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


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Reinventing the Chicken Coop: 14 Original Designs with Step-by-Step Building Instructions + Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard + Backyard Chickens for Beginners: Getting the Best Chickens, Choosing Coops, Feeding and Care, and Beating City Chicken Laws
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (January 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603429808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603429801
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“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.”

(Los Angeles Times)

“All 14 designs are architectural wonders of reductive space and ample imagination.”

(Gail Damerow, author of Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens)

“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.”

(Novella Carpenter, Author of Farm City)

"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."

(California College of the Arts)

“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!

Customer Reviews

Love the book of designs.
sherrie
I feel I could have found designs that were just as good if I did a bit of searching online.
Larry
This is a fun book to look through when thinking about building a nice chicken coop.
David

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By sw on February 16, 2013
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.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By S. Lindsey on April 8, 2013
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.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Tracy on January 24, 2013
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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John on January 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
The book has vivid pictures which can inspire you to manufacture your own chicken coop even if you have no intention of needing one. The designs that the authors lay our mix simple design principles and materials and more complex ideas constructions so DIYers can tailor the solution to fit their needs. Also, the instruction for DIY seem clear and make for a manageable Saturday project where the book delivers a recipe for a success.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nana of 4 on May 4, 2013
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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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mara on August 18, 2013
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.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mary Peyton on December 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My neighbor built a chicken coop last year and really could have used a book like this to give him some great ideas. It would have saved him time, money and headaches. The instructions are clear and the photography is so beautiful. Now, after looking through this book, my husband is totally inspired to start building! Thanks a lot Matt & Kevin... I will be calling you guys when it comes time to clean out the coop.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Casp on January 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
Very easy to use, step by step instructions for creative and beautiful designs. Equally great for practical application and coffee table admiration. I'll definitely be building a new coop soon.
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Reinventing the Chicken Coop: 14 Original Designs with Step-by-Step Building Instructions
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