Chicken Coops: 45 Building Plans for Housing Your Flock
Chicken Coops: 45 Building Plans for Housing Your Flock by Judy Pangman offers an array of useful information for those thinking about building a new chicken coop. From coops that will house one hen and a few chicks to mobile coops for pasturing large flocks, this book has something for everyone who keeps chickens. Pangman provides illustrations, detailed plans, and a written description for each of the real-life coops featured in the book.
The book is divided into four sections:
Part 1 Providing Shelter: The Basics
Part 2 Coops for the City
Part 3 Coops for Small Farms
Part 4 Cool Coops
If you are just starting out or planning to expand your flock, the information on brooders and basic poultry care in Part 1 will be of interest. Temperature, ventilation, space requirements, and more are addressed in this easy-to-read chapter that is illustrated with charts for quick reference and drawings for visualization.
In parts 2 and 3, readers are treated to a tour of chicken coops from around the country. Included are coop descriptions as well as the situations they were designed for. You are provided with a drawing of the complete structure, a summary of what the coop will hold, including hens and nest boxes, as well as floor plans including dimensions and construction notes. To add some personality to the coops, Pangman also includes quotes about chickens, coops, or about life with chickens.
Part 3, Coops for Small Farms, is especially fun because each chapter begins with a page of information about the small farm where the featured coop is located. The chapters are named for the farms, so we are introduced to "Caretaker Farm" and "Sap Bush Hollow Farm," along with four other small farms. We learn their stories and why chickens are important for their operations.
The final section, Part 4, is actually a photo gallery. The rest of the book is in black and white, with drawings rather than photos, but in Part 4, we get to see full-color photos. The section is divided into two chapters, Cool Coops, and Inspiring Coops. Cool Coops shows photos of coops that are featured in the book, along with page numbers where the plans can be located, while Inspiring Coops is filled with coops that are not in the book but that are interesting, unusual, and that might give you some ideas to personalize your own design.
The last few pages are dedicated to providing a list of suppliers and resources for further reading or research. Pangman lists companies that supply kits, coops, materials, as well as hatcheries, and general poultry-related resources. If you raise poultry, chances are you will find something useful on that list.
This book is so much more than a collection of building plans. All of the quotes and stories bring something of the personalities of the flock keepers to the book, and Pangman's quiet voice runs throughout the whole, tying it all together. Regardless of your level of knowledge regarding poultry, coops, or farming, Pangman's book will have something for you.