2/8/13

"Reinventing the Chicken Coop" a review

Photos by Erin Kunkle
I just received this book in the mail from my friends at Storey PublishingReinventing the Chicken Coop 14 Original Designs with Step-by-Step Building Instructions by Matthew Wolpe and Kevin McElroy

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.

photo from justfinedesignbuild

7 comments:

GirlRural.com said...

Wow, that sounds neat. We will be building a new, larger coop to house 8 chickens instead of our six. I'll have to check out this book.

Deb said...

Orren, once again, you've been the cause of adding to my ever-growing, chicken library. I can't wait for this one. My poor husband. "Jim, get out your tool belt honey!"

Brenda Hutchings said...

Cant wait to give my gals a new home!

Leila said...

I would love that book! email is leilagrant@yahoo.com

Yetter Gunderson said...

If you're building your own chicken coop, you might feel a little intimidated. Don't. With some basic woodworking skills and a lot of patience, you can build a great coop that will house your girls comfortably for years to come.Just check this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlxalBhSRgA you will learn how to built a good chicken coop..
thnx

Yetter Gunderson said...

If you're building your own chicken coop, you might feel a little intimidated. Don't. With some basic woodworking skills and a lot of patience, you can build a great coop that will house your girls comfortably for years to come.Just check this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlxalBhSRgA you will learn how to built a good chicken coop..
thnx

Noo said...

I love that, "Dwell for chicken coops". Awesome. We have been researching chicken raising for the past year and have attended classes and tour the coops as a family. My 6 years old sat through a 3 1/2 hr class WITH enthusiasm the whole time. The interest is there so I think this year might be the year. Thanks for your blog.

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