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REAL ESTATE

9 High-Design Chicken Coops So Your Backyard Birds Can Roost in Style

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    The Poop Coop

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    Hobbit House chicken coop

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    Eglu Classic Chicken Coop

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    Medium Chicken Loft

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    Round-Top Mobile Chicken Coop

Got chickens bock-bocking in your backyard? Good news (for them): They don't have to take refuge in a hovel made of two-by-fours and chicken wire. Rather, they can roost in coops worthy of the most expensive homes, fitting right in with a $2,000 Brown Jordan lounge chair or a $6,000 TEC Sterling grill. Or they can strut their stuff in the humbler but still high-design chicken coops below.

For wannabe Middle-earthlings:

The Hobbit Hole houses (pictured at top), created by a Maine family that calls them "the world's best reason to keep chickens," are far sleeker than their namesakes, yet still adorable. In the shape of stretched Roman arches, they have curved rafters and cedar clapboard roofs. Prices start at $995.

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For the shabby chic back-to-the-landers:

Williams-Sonoma's Agrarian line includes coops ranging from the bargain basement price of $299 to $1,499 for the motherlode, the Cedar Chicken Coop & Run. It's "hand built from sustainably harvested western red cedar, custom milled by a local, family owned sawmill." It comes with a galvanized-metal roof, backdoor drops for easy egg collection, and "an interior perch [that] allows hens to relax in a comfortable position." The company also offers "White Glove Delivery" (though it's likely those white gloves will get really dirty), assembling it on-site.

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For the erudite:

The Eglu Classic is, according to the makers, "the only chicken house in the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum," and offers "a standard of living not seen before in chicken house design." The slatted floor keeps chicken droppings from collecting, and the curved walls make egg-collecting easier. Made from low-maintenance and energy-efficient polymers, it's also recyclable at the end of its life -- which the makers promise won't be for many, many years.

It starts at 449.99 for U.K. buyers; in the U.S., the not-quite-as-striking Go, Go UP, and Cube models are available.

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For survivalists:

The Quonset hut coop, crafted of fiberglass, takes on that iconic curved shape. The coops come in fashionable colors like scarlet red or evergreen, and are tractorizable (you can order a set of wheels to make them mobile), customizable, and fully assembled. They come in a variety of sizes, starting at $735.

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For those who don't buy anything fowl-related unless the Chicken Whisperer gives the OK:

The Round-Top Mobile Chicken Coop, from the Urban Coop Co., is far more affordable than some of the others, starting at $490. Made of North American cedar, it includes vent-wings that can open and close depending on the weather and a "Positive Gravity Latch Secured Run Door." (You probably didn't know you needed that until now.) In case that wasn't enough to convince you, the coops are " Chicken Whisperer -- approved."

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For architecture buffs who can't afford a modern prefab house but will buy one for their chickens:

These Chicken Lofts are made of low-maintenance recycled plastic and emulate the style of a number of modern architects -- do we see a little Eero Saarinen in there? The bodies are a handsome charcoal, while the roofs come in blue, green, or yellow. They're light, made for mobility, and start at $449, depending on size.

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For architecture buffs who miss the Googie design of the 1950s:

The French designer Maxime Evrard has conjured up the Cocorico henhouse, which one website described as "something that even the messiest chicken wouldn't deficate [sic] on." The modern space-age chicken house, created in part to encourage even the snobbiest of design snobs to embrace backyard farming. So far, they are just an intriguing concept, not something you can buy at the farm supply store.

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For those with a fourth-grade sense of humor:

The Poop Coop, well, what can we say? Who knew it could be so nice to reside in an outhouse? The coops start at $950. The makers offer less salacious models, too, like this one they made for "Duck Dynasty."

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For obsessive consumers of design magazines:

Perhaps the sleekest of this set of modern chicken coops is the nogg, an egg-shaped contraption with a glass top that twists and rises for ventilation. With a concrete base and reinforced steel frames and ribbing, the wooden space pod is practically weatherproof. Now that you're properly seduced by its design, we deliver the sad news: There aren't enough hands to handcraft them at present, so the nogg folks are shutting down production while they look for manufacturing opportunities.

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