Cooped Up

I spent a good portion of yesterday researching chickens. I’m fascinated by the idea of keeping chickens in the backyard for eggs! I don’t know if it’s right for us, but I had a lot of fun looking at chicken coops and imagining having one out back.

  1. Chicken Crib
  2. Eglu Cube
  3. Modern Chicken Coop
  4. The Saltbox Coop
  5. Eglu Go
  6. Portable Chicken Coop

Design*Sponge recently wrote about keeping chickens, and Apartment Therapy wrote about the subject a couple of years ago. As people are becoming more aware of their food sources and sustainable living (both things I’m working on), it seems chicken keeping is making a big comeback. I haven’t met anyone keeping them in an urban (or suburban) setting, though it seems they’re out there! Do you or any of your neighbors have chickens?

146 Responses to “Cooped Up”

  1. matt April 29, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    love them! check out ours!
    we’re making some more for maker faire in may

    http://www.justfinedesignbuild.com/portfolio/show/6

  2. Kristín April 30, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    do it! I’m going to do it one day when I have a garden and not just a balcony :)

    It’s also good for the environment since chicken eat pretty much anything so you can stop throwing away leftovers etc. and get eggs instead!

  3. KatieO April 30, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    I hail from Portland, OR….the capital of Urban Chicken Farmers :) Seriously. It’s the *thing* to do, here!

  4. Leah HugaMonkey April 30, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    We have 3 and LOVE them. We raised them from chicks, but you can buy them full grown if you don’t want to put in that hard work at the beginning. They eat kitchen scraps and bugs out of your lawn, fertilize, give eggs, and are so fun to watch and play with. My 3 kids love taking care of them and holding them. They’re a great pet for people who aren’t big pet people. Very low maintenance with good benefits.

  5. Difranco April 30, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    I’ve started keeping fowl, however I recently moved to the country. I hatched and raised several Guinea Fowl and let them roam freely. They are absolutely fabulous birds!

  6. Polli April 30, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    We keep chickens in the city… you can see photos of them blog. We’ve got 11 now and we love it. We’ve had them a year and it’s been an adventure, but great for our family.

  7. Christine Heinrichs April 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    Check out my books, How to Raise Chickens and How to Raise Poultry, http://poultrybookstore.com. They focus on raising traditional breeds in small flocks. I’m historian for the Society for Preservation of Poultry Antiquities, and have a collection of antique poultry books and magazines. Take a look at Backyard Poultry magazine.

  8. Wendy May 1, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    We have 7, including one rooster. We have almost 4 acres though.

  9. Bordeaux May 1, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    I’m totally into the idea of keeping chickens for eggs and as pets. We’re moving to Taiwan in a few months and I am seriously considering getting a pet hen for our apartment. I’ve seen people walk pigs on leashes in Taiwan parks, so I wonder if I can do the same with a hen…

  10. Desiree Fawn May 3, 2010 at 1:35 am #

    I absolutely have been planning on getting chicks for a while now… there’s a bylaw against them here, but we have some neighbours who’ve kept them for years with no problemos! Hope to get some soon!

  11. rosa May 3, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    We live on Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada. We live in a small city which doesn’t yet allow chickens….with that being said we decided to get some anyway!! we have .20 of an acre, which seems like ALOT but in chicken language it’s not. I don’t want to come across sounding negative about chickens or any thing that helps with ecology and economy, because for some that are great!! There are a few things to remember though…they don’t like to be cooped up ;) hehe, if you have them in a permanent house, they will need to be let out into the yard to forge for bugs and scratch and eat plants, if you have a chicken tractor is has to be moved, often, that means you have to be home and willing to do that. If they are let into your yard, they will destroy(slowly) everything. They can’t discern between your favorite flowers and a blade of grass, they will eat it all. Also they have no manners when it comes to bodily functions, they don’t realize that you don’t want your entire back yard full of chicken poo bombs. That being said, they are lovely, give you gifts of delicious eggs and can make great pet companions. Make the decision for yourself and for the right reasons :)

  12. Kristy May 4, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    I’ve had chickens for 3 years now in an urban environment (Madison, WI). My three hens are now gone and I’ve replaced them with 4 new chicks.

    Chickens are super easy to care for, and cheap too. The only expensive cost is the coop. Ours was easy though, because we built it out of free/found materials.

    Check out the backyardchickens.com forum for lots of good advice.

    My chickens: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_kristy_/sets/72157600312195114/
    2008 Chicken Coop tour: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_kristy_/collections/72157606308665133/
    2009 Chicken Coop tour: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_kristy_/collections/72157622055775950/

  13. Bethany May 6, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    My husband and I live in a rural area, but we raise chickens that we grow up to sell to people for homelaying flocks. The bulk of our customers live in Raleigh, Durham, and Wilmington, NC. We’ve helped a lot of people get their own laying flocks set in urban and rural areas, and I’m a big fan of the chicken tractor method. Allowing the chickens to scratch and forage really does make the eggs have a better quality. If you’re handy at all though I definitely say make your own coop/tractor! There are tons of simple triangular plans online, and they are crazy cheaper. I’d love to see any chicks you guys may get. Do you know what kind you might end up getting? I like a mix myself for my own flock. I have two Buff Orpingtons, two Barred Rocks, and two Rhode Island Reds for our personal flock (not the one we have to sell eggs from). I like all of them though. :)

  14. Amy May 7, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    Oooo… do it! I love my chickens so much. They are way easier to take care of then I thought, so funny to watch and the eggs are yummers. My toddler LOVES them.

