My shed was built as a home for ex-commercial hens, saved from the farms by the British Hen Welfare Trust and brought to our back garden for a luxury retirement. We've housed 6 hens over the last few years. The shed can house 3 comfortably and currently has 2 residents. The coop is formed in 3 sections, spanning between an asymmetric timber frame. Currently one section is internal and the other two are external, but the framed structure allows the coop to be extended and altered if needed in the future. All sections are covered with a planted wildflower roof. The internal coop includes a nesting box with egg shaped openings to help the hens find their way. The coop is raised off the ground to keep the hens warm and out of harms way overnight. A ramp leads down from the coop to an enclosed dry run that allows the hens to exercise safely when we're not home. When we are around to keep an eye on them, the end wall of the run hinges open to give the hens free range of the back garden.
The coop was designed by me and my partner, Ross, looking at what material was around and could be recycled and how the coop would appear in the garden. Ross built the coop using some old bricks that came out of a fireplace in our house to form the base. The primary structure is timber, clad using recycled pallet wood and an old table top and secured with reclaimed bolts and handles. The roof is a bespoke planted roof using plywood, some recycled plastic sheeting and seed pots that we had, soil from our back garden and some free wildflower seeds. The roof slants back towards the house for drainage and so that we get the best view of the plants. When the plants need trimming, the hens enjoy an outing to the roof.
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