Thursday, May 2, 2013


I'm using two pictures this week because they are of the same coop (same style coop just set up a bit differently).  I just love the look with the red and white, the small building, the fenced in chicken yard.  It all looks so nice.  I'm working on the area that will be our future barn site and the spot that I'm clearing to become our own "chicken yard" at some point.

Speaking of, can anyone who has chickens give some recommendations on plants that I could perhaps plant that can grow in the area and become established (perennials obviously) for later enjoyment by chickens?  Or things that chickens like?  Shade in a certain direction?  Low bushes?  Tall grass?  If I'm planning ahead for us with fruit trees, I don't mind planning ahead for our future chickens.  Happy chickens lay happy eggs, or so I've heard, ha.


  1. 1st Man,

    I don't have chickens yet, hoping for some in the near future. Great looking coop.

  2. I vote the second one! Also have you seen the chicken tractors? The ideal it is a movable (on wheels) chicken coop without a floor. You can move it so the chickens can scratch, forage and put down manure in specified area. It is the deep mulch homestead method.

    I attached a Google search link (pictures.

  3. great looking coup! i don't have any yet but if i ever get them i think i am going the tractor route!

  4. I like number one.
    I know nothing about chickens although I intend to when we have our own place.
    I like the idea of a chicken house on a pole so that the chickens can get in but foxes can't although I guess you would still have to have some kind of enclosure for them to walk around in.

    One thing I would add though is that when you come to buy chickens, then why not take on some rescue chickens - those that have been saved from the dreadful factory farming where they lose their feathers and have to survive in cramped places. My best friend (in Australia) has rescued chickens and it is wonderful to see them progress from poor tired maltreated creatures into healthy wonderful birds - just as they were intended to be!

    Did I write all this once before? ;-)

    1. When I was a kid, we would go to the city dump and rescue baby chicks that the local factory would throw away. Now, with ordinances and whatnot, that dump no longer exists, so I often wonder what happens to those chicks now. Do they get tossed into the landfill, with no hope of rescue? Sometimes I think progress really isn't...

    2. I agree George. We are such a 'throw away' society even throwing away the animals we should be looking after.

  5. Nothing will live in the chickens' yard. Nothing. If you put a tree in there, something they will like, they will fly up in it and out of the yard. If you do decide to put a bush in their yard, put lots of protection for the root area as they will dig a hole to dust and accidentally dig up the bush. If you are going to put in a yard for them, I would advise a top of welded wire to keep out predators.

    Oh, mine love to sit under a huge boxwood in the front yard. The limbs have never been trimmed from the lower part. My two hens hide from me, never moving and refusing to come when I call. Of course, they don't do this all the time. The boxwood is established and hardy. I would plant that in their pen if I had a choice. If you plant a tree with soft fruit for them, they will love that. When I was young, we had a persimmon tree in the chicken yard. But, you need one outside the yard for your pleasure.

    Build some raised beds for food for them. Cover the bed with firmly attached chicken wire so the chickens can stand on the wire and feed on the greens and not dig. Otherwise, the hens will just destroy the plants. That way, as the greens grow, hens can eat. The greens will regrow, must like picking leaf lettuce and waiting for regrowth. The hens will be fertilizing the bed as they go. At some point, you can dig out the poopy dirt and use it for the garden or fruit trees.

  6. I like the second one; egglayers on one side, meat birds, turkeys or whatever on the other. Definitely a cover over both sides....they will become a hawk meal.

  7. I'm definitely wanting to get a chicken coop myself. Have you visited ? They have some awesome coop ideas on there, and discussions about various types of chickens, which ones are better for egg-laying or for meat, the temperaments of different types of chickens, etc. Awesome site!
    One idea I like (can't remember where it came from) for a coop is to have 3 or 4 yards coming off the coop and rotate the chickens so that when they peck one yard down too far, set them into one of the other yards, etc. That way, no single yard should become a desolate wasteland lol (in theory, anyway!). However, that definitely takes up more room!

  8. You can always plant greenery for the chickens on the outside of the fence right along their run...the greens will grow up and the chickens will be able to peck the green tops, but they won't be able to dig up the bush. ANYTHING you put in their run will be demolished before you can say any cliche word :) It will be bare dirt in there before you know it.

    Some of the online chicken sites sell a 'chicken mix' - but you can get last year's discounted green seeds from most garden centers, etc, out of season. They'll eat most things other than perennial herbs... mine particularly like salad mixes, mustards, kales, carrots... anything we like, really. Good luck!

    Chickens are awesome!

  9. Congrats on beginning to think about your future chickens. AA few tips from my experience:

    1) Check out all the online info requirements, breeds most adapted to your needs and desires for meat/egg production, heat and cold hardiness,etc.
    2) It appears that you have plenty of space, so I'd say make it bigger than you think you need...chickens become addicting and as you learn about more breeds you may want to diversify your flock.
    3) Be sure to make the space where the chickens live predator-proof. Install hardware wire at least 12 inches below the floor of the run and covering the top as well.
    4) Minimize hassle as much as possible...automatic coop door, automatic watering system, etc...

  10. Terry over at Hen Blog keeps her compost in the chicken run. Not pretty, but very functional!

  11. Comment posted for someone who wanted to share this info:

    "Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard by Jessi Bloom is a wonderful resource for anyone looking to grow plants in/around a chicken run or garden along with free range chickens. I'm currently a city person like you, but looking to move back to Texas and own some acreage and this book has been a valuable resource is planning what I would like to do. The book is geared towards raising chickens in a suburban yard, but the ideas can all easily be transferred to rural living. The author lives in the Pacific Northwest, so you won't be able to use all of her recommendations, but it is a wonderful place to start. Here's the amazon link:

    Good luck in picking out some plants and the chickens to go along with it for your your farm!


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