Love chickens and urban hen-keeping? I photographed these chicken coops and hens on a city tour of backyard flocks. Come grab some ideas for your chooks.
Also see, 7 Things to Consider Before Getting Hens.
Keeping Hens in a City
Several years ago, when a local city council was debating whether to legalize hen-keeping, a tour was organized so anyone unfamiliar with chicken-keeping could come see what it is like.
I’m guessing that anyone opposed to hens probably did not actually come have a look, but for those of use who like hens had a lovely day viewing the various coops.
The first thing I noticed was how everyone regarded their chooks as beloved pets. And no, there were not any roosters. Roosters are another story. But in my experience as a neighbour to hens, they are lovely to have nearby, providing daily entertainment.
We also met a lot of children who look after their hens on a daily basis and it was really fun to hear their stories. We all shared a love of hen antics.
This coop is a shed raised up on supports with hen doors both on the floor and side leading to an outdoor, enclosed area. There are some handy wall doors for collecting eggs as well.
The key to a successful coop design is something that is safe, functional, and easy to access both for the hens and the humans who need to keep it clean and collect eggs.
This one is a mobile chicken tractor. It stays in the garden during the warm months and can be place on the deck by the house in the winter for easy access for feeding and collecting eggs. Hens are vulnerable to various predators so a moveable pen like this is often the safest solution. When the hens have finished scratching the grass and enjoying the insects, it’s time to move to another grazing area.
This coop was built right against the enclosed patio on the back of the house with access to a fenced scratching area. The hen-keeper told us this was a fabulous setup especially in the cold, winter months. The coop was warmed by the adjacent house and they didn’t have to shovel snow to feed and water and collect eggs each day.
This little coop is off the ground with a long outdoor area as well:
I thought this one was pretty stylish:
It looks like a wee caravan and has a walkway off the back leading to an open pen.
What Determines the Colour of the Eggs?
Did you know chicken eggs come in a rainbow of colours? Greens, pinks, blues, tans, yellows, browns, and, of course, white. And what determines the colour? The short answer is, it’s a few factors. Genetics is the primary influence, as well as various condition the hen and egg are exposed to, both in the hen’s environment and inside its body. Lisa, at Fresh Eggs Daily, has a good article about her quest to have eggs in a rainbow of colours.
We found our way to each coop by following the chicken tracks on the pavement. Gotta love chicken foot graffiti. 🙂
I didn’t get a lot of photos but I hope you found some good ideas.
Gardening with Chickens by Lisa Steele