There isn't a coop per se at our house, although some I've seen at BackyardChickens.com are creative and beautiful, true works of art. So this is just about sharing where our chickens have lived through the years. It's a rural area, no formality! and whatever was here, was used.
When chickens first entered our lives, they moved into a back corner of a very old barn. The corner was configured with chicken wire, nest boxes, fresh shavings, and whatever else they needed plus a small door to the outside including ramp suited too them. This was the way to freedom, grass, and foraging. When they had gone to roost, they were locked in for safety.
Then they migrated to the east side of the barn, in the middle, where we fashioned an area with roost, nest boxes, feeders, shavings, a bench to help arthritic feet and legs, and a door plus ramp to freedom outside.
When we moved nearby, we used old boards and built a chicken house off a shed that was attached to the garage. This house has a roost on one side, nest boxes on the other, and across the back, looking outside, an old paned glass window we found. As before, everybody is closed inside the house at night, for protection against hungry nocturnal visitors.
The chicken yard is good sized, especially for the four hens and one rooster who currently live there. It's covered and is sturdy although old, so you have to keep an eye on it. Some old telephone poles and old boards are the framework, with chicken wire around and on top. It's a treat when the apricot tree next to the yard has an excess of fruit and it falls down through the chicken wire. Hawks and other critters can't get in, but chickens are allowed out when it's safe for them and when the garden is fallow. Then everybody scratches and forages outside.
(In this earlier photo, the yard is fairly new, and the chickens didn't like snow very much.)
There are so many amazing coops on this site! They're gorgeous. What I have to share is sort of down to earth and was made from what we had at the time, but it's worked for us. The chickens who live here seem to be happy, and they're safe. They forage, argue, gossip, lay eggs, and spend their days being themselves, and as always they're captivating.
Thank you for checking out the article. Enjoy your flocks!
evolution of chicken houses and yards over the years
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