  15. katie May 8, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    a few houses down from one of my husband’s bachelor apartments in madison, wi is a house that keeps chickens in the backyard. they also had a pug that kept sentinel. we called it the pug and chicken house, which sounds like a very good name for a pub. =) i think it would be cool to keep chickens when we get a house of our own, but i’m uncertain about it if we need to have roosters. i don’t like being woken up that early. =)

    • Bethany May 9, 2010 at 9:54 am #

      You don’t have to have a rooster unless you just want one for some reason. Chickens are like people. The women drop (or lay! ha) eggs every month (with chickens they lay an egg about every day) whether there is a man around to fertilize them or not. haha A lot of cities allow people to have hens but no roosters for this reason – they can still have eggs but don’t have ticked off neighbors. :)

  16. Shandra Lenae May 10, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    Check out coldantlerfarm.blogspot.com. Jenna has created a blog just for homesteading starting from a small scale. I found her by checking out her book ‘Made From Scrath’ which has a detailed chapter about her trials and successes of raising a few chickens.

  17. Mackenzie Farmer May 10, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    I have two chickens. I enjoy collecting the eggs. They each lay an egg a day. I painted my chicken coop petal pink and I painted chickens all over the coop. I painted the word chicken all over the rungs of the ladder. You can check out my coop on my blog post at http://www.mackenzien@edublogs.org. My chickens are named Buttertwist and Coconut. Coconut flies out of the pen so we will have to trim her wings. I think you will enjoy having chickens.

  18. Fiona May 13, 2010 at 5:12 am #

    My aunt in a suburb of Sydney, Australia had them when we were growing up, but she had a really large yard, and quite a large fenced area they stayed in. Every once in a while, a cat or other animal would get in somehow, and it wasn’t pretty, so keep that in mind.

  19. jenny V. May 18, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    Yes~ We live in Seattle and and at least three neighbors on our block have chickens! You can definitely make it work in an urban area and I have to say, the chickens have become part of my morning that I look forward to hearing – just as much as the boats!

  20. Erin R. May 19, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    When I was in middle school, we had a couple of chickens (we lived in the suburbs). Keeping them was easy, but as we were kids and it was our responsibility to feed them in the morning (and like Chicago, Michigan is cold in the winter) we grew tired of it and gave them back to our friends from whom we got them. Since you aren’t a kid though and have a more realistic idea of what you’re getting into, I say go for it. If I didn’t have two large dogs who would greatly desire to have said chickens for a tasty snack, I would definitely do it.

  21. Allison May 21, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    We live in the country and have kept chickens for years. Remember, they are very social with each other and they always prefer sleeping on a roost as opposed to the ground. And hens prefer to lay in a nest, not on the ground. And they absolutely must be secured at night. You would be surprised at the prowlers roaming your neighborhood at night that find chickens very tasty.

    Ours are outdoors year round. Though it is not quite as cold in Texas as in Illinois, I would still not keep them in your garage over the winter. Some breeds are more winter-hardy than others. Check into those breeds. If they have an area that is partially covered and out of the north wind they should be okay. Have you visited any local farms to see how others in your area are raising chickens? You can check out the Cackle Hatchery in Missouri and Murray McMurray, which may be in Illinois. Best wishes! Chickens are lots of fun. Bantams are really great!

  22. Aubrey December 20, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    I love the #3 modern one. It looks like it came from Ikea. Our neighbor has a shed load of chickens and one of them has mainly become our pet, i may have to invest in that coop for him :)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks:

  1. Link Time! | My.BuzzCritic.com - April 30, 2010

    [...] house to sell. – Hooked on HousesBuying a chicken coop? See the most stylish options. – Making It LovelyTransform an ornate ceiling medallion into a stylish mirror. – DIY LifeGet “ditty” [...]

  2. Friday Faves | Meet Miss Jones - April 30, 2010

    [...] chicken if they don’t lay enough). Making it Lovely just featured some stylish and fun chicken coops–mostly out of my price range, but great [...]

  3. Friday Faves: (on sunday) » LIFEOGRAPHY | Virginia Beach + Norfolk's Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child photographer - May 2, 2010

    [...] day, we’ll have free-range chickens. These are styling chicken coops to house them [...]

  4. Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » Roof :: Coop - May 21, 2010

    [...] the chicken coop? I’m still keen on the idea, but Brandon is most definitely not. Therefore we will not be [...]

  5. Balancing Everything » Gardening woes & chickens - June 28, 2010

    [...] keeping chickens has become somewhat trendy, who knew? My parents usually keep around 30 birds and eventually we’d like to get some [...]

  6. Honor Roll | Making it Lovely - August 19, 2011

    [...] still like the idea of owning chickens. Especially when I see a beautiful coop like this one. Plus I know how to hard-boil an egg now! Yay [...]

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image