Thinking of adding chickens to your yard? Martha Stewart shows us how to design the perfect coop

Martha reveals her impressive chicken coop – and offers expert insight on how you can create a space that allows your chickens to be happy and healthy

Martha Stewart close up, orange and green background
(Image credit: Getty Images / ANDREA RENAULT)

It seems that there is nothing that Martha Stewart can't do in the realm of homes and gardens, and when it comes to looking after chickens, in Martha we trust.

In a recent Instagram post, the lifestyle guru shared photos of her expansive chicken coop on her farm in Bedford, New York, along with a comment on why she decided to opt for a gravel coop for her large collection of chickens.

Of course, keeping chickens isn't for everyone, you have to have enough space in your yard and a taste for the more rural way of life. However, reserving an area for a chicken coop for backyard ideas, and having a daily delivery of fresh eggs from a flock of happy home hens has become more and more popular in recent years – and Martha's here to offer us some expert chicken coop design advice.

A post shared by Martha Stewart

A photo posted by marthastewart48 on

If you're looking for chicken coop design inspiration, then look no further.

On her Instagram post Martha says, 'My chicken coops have gravel yards which can be hosed down and easily raked and cleaned. To provide the chickens with neat areas in which they can "dirt bathe" we just created wooden framed tubs filled with earth, sand and diatomaceous earth, The chickens love their baths!'

Even if you don't have as much space as Martha, the key elements of Martha's chicken coop design, gravel and dirt baths, can easily be replicated in a smaller coop, helping to create a practical design for you and a stimulating design for the chickens.

chicken in green grass

(Image credit: Future / Peter Chatterton)

In Martha's guide to raising happy, healthy chickens at home, she offers more insight and tips on keeping chickens.

'When I moved to Bedford, I designed a more elaborate area, with four coops and several large, covered outside yards that have winter access to the vegetable gardens. I also in installed all-weather water containers and electric heaters, and increased my flock to more than 200 hens and some roosters. I even added guinea fowl and geese to the mix.'

She continues, 'If you're interested in keeping chickens, keep in mind that each bird will need at least two square feet of space in the coop, and plenty of room (at least 10 square feet each) to roam freely outside. It's also important to buy healthy ones from reputable breeders.'

Chicken coop

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When looking after chickens, Martha says there are 5 simple rules to remember:

1. Make a good home – create a comfortable living space for your chickens and make sure the coops get cleaned thoroughly every week.

2. Let them roam ensure your coop has space for the chickens to roam.

3. Give easy access – have plenty of feeders – hanging feeders work well, like this chicken feeder from Walmart.

4. Always offer a cool drink – chickens can get dehydrated quickly, so make sure they always have enough water.

5. Provide plenty of produce – don't throw away your fruit and vegetable scraps, offer them to the chickens!

Looking after chickens is no simple task, these birds require lots of care and attention, however, as Martha says, 'there are so many rewards from raising these birds. You get delicious eggs, and the joy of caring for them is great for you and your family. I highly recommend it.'

If you're thinking of adding chickens to your yard (maybe not as many as Martha's 200), always check that chickens are permitted in your neighborhood, there can be different state laws on coop sizes, space requirements and how many chickens you can keep.

Zara Stacey
Managing Editor

Zara is the Managing Editor at Homes & Gardens. She joined the brand in February 2022 as an Interiors Content Editor, specializing in writing content on interior color trends, decorating ideas and design inspiration. After studying English Literature at University, she worked as an Ecommerce Website Editor, Content Writer and Buying Intern at multiple independent businesses within the luxury retail and lifestyle sectors. She enjoys nothing more than discovering new trends, brands and products, whether that be in fashion, interior design or lifestyle.