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Reinventing the Chicken Coop: 14 Original Designs with Step-by-Step Building Instructions Paperback – Jan 1 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (Jan. 1 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603429808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603429801
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 1.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #386,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stewart Jack on May 15 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a real waste of money. There are no "plans" but some examples of very poorly designed chicken coops.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 68 reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Very limited Feb. 16 2013
By sw - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off the book is well written and has nice photos. However, the "reinvented" coops are "boutique" coop. The designs are all pretty small and designed for warm weather climates (no snow). Thus is you live in a city and in California it is great, but if you live in snow country these designs will not work.
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
This is a lovely book - just not suited for my needs or budget. April 8 2013
By S. Lindsey - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Should be titled California Coops for Big Spenders. Even the pallet coop had an enormous list of new & expensive materials. The book is absolutely beautiful, smart, well written & photographed. We enjoyed reading it but my husband & I both agree - this book was not helpful to us at all. We have a BUDGET. I give the authors props for creativity but these designs are far too costly to be practical. The authors themselves admit to not being able to market their coops because of the high costs. The coops are all designed for the temperate Cali weather. So if you have cold winters or hot summers (hello, Georgia) all the coops in this book will require major modifications. Even as a new chicken keeper, I can see flaws in these designs where creativity seems to be the focus instead of practicality. Oh, well, it will make a good coffee table book. Good for conversation....only.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Worthy to be featured in Dwell or Sunset. Jan. 24 2013
By Tracy - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been pouring over chicken coop design books for the last couple of months, and not to be rude to other coop design authors, but this book is the only one that I have found which has many great designs worthy to grace the pages of of Dwell and Sunset. Most other chicken coop design books offer basic plans that are adequate to place in a far corner of one's property. Unfortunately, since I have an urban lot (less than 5000 square feet), the farthest corner of my property is right under my nose. I want to look out at something that is witty and visually appealing, and this is the only coop book that I have found to offer more than a few designs that will do that. I find this book to be inspiring, ingenious and hip. The only hard part is to decide which model to choose.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Very limited focus Aug. 18 2013
By Mara - Published on
Format: Paperback
The coops in this book are inspiring, provided that you like the brightly-colored, mid-century modern style that the authors embrace. I do, actually, but would have liked to see a bit more variety in the looks-- it was one Modern & Modular little structure after another, with one Reclaimed & Repurposed towards the end.

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.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Coops for temperate climates should have been the title. May 4 2013
By Nana of 4 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Warm weather coops mostly, there should be a disclaimer regarding this, not everyone lives in temperate climates. The coops were all nice looking but few coops suitable for cold weather areas.