The Coop |
When looking at examples of hen-houses for my chickens I came across the unassailable fact that chickens must love traditional craftsman architecture. It surprised me that chickens from Alabama to Seattle loved the same type of design. What was even more perplexing is how they communicate their preference to us. I couldn't help but wonder: why do they love craftsman architecture so much?
1. Shelter from the environment
2. A safe place to lay their eggs
3. Water to drink
4. Food to eat
5. Heat when it's cold and a cool breeze when it is warm.
To me, the conventional store-bought chicken coops only solve for providing shelter and a place to lay their eggs. But the question remained: how can I combine these forces with the architecture?
The metal roof can do more than keep the coop dry. It sheds rainwater into a collection system, separating it for the chickens to drink, and to water the plants. The water naturally circulates itself, being replenished by new rain. The excess water drains through a hose to a planter in the coop, and to the garden outside to grow lettuce. The chickens eat the lettuce and produce eggs for my family and me, which completes the cycle.
The deep roof overhangs shade the stone in the summer, reflecting heat and keeping the coop cool. In the winter, when the sun is low, the stone absorbs the heat during the day. At night when the temperature cools, the stones release their stored heat to warm the coop.