Want to keep chickens and still be able to take vacations without worrying about your birds? Want to spend less time on chicken chores than you spend on cooking your chickens' eggs, as we do? Then you could likely benefit from my upcoming classes at my house (scroll down a bit for those).

Interested in my DIY Hentopia Coop and Hen Habitat classes (more than 90 people have attended), but just not sure whether to sign up? Check out these reviews...and then sign up when I offer them again, post-pandemic.

Even if you already have a coop, or are buying a coop, you'll benefit from the time-saving ideas regarding feeding, watering, cleaning, defending and maintaining a coop and hen habitat!


Check out my interview on the Chicken Whisperer Radio Show:



Discussion closed
  • R/M Thorn from chapel Hill, NC - 01/28/2014 08:49:52 (Thursday, December 07 17 02:37 pm EST)

    After discussing whether or not we would pursue raising chickens, frank's workshop closed the discussion. Mike decided that even though he"hated the chickens on his grandmother's farm as a child," that he had revised his opinion and was now ready to take the time to get a coop and start in.
    Frank brought a totally different perspective to how to raise chickens and make it fun

  • Emily-Kate Hannapel from 27701 - 03/25/2013 13:36:48 (Thursday, December 07 17 02:36 pm EST)

    Just went to Frank's chicken coop design/build workshop on Saturday. It was incredible! I feel fully ready and prepared (and excited!) to build my coop. Frank is a great teacher and speaker and it was a joy to learn from him. I would highly recommend him.

Create Your Own Alternative, DIY Hentopia Coop and Hen Habitat

In my garden at 1412 N. Mangum St., Durham, NC 27701
You'll see the set up of the original Hentopia hen habitat.
$35 per person (not a kid friendly space unfortunately)

(Through Paypal you can either pay with an online bank account, credit or debit card.)

Date and time :
January 19, 20192-4:30 pm(rain or shine)

February 9, 20192-4:30 pm
(rain or shine)

Not enough people signed up to float the class so this one has been cancelled and my social director has given me something else to do that day :-)


Will schedule this class again in summer 2019--hope to see you there!



What do you get?
DIY Design/Build Hands-On Demo & Tour:

My wife says that we spend less time doing chores than we spend cooking the eggs. Other coop designers can’t say that—and I’ve seen hundreds of coop set-ups from all over the country.

Learn how to manage the feed, water, poop, eggs and other hen issues in a way that allows you to safely take two-week vacations. Your birds and their hen habitat will happily and safely operate on autopilot while you’re away.

I’m a carpenter, designer, I write the “Coop Builder” column for Chickens magazine and I'm the author of Hentopia on trouble-free coops for Storey Publishing. Check my audience reviews from my workshops:

You’ll learn how to:

1) Set up a waterer that rarely needs refilling and never gets “fowled” up.
2) Create a feeding system that's safe from rodents, doesn’t waste food and rarely needs refilling.
3) How to set-up a coop door that opens in the morning while you’re still asleep and then automatically closes at night after your hens go in to roost.
4) How to keep your birds 100% safe from all kinds of predators without breaking the bank.
5) How to harvest eggs with the least hassle.
6) How to have a hen habitat that isn’t muddy, poopy, nasty or stinky.
7) How to integrate chicken poop in your compost system in the least amount of time with the most benefit.
8) How to make your hen habitat into an edible mushroom garden.
9) And even a little bit about making your Hentopia kinda pretty too.

These and many other skills can be learned for:
$35 per person

by Paypal button above, in advance to reserve a spot, rain or shine (gardeners don’t melt in the rain!).

Spots go quickly and have sold out for each of the last half dozen coop workshops.

Option #1:

For an additional $5 cash--and with advance notice to me--you can bring a 5-gallon bucket with lid and we'll make an “artisanal” chicken waterer that rarely needs refilling [we’ve refilled our waterer maybe twice a year]. I'll provide guidance and additional parts.

Option #2:

Also for an additional $10 cash--and with advance notice to me--you can bring a 5-gallon bucket with lid and we'll make an “artisanal” chicken feeder that rarely needs refilling, is weather proof and rodent-proof. I'll provide guidance and additional parts.

Bring a sketch of your proposed coop if you want feedback or get my help in sketching one out.

Workshop attendees will also receive a one-page handout of websites, books and other resources to help them sustain their efforts.


After paying on Paypal above, send RSVP's, your chosen date, whether you want to make a waterer and/or feeder and questions to frankhyman@liberatedgardener.net.

Frank, dressed for his chicken chores on Sunday. Or maybe not.

Our pagoda-roofed Hentopia...

Hentopia Custom Coops,

DIY Design/Build Coop Workshops

and Backyard Beautilities

Beautiful and functional outdoor amenities for the urban villager.

Frank Hyman
1412 North Mangum,
Urban Durham, NC 27701


Do you want to keep a few chickens as “pets with benefits,” but don’t want a lot of extra work? Some henkeepers find it takes less time to clean up after their chickens than it takes to cook their eggs. Why? Because of the many time-saving features Frank Hyman builds into a custom coop (or “hen habitat”):

1) the waterer rarely needs refilling,
2) the coop door automatically lets hens in and out,
3) the nest box and coop are easy to clean and
4) the hens can’t foul (fowl?) the feeder or waterer so there’s less mess to clean up.
Most importantly, #5) Frank builds a beautiful coop that pleases henkeepers and the neighbors.

Henkeepers can even take a two-week vacation knowing their birds will be fed, watered and safe from critters without needing attention from humans. Frank calls this kind of chicken coop Hentopia, but it’s the henkeepers who benefit most.

Frank is a carpenter and designer as well as the Coop Builder columnist for
Chickens magazine, the leading periodical on backyard poultry.

But Frank’s coop-building services are not available everywhere. To curtail his carbon footprint (and commuting time), Frank only works in Durham’s “bungalow neighborhoods”--think of a circle, near downtown, roughly within NC 70, I-85, 15-501, Cornwallis Road and Riddle Road. Since 1992, Frank has had hundreds of clients in neighborhoods like Trinity Park, Trinity Heights, Burch Ave., Morehead Hill, Forest Hills, Duke Forest, Duke Park, Old North Durham, West Durham and Watts-Hospital Hillandale.

Other Backyard Beautilities that Frank offers to Durham’s urban villagers (
email Frank for photos and details and to arrange appointments):

1) Sculptural Clothesline Posts
2) Solar Ovens
3) Outdoor Showers
4) Wood-fired Pizza Ovens
5) Hen habitat

Frank also sells gift certificates for each workshop.

When you buy a space(s) in a workshop,
email Frank the names of attendees, whether you want to make a waterer, address for sending a gift certificate and any questions.

If you have to cancel, doing so at least one week ahead of the date gets you a 50% refund. No refund if canceling within one week of the date of your workshop as we may not have time to find someone to fill that space (but we bet you can find someone to take your place and reimburse you!)

Print | Sitemap
There is no garden without a gardener.