The grass is greener (and prettier) on this side of the chicken wire.
Chicken coop design is a rather specialized disciplined, either the domain of dedicated DIYers or idealistic urbanites looking to spruce up their homesteads with modernist prefab-esque aviary dwellings.
Here are a few noteworthy models – egg-shaped, solar-paneled and all – that are in strut with the backyard chicken-keeping trend. Please note that “trend” is not meant to be taken flippantly. An increasing number of municipalities are relaxing regulations against urban and suburban chicken husbandry. Meanwhile, our eggs have never been so organic and home-hatched. It’s not so much a trend as it is a common sense renaissance, one that designers and architects are answering with innovation.
Hand-crafted in the UK, the egg-shaped Nogg can house two-four domestic chickens. Reinforced stainless door frame protects from the elements and a twistable, liftable glass top aids circulation. The Nogg is made from antibacterial cedar wood.
Bonus feature: Nogg egg cups, just because.
While not commercially available, the coop by Mitchell Snyder and designer Shelley Martin has been the envy of every urban dwelling chicken-keeper since it was hatched during the nascence of the chicken craze. It was built behind a 1924 craftsman bungalow in NE Portland, Oregon. Windows control ventilation and the roof features a planted terrain for rain water filtration and heat absorption during hot summer months.
The RAAD is a luxe chicken coop by a New York firm that has elevated chicken keeping to a “new standard in living that liberates the lifestyles of modern chickens.” It features floor-to-ceiling windows and a solar-powered fan.
Moderncoop is what you would describe as a “sporty chicken coop” made from recycled cedar. It is also mobile (allowing your yard to “re-cooperate”) with a look is altogether trailer chic.
Now for two truly innovative coops designed by Studio H, a public high school design/build curriculum. The first, called Chicktopia was made from one hundred reclaimed sticks salvaged from a tobacco farm.
The second, another reclaimed Studio H coop, the Chicken Circus.
Finally, there’s Breed Retreat from designer Frederik Roijée, an elevated hen house with private “rooms” and a glassed-in egg-laying area.
It’s an urban paradise, proving yet again that life is for the birds.