Amazing Details in this Modern Garden Inspired Garden Hen House

Started: March 2010, finished May 2010

Size: 8X12 and 4 foot overhang for shade and rain protection
Cost $9,500 including labor, doors, windows, welded wire panels, and fencing
Location: Eastern Southern California, USDA Zone 8
Winter lows 19 degrees, summer highs 110 degrees

By: Bryn Randall

Since this hen house is in the front garden it needed to be architecturally pleasing. A garden office, yoga studio, or artist loft feel is what was required. It was built to be converted if we stop using it for the flock or moved and new owners needed something different than a chicken coop. A barn style or wire plywood box commonly used wouldn't work in this application. Five months of design and research mixing modern commercial materials into an obscure animal enclosure created Oak Grove Cottage's Hen House. Electrical box is awaiting installation of a motion detector to activate outdoor lighting if evening approaches from predators occur in the darkness . This alerts the flock shepherds, in the nearby residence, of movement lurking outside the hen house.

Composite horizontal siding that will not rot like wood does. Originally it was painted a flat paint but the dirt stuck to it.

Suggestion was semi-gloss so we repainted it and love it.

Heavy commercial galvanized roofing used as walls so interior can be hosed out. The opening at floor is for an aviary tray
allowing slide out for cleaning roost pole manure. Metal poles are too cold in the winter for the peeps so 2" diameter
tree supports were cut to 8 foot lengths. The trim is AZEK plastic trim to avoid water expansion and odor retention.

Shed side w/ casement window for 100% air flow. Traditional windows allow only 50%. Ceiling has a skylight and fan for air flow in the heat of summer.
All materials were purchased at salvage or discontinued racks and collected over 5 months to save for construction. Only new items were flooring, siding ,
and framing.

Descanso in spring bloom.....Blue Spruce and Red bud trees among tulips and other bulbs. Outdoor free range run keeps

chickens from eating the flower garden. We used black welded wire to disappear into the landscape for a 60 foot long day use area.
Exterior access nest boxes for easy egg collection avoiding dirty boots each day. Predator safe black welded wire
enclosure visually disappears into the garden. The safety wire is screwed into fascia boards and and buried 2 feet into
the ground. This is the flocks safe zone until we turn them out each morning to free range, as they are meant to live.

Two of the happy new egg layers. Buff orphington and Plymouth Barred Rock. Both are 7 month old hens. We have 12 hens
and bought two of each breed. This way it is easy to count them at night to be sure they are all in safely. "two,two, two, two,
and four," for the four barred rocks. What a fun breed these girls are.

The two little ones up top...first eggs ever. Today was the birthday of our home grown eggs. How exciting !
The two below show the full sized store bought free range eggs. Ours will quickly catch up at the girls mature.

The outdoor access to nest box when closed and secured from predators. A walkway is in the future plan


I purchased plastic hardware containers to use and built each nest box size to fit. This way it is much easier to clean and sanitize each
week when removed. I keep a trash can next to it and use a cat box spoon to clean out any manure each day from the wood shavings .
This good hygiene is required to keep the eggs clean and sanitary. Nothing worse than getting an egg and finding poop on the shell. ugh...


Hen ramp and outdoor access panel for the roost clean out.

Happy Peeps !!!
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