So you’ve consulted your city’s municipal code regarding backyard poultry — or just decided, “Cluck the neighbors, I’m getting chickens!” Next you’ll need a home for your birds that offers room to roam, warmth in winter and ventilation in summer, and protection from urban thugs like dogs and raccoons. (For details on space requirements and ideal bedding options, see last week’s interview with chicken-raising expert Gail Damerow.) Ideally your feathered friends’ abode will also be easy to clean and gather eggs — and easy on the eyes.
We expect Grist’s wannabe chicken keepers won’t be shelling out for the stylish-yet-pricy ($1,280!) and all-plastic (boo!) Omlet Cube, but instead will be taking a hammer to recycled materials found on Craigslist or hacked from Ikea parts. The Internet abounds with DIY coop plans and galleries on sites like Backyard Chickens and My Pet Chicken to inspire you, and many cities now offer annual tours of cool cribs: though Austin’s, Atlanta’s, Salt Lake City’s, and Alameda, Calif.’s are past, Seattle Tilth is sponsoring one this weekend, on July 11, and Portland’s Tour de Coops is July 24.
Here are some funky and/or fashionable coops for you to brood over. Feel free to leave a link to yours in the comments!
(Karen Wyeth)Cabin fever: This fancy coop belongs to Grist reader Karen Wyeth of Sebastopol, Calif. The carved ventilation panels were a garage sale find, she says, while the oil painting of a rooster, donated by a neighbor, keeps her four ladies company.