Gardening with Free-Range Chickens For Dummies
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Raising chickens in your garden has huge potential for further creating your preferred garden style, creating the kind of chicken coop you prefer, and how you actually mange your free-range chickens.

People new to chickens can easily get emotionally attached to them. They soon get acquainted with the chickens’ charming personalities and find out how much fun they are in the garden. You can become overwhelmed by the “joy of chickens” and the enjoyment they bring to your garden.

Many people give their chickens funny or endearing names — some are named after Hollywood actresses, First Ladies of the United States, and popular singers — and the emotional attachment is cinched. Bonnie had a pair of Black Australorp hens named Thelma and Louise. Everyone always chuckled when the two “ladies” were called.

Naming your chickens is a natural inclination. You may even go further and give their part of the garden, the chicken coop, or your garden a particular name that indicates your flock roams there. Examples of chicken coop names are Coop de Manion and Palais de Poulet (French for chicken palace). More fun examples of chicken garden areas could be Hen Haven and Chicken Little Run.

Every single garden with chickens and a chicken coop can potentially have its own unique style and setup. You can embellish your style, and have a lot of fun with it. In fact, the more creative you are, the better. Your local spring garden tours are great places to find ideas for creating a garden style, adding chickens, and including chicken coops.

Chickens have become so popular that they’re virtually creative extensions of your garden.

Here are a few examples of fun styling in the garden:

  • Tropical garden style: Your garden is planted with banana trees, palms, pineapple guava trees, and colorful canna. Your chickens have a coop that looks like a tiki hut, complete with a thatched palm frond roof.

  • Artist garden style: If you have a flair for a certain art medium, incorporate it into the décor of your chicken coop and garden. Always make sure it is not toxic or harmful to your chickens.

    For example, Kathy Lafleur is an artist and loves to create mosaics and ceramics. The front façade of her chicken coop is a complete mosaic masterpiece, detailed with mirrors and tiny handmade ceramic embellishments of snails, bluebirds, and garden elements. She even created a life-sized mosaic sculpture scarecrow to stand guard in the nearby garden.

  • Modern garden style: Maybe you have a modern style home, and prefer a complementary modern style garden and matching modern chicken coop. Create a modern two-story chicken coop with clean lines. The bottom level could be an enclosed pen, providing feed and water. An incline ladder allows chickens to nest and sleep peacefully in the top level. Strong lines, using plant repetition, ornamental grasses, and horsetail, could emphasize a modern garden look.

  • Flea market garden style: Perhaps you’re a flea market junkie and love to decorate with your fabulous finds. Your eclectic taste naturally spills into your garden and chicken coop. You create a unique chicken coop with re-purposed materials, a row of vintage nesting boxes, and great finds. Your chicken coop is a collage of patina colors, perhaps surrounded by textural succulents.

Don’t forget about sheds and storage structures. These buildings can also be styled and embellished to fit into your chicken theme and garden ambience. Whatever your preferred style is, you can have fun with playing up style and structure in your garden, with your chicken coop, and most importantly, with your chickens.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Bonnie Jo Manion has been featured in national garden magazines with her gardens, organic practices, chickens, and designs. Follow Bonnie at Rob Ludlow is the owner of, a top source on chicken raising, and the coauthor of Raising Chickens For Dummies.

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