Time and Temp


All photos and posts on this site are copyrighted by Lee Oliphant. Please ask permission before use and give proper credit or link to this website.


• African daisies
• California Poppy
• Calendula
• Calla Lily
• Narcissus
• Lavander
• Ivy geranium
• Mexican Sage
• Pride of Madera
• Lantana
• Society garlic
• Wild geranium


• Baby arugula
• Onion and garlic greens
• Thyme
• Rhubarb
• Parsley
• Strawberries


A Chicken Coop that Enhances the Garden


My husband built a chicken coop for our six young chickens that adds to my garden rather than detracts. To save money, we used recycled materials from the building of our house, and purchased some items (like the stained glass window) from garage sales. This was, unfortunately, not a one-weekend project and it took a little carpentry “know-how”.

Because we have critters that would love a morsel of chicken for their midnight snack, the coop had to be secure from foxes, raccoons, opossums, coyotes, bobcats, and hawks. To them, there is nothing more enjoyable than dining on a tender chicken breast by the light of the moon.

My husband’s assignment was to (1) build a coop that was safe for our beautiful hens, and (2) build a coop that “didn’t look like a coop” (if you know what I mean). The results were great. I’ve planted vines that will soften the edges and by spring will make it look like it has always been a part of my garden.


39 comments to A Chicken Coop that Enhances the Garden

  • Beautiful! I love the way you made the top as a pergola! I wish my whole run was enclosed on the top!

  • Marjorie

    Hi there.
    I love your coop. It’s gorgeous.
    Does your Hubby have plans available for it?


  • Lee

    Thanks, Marjorie. I really wanted a coop that didn’t overwhelm the garden. Sorry but my hubby did not make plans he just took my directions and played it by ear.. We knew we wanted exterior nest boxes for collecting eggs, a roost, a window with wire over it for ventilation, a small door that we could close at night to secure the hens inside, and a outdoor run that was also secure from predators. I would make these changes if I were to build another coop……..make it a bit larger inside and a bit higher outside so I wouldn’t bang my head all the time!
    You can find some beautiful coops on backyardchickens.com (see link under favorites). Send me a picture when you get it built and good luck!

  • This coop is so great!! We raise chickens too and I’m all about a coop that doesn’t look like a coop.

  • Tammie Hollowood

    I’m just in the planing stage to getting hens for my yard. Would love to see pictures of the inside of the coop! Thank you

  • If I had backyard chickens this so would be their home ♥ LOVE ♥

  • Janice

    Oh i love this have a coop already and going to plant flowers around the fencing thank you for this idea looks great

  • Lee

    I’m going to put an inside view of the coop on this post. I would definitely make the inside area larger next time. Room for feed and water. Because we live in a climate where hens are outside during the day we didn’t feel it necessary to put the food and water inside. We didn’t anticipate rats eating the food at night.

  • Renata Jelito

    Love the look of your design, what are the rough de-mentions of that structure? It would be very help in visualizing the changes.

  • Frances Hampton

    Do you have plans for this chicken coop?

  • Wanda

    How adorable! How many chickens does this little house accommodate? And what is the approx dimension of their yard?

  • Just really loved this concept and design !! Looks great and is multi purpose !! Great Job !! :)

  • Lee

    I’ll have to measure the coop and run again. It’s been six years since it was built. Today it’s raining (yeah!) but I’ll try to get out in the next few days and update this post with measurement and pictures.

  • Starr

    Do you have directions for this chicken coop that are willing to share. I just love this idea.

  • Monika

    I absolutely love your chicken coop!!! My husband is going to build one for our 2 little girls this spring. We already have the building built that we are converting from a storage shed to the coop that almost looks identical to your coop. I was wondering if its not to much trouble to send me a few pictures of what your coop looks like from the inside? I could not find in on your post? You have really given me some great ideas with the stain glass and the roof, and planting around the out side. Thank you so much for sharing. Now I don’t have to worry about my husband “not making it look like a chicken coop” since he has this to go buy!! :)

  • Monika


  • Mushroom

    wow, looks great

  • Any tips on the types of feeders you are using?

