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Chicken Coops for Backyard Flocks

By: Anna Millman
Want to raise chickens but not sure what type of coop is best for your backyard? These 11 stylish hen houses will help you decide whether to buy one or design and build one yourself — plus how to make a coop work with your landscape.
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See Rock City

The owners of this tin roof chicken coop wanted to create a home for their chickens and guest houses for visiting bluebirds: "We read that bluebirds like to have 15 to 20 feet of open space in front of their nesting houses. When we built the coop, we left the posts tall on the back side. My parents brought me the 'See Rock City' house, which I was thrilled to have because it's a great nod to my happy Southern childhood spent hiking and camping with my family. The Rock City birdhouse lets guests know we want them to be relaxed and happy in our garden."
The owners said landscaping was a key factor in the positioning of the coop. "We thought about the placement for several weeks. It made sense to be on the far side of the garden because it's tall and creates a separation between our yard and the street that runs behind our next-door neighbors' yard. It works as a privacy screen and looks like a charming shed or rustic playhouse. The screens across the front of the structure came from my grandparents' house when it was torn down. The major drawback to our design is the lack of a human door, which makes spring cleaning the coop no easy task."

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Playhouse and Pond

After a bout of empty-nest syndrome when their children went off to college, the homeowners decided to "fill their nest with chickens," turning an unused playhouse into a coop and adopting 10 chicks. The owners enjoy time spent in this picturesque backyard, laughing at the antics of their flock and petting the ones that like to sit on their laps. While the chickens don't willingly go for a swim in the pond, they do drink from it now and then.

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Poulin Rouge

This coop and chicken run earned the name "Poulin Rouge" by the families who share it. The design includes kids'-eye-view windows low on the sides. Because the structure is raised off the ground, the shaded area below is a favorite hangout spot for the chickens during hot summer months.

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Nesting Boxes

The nesting boxes in the Poulin Rouge coop are made from wooden wine crates. Doors cut into the back of the nesting boxes offer easy access so eggs can be gathered from outside the coop.

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