The charm of a small yard with a flock of hens is indisputable, but raising chickens in the city can present some aesthetic challenges. If your coop is stationary, you probably have a uniform plot of brown underneath the run. If you have a mobile coop, maybe you have some circles worn into the lawn where the flock has walked around a metal feeder. Sure, there are some caveats to raising chickens, but from coop to poop, the good outweighs the bad, or else we wouldn’t do it in the first place.
My chicken coop is almost 5 years old. After my husband built it from plans we purchased online, I painted it white, a choice I’ve regretted ever since. The coop reflects too much light—gathering eggs has been a chore that requires sunglasses. Now, the coop’s paint is worn, and it needs some repairs. In a way, it has some rustic charm, but my neat-and-tidy side says it’s time for a makeover.
Chicken keepers and experts spend a lot of time promoting the aesthetic benefits of raising chickens and swapping advice about keeping a coop clean, but we rarely put the two together. Here are five ways to spruce up your chicken coop to beautify your backyard and to satisfy the flock’s love of change.
1. Make Repairs
Any old coop is bound to need some repairs or modifications. Screws can break, hardware cloth can become torn, ventilation might become inadequate or too drafty, or perhaps the coop isn’t as predator-proof as it should be. Make these structural repairs and modifications before painting or decorating.
2. New Paint
A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the look of your coop, whether to brighten it back up to its original charm or to change the color and the look of your landscape entirely.
Plant perennials, edible flowers and even pest-deterring herbs around your coop or in your coop area. Hanging window boxes onto the coop, installing grazing frames, and growing chicken-friendly edibles in hanging baskets are other coop-gardening options.
4. Hang Curtains
Curtains might seem silly, but hens prefer privacy when laying eggs and brooding, so they actually love them. Tied back, they make the coop very cute inside, and they provide just a little more privacy than the nest box has without them. If you sew, whip up some easy curtains with leftover fabrics you love. Install them in a non-permanent way so the curtains can be removed for washing or replaced as needed.
Some people like to hang chicken- or egg-themed signs, Americana decor and weathervanes in or on their coops. Painting stenciled designs and even the family’s surname are other options. I’ve even seen chicken coops decorated shabby chic, complete with a chandelier and human sitting space. Decoration ideas are limitless.
The chicken coop doesn’t have to detract from the beauty of your yard. Like an important piece of furniture inside your home, the chicken coop can be an important feature on the lawn. Besides, chickens love change—nything you do to beautify their living quarters will boost flock morale.