Brooke and Steve Giannetti, designers and authors of Patina Farm, built a henhouse worth clucking about.
Follow Brooke's tips below to build your own coop that's just like the Giannettis'.
Choose Your Materials
Because of its all-weather durability, the couple chose cedar wood for the structure. Cedar is naturally resistant to rot and insect damage and won’t warp when exposed to moisture.
"Utility comes first, but I like to use natural materials, not plastics, to keep things pretty, like wood nesting boxes, wood roosting poles, and a galvanized roof," Brooke said.
They also chose Hanley Gold gravel, also called , for the warmer tones and resemblance to granite.
Keep It Consistent
The grapevine-covered coop and adjacent greenhouse reflect the classical proportions found in the other buildings Steve designed on their Ojai, CA, farm. See his early sketches .
Try this idea: "We built the coop beside the vegetable garden, where we grow tomatoes and zucchini, so I can enjoy the beauty of the coop as I work."
Lay the Groundwork
Brooke sprinkled the Hanley Gold gravel with diatomaceous earth, a natural powder that keeps the coop dry and pest-free.
Try this idea: We thought the chickens would use the roosting poles we placed, but they actually sleep on top of the nesting box at the highest point in the coop.
Plant The Seeds
Low-maintenance edible ground cover, like rosemary and sage, adds a layer of landscaping to the surrounding area.
Try this idea: We made sure our chickens would have plenty of room to roam, with a 40-foot run behind the coop and two acres of free range space when we’re at home.