Do a Google image search for “chicken coop” and a solid majority of the results will look very much like this nearly 100 year old coop featured in The Gardener’s and Poultry Keeper’s Guide and Illustrated Catalog. Why is this basic design still with us?
- The attached run gives chickens some space to scratch around in while keeping them safe from predators if you can’t make it home by dark.
- You can hang a feeder in the space under the hen house to keep their feed dry.
- The run is tall enough to stand in.
- You can put an access door to the nesting box from the outside so you don’t have to go in the coop to collect eggs.
- It has a roof over the run to keep your chickens dry.
It’s the basic form I used for our coop with a few refinements–I ran hardware cloth under run to keep out burrowing predators. I also extended the run to keep the chickens from pecking at each other (the more room they have the better).
To paraphrase Nassim Taleb for the second time in a week, if a given design has been around for at least a hundred years, the odds are it will be around for many more years. While this particular arrangement may not work in all situations (mobile runs or “chicken tractors” may be a better option for some), this coop design does have a lot going for it for us urban dwellers.