Chicken Coop Inspiration

I lied to you.


I do not have any pictures or videos of chickens for you today. If you’re suffering from it, you can re-look at pictures from the day the chicks arrived.

I will however, have  them for you on Monday.

You’d be shocked at what a time suck baby chicks are.  I couldn’t get anything done this week what with looking at the chicks and cleaning up after the chicks and playing with the chick and feeding the chicks and cleaning up after the chicks and refreshing the chick’s water and cleaning up after the chicks and playing with the chicks.

It’s taken me all of 5 days to realize whatever kind of chicken coop I build … it has to be easy to clean.  That is priority #1.  Plus, it has to be aesthetically pleasing to me.  I do not want a chicken coop that looks like a miniature barn.  I want something that will blend with both my front and my back yard.

My backyard as you might remember is quite contemporary.  A few years ago I took it from  this …


To this …

You can see the whole process of me doing my backyard over here.

The front yard is a very traditional English country garden.


The side yard – where the chickens will be going – is literally, physically, in between the front and the back.  It consists of some slate flooring, a 7 foot high horizontal fence and the side of my house which is antique red brick.

So I’d like a chicken coop that’s kind of a combination of contemporary and country.

So far, this is what I have for inspiration.   Thanks to many of you for sending in some of the links!  If you click on the link beneath each picture it’ll bring you to the original source site with even more information on the coops.

I love how this one seems to float.  I also love their black chickens.

Architect Mitchell Snyder’s Modern Chicken Coop as seen in Dwell

Rustic chicken coop.  Perfect in this setting.

The Cadillac of Coops.  Every detail is well thought out and practical.

Heather Bullard’s perfect chicken coop.

Wow.  Just wow.

Frederik Roije’s Super Modern chicken coop.

This is a funny little brick hen hut.  If I had enough spare bricks, I love the idea of a brick chicken coop.  I love the rustic feel.

I don’t love that it looks like it’s probably filled with centipedes.  Which I assume the chickens would make short work of.

Rustic Brick Hen Hut

I love the sunken cedar shake roof and the window box on this chicken coop.

Hansel & Gretel type chicken coop on Backyard Chickens.

And everyone’s favourite … the Nogg.

The Nogg.

I have approximately 4 weeks to figure this out.  Wish me luck.  And feel free to weigh in.

Better yet … send plans.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Lynne says:

    Oh, my gosh! I love your style. I laughed right out loud. Have you written a book? I will buy it.
    Congrats on you amazing coup!
    You are the bomb! I’m older and behind the times – it means you’re amazing in Canada :)

  2. Carol says:

    I know this is an old post, but I found your 2nd coop picture while googling chicken coops cedar shakes. I love it (and we have the cedar shakes!) So I used your picture in my post and credited it to your website. Thanks!

  3. celia says:

    WOW! those chicken coops are so cool! kinda makes you think to get chickens. hmmmm

  4. amy says:

    Hello! We must be living parallel lives :) We got chickens for the first time several weeks (months?) ago and just finished their coop. It does look a bit like a barn, attached to a barn like shed, but if you are interested, you can see it here:

    we’ve found the most difficult part is the water…we need to find something that hangs from the roof that will self water…

    • Karen says:

      Amy – I LOVE your coop. It looks like a rustic barn. What I don’t want is a a coop that’s a big, red painted thing with that funny octogonalish roof. Know what I mean? I actually don’t mind those either, but it would look ridiculous in my backyard. I know exactly the type of water feeder you need. It’s one of those metal bucket type dealys that hang on a chain. I just went on a tour of my friend’s chicken coop and he had them. Most feed stores carry them. Not sure how much they are. Good luck with your girls! ~ karen

  5. Matt says:

    Hi, we are a small design/build practice in Oakland CA and have some experimental coops:

    • Karen says:

      Matt – I just had a *very* quick look at your portfolio. WOW. It looks like exactly the sort of inspiration I’m looking for. I’m gonna go have a *real* look right now. Thanks! ~ karen

  6. FlagirlinTN says:

    I’d live in the first one! Love how modern #4 is. Wouldn’t consider #3 based on how weird that chicken is.

  7. Thera says:

    I love the Nogg personally, also something to consider, which I have read a few times, with our Ontario winters, they may need to be in the garage when its really really cold, so the Nogg looks the most movable to me.

  8. Pam'a says:

    Why am I even weighing in on this? Probably because, as the daughter of a veterinarian, I feel compelled to comment on anything animal-related, whether I know anything about it or not. So:

    IMHO, some amalgam of #1 and the ultra-modern seem the most like your style. And apparently, the only creature using Heather Bullard’s is a Boston Bull Terrier. I’m just *sure* this is helpful info.

