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A Virginia Chicken Coop

Becky at the Coop, the tour

“Necessity is the mother of invention, it is true, but its father is creativity, and knowledge is the midwife.”  I’m quoting Jonathan Schattke, of course, but just because I’m borrowing catchy phrases doesn’t make them any less applicable.  B. and M., friends I visited while in Virginia, needed a chicken coop and so they converted an outbuilding into a pretty nifty coop.
Chicken Coop door & ramp

The door and window face the garden and may be seen from the kitchen windows. I watch my own chickens from out a kitchen window and list it among the greatest pleasures this life has to offer. Hot tea, sprawling garden, and foraging chickens are a few of my favorite things.

The farm’s coop has a rustic lichen-covered roof and such a classic old-world feel to it.  Inside, it was dark enough for the chickens to feel safe while the window and door let in just enough light for the chickens to be able to see their way into a nesting box.  Of course, there aren’t any chickens living there now so the boxes aren’t currently lined with bedding.


This is a great example of a small backyard coop for about 12 laying hens.  The rule is generally four birds to a nesting box.  A dozen birds would not only meet the needs of a family but also provide them with eggs to share or sell.  Keep in mind that the chickens spent the great majority of their time chasing after bugs, worms, and grass.  They only went in the coop at night to roost and during the day to lay eggs (just like our own flock here).

Isn’t it neat to see other people’s chicken coops?  I’m always fascinated by nesting box construction, ramps, and then the history.  I have a million questions:  Where did they find the materials?  Which chicken breeds do they prefer and why?  What first inspired them to start keeping chickens in the first place?

Very soon I’ll post our own coop addition and answer all of your chicken questions.  Happily!

  • Julie at Elisharose - Oh, yea! A chicken post. I so long for a bigger flock. We are hoping to put our house back on the market in April. I’m hoping this will be the year and I can get said flock. Can’t wait to hear about your expansion.ReplyCancel

  • Barbara - Yes, I do agree, I love looking at all coops. I love my Chicken TV.ReplyCancel

  • Michele - We used an old cinder-block well house for our chicken coup. All those well pipes and parts made great roosts.ReplyCancel

  • Linda Sue - Very ingenious – our elaborate Coop Mahal received damage during the “once in 30 years” snow we had here – awning over the run collapsed. But cluckers seem happy enough – it is wonderful to be able to plan a meal and never think ” need eggs at the store” ’cause we have eggs galore!ReplyCancel

  • Rosa - I’d love to have that in my backyard!



  • Dawn - Having build two coops, one from scratch; converting an outbuilding seems more appealing. This year I think we will use our green house to start our little hens and then transfer them to one of the coops before winter. If I can get it done this summer, I will be posting about it.

    We have our nesting boxes covered in front with access through the back; it helps the chickens have privacy and they don’t roost on the front leaving the eggs a mess. The one set of nests have wooden doors, the other has a tarp in front.

    And being in our cold climate, we need to insulate the coop for winter so that adds to the work of building too.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer in OR - I love it. I hope to have chickens soon – no coop yet, and no outbuildings here, so I’ll have to come up with something else. Great to hear from you.ReplyCancel

  • Chicken Coops - Cool and awesome. I liked this very much. I mean the background too.ReplyCancel

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