Michelle Carlisle has kept chickens for three and a half years in her Saint Croix Falls, Wisconsin, home. She wanted her coop to be as low maintenance as possible. "I tried to be logical with how I set things up," she says. "I put the food and water right next to the door, so they'd be easy to grab when we have to fill them in the winter. The nest boxes are in easy reach of the door too."
Since plenty of predators live in the woods surrounding her house, safety was particularly important. "The best thing we did was completely enclose the coop into a secure yard, so that if we wanted to leave for a few days in the summer, we can just leave their little chicken door open."