Tthe Latest in Backyard Chicken Dwellings

From Coops to Condos

A woman playing with her chicken

www.omlet.us

Keeping chickens used to be an age-old labor mostly practiced by people in rural areas in need of cheap, attainable sustenance. My, how the times have changed. These days, having chickens in your backyard is not just sustainable sourcing, but also a status symbol (for those who can afford it). From fashionable chicken diapers to Neiman Marcus' infamous $100,000 gilded mansion, yesterday's old wooden hut just won't do. Luxury coops are one way to communicate that not only do you love fresh eggs, but that you also love spending Benjamins on your feathered friends. Here's a roundup of the standout coops available today, ranging from super-green to super-extravagant.

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For the Minimalist

credit: www.omlet.us

If you're not into giving your chickens a country-chic cottage straight out of an Anthropologie catalog, consider these super-simple and easy-to-clean colorful coops from Oxford, England. Highlights • The steel mesh run is fox and badger-resistant • A slide-out tray lets you easily toss droppings into compost • The nesting area is made out of energy efficient polymers and 100% recyclable

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For Lord of the Rings superfans

credit: hobbitholestore.com

For those who dream of living in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, there's a real-life hobbit hole for one feathered member of your family. Prices range from $1,500 to $3,500, making its price per square footage about the same as a Boston townhouse. If you grow jealous of your chicken's dwelling, no worries, the company also sells playhouses for the whole family to frolic in. Furry feet not included. Highlights • Insulated floors so chickens don't get cold feet • Custom cedar clapboard roof • Handmade in Maine

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For the Quaker enthusiast

credit: www.mypetchicken.com

This bright and cheery farmhouse-style coop would be at home in anyone's bucolic backyard. Handmade by the Amish in Lancaster County, PA, each house is made to order, with lots of add-on options like matching the roof cover to your own home — you know, if money is no object. Highlights • 15 paint colors and 5 stain options to choose from • Handmade in the USA • Automatic door

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For those who summer in Nantucket

credit: www.hayneedle.com

Sometimes you just need a classic coop that can stand the test of time. This preppy house would look right at home with the Kennedy's vacationing in Hyannis Port. The four lockable, barn-style doors provide both protection from predators and Americana style. Highlights • White wash finish with slatted siding • Cupola on top adds extra cuteness • Currently on sale for $399

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For the multi-tasker

credit: www.williams-sonoma.com

If you're cramped on space, consider Williams Sonoma's cedar chicken coop-run-planter combination. The back door drops down easily so you can grab eggs with both hands, with none of that tedious bending or crouching needed. The galvanized metal roof lends an agrarian-chic flair, perfect for any city dweller looking for the next farm-to-table accessory. Highlights • Hand-built out of western red cedar from a local, family-owned sawmill • Built-in planter includes drainage system so it doesn't rain on your chicken parade • "White Glove" delivery: Williams Sonoma will assemble and place the coop for you

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For the mid-century modernist

credit: http://www.roije.com/

If we could keep this architectural glory in our living room as a work of art, we would. From Dutch designer Frederik Roijé, the "BReeD RETReaT" is made out of coated wood and was created as a statement: "to eliminate the estrangement from our origin, respecting nature will be necessary. Designing a special place will give nature its space. Even in urban society." And how. Highlights • Price tag of €7,980.00 (that's Euros) • First exhibited at a Milan design fair with some of Roijé sculptural artwork

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For those with Marie Antoinette aspirations

credit: www.neimanmarcus.com

We've saved the best and most ostentatious for last: Neiman Marcus' infamous Versailles-inspired Le Petit Trianon chicken house. Appearing in the retailer's always-extravagant Christmas catalog, the mansion (we just can't call it a coop) does come with a philanthropic bonus: purchase of the Beau Coop includes a $3,000 donation to The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that protects genetic diversity through the conservation of endangered breeds. Highlights • A library room filled with chicken and gardening books for human visitors • A chandelier (!!!) • An initial farm consultation with Heritage Hen Farm expert, Svetlana Simon, that includes heritage-breed hens hand-picked for your region