I wanted to make a living roof chicken coop that fit over my raised beds for several reasons – but mostly because I wanted to try out the living roof concept small scale.
Other reasons were to allow a raised bed to lie fallow and have the chickens both add fertilizer and scratch out the weed seeds, I also decided I wanted something that was easier than my dome chicken coop when it came to gathering eggs (even thought the dome definitely did as it designed when it came to keeping dogs away from my chickens.
I kept the design simple (for me) – and just used some 2×4 and 2×3 lumber along with a few 1x6s and two sheets of plywood.
I used cage wire around the base as dogs tend to rip through chicken wire, but stayed with the cheaper poulty netting (chicken wire) around the top.
The big design experiment is the living roof – a living roof is basically a box that has a waterproof membrane on the base, then some gravel, and soil and plants to top it off.
The idea is that the plants absorb most of the water and provide UV protection for the waterproof membrane. Excess water flows out the edges of the box as the base is waterproofed before the sides are installed.
You are supposed to use a pond liner as the membrane, but I did not have any, so I used thick plastic strips – I don’t know if it will work, but it is only a chicken coop and failure is not critical nor expensive.
Update: This coop works awesome for predator protection. I have not lost a single chicken in this coop. However it is heavy and after seeing Joel Saladin’s video on coops I think my next one will be more in line with his ideas. If you want even more ideas on how to build chicken coops you can visit homesthetics for 57 DIY coop plans.