|Photos by Erin Kunkle|
It is amazing there are so many different kinds of coops - coops with gardens on the roof, spiral staircases, built in composting system, even the coop pictured above with a V shaped roof to collect rain water called Chick-In-A-Box (page 94). Each coop design has very detailed step-by-step plans with really helpful illustrations. I think just by looking at these photos you will be inspired to rethink your coop. I am. See on the picture below what the authors call “the water catchment system” – awesome. It’s a V shaped roof and a funnel that leads into the coop to water the hens. “The simple water catchment system collects runoff water from the lower end of the roof’s valley flashing and diverts it to a pan inside the coop”, ok that’s brilliant. I was once told that farmers are really problem solvers, they have to be. Here is the proof.
The book itself is has great pictures and very easy to follow directions with detailed drawings. My mom called this book the DWELL for chicken coops; I’m not exactly sure what she means except that the coops are well designed. She says, “Equal parts utility and style”. That’s true. The book is also labels each design: beginner, intermediate and advanced. This is really helpful before you get started and jump in.
The opening chapter of the book is called Chicken Coop Essentials. This is a great chapter with really useful information: General space requirements, coop and run setups, definitions of deep bedding, guidelines for roosts, nesting boxes, protection from predators / rodents, and ventilation to name a few. This isn’t just a how to build a coop book, it is a great chicken raising book for your library.
One of my favorite things to see was on page 91 the use of corrugated clear plastic for roofing. This is what I use on my outdoor run because in the winter in New England our hens need 14+ hours of light and it would be terribly expensive to keep the lights on that long, so the clear roof plus lights enables my hens to have plenty of light.
> Check out this book, it is very inspirational and has lots useful and helpful information. Also Storey Publishing has been super awesome to offer a copy of this book to one of the readers of this review. Leave a comment on the Happy Chickens FB (search Happy Chickens on Facebook) and I will randomly pick a person to get a copy of this book from Storey.