Chicken Coop with Living Roof

I had toyed with the idea of raising chickens for several years but, with no existing chicken house on the property and no idea where I would put one, I pushed the idea aside.


But never the dream.

The chicken house I had in mind would be a combination of garden shed and chicken coop.  I had envisioned a roof on one side that could be planted with a variety of sedums and, you guessed it, hen and chicks.  These roofs are called green roofs or living roofs.

I decided on a spot between the garden and the barn.  The garden shed is on the side with the door and inside, on the left, the chicken coop can be accessed.

Beginning construction of the chicken coop with a living  roof

January 2013

The living roof planting area is only 8 inches deep with a French drain-type pipe in the front to keep water from rushing over the side. The drainage hole faces the chicken run area (not shown)

May 2013--Filling the living roof with a combination of topsoil, perlite, and compost

Filling the roof with a combination of compost, perlite, and topsoil

To get the soil to the roof required a front-end loader.  After the soil was scooped up, I grabbed my shovel and hopped in the loader for the ride up.

Filling the roof with topsoil, perlite, and compost

After the soil was shoveled on, I placed a layer of chicken wire over the entire roof to hold everything in place.  I had ordered plugs (which are very tiny plants) early in the year from a friend in the nursery business.  A few weeks in the greenhouse and they were ready for the roof.

sedums rooting for the living roof sedums rooting for the living roof

I used wire cutters to open a space in the chicken wire for the plant.

chicken wire was placed on top of potting soil mixture to keep it on the roof

After planting, I folded the wires back over the plant and secured it with a garden staple. Then I mulched with a layer of Spanish moss. Tedious, I know, but I sure didn’t want everything to be washed off after the first rain.

May 2013--living roof planted

sedums and hen and chicks planted

This is a couple of months later.

July 2013--living roof on chicken coop

July 2013


I was rejoicing that the plants didn’t die during the winter and actually came back quite vigorously.

August 2014--sedums are filling in nicely on the living roof

August 2014

I planted some annuals in front and on the side

August 2014--Living roof on a chicken coop

I got an old scale out of the barn, put an old metal something filled with flowers on it, and sat a painted rooster beside it.

garden art  at the chicken coop

An artist from the local farmer’s market painted an old enamel table top I had and I added it to the side of the coop.

sunflower painting on the chicken coop

August 2014--chicken coop with a living roof

chicken coop with a living roof

and now 2015.

I added window boxes to all windows and planted some Amsonia divisions underneath.  I wanted something tall to grow in the spaces between the windows, but the sunflowers I planted were eaten  by grasshoppers. The only sunflower I have is a rogue volunteer from last year.   I’ll take it.

July 2015--chicken coop with a living roof

July 2015--chicken coop with a living roof sunflower at the chicken coop

Another addition is the sunflower painted door and an old bed rail from a friend’s barn interplanted with zinnias.

chicken coop front door

I have had a lot of fun decorating this little chicken coop.  The great thing is I haven’t spent too much money doing it as I have divided some plants and saved flower seeds from previous years as well as a variety of treasures (or junk if you talk to Allen)   Shouldn’t there be a DIY show dedicated to chicken houses?

Does anyone else decorate their chicken houses?


I am linking this post with the Chicken Chick Blog Hop.  Check out her helpful blog regarding all things chicken!

About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
This entry was posted in antiques, Arkansas blogger, Chickens, do it yourself, Farm life, Flowers, Garden and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Chicken Coop with Living Roof

  1. Kevin says:

    That is one stunner of a chicken coop! I’m not sure if there a DIY show dedicated to chicken houses, but there is certainly an HGTV show for small houses — and I think this would be perfect! Just beautiful!!!


  2. Kevin says:

    PS — I’m not sure how you feel about blog awards, but I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award. I truly enjoy your work and your world. Details can be found here:


  3. Dawn says:

    What a great chicken coop, Brenda! It was so nice to see the changes over the years. We don’t raise chickens in our suburban garden ~ but it would be such fun to have a chicken coop to decorate! Happy August days! ♡


  4. This is a good idea and creative coop, you gave it life and color.:)
    Originally a simple wooden buildings become living, I think the chickens must be very happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yay for the green roof! Your chickens are setting the standard for gracious and ecologically-sustainable living.


  6. I absolutely love your chicken coop! I am so glad you shared this! We are getting ready to build some separate coops for our breeding stock and I never would have thought of doing that (but definitely think that I will now!). I’ll bet that this also does a lot to help with insulation.


  7. Tod says:

    I love the chicken coop design, especially the living roof. Do you have any kind of drainage for heavy rains?


    • Yes, it has a French drain at the bottom and a hole that faces the chicken yard to drain. After I put my soil on top, I planted the flowers and then secured chicken wire over the top with garden staples. Then I topped the chicken wire with Spanish moss. I haven’t any problems since it was done several years ago.


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