I’ve got some seriously cool chicken coops to show you today, courtesy of Seattle Tilth, which hosts an annual City Chickens Coop Tour every July. This self-guided tour takes you to different neighborhoods around Seattle, where you can check out a bunch of coops, meet the chickens that live in them, and talk to the chicken keepers. This year’s tour is on July 11, so mark your calendars!
Sadly, our coop is not worthy of being on the tour. We bought it at a local feed store and have been really disappointed with its quality and how difficult it is to access for cleaning. We are considering building a new coop for our girls this fall that has the following qualities:
* A bigger run. I want a covered run that has at least 8 to 10 square feet per bird
* Doors that are raised above the ground. This makes them easier to close because they don’t get clogged with bedding that the chickens kick around.
* Easy access for cleaning. Right now I have to lean into our coop, which makes it difficult to scoop out the bedding, and getting in that close of contact with the chicken poo is kind of gross.
* Built with recycled, durable materials. Most of my favorite coops incorporate recycled windows, doors, and wood. They end up having so much character, and are easier on the environment since they minimize the use of new materials. I like the look of corrugated metals roofs, but I also love, love the green roof on the coop pictured up top. It is the coolest!!
This coop is positively palatial. I think my girls would run away from home if I showed them the photo. I like its clean, modern design and that it has both enclosed and unenclosed runs and is tall enough to stand up in.
This portable coop makes great use of recycled materials and I love the classic barn red color and shape. I think that the entire front (where the doors are) hinges open, making the inside a snap to clean up.
Our next coop will definitely feature a handy exterior nest box like this one. These nest boxes make it super easy to access the eggs, and the hens seem to prefer them, too.
If building a coop is not your forte, high quality, pre-built coops are available, but they are pricey. I am particularly fond of Wine Country Coops and Henspa. You could also hire someone to build the coop. In Seattle, Jennifer Carlson teaches a coop design class at Seattle Tilth and also offers private city chickens consultations, and Seattle Urban Farm Company also builds custom coops.