Or really in one coop…
This adventure started as a classroom project with these 3 adorable chickens.
I get an email for classrooms interested in taking on some chicks, everything supplied – we just get the thrill of watching them grow! When we are done they go back to the farm…
I couldn’t part with them and ended up adding them to our menagerie (which at the time was pretty reasonable).
Not only did I get attached to them, (chickens have a lot of personality) there are also a lot of environmental benefits to owning backyard chickens. For one they eat bugs! I am not a fan of spraying chemicals for pest control – I have come to terms with catching and releasing spiders and scorpions that wander into the house, but it is nice to have the chickens doing some of the dirty work outside.
One of the biggest benefits? They will eat your kitchen scraps and keep it out of the landfill! When we throw our leftover fruits and veggies (or any organic matter) into the landfill they aren’t able to decompose properly because of the lack of oxygen. When they finally do decompose they release harmful methane gas. Some chicken favorites include corn on the cob, apple cores, cucumbers, carrot greens, melon rinds and even leftover pasta. Make sure to avoid avocados, chocolate, potato peels and citrus. Chickens are a great way to reduce your ecological footprint by helping to obtain a zero waste lifestyle.
They are also great for the garden – whether it is their poop becoming fertilizer or their little feet tilling the soil.
When it was time to move our three chickens outside we bought a little red coop from Tractor Supply. This was in a nice little protected area at our previous house that I used to have my pet rabbits housed in and then became an outdoor area for our cats to hang out (hence the “roof”), but they really weren’t all that thrilled about being outside, so it was currently vacant…
Soon Lady Winston and Lady Conrad joined the flock. In no time we had more eggs than we knew what to do with.
Luckily my kids loved eggs!
Eggs of course are the number one benefit to backyard chickens. I know that my eggs are coming from well cared for chickens who are free ranging it as much as is allowed for their safety (coyotes). I know what they are being fed and how healthy they are. Plus I am not bringing home a single additional plastic or polystyrene egg carton.
When we moved to our new house we had an acre of land that was a bit more spread out. They needed a larger and much more secure area to protect them from coyotes. I began to peruse Pinterest and found so many amazing backyard chicken coops! I bought plans from here, but by the time we started we had added two ducks … Donald and Daisy. So we modified the plans into a double with a half divider between the two.
Looks pretty good for our first ever build of anything! We used a tape measure! and a level! and POWER TOOLS!
Stay tuned for Part 2!