Chicken Coop Decor for the Posh Flock

Of course, the main purpose of a chicken coop is to keep your flock safe at night from predators, cool in the summer and warm in the winter, but adding a little "cute" factor never hurts. I've been having fun decorating our coop and wanted to share some of the coop decor elements, as well as explain why they're functional, as well as decorative, in many cases.

My coop is often photographed for my books, for magazine articles, or for television, so I really want it to always be camera-ready.  While many may consider the decorations a waste of time or money, they actually make the coop far easier to clean - and much more functional.  
Nothing that I've done to my coop cost me much money, and I'm so pleased with the results! And while the chickens haven't voiced their opinions yet, I think they secretly love their coop!
So for some inspiration for your coop, here goes!

Rustic Wooden Signs
I painted plaques for the front door of the coop that read "Hens" and "Ducks" using bare wood plaques I bought at a local craft store. You can also find many talented woodworkers on Etsy who make all kinds of cute signs, like my "Sweet Dreams" sign, or if you're handy, you can easily make your own.

Cost: $Free - 35+


Wallpaper
The "wallpaper" I have on my coop walls is actually vinyl shelf liner/contact paper. Super easy to put up - and even easier to clean. A damp sponge will wipe the walls down to remove any dust or poop that gets on them. Far easier to clean than bare wood, the wallpaper really brightens up the coop...and also helps to deter any wood-burrowing insects from hiding in your coop.

Cost: $10/roll


Paint
For a similar reason, I like to paint the roosts, nesting boxes and wooden supports in my coop. Covering up bare wood has lots of advantages in addition to deterring insects. Along with brightening up the coop, and helping to prevent splinters in the girls' feet, the paint makes cleanup very easy. I scrape the roosts with a metal paint scraper to remove any poop and then use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe off any mud. It's super easy to give them a quick repainting  - like when you have three days' notice that a film crew will be coming out! 
Of course if you paint the interior of your coop, you'll want to use low VOC, non-toxic paint. Chalk paint like I used in my coop or milk paint works well too. Likely your chickens won't eat the paint anyway, but just to be on the safe side.... I like chalk paint because it doesn't smell and comes in nice colors! I used less than a quart of paint on the entire interior of the coop, so it's not expensive.

Cost: $33/quart


Nesting Box Curtains
I've been hanging curtains across the front of my nesting boxes for years. Old-time farmers used to cover their nesting boxes with burlap bags or old feed bags, so I just fancied the concept up a bit with this pink plaid fabric! You can sew curtains and hang them on a curtain rod, velcro them, staple them, or just nail them up. They can be as plain or as fancy as you like. 
They certainly add charm to any coop, but nesting box curtains also help to prevent egg eating, help keep eggs from freezing in the winter, and also will encourage broodies to sit on eggs. Chickens instinctively seek out the darkest, most private place to lay their eggs, so there's the motivation for hanging some!
Cost: Free - $9/yard


Nesting Box Herbs
Studies have shown that wild birds will line their nests with herbs and weeds for their anti-bacterial and insect-repelling properties. For much the same reason, I've been tossing fresh or dried herbs into my nesting boxes for years.  They look pretty, smell nice, the chickens love to munch on them, and I do believe they help keep the nesting boxes insect- and rodent-free.
Don't grow your own herbs? You can buy my signature nesting box Herbs for Hens Coop Confetti now on Etsy! A delicious smelling, calming, insect-repelling mix of rose petals, blue cornflower, lavender, lemon balm, mint, calendula, chamomile and more fragrant herbs.

Cost: Free - $15 for 4oz.
 

Hanging Bunches of Herbs
For much the same reason, I also like to hang fresh herbs in my coop. The chickens will nibble on them, which is beneficial for their health, and the herbs look pretty. They help to make my coop smell nice and hopefully make flies and other pests think twice about hanging out inside. 
I also like to fill mason jars with fresh herbs and sit them on the shelves above the coop windows. You can either put water in the jars or not. The herbs will dry beautifully without any water in the jars, but will last longer in water, of course.
Cost: Free - $11 for six mason jars

Grit and Eggshell Dispensers
I love to repurpose vintage match boxes to use for the grit and crushed eggshell I provide for my chickens. I found mine on Ebay and just painted them to match my coop, but you can also use a rabbit feeder which works just as well. 
Cost: $7 - 14


In-Coop Nursery/Brooder
Hatching chicks under a broody hen and letting her raise them right in the coop is by far the easiest way to add to your flock. No heat lamps, no brooder box in your mud room, no integration period...nothing. They are born in the coop, grow up in the coop, and are part of the flock nearly from the moment they hatch. This require a separate area in the coop where your mother hen can focus on raising her chicks and they can be safe from the rest of the flock until they get bigger - and also be fed chick feed for the first few weeks. 
I built this in-coop nursery complete with a little branch for a roost under the storage shelves in my coop. Of course it's wallpapered and also has room for a small dish of feed and one of water for mom and babies.
Cost: Free (made from scrap wood and fencing materials)


Vintage Egg Baskets
How many times have you run down to the coop to collect eggs and forgotten your basket? That usually ended up in broken eggs in a jacket pocket, or using my shirt tails as a basket. Now I have a small collection of vintage egg baskets that I leave hanging on the walls of my coop so there's always a basket on hand when I need one.

Cost: $5-10 each on Ebay


Thermometer
It's always a good idea to know how warm (or cold) it is in your coop. You can put up a basic wall thermometer, which is fine, or you can go big, bold and fancy like I did! There are even thermometers with chickens on them if you want to go that route. It's up to you.
Cost: $10-25+


Mirror
Hanging a small mirror in your coop is a wonderful boredom buster, especially in the winter time when your chickens might find themselves confined to the coop for days on end. One caution, if you have a rooster, he might try to fight the 'strange' rooster, so use your judgement there if a mirror is right for your coop. But if you have a mirror laying around, go ahead and hang it up and watch what happens or go for a more elaborate mirror like this one
Cost: Free - $25


Treat/Supplement Containers
I add several natural supplements to my chickens' daily feed and also keep a supply of healthy treats on hand for them, so these coordinated metal canisters or a set of glass canisters are perfect for storing everything. Mice can chew through plastic, so metal is the best way to store anything a mouse might go after.
Cost: $20 -  23 for a set


Rooster Window Accents
The rooster window accents shown in the video (below) are purely decorative. No function, but I thought they added a nice touch. They were the one real 'splurge' I treated myself with. They're actually shelf brackets that you can find here on amazon.
Cost: $8 apiece
Chandelier
The one thing my coop doesn't have yet is a chandelier like this one.....but it will as soon as we get the coop wired for electricity. This model can be plugged right into a wall outlet, so no need for hardwiring, making it the perfect accent for the ultimate posh coop!
Cost: $59
Some more views of my posh coop...



So there you have it, some of the simple, inexpensive ways I prettied up my coop and the reasons why (as if the cuteness factor weren't enough!).  I am a huge fan of yard sales, scavenging at the dump or recycle center, repurposing and upscaling, so I'm always on the lookout for cute things I can use in my coop!

Stay tuned to see my coop in several national magazines and on TV in the coming months, and watch this short video tour of my coop and I'll show you all the new decor!


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