Ton Matton’s Chicken Cabinet Produces Fresh Eggs Right in Your Backyard

by , 02/18/14

Ton Matton, Chicken Cabinet, urban farming, chicken coop, sustainable food, free range chicken, urban farming, recycled materials, repurposed furniture, green furniture, green lifestyle, eco-friendly furniture, green interiors, urban chicken coop

Ton’s Chicken Cabinet turns a familiar furnishing into a system dedicated to free range egg production. The cupboard is built to EU-approved free range specs, and it provides enough space for three chickens to roost and lay eggs. The compartmentalized unit has drawers for soil, straw, corn feed, and egg storage, as well as tiny curtains for the hens, since they prefer to lay eggs in the dark. Chickens need space to roam, so the unit should be placed in a backyard to give them access to the outdoors.

The Chicken Cabinet is part of Ton Matton’s line of Free Range Furniture, which includes a water-filtering “Jungle Shower”, the Compost Toilet 2.0, and a plant-growing Orchard Chair. Ton is the founder of Werkstatt Wendorf, an abandoned school turned design laboratory that is focused on developing “productive urban living concepts.” His works seek to show how tenants of country living and self-sufficiency can be applied to contemporary designs focused on production.

Ton certainly practices what he preaches – Werkstatt Wendorf is a model of self-sufficiency. Located in the German countryside, the living laboratory is powered by a massive 25 KW solar array that produces five times more electricity than needed. An on-site wood gasification facility provides heating and hot water, and it’s fueled mostly by locally grown wood – Ton has planted 500 birch trees and is aiming for a four hectare plot. Water is collected from a nearby lake, which is planted with purifying reeds, and solar thermal panels warm up water for showering.

+ Matton Office

+ Werkstatt Wendorf

Via Bettery Magazine

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  1. Alicia Anderson February 1, 2015 at 1:42 am

    Regardless of if this is an all day configuration or simply part of the day. This design is horribly flawed. Read all of the other comments below to see many of the problems(cleaning, space and accessibility to name a few). What I see first off as someone who has raised chickens for years though are the glass windows. Anyone who has had chickens will tell you that the birds love to peck at everything. I am not worried about broken glass though, but you will have to deal with the unrelenting sound of them hitting their beaks against the glass all day everyday. Trust me, it will drive you mad.

  2. T.r.3.3 January 27, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Awesome Idea, but not what most people need in their head

  3. Jessica Canty December 12, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Why fake chickens, and how is opening the door any easier than just reaching in?

    This is adorable, but really, we don’t need to encourage people to get hens with misrepresentations of out difficult it is to keep them. Notice how there’s no poo in these cages, and it’s really only good for an overnight stay. I took care of my girls this morning, only 5 of them, and it took me at least an hour to get everyone fed and watered and their space cleaned up.

    I love my chickens, but they’re not meant for everyone. This summer I looked for a larger coop on craigslist for my girls and they all came with the hens! These are labor intensive and expensive animals. If you want free range eggs, find a local supplier. Trust me, it’s cheaper, no matter how many eggs you buy.

  4. Karen Naylor October 28, 2014 at 10:22 am

    the article is misleading in that it states \\\’free range\\\’. my concern is that someone who is inexperienced in poultry keeping, would assume that this is all they need

  5. Jennifer Makhloufi October 27, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    This is lovely to look at, but that’s where it ends. Everyone that can, should keep chickens! But not with this design as a coop, here’s why…. There is nothing romantic about trying to manually scoop up and shut away chickens in a tiny space if they aren’t keen to the idea, and they do have minds of their own! Chickens need to be able to access their coop on their own, even during the day. The ladies don’t lay at precisely any given time, if they can’t get to a next box and they’ve been let out to early, you’ll have your very own easter egg hunt, every day, guaranteed. EU specs relate to cage battery hens, even just to roost this design is space inadequate. The water will be fouled within minutes. Speaking of fouled, this tiny space will be high maintenance in regards to cleaning, miss a cleaning and you’ve created a potentially dangerous situation for your girls. Chicken poop stinks folks, you get around that with roomy accommodations and good ventilation. Good ventilation is more than preventing dangerous vapor build up, it’s also about preventing comb freezing condensation. Temperature regulation through the seasons would also pose a challenge for this design. But, it really is pretty to look at, the design element could certainly be applied to a more appropriately designed chicken domicile!

  6. Ken Largo September 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    To address some of the comments below, this is a very good idea because chickens roost up high at night (they use tree branches in nature) in order to keep away from predators, and lay in an enclosed space (to protect their eggs).

    The chickens don’t live in the cabinet 24/7 – they range during the day in open space and lay / live in the cabinet at night.

    The cabinet is for our convenience. A typical free range chicken house has a roost pole up off of the ground and laying boxes which are elevated as well. This design mimics a typical roost/laying house for free range chickens in a user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing configuration.

  7. thepebb September 2, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Besides the wonderful accessibility features for the food & etc, this design would help prevent wild animals like coyotes from getting in… And please people, no one is suggesting the chickens live in this, if you’ve had any experience with farming you should know that. Pen at night, outside during the day. I think a chicken would be quite comfortable in this because it provides height during the night (roosting up high) which they like. Not sure about the curtains though- I wouldn’t have time to monitor each chicken and pull the shades shut when she’s about to lay.

    I too am wondering though how the chickens would access the nesting boxes, assuming they didn’t have their wings clipped and could still fly….maybe small ladders for each box during the day?

  8. morelle March 4, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    I actually love this idea, but forgive my ignorance…how do the chickens get up there?

  9. Catherine Clark March 4, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    The chickens don’t have to stay inside! This could be modified to be a back wall or you can just let them out. Geez, don’t people think anymore??? This could work well for an urban farm with little space.

  10. Mike Chino February 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Thanks for writing everyone – we’ve read your comments and we agree that this unit would need to be used in an open environment with space for the chickens to roam, so we’ve updated our post to clarify this.

  11. Laura Mistycah February 20, 2014 at 12:39 am

    Well, if this was a \\\”pet chicken\\\” that could roam the house with a diaper, this might work, otherwise, it would totally suck to be a chicken in in this cabinet…not much better than factory farm environment…(except maybe cleaner) Whoever made the EU approved specks was an idiot, not chicken would want to live their life locked up in this cell. This chicken cabinet has NOTHING to do with free range. I\\\’m not sure how that term even came into this article…there is no \\\”range\\\” and there is no \\\”freedom to roam.\\\” I think this idea could be adapted and useful, but not as is. Just say\\\’in…..

  12. Alicat79 February 19, 2014 at 9:42 am

    I don\’t understand why you think this will make you a free range chicken farmer. This will just make you a very small scale version of the industrial egg producers. No room for the hens to roam, no access to the outdoors. Just torturing chickens in your kitchen. What a sad thing

  13. Jérôme Chesnot February 18, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Cages are really too small :/

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