  9. dana says:

    I love the idea of using a rustic material in a very modern design, and I have a feeling you will come up with your own very nifty chicken home.
    Whichever coop you design, you need this for the run:

    Take lots of photos of those little peeps–they grow up so fast! One minute you’ve got them under your wing, and before you know it they’ve stolen the car keys from your purse and are graffiti-ing the local Chic-Fil-A! Fine feathered friends indeed…

  10. Those chicken coops are nicer than my house. I go for Heather Bullards. Since I’m an expert, my name being Chicky and all, I definitely thing that’s your cluck-spot.
    I don’t know if you like reading, but ‘The Woefield Poultry Collective’ would be very appropriate reading right now.Its by Susan Juby. They build a chicken coop. I reviewed on my blog. (

    • Karen says:

      Chicky – Well then, the decision is made. The Heather Bullard coop it is. Maybe. :) I’ll go take a look at your review, then possibly the book! Thx. ~ karen

  11. Kim says:

    This has a plan for a chicken coop but I don’t think it is quite your style, but I’m sure you can modify it to suit you!

  12. Robyn says:

    Karen just saw a really cool coop on Kate plus 8 within the past few weeks and it was great because it had a pull our tray that you could hose off to clean. Trust me cleaning of chicken manure isn’t fun! Sorry I don’t have more details or a link for you.

  13. Mary says:

    Hey Karen~ Here in Austin, Texas we recently had our annual Funky Chicken Coop Tour. Here’s the link:

    There are loads of videos and pics to look at. Thought I’d just pass it along in case you’re needing more inspiration!

    Have fun! :)

  14. Evalyn says:

    I vote for Rustic Chicken Coop. As an experienced chicken coop cleaner,
    I see several things about this desisign that I like.

    1. It’s cute, and could be made more modern by changing out the siding and style of
    the window.
    2. Easy to clean without bending over – and if you made that window removeable,
    even easier to clean. It could also be a screen in the warm weather to let in air.
    3. Ventilation at the top – good for the chickens
    4. It’s off the ground which makes it harder for varmits to get to your chickens
    and believe me, they will try. And did I mention, easier to clean.
    5. I hope it has a roost inside because chickens need to sleep off the ground. It’s
    instinct for them to be out of the reach of the aformentioned varmits.
    6. And nest boxes so the girls will leave their eggs in the coop instead of under
    random rhododendrons in the yard.
    7. It’s small, so (again) easy to clean, and warmer in winter.

  15. Shauna Rudy says:

    Holy Crap! The Super Modern coop is almost 8000 POUNDS! You love a good challenge, don’t you? You can build it! I believe in you!

  16. Kristal says:

    We just finished our coop and run and got our chickens last week!

    Here are some pictures of the coop:

    And the chickens:

    We didn’t follow a plan..we just sorta winged it and it turned out great. These two articles on what specifically a coop needs were really helpful to me.

    Good luck!

  17. Susan says:

    I’ll go against the grain and suggest the Cadillac of Chicken Coops. It’s very well laid out, including an area under it for the chickens to get out of the sun or other bad weather, and even includes storage for food and supplies. It also looks easiest to clean. And just by changing the design on the doors and roof, and colors used, it could be made to look rustic or very modern – change the roofline to flat and it’s modern; pitch the roof back and it’s rustic. Whichever is chosen, a slide-out floor on the entire ground level, just to make it really easy to clean out, might be make life even easier.

  18. Jane says:

    I have the Garden Coop. I have six chickens. I like it. Me and my boyfriend built it. The plans are super detailed and cheep.
    What ever coop you end up with if it has a fenced run make sure you can stand up in it cause cleaning is much easier that way. Good cluck.

  19. heidi says:

    You have no idea how much I love this post. First, I haven’t seen your backyard re-design before and it looks fantastic.

    Second, I want my own chicken coop too. These all look so great. I like the rustic one and the floating one. Good luck.

  20. Michele says:

    my vote goes for #2, the Rustic chicken coop. What fun, I’m jealous.

  21. cred says:

    I like the grey modern coop the best. It looks as though it can merge contemporary with traditional- modern shape but wooden siding allows it feel a bit country- also love the green roof. (Ooooh, I want one!)

    A good idea may be to design it higher off the ground- that would allow you to bring a wheelbarrow to the base of the coop and just rake the straw bedding into it and cart it over to your compost. Although, you have to plan for easy cleaning of the run, too. Alot of pooping goes on there- you should have an awesome garden.
    Chickens also like veggie scraps so they are virtual composting machines. And monitor the thickness of their egg shells- when shells get so thin that you can barely get an egg to the pan, you just need to start throwing their eggshells back in to them. I tell ya, chickens eat anything.
    I am so envious!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks for the tips Cred! Especially the eggshell one. I’m not sure what material to use for the run. I wanted to lay down a strip of grass so they’d have bugs to eat. It’ll either be grass or just dirt. Feel free to advise. :) ~ karen

      • Lita says:

        I got chicks as an anniversary present from my boyfriend last July!

        You can put grass in, but they’ll just eat it all and dig up what they don’t. If you have yard space that they can wander in for their hunting and grazing that would be best for them, just be aware that chickens can be hell on your plants!

