Build a stylishly modern home for your poultry. Backyard chickens meet contemporary design in this inventive compilation from authors Matthew Wolpe and Kevin McElroy. Reinventing the Chicken Coop presents 14 complete building plans for chicken houses that range from the purely functional to outrageously fabulous, with designs that include water-capturing roofs, built-in composting systems, and modernist architectural details.
Bay area artisans Wolpe and McElroy, whose coop was Editor's Choice for Design at the Bay Area Maker Faire, 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. Readers just getting their claws wet in chicken shelters will start with the basics of how many square feet per fowl, bedding, and waste disposal, beginning with A-frame and square nesting boxes that can be built in a weekend. Various living situations (urban, suburban, and country) are addressed as instructions are provided for confined housing with an attached run and open housing within a fenced run, with degree of difficulty warnings. Multipurpose issues (water-catching roofs, composting the coop, and a green-roof garden) are addressed for all levels of the DIY-er. In order to keep chickens without alienating the neighborhood, chicken-raisers can add some "bwawk" to their block with log cabins or the "Cupe," a mid-century modernist design suitable for front yard art. "Stoop Coop'' can double as a small staircase or a sitting spot, to add some poultry to the garden party. Chicken-raising instructions not included, but full-color photos and illustrations are.