Modern Chicken Coops and Urban Farmers

Bob Borson —  May 31, 2011 — 21 Comments

I think I need to come clean … even if that does mean eating a little chicken crow. I wrote a post on the absurdity of  modern chicken coops and how the cost does not justify the claims of why someone would or would not decide to get into the chicken and egg game. ( Chicken Coops…Really? ).

No, the truth is that I secretly long to be an Urban Egg Farmer. I have been hiding my shame for a long time now but I just can’t pretend any longer. I will confess that I received a lot of emails from people who weren’t really happy with me about that article – mostly because they thought I got the math wrong; and maybe I did. No, mostly it came down to how expensive the fancy chickens I listed would cost a person, but other than that, I still think that the tenor of that post was right. If you want to have chickens so that you can be apart of the local food movement and have higher quality – hormone free eggs, more power to you. If you want those things and one of these super cool modern chickens coops – let’s be honest and simply admit what this is all about:

The eggs are just a groovy side effect to having chickens as pets

…and I am completely fine with that. In fact, sign me up because I like fresh eggs, I like being a part of the local food movement, I would like to have the bugs in my yard eaten up. I want all these things … but it’s really about having a really cool chicken coop.

Nogg Chicken Coop

This is the nogg and I think this is one of the first modern chicken coops I’ve seen that I think is intrinsic. Even if you never put a chicken into this thing, it would still well made, have an evocative shape, have all its parts considered … in other words, be really cool.

Nogg Chicken Coop

I took this information straight from the creators website:

The nogg is an enterprising collaboration between furniture designer and engineer Matthew Hayward and Creative Director Nadia Turan. It is a great example of how a random thought became a reality when a number of friends and relatives were excited about keeping chickens. We decided to come up with an alternative chicken coop and a brand that would surprise and delight us just as much as those first fresh eggs will. It wasn’t long before we thought of the shape and design details and after an arduous, stressful year the nogg (prototype 01A) hatched.

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Nogg Chicken Coop

Engineered and crafted by hand in the UK, the nogg is made from strong cedar wood which is fresh scented and naturally resistant to bacteria. Stainless steel trimming, locks & fasteners and the elevated glass dome gives the nogg a contemporary feel and is reassuringly safe and durable. The doors have been created with a stainless steel frame and ribbing to combat the possible effects of the elements. The innovative glass top twists and lifts to aid ventilation and is just one of the details that really elevates the idea of what a domestic coop can be. The nogg sits on a concrete base fastened with stainless steel rings that keeps it damp proof and stable.

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Nogg Chicken Coop

Specifications

Name: nogg (Prototype 01A)

Designed by: Matthew Hayward and Nadia Turan

Engineered & hand made by: Matthew Hayward

Date: September 2010

Materials: Sustainably sourced Cedar wood, 316 stainless steel, glass & concrete base

Size: Height – 1.2 m x widest diameter – 80cm

The nogg retails in the UK for £1950.00

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There are other modern chicken coops as well – although this next one isn’t commercially available. It is the product of two people (from architect Mitchell Snyder and designer Shelley Martin) who like chickens and they like design. Pretty simple – maybe that’s why this non-traditional chicken coop resonates with me. The look might not be right for everyone but looking at the pictures below, it certainly seems at home in the backyard of their Portland home.

Coops Dreams via Dwell

modern chicken coop via Dwell

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Modern chicken coop via Dwell

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modern chicken coop via Dwell

Made of reclaimed cedar siding and complete with a green sod roof suitable for planting lettuce and other garden munchies, this coop appeals to the problem-solving do-it-yourself’er in me.

This got me thinking “…didn’t I just design something that seems like it would make a great chicken coop?”

Yes – I did.

modern chicken coop

(chickens clucking) bwaack      bwaack   bwaack !!

Yes, this could easily be turned into an attractive and very functional chicken coop – one that would (at 2 square feet per chicken) comfortably house (6′ x7’6″ … carry the 3  …) a lot of chickens. Although, this one wouldn’t require you to bend over and duck squat (much – for scale, that’s a 42″ child, the entire structure is under 7′-6″) through the door to clean out the coop. I might just modify the design a bit and see what sort of interest I can “round up” from urban farmers in my modern chicken coop.

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  • Pingback: 8 Design-Forward Chicken Coops We Love | EcoSalon | Conscious Culture and Fashion

  • Brian Boatright

    I built mine using the SketchUp design from http://catawbacoops.com/. Nice design and I wanted to support the designer.  Nothing like getting a couple of fresh eggs in every morning.

  • Kate

    Too bad our local government won’t let us keep chickens in the city limits of Baton Rouge… Chickens are literally outlawed here.  :[

    • DanielleCara

      No they’re not. I live here. We are allowed to keep 3 hens! Yay! now go build your coop lady! 8-D

  • Pingback: Jayson Gibson :: Building the Coop D’Grace

  • Neal

    The nogg! Now that’s one cool looking chicken coop.

  • Duquellatile

    So how is that crow tasting? Do you remember the Craigslist ad I send to you looking for an architect to design a coop for their chickens here in Portland? Not so absurd, huh?

  • http://twitter.com/urbangardens Urban Gardens

    Nice post. Don’t miss some of the other chicken coops(and bee houses, dog houses), some with green roofs– we have showcased, including the one that just debuted at ICFF: http://ow.ly/57EO5 

  • P Anater

    I grew up with a chicken coop in the back yard that looked nothing like anything you show here. Chickens are filthy, vile creatures that will gouge out your eyes in your sleep if given the opportunity. Resist the trend Bob and leave it to folks in rural areas to deal with chicken husbandry.

  • Kyle

    Hi Bob
    I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now and find them, let’s say entertaining. Anyways I saw this post and thought of the irony of it because I have chickens and just yesterday a black bear broke in and feasted on two of of the chickens. The conservation officers had to put the bear down :(
    But when I saw some of your pics of “modern” chicken coupes I couldn’t help but laugh. These are chickens were talking about and people want to give them a nicer home than there own. But I guess they don’t want a unattractive shed filling of there small yard. All that aside I think there needs to be a line of making a chicken coupe that is practical but eye pleasing. And one that was designed for the purpose of looking nice and then wih the purpose of housing chickens. just my untrained 16year old opinion tho. Kyle

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      I couldn’t agree with you more!

      … but I hope by practical you don’t mean “black bear” proof – that would add some difficulty wouldn’t it?

      • Kyle

        Well black bear resistant at least.

  • http://funandfit.org AlexandraFunFit

    My son has chickens and the coop is so much uglier than anything you have here. And we lived near Portland for a long time, too! Ah well. Please makeover that playhouse and send it to us right away. We promise to send you a dozen organic eggs from happy chickens. By the way, during the last election we discovered they were all Obama fans – Barack. baack baack Barack baack baack.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      (slapping forehead)

  • todd steele

    I had the same revelation after designing a playhouse for my daughter. I’ve already planned a way to turn it into a coop once she’s lost interest.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      see … how environmentally friendly is that? Re-purposed playhouse.

      I love it. Send me photos

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      see … how environmentally friendly is that? Re-purposed playhouse.

      I love it. Send me photos

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=677262198 Ch Lo

    lucky chickens! 

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      I’m thinking if you have to be a chicken, this is the way to go.

      Cheers 

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      I’m thinking if you have to be a chicken, this is the way to go.

      Cheers 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=677262198 Ch Lo

    lucky chickens!