Ton Matton’s Chicken Cabinet


With ever little agricultural space for fresh produce to be made close to big urban areas, there is a need that some clever minds have found an answer to. The urban farming movement gives you the instructions for transforming a usual cabinet into a chicken coop. It’s amazing how the structure of such a piece of furniture will match the needs of a perfectly functioning hen house. Surely there aren’t that many spaces for the chickens as you would find in a large outdoor piece, but this is a perfect alternative for beginners into the egg making business. Only a few minor adjustments to the common wooden cabinet will transform it to a functional urban egg farm. That’s the power of the DIY network: learning from each other how to improve our lives!



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60 Responses to “Ton Matton’s Chicken Cabinet”

  1. marija says:

    Em..Isn’t this just a fancy way to keep caged chickens? unless they’re some of the species that are REALLY good at flying, they wouldn’t be able to make it up or down. I can appreciate the design, but as an animal lover and a free range chicken owner, it strikes me as…well, lame. “.Surely there aren’t that many spaces for the chickens as you would find in a large outdoor piece, but this is a perfect alternative for beginners into the egg making business..” if you don’t have appropiate space or resources to keep animals..Dont! Buy free range from those who has.

    • Ashley says:

      It’s so CUTE though- now everybody is going to want a shabby chic chicken jail to house hens they have no space for.

      • Brenda says:

        I think it’s very clever and cute as well. But not really healthy for the hens. One would have to clean it several times a day, or they are walking in their own poop. They can’t get exercise, which is needed.
        They could, even in a small space, make a walking ladder for them to go outside. A small thin wired fence not much bigger than a playpen for 2 hens would be all that’s needed. I am a free range chicken owner. They are inside a large yard that is fenced. 🙂

    • Donna says:

      I am with you…this is cute but it is terrible!!! I can’t believe a chicken would be confined in these little spaces for their entire life! But I also don’t believe in what the egg industry does to chickens either!!! I only eat eggs from free range chickens period (which means I don’t eat very many at all anymore)! And I can’t eat a nugget since I learned what happened to the little male chicks.

    • Pat says:

      I agree with Marija. Lame. I see all the green grass in those pictures and feel sorry for the chickens. Why not stick to a small moveable house. I’ve seen some that look quite sensible. Otherwise, buy your eggs. They aren’t that expensive.

    • heather harrison says:

      I only by free range but how do I know that they are free range! I pay over 5$ for a dozen but so much fraud these days! Also I did buy from a farm but they seemed old as well ugh

  2. Amber says:

    Interesting idea, awful execution. You’d be better off continuing to buy factory farmed chickens and eggs. It doesn’t look like the conditions would be very much improved by this cabinet. This would be better suited to a smaller bird like quail, but I’d still give them more space than that.

  3. bentshed says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is designed to have the chickens spend their ENTIRE lives in the cupboard. I can’t see an entry/exit point where the birds can go out into an open run.

    That’s not much more space than a battery hen. I cannot even vaguely approve of this. If you don’t have enough space to let chooks (chickens in Australian 🙂 ) have 1 square metre of space per chook, then DON’T HAVE CHICKENS.

  4. Autumn says:

    This is HORRIBLE! To encourage people to start a chicken/egg business like this is no better than the way commercial chickens are kept in tiny cages, not being able to roam and only having inches of space to live out their lives! I think it’s appalling that you would even consider keeping chickens in such a way!!

  5. Anna says:

    I’m almost certain this would actually kill your chickens. You should take this down before chickens are harmed. Having chickens separated, behind glass is a horrible idea.

  6. rick says:

    When the city forces you to get rid of your chicken, even though all the neighbors LOVED them, you have to resort to things like this… I love it.

  7. Kim says:

    This would be nice if you took the back off of the cupboard and ran ramps up into the back for chickens to come and go. Otherwise, this is a horrible idea.

  8. Raina says:

    Maybe it would work if it had a ladder from the side so they could free range in the yard?

  9. Erika says:

    Whoa . . . animal cruelty much? I pay extra to buy eggs that aren’t produced in restrictive cages . . .

  10. Fae Angel says:

    I see how this could be a regular coop with some work. I live in the suburbs. I could close in a small area of my back yard, add a low fountain for them to drink from, cut the back and add a ramp so they could come and go as they please. The coop would rest with one side to the house, and the other connected to a fence, so that the coop faces the open yard and the back and ramp the enclosed area so they were free range. It would be a unique project for sure. Two chickens would give us plenty of eggs.

  11. Fae Angel says:

    Besides the middle drawers form a stairway they could hop up and down.

  12. Jessica says:

    You could spend less money on organic eggs than on something like this while not torturing animals in the process. What a terrible space for something to only be able to turn around and sit!