        As for the run, we throw down everything from rice hulls, to large bags of other people’s leaves that we snatch from curbsides. The chickens poop and scratch and we throw down scraps, and eventually, compost for your garden! Or that’s the idea anyway.

        Good Luck!

        And yes, the egss are amazing!

  22. Saskatchewan Farm Girl says:

    Living in rural Saskatchewan is a reclaimer’s, repurposer’s, frugal, thifty person’s heaven! Especially for projects like a garden shed or even a chicken coop. I few years back I tore down an old grainery with blood, sweat, tears, prybar and hammer. With the precision of a surgereon I carefully plucked the drop siding from it’s 2×4’s. The framing was pulled, limb for limb, salvaging every 2×4 I could. Scrounged around in the tall grass of the farm yard till I found some old railroad ties for the foundation of what was going to become my “barn”! After three days of swealtering heat (and brutal humidity – even in Sasktchewan) I had a pile of “gold”. Off to home I went, grinning from ear-to-ear and stinking to high heaven of sweat, mouse poo/pee/nests, and rotten grain! My dad helped me with the framing and he even made a “jig” on one of his hay wagons so I could fashion the rafters into a true hip-roofed barn complete with a peek and pully to hoist hay into the little loft (Dad made the first rafter to get the angles and proportions right). The window was left behind by the previous owners of my house – it fit perfectly – proportion was right – it was that little window’s (re)purpose in life! I needed a door, so off to the same old farm sight to do some scouring. Low and behold a door was found beneath a fallen building and believe it or not it fit into my doorframe perfectly (just an inch or so too long) – kid you not perfectly and I hadn’t measured it up ahead of time. Pulled the hardware (hinges and latch) off the old outhouse for my “new” door. The hardware has perfectly rusted, the drop siding was perfectly weathered, the door was even faded to a perfect shade of red. My little barn is my pride and joy! Did I mention it only cost me three sheets of plywood for the floor; all else was reused, repurposed and recycled! That year for Christmas Mom & Dad got me a real weathervane to complete the package. I love my little barn and receive so many compliments on it. Ya dun good girl!

    • Karen says:

      Saskatchewan Farm Girl – You have to send me pictures! It sounds great! I’ve been looking for reclaimed wood on Kijiji and Craigslist but I haven’t been able to find any. That’s exactly what I’d like to make the coop out of. It’s a little more difficult to come by out here in Ontario though because pickers tend to come in to buy it and sell it. ~ karen

  23. We’re looking for chicken coop ideas as well…. but we don’t have chicks yet. The ONE idea that I can bestow on you is this… vinyl flooring. It’s easy(ish) to clean and will last for a while. If you make your coop square, it will be a cinch to install! Hope this helps! :-)

    • Karen says:

      Jacque – I love the first coop and I love the idea of square (for the ease) but the area I have to put it in is around 3′ x 9′. So it can’t be square. :( ~ karen

  24. Carol-Anne says:

    My vote goes for the first one. Can’t wait to see more photos of the chicks!

  25. KoadToad says:

    The brick one!!!!!!
    But since bricks are something you don’t have, #2 is nifty and a half :)
    …. really they all are. The first one is the only one that I, personally, don’t like at all.
    But…. the brick one!!!!!!!!!

  26. Dana says:

    but i need to know: where are the chicks staying now? i hope you wrap little mini diapers on their bums and cuddle in bed. i would.

  27. Rebecca says:

    I vote for the first one-or at least your take on that style. However, the side wall of my red brick house might just collapse any day now, so if that happens before it gets fixed, you’re more than welcome to help yourself to some bricks. Though that one reminds me of a pizza oven or tajine. Perhaps convenient? Once you tire of those filthy creatures, just light ’em up and din-dins!

  28. Tonia says:

    On a completely unrelated topic, today my husband and I were watching a rerun of Holmes on Home here in the U.S. It was one where the winner of the Handyman Challenge helped out. Well they show a clip of the show and I suddenly realize you are the host. So, I yell out ‘Hey, I know her!’ My husband was completely confused and I had to explain that I don’t actually know you but I do enjoy reading your blog.

    Completely random but I felt the need to share.

    • Karen says:

      Tonia – That’s funny. Yes, I’m the host of Handyman Superstar Challenge. If I remember correctly that was from the first season and the winner was Jordan. Am I right? ~ karen

  29. Heather says:

    My Mom is in love with the Eglu:

    I think that top one is YOU though!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Heather – Yes, I’ve seen the Eglu but for some reason I’m not in love with it. I know I *should* be and it’s a great design but … I don’t know what it is … Hmm. ~ karen

  30. Shauna says:

    I have a great recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu ….. oh I see, not quite what you mean, well then, Hansel & Gretel is pretty cute, especially cause it sounds like neighbours might have to look at it and smell it. But good luck with it, I have left my chicken coop days behind me when I was a child, and never looked back… well once, but I was ill then, now I get the benefits from the neighbours farms without the work. You know if you ever want to move out to Alberta let me know :D (I would like whole milk)

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