Flying the Coop Flying the Coop

Flying the Coop

While it’s hard to tell whether the chicken or the egg came first, for Emmett and Mindi Moore, the coop definitely came before the chickens. The couple, who live in Washington, WV, recently decided to build a chicken coop after years of wanting to raise chickens. Once a neighbor saw the coop under construction, they were gifted seven little chicks. As of two weeks ago, Emmett and Mindi are now proud owners of six hens and one rooster.

When Mindi first showed her husband a set of plans for a basic box-like chicken coop, Emmett was not impressed. A skilled craftsman and woodworker, he wanted to build something more interesting and elegant. Without any plans to reference, he designed and built a cozy, cottage chicken coop, using his own sawmill to turn backyard trees into siding and shingles.

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“He’s one of the hardest working men I know and he puts his heart into everything that he does. If he’s going to build it, it will be the very best that he can make it,” said Mindi. “Just look at our chicken coop – it’s a work of art!”

The coop is a work of art indeed, and is currently ranked as a Top 10 contender in Backyard Poultry Magazine’s “Coolest Coops!” Contest. To be eligible, the coop had to be at least partially constructed by the owner. The winner will be featured in the magazine and receive some chicken goodies. The Moores finished building their coop on the last day of the entry period, but were quickly chosen to move on as a top ten finalist.

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Chicken coops are not the extent of Emmett’s skills, however – Mindi swears he can build just about anything. He has a shop on Etsy where he sells beautiful handmade chandeliers, and is also working on a pulpit and railing for a local church. “I haven’t found anything he can’t do,” said Mindi, “It’s his second job, his first is a fireman for the city of Parkersburg.”

So far, the chickens have provided endless entertainment for the family of nine. “The kids love them,” Mindi smiled. “By late summer we should be getting about 6 eggs a day, some white, some blue/green, and some brown. I can’t wait to see the variety from our different chickens!”

To help the Moores win a few extra goodies for their new family of chickens, you can vote here for their amazing cottage coop.


Sarah Arnold is an Architectural Designer who graduated from Miami University of Ohio and briefly became a Cincinnatian before moving back to Marietta to design her parents’ home. Inspired by the growing creative community here in the Mid-Ohio Valley, Sarah launched Clutch MOV in March of 2014.

Photos provided by Mindi Moore