10 Modern Chicken Coops That Rule the Roost

From a sculptural hutch in Sweden to a solar-powered caravan, these henhouses are eggstraordinary.

Welcome to Wildlife Week, an exploration of what happens when nature and home meet.

Sure, chicken coops can be simple. At the most basic level, they need to shelter flocks by keeping them warm in winter, safe from predators, and dry from the rain—with plenty of room to lay eggs and exercise. But once those requirements are met, why not think outside the box? We’ve rounded up 10 designs that do just that. 

Chicken Caravan by Petersen & Gottelier

The Chicken Caravan is a solar-powered mobile chicken coop designed and built by Petersen & Gottelier for the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano, California.

The Chicken Caravan is a solar-powered mobile chicken coop designed and built by Petersen & Gottelier for the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano, California.

Its door automatically opens at dawn and closes at sunset, so the chickens can hop out and roam the land. The wings at the sides open to provide shade. The shingles are aluminum.

Its door automatically opens at dawn and closes at sunset, so the chickens can hop out and roam the land. The wings at the sides open to provide shade. The shingles are aluminum.

The Ecology Center can move the coop around the property, so that the chickens fertilize different areas. A fence is put up around it to keep the chickens contained, and predators out.

The Ecology Center can move the coop around the property, so that the chickens fertilize different areas. A fence is put up around it to keep the chickens contained, and predators out.

Built in 2014 with a budget of $7,000, this chicken coop was Tall Architects’ first official project. It consists of a coop, a garden shed/storage space, and a covered porch. It’s composed of corrugated metal and plastic, treated lumber, and cementitious siding. Triangular timber trusses support an eight-foot cantilever.

Built in 2014 with a budget of $7,000, this chicken coop was Tall Architects’ first official project. It consists of a coop, a garden shed/storage space, and a covered porch. It’s composed of corrugated metal and plastic, treated lumber, and cementitious siding. Triangular timber trusses support an eight-foot cantilever.

Five years later, the Coop has settled into the landscape.

Five years later, the Coop has settled into the landscape.

Bay Area Coops designs and builds custom homes for all sorts of farm animals—including chickens. The Golden State Coop consists of a walk-in run with an attached pergola and a coop that accommodates up to 10 chickens.

Bay Area Coops designs and builds custom homes for all sorts of farm animals—including chickens. The Golden State Coop consists of a walk-in run with an attached pergola and a coop that accommodates up to 10 chickens.

Decorative dowel panels frame the double doors on the facade. The doors on the side open to the hens’ perches for easy cleaning. 

Decorative dowel panels frame the double doors on the facade. The doors on the side open to the hens’ perches for easy cleaning. 

The front double door opens to the nesting boxes.

The front double door opens to the nesting boxes.

Heart pine wood covers the ceiling, and a ladder leads up to the nesting boxes.

Heart pine wood covers the ceiling, and a ladder leads up to the nesting boxes.

An integrated closet can be accessed from inside the coop, or outside.

An integrated closet can be accessed from inside the coop, or outside.

Raskl Art + Architectural used Valchromat (Atlantic plywood) and iroko wood to create what they call a "luxury minimalist chicken coop." The nesting area is defined by a perforated egg motif (created with a CNC machine), and the roof lifts with the help of gas struts.

Raskl Art + Architectural used Valchromat (Atlantic plywood) and iroko wood to create what they call a "luxury minimalist chicken coop." The nesting area is defined by a perforated egg motif (created with a CNC machine), and the roof lifts with the help of gas struts.

The chicken wire and iroko run has a door that folds down to become a "drawbridge entrance" to the coop.

The chicken wire and iroko run has a door that folds down to become a "drawbridge entrance" to the coop.

Torsten Imottesjo is a Gothenburg-based designer who specializes in customizing small spaces. Hönshus-1 is a wooden henhouse on the west coast of Sweden that’s part of a series of biomorphic structures.

Torsten Imottesjo is a Gothenburg-based designer who specializes in customizing small spaces. Hönshus-1 is a wooden henhouse on the west coast of Sweden that’s part of a series of biomorphic structures.

"The house was designed to mimic the way a mother hen spreads her wings to protect her young," says the Imottesjo. The wood slats allow daylight to filter into the nesting area.

"The house was designed to mimic the way a mother hen spreads her wings to protect her young," says the Imottesjo. The wood slats allow daylight to filter into the nesting area.

The chickens have room to roam.

The chickens have room to roam.

Small latched doors open to the nesting boxes for egg retrieval.

Small latched doors open to the nesting boxes for egg retrieval.

The Breed Retreat by Frederik Roijé is a henhouse composed of stacked modules that comes in two sizes (medium and large) and is available for purchase. The large size, seen here, has five rooms for a total of 15-20 chickens.

The Breed Retreat by Frederik Roijé is a henhouse composed of stacked modules that comes in two sizes (medium and large) and is available for purchase. The large size, seen here, has five rooms for a total of 15-20 chickens.

The height is meant to encourage the natural pecking order, and the interior is lit by rooftop solar panels.

The height is meant to encourage the natural pecking order, and the interior is lit by rooftop solar panels.

Architectural Research Office (ARO) used lead-coated copper shingles to create this sculptural coop in Easthampton, New York.

Architectural Research Office (ARO) used lead-coated copper shingles to create this sculptural coop in Easthampton, New York.

Doors drop down to make it easy to collect eggs and clean the coop.

Doors drop down to make it easy to collect eggs and clean the coop.

The interior of the coop has radiant heated floors.

The interior of the coop has radiant heated floors.

Designed by Studio Segers in Belgium, Daily Needs is a modular prototype that’s one part chicken coop, three parts urban farm. It includes components for a raised vegetable bed, a composting bin, and a tool shed.

Designed by Studio Segers in Belgium, Daily Needs is a modular prototype that’s one part chicken coop, three parts urban farm. It includes components for a raised vegetable bed, a composting bin, and a tool shed.

The coop features a mesh run for the chickens.

The coop features a mesh run for the chickens.

Architect Gideon Danilowitz designed and built this coop for his child’s school for less than $1,500, using mesh and dimensional lumber.

Architect Gideon Danilowitz designed and built this coop for his child’s school for less than $1,500, using mesh and dimensional lumber.

The orientation of the wood controls how much sun penetrates the coop. The water and food feeders were salvaged from an old chicken coop.

The orientation of the wood controls how much sun penetrates the coop. The water and food feeders were salvaged from an old chicken coop.

Architect Mitchell Snyder designed a chicken coop for his Portland backyard. It’s a four-foot cube with walls composed of two-by-fours, insulated, and covered in oriented strand board (OSB). The exterior is reclaimed cedar siding, and the upper windows allow for ventilation. 

Architect Mitchell Snyder designed a chicken coop for his Portland backyard. It’s a four-foot cube with walls composed of two-by-fours, insulated, and covered in oriented strand board (OSB). The exterior is reclaimed cedar siding, and the upper windows allow for ventilation. 

The coop is topped with a green roof composed of native Oregon sedums.

The coop is topped with a green roof composed of native Oregon sedums.

"They have comfort and protection from the elements," says Snyder of the hens. Chicken raising guides recommend that each bird be given two square feet in the coop, and four square feet in the run.

"They have comfort and protection from the elements," says Snyder of the hens. Chicken raising guides recommend that each bird be given two square feet in the coop, and four square feet in the run.

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