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Neiman Marcus

11 Snazzy Chicken Coops for Backyard Poultry Farmers

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Neiman Marcus

You no longer have to settle for a boring boxy coop for your backyard brood. Here are eleven coops that break the mold.

1. The Hobbit Hole Chicken Coop

Etsy

A chicken coop with round doors and round windows? I'm sold.

2. The Nogg

Nogg

This egg-shaped sculptural coop houses 2-4 chickens. It's so pretty I'm checking my pockets to see if I have an extra few thousand dollars I forgot about.

3. The Stoop Coop

Just Fine Design

This coop is built to look like a short flight of stairs, and is made for small urban back yards. This designer's coops are all pretty great, but this one fits the bill for city dwellers who just want to keep three or four hens.

4. The Chicken Tractor

Williams Sonoma

This no-frills coop can be moved around your yard. It has a cedar shake roof and pine siding.

5. The Eglu by Omelet

Omlet

Cute name, cute house. This bright plastic coop will fit right in with your kid's garishly colored backyard playhouse. It looks like it would hose off much more easily than the wood coops.

6. The Green Roof

Williams Sonoma

For the space-conscious poultry farmer, this coop includes a rooftop garden to shade the chickens when they're in their spacious 25-square-foot run.

7. Reclaimed and Rustic

Williams Sonoma

Everybody likes reclaimed. This one is made of old redwood fencing.

8. The Little Winnebago

Modern Coops

Also made out of reclaimed wood, this coop looks a little like an old school mobile home, complete with racing stripes. The little windows in the roosting area are especially charming.

9. The Miniature House

Etsy
This chicken coop is built to look like a tiny house, complete with shutters on the windows. The linoleum inside adds a homey touch.

10. The Buckingham Chicken House

Chicken Houses World

Your very British chickens will appreciate this indoor-outdoor living experience in the Buckingham Palace of henhouses. It's made out of Scandinavian redwood.

11. Beau Coop

Neiman Marcus

Last but not least, this six-figure chicken coop costs more than the homes of many humans. Your chickens will enjoy a chandelier and other posh decor inspired by the Palace of Versailles. When you purchase the coop, Neiman Marcus will make a $3000 donation to a nonprofit that helps conserve endangered livestock breeds.

Additional Sources: DesignSwan and Curbed.

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Big Questions
Why Do Cats Freak Out After Pooping?
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iStock

Cats often exhibit some very peculiar behavior, from getting into deadly combat situations with their own tail to pouncing on unsuspecting humans. Among their most curious habits: running from their litter box like a greyhound after moving their bowels. Are they running from their own fecal matter? Has waste elimination prompted a sense of euphoria?

Experts—if anyone is said to qualify as an expert in post-poop moods—aren’t exactly sure, but they’ve presented a number of entertaining theories. From a biological standpoint, some animal behaviorists suspect that a cat bolting after a deposit might stem from fears that a predator could track them based on the smell of their waste. But researchers are quick to note that they haven’t observed cats run from their BMs in the wild.

Biology also has a little bit to do with another theory, which postulates that cats used to getting their rear ends licked by their mother after defecating as kittens are showing off their independence by sprinting away, their butts having taken on self-cleaning properties in adulthood.

Not convinced? You might find another idea more plausible: Both humans and cats have a vagus nerve running from their brain stem. In both species, the nerve can be stimulated by defecation, leading to a pleasurable sensation and what some have labeled “poo-phoria,” or post-poop elation. In running, the cat may simply be working off excess energy brought on by stimulation of the nerve.

Less interesting is the notion that notoriously hygienic cats may simply want to shake off excess litter or fecal matter by running a 100-meter dash, or that a digestive problem has led to some discomfort they’re attempting to flee from. The fact is, so little research has been done in the field of pooping cat mania that there’s no universally accepted answer. Like so much of what makes cats tick, a definitive motivation will have to remain a mystery.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Animals
Listen to the Impossibly Adorable Sounds of a Baby Sloth
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RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/GettyImages

Sometimes baby sloths seem almost too adorable to be real. But the little muppet-faced treasures don't just look cute—turns out they sound cute, too. We know what you're thinking: How could you have gone your whole life without knowing what these precious creatures sound like? Well, fear not: Just in time for International Sloth Day (today), we have some footage of how the tiny mammals express themselves—and it's a lot of squeaking. (Or maybe that's you squealing?)

The sloths featured in the heart-obliterating video below come from the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica. The institution rescues orphaned sloths, rehabilitates them, and gets them ready to be released back into the wild.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

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