  13. Gail says:

    I think it’s wonderful. So long as they have free range of a yard to roam in. And just come back to lay and to roost. Which from one of the photos. It looked like they were inside another big roaming area.. Hope so… Very cute though.. We had chickens. But we also had 2 acres of land for them to roam in.. But would pen them up at night. For their own protection from foxes and stray dogs.. Wonderful idea though..

  14. Willi says:

    a sweet way of a bitter cage. obviously you did pay more attention to curtains than to hen.
    so either you did’nt think through how animals should be kept appropriate for the respective species or you did’nt care. both ways are dumb and dangerous.
    a sad story…

  15. wes says:

    You might be over doing it, equating this to a battery cage. This isn’t ideal, but this is awfully close to what Joel Salatin suggests about urban people keeping one or two kitchen chickens to eat scraps and produce eggs. This would be fine for one bantam or someone else said, Quail. I’d personally feel bad keeping more than one full-sized bird in this contraption. Seeing this makes me thankful for the spaces that we have for our 45 ladies to roam.

  16. Sanet says:

    O no!!

  17. Laura says:

    Okay, everyone is assuming that he leaves the chickens in there all the time. It’s entirely possible that he allows the chickens to free range during the day and then places them in the safety of the “coop’ at night. We did that when we first started keeping our chickens and just couldn’t afford all the materials we needed for a totally enclosed in enclosure for them to run. Where I live the animals would have killed them. So we would gather them up in the evening and put them in their coops.

    Plus remember they are talking about keeping chickens in an urban area, so they aren’t going to be keeping a huge amount of chickens and a large enclosed coop and yard are probably not going to be possible .

    • Ashley says:

      Even if they have ONE hen, they need a yard to roam in… if there’s no yard, maybe they shouldn’t have chickens? Maybe they should move? Maybe they should just buy organic eggs rather than torturing them?

  18. Elizabeth Medynski says:

    This is super cute if you’re just housing them overnight in this. I wouldn’t have a chicken behind glass though, where’s the air come from?

  19. Shesus says:

    Where is it written that you can’t let the chickens out? I look at this as more of an evening place for them. It wouldn’t kill the chickens, it wouldn’t harm the chickens. Quit being such hippies.

  20. tobie says:

    people,, chickens roam free during the day, they go in and roost at night, therefore nothing will eat them outside. Have you never been on a farm. They all go in the hen house at night. Then out again in the morning.

    • tobie says:

      they don’t just keep them in the little glass doored box. Chickens sleep at night. More people should have to work on a farm for at least a week in their lives. they can roam in the yard during the day. But, critters that eat them come out at night,, raccoons, etc so they always go in at night.

  21. Reed says:

    As a woodworker and a person who has spent time on farms I can say that this idea isn’t perfect but does have potential. Some of you stated that it isn’t right to keep chickens like this and I agree to a certain extent. A lot of people keep coops because they can’t leave the chickens out at night in fear of foxes or coyotes. While this “urban” coop wasn’t made for the hazards of farm life it doesn’t mean it was made to lock them up forever. I would use a large armoire or china cabinet with the same setup for someone who had a small amount of land and less than a few hens. I would also create locking drop down walkways on each side so the chickens could come and go during the day. Like I said it isn’t perfect but it has potential. Take from it what you can to try to improve on things.

  22. kurtus says:

    Just wanted to say that chicken looks stressed out, thats all.

  23. Gab says:

    Ya I agree with everyone else here, as a long time free range chicken keeper this is no better then a wire cage might be worse since there is no visible air flow, chickens are in what a 1ft x 1ft space? So no space to get away from their own poo which makes unsanitary living conditions even cleaning everyday day they’ll still get it on them, the eggs and walls. Eggs would probably get crashed and the hen would lose muscle from lack of exercise unless you had really tame hens you could pick up and take out EVERY day to walk, fly and graze. It is not good or safe considering the wood will absorb liquid then you have mold, bacteria…. Ya no please remove and don’t encourage people to make this structure it will just end badly.

  24. VW says:

    No english 🙁

    It doesn’t look like they are seperated, it is one long enclosure on top. This is a concept design, calm down. And it really wouldn’t be that hard to use a double raised perch system to allow the chickens access to a side door in this, great for keeping predators at bay, easy to clean, easy to move. I think it’s great that someone had the imagination to come up with this and combine storge of materials with a compact stylish coop. Very nice, though only practical with modification?

  25. Barbie says:

    This has to be a joke…..right. Please tell me it’s a joke.

  26. Kimmm says:

    I can’t believe you didn’t see these comments coming … it was also the first thing I thought – cruel, confined, no grass.

