Posts tagged Chicken Coop Ideas
Chicken Coop Photo Contest Winners 2011


The Slater Family in Claremont, California, takes First Place in this year's VGG Chicken Coop Photo Contest. This is a classy chicken coop with darling storybook details.

Not only is this an incredibly cute chicken coop, it is well designed. You can easily see where the eggs are collected and where their hens have their enclosed outside area. This city backyard chicken coop is nestled in a quiet spot, beautifully integrated in with their garden.

The Slater's compost their chicken manure for vegetable gardening, and share their eggs with friends and neighbors. Their flock consists of Black Copper & Splash Marans, Red Laced Blue Wing Wyandotte, and a Blue Ameraucana. They have demonstrated beautifully a whimsical design in a small spot, such as a city backyard.

Monte & Donna Partlow on the Olympic Peninsula in Sequim, Washington, are this year's VGG Second Place Winners with their immaculate coop creation, Many Feathers Cottage. This "black and white" chicken coop beauty has been lovingly assembled for their flock of 2 Red Stars, 1 Black Star, and 1 Australop, who are happy to call this their home.

This chicken cottage is charming, but also "state of the art" with electrical wiring, insulation, vinyl flooring and base, and an installed "manure box" under a removable hardware cloth grate for easy cleaning.

It has seamless access to an outside pen, with an exterior door. An operable window and louvered vent provide proper ventilation. Note the hanging thermometer for temperature readings, green roosting bar mounted off of the floor, chain-hanging feeder and water-er, and adjustable height heat lamp. It has all of the "bells and whistles" for keeping chickens.

Tonita Fernandez of Enumclaw, Washington, is this year's VGG Third Place winner with her cleverly re-purposed playhouse turned into shabby chic chicken coop. Her chic coop is a fine example of starting with an existing playhouse, or building and modifying it into a chicken coop with interesting salvaged materials.

She reclaimed this row of incredible chicken nesting boxes from an old barn, which was more than a 100 years old. She decorated her coop with "cleanable" wallpaper, a crystal chandelier, and pink stenciling. A re-purposed milk can conveniently stores her organic chicken feed. By her chicken coop entrance, she has a blooming flower box and fun, chicken-related pieces.

Tonita says, "Fixing up a special little house for the hens is my way of appreciating and being thankful to them for their contribution to our food supply". Tonita has also been involved in rescuing dogs for over thirty years. Her lucky dogs, are given plenty of fresh organic eggs in their diet.

Congratulations to these winners! Your coops are fabulous. Many thanks to everyone who participated, and supported VGG in this contest. I heard from people from all over, who love their chickens.

I'm hoping you can reap ideas and inspiration from the above chicken coops for your own yard or garden. Chicken coops can be individualized, and customized for size and style. Chickens are part of the family, just like any other pets. Chicken coops become an extension of one's garden. Chicken coops can be beautiful, as well as functional and practical. Keeping chickens is wonderful.

A Chicken Coop To Love

Chicken Coop Entrance, LMR Rutherford Gardens As you may or may not know, VintageGardenGal announced its premier "Chicken Coop Photo Contest" last month. I had some wonderful photos submitted, and thank those who participated. The number of photos submitted, however,  were not enough for a true contest. Stay tuned for next year's spring chicken coop photo contest with prizes.

I do have a treat for you. I want to share with you a "chicken coop to love" that I saw in Napa Valley. In a previous post, I wrote about The Farmstead Restaurant and the Hall's Long Meadow Ranch. LMR Rutherford Gardens is another historic property owned by the Hall family and an integral part of their sustainable organic vertically integrated family farm. At LMR Rutherford Gardens they grow their own organic produce, flowers, and fruit for many of the top Napa Valley restaurants, including their Farmstead Restaurant, and the Friday Farmer's Market in St. Helena. Please note, LMR Rutherford Gardens is private, and available for tours by appointment.

LMR Rutherford Gardens is 5.8 acres of rich farm land on the Napa Valley floor, and just south of The Farmstead Restaurant. This property  has been growing produce since the 1930's, and has never been planted in grapes. Besides the land there is a small house, vintage water tower, and wonderful mature trees. Thriving 100 year-old fig trees further add to the property's charm.

