It all began a couple weeks before Easter in 2010 when we were given two chicks as a sort of gag gift. I've kept birds before, but never chickens. When it comes to taking care of animals, I'm very serious about it so I began doing my homework. It turns out having chickens is pretty easy if your property can support them--of course, you'll also need to check out your local ordinances and laws on live poultry.
To make a long story short, the two chicks grew up, turned out to be roosters, and ultimately I acquired some pullets and full grown hens and my true flock was founded.
That's my first coop. In the US, we're kind of in a backyard chicken renaissance, and so many companies are taking advantage of this by offering tiny coops for 2 or 4 birds and charging as much as $400 for them. I found this ridiculous and made my coop out of material I had lying around--an ancient squirrel trap, lawnmower leaf attachments, an old dog kennel, tarps, and a lot of chicken wire and zip-ties.
Rubbermaid bins serve as nesting boxes. Despite the look of this coop, it was extremely successful for several years. As I got more birds, from chicks hatched in my incubator as well as under broody hens, the coop expanded--first James outgrew his crib and I turned that into an extention...
Stay tuned for pics of the "chicken hanger" in the next part of this post... I need to go out and take some photos!
Oh, and maybe I should share some pictures of the chickens too... my flock is as mixed-up and hybridized as my coops, part Saipan Jungle Fowl/true Blue Ameracauna/Asian silkie. And the best part is the majority of my hens lay blue or green eggs!
Click here for the rest in part 2!