Monday, November 1, 2010

All Cooped Up*

This weekend was the first annual Belmont Chicken Coop Tour! So we took our dorky chicken-loving fannies around to have a look-see at some of our neighbors' backyard chickens. It was great to see firsthand the variety of people interested in keeping chickens. We came across families and grandparent-types all who shared their experience and knowledge with us. Thanks to them!

We saw different setups each had from the small portable coop to luxurious chicken condo coops. And there were plenty of variety in chickens to see as well. Silkie Chickens are quite a sight.

Here are some photos Alyssanne took along the tour:

This man converted a bike shed into a coop off of his garage and added a run.

This man built a portable coop to move around his garden. 
The moveable coop is probably what we would build, since we are renters. This man lives about 1 minute down the road from us. His yard is about the size of ours (tiny). In addition to 5 chickens, he has a beautiful garden and 2 bee boxes!

It was especially fun to meet some people with similar interests and chat them up about their hobbies. One thing we found surprising was that most of the 8 houses we visited had only been keeping chickens for about a year and a half or so. Also encouraging, some of the most knowledgeable people we spoke with were kids!

tee hee

Here are a few of the most popular breeds...

Penciled Weymouth

 White Cornish Rock

Buff Orpington and Americauna

Silkie... funny little chickens

how would you like to have these fresh every morning?

The next step in this adventure of ours is to figure out the logistics of coop-building. In the meantime, I've added this book to our ever-expanding self-sustainability library.

So tell us, friends. Are we crazy or what? Would you ever keep chickens? What breed should we get? What should we name them? Do you want to help us build a coop?

*All Cooped Up was the name of the tour. So don't blame us for that cheesiness.


  1. I think having a chicken coop would be dope. p.s. You guys might like this! :D

    or this one!

  2. I would keep bees before chickens probably, but they are funny little things to have around. If you held them in one place on the ground and drew a line on the ground straight out from their faces would it hypnotize them? I've seen that done, it's kooky. How much does it cost to feed those things anyway?

  3. Shannon: Those sites are really cool, thanks!

    Kelli: I've never heard of hypnotizing chickens, but that is something we will definitely have to try. The feed is about 15$ for a 5lb. bag, which lasts about a month.
    And beekeeping is on the agenda for next summer ;)

  4. I'm so excited this is really happening!! You should name them Beatrix Potter names like Mrs. Tiggywinkle and Timmy Tiptoes. Or Clue characters...

  5. LOVE this idea! I have friends in Denver that live in a community house and grow all their own produce, etc. in the middle of the city. I wonder if they've moved on to chickens/bees. I'll ask!

  6. i have always wanted chickens... but we are not zoned for them in west augustine (funny huh?! there are "stray" chickens all over around here!)

  7. Billina!!!Like Return to Oz!!

  8. I want to name one of them Belina! But I like the Beatrix Potter idea too. Also, I think it would be really funny to name them after country singers. The Judds, Reba, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn. What do you think?


  9. i have backyard chickens. theyre really easy to keep but you need to do some research about what kind of feed to give them. i recommend avoiding feeds with anonymous animal byproducts and making up for the protein with sunflower seeds and scraps. weve started using purina layena and have had good luck with that, but im pretty sure its all soy gmo. also, get heritage birds. these are original, natural, non-gmo birds which are endangered. personally, it freaks me out that natural chickens are being wiped out by tampered with chickens.
    if you put your coop on wheels (chicken tractor), your chickens can always have nice grass under their feet.

  10. Thanks so much for the info Christy! We will definitely do our research on chicken feed. We also might pick your brain more as we get closer to getting our chickens. I agree that heritage breeds are being wiped out. Not cool.