  27. Wendy says:

    Lighten up folks…

  28. Heidi says:

    I would agree with the other posters if it was intended the the chickens were to live in this. Chickens tend to lay in the morning. I could see using this as just an overnight coop. It would protect them from predators and you could let them loose in the yard after they laid their eggs.

  29. Matt says:

    Um, yeah, how quant and cruel. Those are fake chickens btw

  30. Tymetrap says:

    I have to agree with all the above… and add that I don’t think any of them there chickens is real…that being said I’m gonna get an old dining room hutch and use it for breeding Guinea Pigs.

  31. Michael Isabell says:

    This is a horrible design! I agree with others who posted that it is nothing more than a commercial design in a smaller form. On another note, even if someone chose to use something like this in their house, the dust that chickens emit would put the cabash on “indoor” egg production very quickly.

  32. deeno says:

    those hens need space, that thing should be illegal

  33. Tara says:

    DIY network, please consider this project from an ethical point-of-view. This is a terrible idea. Chickens are not objects, which is exactly what this cabinet perpetuates.

  34. Mayah says:

    Good Home Design? Seriously? Obviously the ‘designer’ of this has never had chickens or taken the time to research what chickens actually need to survive. This will create a sick chicken at best and dead chickens at worst. 2 chickens? In a cold climate without heat? That’s a death sentence. Ventilation not drafty. What a horrible concept. Typical liberal urban farmer. As long as it looks pretty and they can feel good about themselves, they don’t care about the greater cost.

  35. Moa says:

    Chicken are living creatures, not stuff you put on display in your glass cabinet. This makes me sick.

  36. Natalie says:

    I’m thinking that absolutely no one noticed that this chicken coop is outside and its pretty stupid to assume they can’t get out LOL

  37. joe m says:

    This still can be used as a chicken laying coop even if you have free range chickens. The chickens will just go to the chicken cabinet to lay there eggs and when done will leave and forage. But you do need some sort of ladder for them to get into and out of the coop

  38. Tracie says:

    I can see this as a cute display for educational purposes at a fair, show or petting zoo. Not really probably reasonable for full time living. On the other hand, I have 7 hens that lay every day in a 10 gallon aquarium and they free range on 5 acres. Not sure why they have chosen to stand in line to lay in the aquarium but they do and it’s their own choice.

  39. Autumn says:

    This is horrible and abusive!! I could see if it was used as an addition to the main coop, so that they chickens were free to come and go but this is just as bad as caged birds with no space to move about in! This guy should be ashamed to even put this out there because there are idiots that will probably do this to the poor birds. I keep 2 dz chickens and they have all the freedom yet safety they need.

  40. jymmer says:

    At first glance, I thought “GENIUS” but, as I looked at it more closely I realized that this absolutely is NOT for living, breathing, egg-laying chickens, EVER!
    It IS, however, an uber cute DECORATIVE idea with faux chickens and eggs.

  41. Michele says:

    This is a poor idea. I have kept chickens for years. There is no way those birds would choose to separate themselves individually into segments of cabinet. They are flocking birds. They would not choose different spots to lay their eggs, either. Which means somebody isolated those birds from each other. Frankly, not just poor, flat out stupid.

  42. Kerri says:

    That little white chicken looks like it’s been in solitary confinement for way to long! It looks angry!

  43. Teresa says:

    That’s the power of the DIY network: learning from each other how to improve our lives!
    At the expense of the hens in this case.
    Hideous, cruel, abusive.
    If I couldn’t have free range eggs I would go without.
    Only an imbecile would think that caging hens in this way is a good idea.
    Unless I’m missing how the chickens let themselves in & out at will.

  44. Grampam says:

    Chickens need a coop at night. They NEED it. They roost, sleep, lay eggs in there. This guy had (has) his coop in a fenced in area. As far as I’m concerned, you should free range your chickens when you are around to watch them and protect them from harm. Predators do much of their hunting at night, and the coop is a safety zone for them.

  45. Erin says:

    “Improving lives”? Who’s? Most certainly not the chickens! Closed in behind glass? This is an inhumane idea/design. Take a Saturday or Sunday drive and support areal, local family farm whose eggs will be humanely and sustainable produced, months fresher than store bought, and where hens get to be chickens!

  46. Fake Human says:

    It’s so inviting, he apparently had to use faux chickens in the pics.

  47. Troy k says:

    At least provide the chickens with a safe space so that if they get overwhelmed by other chickens picking on them they could use their safe space to regroup

  48. AhmaFahma says:

    Ummm…you can still put a run around it…no different than many small coops.

  49. Lisa Brown says:

    Chickens don’t care where they live. Chickens only care about food, water, a safe place to sleep, and not getting eaten. Humans care about how other people raise their animals. People should do what is best for them and not worry about what the animal lovers think. The same people who love animals sooo much, but would step over a dying human being.

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