Once you have all of those favorite coop images in front of you, its time to start designing the new digs for your flock! Perhaps you like the eco-friendly roof from one image, but prefer the doorway from another. Combine them! If possible, try to come up with three really solid designs. (While you’re at it, be sure to consider whether or not you want a stationary edifice or a moveable chicken tractor. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.) Then, tape those drawings to a wall or door and study them over a period of a few days (think of this process as a type of old school Pinterest!). Invite your friends and family to offer input too. Take notes, or better yet write the comments and suggestions on post-it notes and stick them up next to your original sketches. After a while, you’ll be back at the old drawing board again probably. It takes time, but you want a coop you’ll be happy with for at least several years if not longer. Its better to take your time designing it now rather than building something quickly and having regrets later (ahem, the same could be said for designing that dream house, too!).
I’ll share one of my many design sketches here. But here’s a secret. Its not the one we landed on in the end! However, its a wonderful design and many of the ideas behind it were the impetus for what we finally ended up building. Also, here is one more hint. When you’re sketching, use whatever floats your boat. Plain printer paper, an artists’ sketchbook, graph paper or even a paper napkin will do!