens will roost on the highest spot available, so nest boxes should always be lower than the roost bar or the chickens will roost there, which you don't want, because where they roost is where most of the poop falls-- you want that far from the eggs! Interestingly, one plan did discuss this and included a complicated design to sweep out the area under the roost into the compost, so clearly the authors are aware of this.
As other reviewers have pointed out, these designs would only work in a mild climate; all have huge openings (even entire walls) covered in just wire-cloth that in most of the country would need to be covered in the winter. For most of us, figuring out how to simultaneously provide good ventilation and shelter from winter weather is the biggest headache of coop design-- something this book doesn't address other than to say that those in other climates will have to adjust the designs.
If you're looking to build on a budget, this isn't the book for you. With the exception of the one coop made partly from pallets, these are pricey designs. There is a big gulf between those that hire somebody to design and build them a coop and the rest of us that don't have thousands (or even hundreds) to spend on housing for a few chickens.
And this last is just a pet peeve, but Hobbits do NOT live in treehouses. They live in semi-subterranean burrows.
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