  • Lee

    Hi Sandra. We’ve used that galvanized feeder you see on the hencam for the last six years. It doesn’t come with a top so we cover it with a pot saucer. If I was to purchase a new one, I’d get one with a cover since our feeder is outside. Also, ours is a bit big for only three hens, but our girls share their feed with about 20 wild birds, it works!



  • Lee

    Yes, I think that this would make a good cat enclosure. It is 16′ long and 8′ wide and 6′ high. The coop is 5’x 6′ leaving a 2′ space behind the coop (and inside the run) for storage. Send me a picture when it is built!

  • Pamela Tubbs

    Cute coop! I really like the neutral colour with the pop of “wow” on the door. What colours did you use? TIA

  • Lee

    Glad you like my little coop. I use some old paint we had around. The same colors that we used on our garden shed. The orange was the original color on the old glass doors on the old house we had to tear down to build. The blue-green just looked good with the orange. I’ve used that combination on several things around the garden and it looks pretty good everywhere, it fades beautifully. Are you going to build a coop?

  • Todd

    I love the coop! I am planning on turning a potting shed/outhouse building into a coop for my wife and love the look of yours. Just curious how many chickens you have in it? Have you had any problems with them not getting along? Is there anyway you could post or email me interior pictures of it? Thank you and have a nice day.

  • Lee

    Hi Todd. Glad you like our little coop. It is large enough for 5-6 hens. If I had to do it over, I’d make the indoor coop larger by a few feet but since we are in a climate zone that is temperate all year around, they are out in the yard most of the day. You’ll find more pictures that will be helpful on “More about Coop for the Garden”. Search this site.
    Good luck to you. I know you’ll enjoy your new project.

  • Nicky

    That is a fabulous coop! I am planning on building one next Spring now that I have retired from the military and will not have to deploy again. (you can find someone to take care of your dog, while deployed but it’s a little harder to ask someone to take care of your chickens!) I would love to see inside photos as well as the dimensions and how much bigger you wish you had built it. Also, do you have any problems with predators trying to go under the fence? I was thinking about either pouring a concrete pad for the entire coop and run or just the coop with a concrete “curb” around the run. Thank you for your help–and again–I love your coop!

  • Deborah

    Love it! One could use a small kids play house and build the fenced area on the side like this.

  • Deborah

    Love it! A kids play house would work also.

  • Ruth

    Is the top of the pen enclosed in wire? Would love to see the inside. I am plan a coop now and the run will have a roof. I am going to use hardware cloth wire for all of the run. I would think that would keep out rats and mice. I love the idea of a full door to the coop for people.

  • renee

    Are the plans available if you have any? Would love to copy for our home in the country. Renee

  • Lee

    I’m sorry, we do not have plans. My husband just kind of built it as he went along. I’ll get the dimensions posted somewhere for you. One thing I’d change is to make the outside 7 feet tall high. He thought that 6 feet tall would be high enough but it knocks off our hats when we walk around. Frustrating!

  • Lee

    Our outdoor area is enclosed with 2″ pig wire with hardware wire around the bottom and into the earth about a foot. The next time we build a coop (ha!) we’ll do it all in hardware cloth wire like you suggest. That way rats and small birds will not be attracted to the feed! We started out with no roof except wire but added lucite panels to protect the girls from rain. Since then we haven’t had much rain! Drat the drought!!!!

  • Anna Dudley

    I love this coop and it is close to what i have in mind to what i want. I’m rebuilding a coop and would love what materials you used and blueprints if you have time and would like to send them to me. Would so happy. ~

  • Lee

    I’m sorry we didn’t make plans for this coop. We’ve been asked many times about them. We used left-over material from building our house . The roof we got from a metal dealer in Paso Robles. It was a left-over scrap. Don bought the stained-glass window at a garage sale here in Cambria. I really like the nest boxes that can be accessed from the outside and the grandkids run straight to the henhouse every time they come.

  • Amanda

    Love this! Do you have pics of the inside? We would love to do something like this with chickens on one side and ducks on the other.

  • kristin

    Hi, do you happen to have the paint color of your red door? I love it!

  • Lee

    When I get a moment. I’ll look through our paint cans and see if I can find it.

  • Ash

    So adorable! Do you have pictures of the inside?

  • Lee

    I thought I posted somewhere a picture of the interior. I’ll try to find it and post, Ashlea.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>