For Matt DuBoise, the founder of Carolina Coops in Creedmoor, North Carolina, the whole idea for his business started with caring for cute, fluffy chicks as part of a grade school project. “I took it very seriously,” DuBoise says with a laugh. “And my chicks were the only ones to survive the weekend.” He also always loved constructing things. “In 2008, my fiancée, Gnon, and I were living in Durham, and I built my first coop.” That structure didn’t last long—but only because he quickly decided he wanted an even bigger version for even more birds. When he sold that first one on Craigslist, a fledgling business was born.
Today the company builds five standard styles for chickens and ducks that start with the American at $2,800. Custom coops, incorporating specific requests or materials from clients, can go as high as $20,000 and up, and DuBoise now has customers all over the country. One of his most memorable coops of late was a design for a North Carolina client crafted entirely of standing, dead Eastern red cedar trees from an area near Duke Forest. “We weren’t running through a sawmill,” he says, “so we had to choose the exact right pieces and notch the wood to make it solid and strong like our other coops.”
But what do the chickens think? “Our coops are built to protect a flock, but they are also made to encourage their instincts. That influences how we make our roost bars, our hen houses, and egg hutches.” For instance, the Carolina Coop hen houses feature a lot of head room and ventilation, which keeps the flock healthy.
DuBoise and his team give back wherever they can, too, often donating coops to schools and most recently to a very special Make-A-Wish recipient. “We’ve seen first-hand the therapeutic effects that caring for chickens can have,” he says. And if you need a few tips to get started? DuBoise hosts “Chicken Live” segments and other videos to educate his online audience about all things yardbird.