At LMR Rutherford Gardens there is a large chicken coop and beautiful flock of chickens producing lovely organic eggs.  In the above photo, you can see the wood door and entrance to their chicken coop. The plank wood door is beautiful, detailed with a chicken motif, and flanked by the romantic floribunda white iceberg roses. Isn't that enough to welcome you to the chicken coop.

Side of Chicken Coop

Their chicken coop is made of corrugated metal, which is a reasonable building material, creates a wonderful rustic look, and ages gracefully. Framed windows on the side allow air circulation and the important ventilation needed in a chicken coop. Further more, the chicken coop is strategically situated under mature trees to provide shade and dappled light. I can only imagine inside, it is quiet, and filled with nesting boxes for the hens to lay their eggs.

A gigantic outside pen is attached to the chicken coop for their hens to enjoy fresh air, exercise, and produce treats. Landscaping along the chicken coop and outside pen adds color and appeal.

LMR Gardens Chickens in Outside Pen

LMR Rutherford Gardens has a large flock of hens consisting of Ameracanas, Black Australorps, and Cuckoo Marans chicken breeds. Three of my favorite breeds.

I was smitten by LMR Rutherford Gardens chicken coop and chickens. Their chicken coop is safe, protecting, nurturing, beautifully adorned, and well-landscaped. Clearly, some thought and creativity went into creating their chicken coop, and caring for their chickens for the best organic eggs.

Please share creative ideas you use for your chicken coop. Please comment on your favorite chicken breeds.

Narcissus Bulbs Naturally Deter Gophers

Narcissus Bulbs Blooming Alongside Chicken Coop If gophers are a problem in your garden or property I can recommend an organic green solution you might not have tried yet, the beautiful narcissus bulb. Any type of narcissus bulb, which includes jonquils, paperwhites, and daffodils will be a deterrent to gophers, rabbits, and deer in your garden and property. For simplicity sake, I am writing mainly about gophers and daffodils, but this solution works just as well for rabbits and deer, using all types of narcissus bulbs.

It is important to plant bulbs that are hardy for your climate. Check the packaging information included with your bulbs, or with the source you are purchasing your bulbs from. Generally speaking, these type of bulbs are planted in the fall time frame, and are cold hardy blooming in early winter, depending again on your specific climate zone.

Narcissus bulbs are such a wonderful green solution to deterring gophers for many reasons. Once you plant your bulbs, depth and spacing depends on variety, they bloom year and year. They are simply beautiful to look at, and often very fragrant. Bulbs planted in the ground send out a year round message to critters by actually "advertising" a toxicity odor or fragrance. Yes, that's right. Even before a bulb is bitten into, it is sending a warning, that it has a natural toxicity ability to irritate (burn) the soft tissues of their mouth and cheeks. Gophers find it uncomfortable and stay clear of the bulbs, "taking a hike" out of the vicinity. To some extent by limiting their food source, you are limiting their population, and they have to go elsewhere. Once your bulbs are planted and in the ground, give it some time, and you will notice gophers staying clear of the area near your bulbs.

If you have ever had a gopher problem, you have probably tried trapping, poisoning, drowning, blasting, and a few other gopher terminator techniques. Gophers can be quite a menace taking out a rosebush, grapevine, shrub, or vegetable plant, usually by eating the root system. If you have chickens like I do, gophers can be especially persistent in trying to reach their "pot of gold at the end of the rainbow", the chicken feed bucket and ensuing spillage around it. I even have a 1 1/2 foot wire fencing buried around the chicken coop to discourage gophers.

Try planting bulbs first in a few specific areas, such as along side your chicken coop or the perimeter of your vegetable garden. With time and budget permitting, you can expand your bulb planting as you see your success.

In vegetable gardens where you have a lot of rabbits on a regular basis, try planting bulbs among your vegetables, besides the perimeter. In flower beds, for instance where you have tulips, and a problem with deer, plant your narcissus bulbs mixed closely with your tulip bulbs. All types of iris and agapanthus are gopher, rabbit, and deer resistant, too.

One of my favorite sources for bulbs is the mail order business, (tel) (866) 725-5361. They sell bulbs for all zones, but specialize in "warm climate" bulbs. Featured in the above photo is their "Erlicheer" Daffodil.