Home Sweet Hen

Kim Stod­dart on lux­ury coops

Your Chickens - - Contents -

Chick­ens are such a de­light­ful ad­di­tion to any gar­den. Our rel­a­tively low­main­te­nance feath­ered friends are fas­ci­nat­ing to watch and pro­vide us with so many de­li­cious home-pro­duced eggs through­out the year. There­fore maybe it is time to spoil them a lit­tle more.

Al­though hous­ing comes in many dif­fer­ent shapes, ma­te­ri­als and sizes, there are op­tions which are much less run-of-the-mill. More show­stop­ping, in fact. Re­gard­less of the cal­i­bre of your birds, whether they a rare breed pedi­gree, ban­tam or plucky res­cue war­ren, it is quite pos­si­ble to make a stun­ning fea­ture out of some of the coops cur­rently avail­able to buy.

As well as af­ford­ing your hens with high qual­ity hous­ing, these top of the range struc­tures also have the po­ten­tial to pro­vide much en­joy­ment for both chick­ens and own­ers alike.

Here are just a few of the most in­ter­est­ing read­ily avail­able op­tions:

TO THE MANOR BORN

Henny Penny Hen Houses sells a lux­u­ri­ous range of ac­com­mo­da­tion, all of which is lov­ingly hand-made in ru­ral north York­shire by lo­cal crafts­men us­ing only the high­est qual­ity ecofriendly ma­te­ri­als, cho­sen with both strength and longevity in mind. From its stylish starter home, The Chalet, to its grand­est de­sign, The Manor House, all of its hous­ing is made to im­press.

Henny Penny was born out of Penny Roberts’ love of chicken farm­ing and de­sign. Hav­ing been dis­ap­pointed by chicken coops in the past, and as a de­signer her­self, Penny de­cided to em­bark on a mis­sion to pro­duce, as she de­scribes it, “light and spa­cious poul­try hous­ing which would be prac­ti­cal and look charm­ing and at­trac­tive in any gar­den”.

Penny and her re­sult­ing de­signs have gar­nered plenty of me­dia at­ten­tion over the years, in the press and on the telly, in­clud­ing a fea­ture on ITV1’s The Alan Titch­marsh Show, as well as on The Ap­pren­tice. Peter An­dre is even the proud owner of a Lodge chicken coop from the com­pany.

The Manor House pro­vides priv­i­leged ac­com­mo­da­tion for up to 18 lucky hens and comes with a trade­mark thatched roof. With its tra­di­tional cast iron wheels, it is easy to move about and comes with ex­cel­lent ven­ti­la­tion con­trol and easy ac­cess for clean­ing.

Coop prices start from £999 (for The Chalet), while The Manor House re­tails for £2,490, plus ship­ping costs. For in­for­ma­tion, visit www. hen­nypen­ny­hen­houses.co.uk.

FANCY THAT!

Flyte so Fancy sells a wide range of high qual­ity and de­light­fully de­signed coops and runs, all pro­duced by its team of ex­pert crafts­men in Dorset. The com­pany sells so many beau­ti­ful houses that it is hard to choose just one. As I have writ­ten about its stun­ning

Gypsy Chicken House be­fore, this time I want to home in on the Fan­ta­sia, which pro­vides a beau­ti­ful, fairy tale abode for some very lucky ladies (and gen­tle­men).

It comes with top qual­ity de­tails and fea­tures you would ex­pect from this ex­cel­lent com­pany, in­clud­ing ease of ac­cess and clean­ing as it boasts an in­ter­nal drop­pings sheet. It pro­vides lux­u­ri­ous hous­ing for up to eight birds and, with its ma­jes­tic de­sign, it can take pride of place in even the most el­e­gant of gar­dens.

Prices start from £850 for the un­adorned struc­ture, and for just a lit­tle ex­tra you can also choose from a range of at­trac­tive painted shades as well. If you re­ally want to go to town, the com­pany even of­fers the Fan­ta­sia Rose Hen House which comes dec­o­rated with hand-painted en­twin­ing roses in a colour choice of pink or yel­low flow­ers. For in­for­ma­tion, visit www. fly­te­so­fancy.co.uk.

THE PLAS­TIC FAN­TAS­TIC

Of course high-end hous­ing doesn’t have to be wooden and tra­di­tional. With Om­let’s coops, you also get fab­u­lous brightly coloured mod­ern de­signs as well.

The com­pany’s lat­est ad­di­tion to its col­lec­tion, the Eglu Go UP, is guar­an­teed to make chicken keep­ing easy, classy and fun. This plas­tic chicken house, which re­tails at £299 (for the coop), and which comes with the usual im­pres­sive Om­let bits and bobs, in­clud­ing easy clean­ing and in­su­la­tion, pro­vides qual­ity hous­ing for up to four birds.

Al­though it can be used in a sta­tion­ary po­si­tion, with the op­tional ex­tra of wheels it can also be eas­ily moved around by one per­son thanks to its foot-op­er­ated wheel mech­a­nism.

The ad­di­tional fox-re­sis­tant chicken run (which is also ex­tend­able) en­ables hens to roam safely dur­ing the day when there is no one at home. This is a mod­ern abode for savvy chicken-keep­ers. For in­for­ma­tion, visit www. om­let.co.uk/shop/chick­en_ keep­ing.

ARCH AN­GEL

Frame­bow’s chicken houses and runs are beau­ti­fully shaped de­sign clas­sics and its Arch Chicken Coop boasts a unique mod­ern look that makes it truly spe­cial. Suit­able for up to eight pam­pered birds, the at­trac­tive struc­ture is made from top qual­ity, pres­sure­treated Scan­di­na­vian red­wood tim­ber.

Pro­vid­ing an all-in-one safe struc­ture for birds, with a 9x4ft run, in­clud­ing un­der-house space for shel­ter and shade, there is also the op­tion of ex­tend­ing the space even fur­ther with an op­tional 6ft add-on. It re­tails at £829 (in­clud­ing VAT). For in­for­ma­tion, visit www. frame­bow.co.uk/shop/

Re­gard­less of the cal­i­bre of your birds, whether they a rare breed pedi­gree, ban­tam or a plucky res­cue war­ren, it is quite pos­si­ble to make a stun­ning fea­ture out of some of the coops cur­rently avail­able to buy

The Henny Penny Manor House is lov­ingly hand-made in ru­ral North York­shire

Above: The Fan­ta­sia Rose Hen House, from Flyte so Fancy, can be re­garded as a fairy tale home for some very lucky ladies (and gen­tle­men)

ABOVE: The Eglu Go UP is guar­an­teed to make chicken keep­ing easy, classy and fun BE­LOW: The Arch Chicken Coop from Frame­bow is made from pres­sure-treated Scan­di­na­vian red­wood tim­ber

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