Reinventing the Chicken Coop5stars



Chicken Coop Castles for Any Skill Level

By Kevin McElroy & Matthew Wolpe
Storey Publishing, $19.95, 190 pages

One no longer need live on a farm with hundreds of acres to be able to raise chickens. Many city dwellers have taken on the challenge and rewards of having a few backyard chickens. Of course, one key piece of equipment needed to keep chickens is a chicken coop.

Kevin McElroy and Matthew Wolpe have made the process of creating a chicken coop a whole lot easier with their book Reinventing the Chicken Coop. Their well-organized book begins with chicken coop essentials such as space requirements, run setups, roosts, protection, ventilation and nesting boxes. The book then moves on to coop-building basics and outlines the tools and materials needed as well as necessary techniques. There are specific directions and plenty of pictures showing the reader how to cut notches and make joints, doors and hinges. I love how the book clearly outlines two simple classics (the standard and the A-frame) for the beginner. Either design can be built in a weekend, and a specific materials list is provided. Step-by-step directions are outlined with photos, drawings with measurements and written words. There are a total of four beginner designs, eight intermediate designs and two advanced designs. The authors offer a variety of looks, such as a garden roof coop and a mid-century modern version. Some coops even begin with recycled materials such as pallets and containers.

Readers can use this book at face value or as a beginning point for creative inspiration for their own designs. Nonetheless, the authors definitely make the reader believe that the sky is the limit and that the task is not as daunting as it might first appear.

Reviewed by Seniye Groff

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