Ever notice old chicken coops?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by woodmort, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    I live in an area that was settled in the 1790's so there are a lot of century old or older homes. As I drive around I can't help but notice the number of older home--75 yrs or older--that have small structures sitting out back--some have been converted to playhouses or garden/storage sheds, other are slowly disintegrating. If you look closely at them you'll see tell-tale signs they once housed chickens--roof vents, chicken doors, etc. While these are more common in the smaller towns you will see them in the older sections of the cities where the lots were once fairly large. Often too, there may be no shed but the is a barn/stable which, again if you look closely, had a part reserved for the family's flock. The point is that raising a backyard flock is part of our heritage, something the makers of "no chicken" laws seem to forget. I remember as I was growing up in the late40's/early 50's many still had small, self-sustaining flocks--a rooster, laying hens and a broody with next year's chicks where extra roos and old hens became Sunday dinner. So I guess those that are keeping backyard chickens are just retros.

    BTW, there are, increasingly, more of those old coops that are being reconverted to or replaced by chicken coops.
  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    My larger shed was once a chicken coop, and is again now. My smaller shed used to be an outhouse! [​IMG]
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    My husband Dave and I often take a nice drive in the country. He lived in a very rural area when he was young and I just think the old barns and small buildings and coops are sooo interesting, even if they're weathered and sun bleached......

    My coop is only about 9 year old. It's an 8x12 small animal barn that I purchased from a man on Craigs List, and he moved it for me. It's really great! I love it.
  4. helloroe

    helloroe Songster

    Jul 16, 2009
    Cetral FL
    My husband travels across the country in all directions over 5,000 miles a week. He is always telling me about the farms he sees and older homes with a flock in the back. Or the big old barns and how it could be set up for chickens. Getting back to the way life was, so funny that we would prefer to retreat before "progression"
  5. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

    Apr 19, 2009
    Fall Creek Falls TN
    All of our coops are made out of reclaimed barn wood from a huge old barn we took down. It's kinda cool because they look like they're what you're talking about- the green lichen-covered wood, big old strap hinges and rusty metal roofing. The only new stuff we used is the welded wire & staples.
  6. Yep, I've seen a few in town here by Chicago. The city's code enforcement officer had told me "St Charles has a long history of old coops in old yards". Our neighborhood has homes built around the civil war. One old coop currently houses cats. Another was allowed to be destroyed by the household boys to clean up the yard, a task they thoroughly enjoyed! But I sometimes wonder if it wouldn't be a fun and historical photography exhibit. We have a copy of "Uncle Sam Wants YOU to Raise Hens..." like a poster in our coop. I think it would be fun to have a collection of photos including more history, from Victory Gardens on back to the settler's days.............
  7. chicksbestfriend

    chicksbestfriend Songster

    Jul 12, 2010
    Maui, Hawaii
    Quote:There are still some older ranchlands still in existance here in Maui. I love to drive through the country, like you, I notice remenaces of of old barns, sheds........ always stopping, reflecting on what life on that land must of been like before modernization hit and wiped it out. If only the remnants of those structures could speak............. what would they say? Raising a backyard flock is definitely a part of my heritage. Though it skipped a generation before me, I am blessed that my grandmother is still around (hitting 90 and still kicking) to share with me what it was like for her growing up and working on the family ranch, how they culled, canned and stored their processed food to hold them through the winters to feed all 15 of the children. How all the family worked together to get the livestock ready for auction. How neighbors would barter their good with one another. I have newspaper articles from the 1920's and 1930's with advertisements of their families livestock auctions and just amazed how they toiled out in the pastures for mere pennies! I think it is quite interesting that back in those days, they would teach in the schools everything you needed to know about raising poultry and livestock, breed identification, self sustaining off the land and its resources. Grandma gets the biggest kick out me when I share with her the fondness I have for my flock, their different personalities, and all the treats they get................ grandma doesnt ever remember feeding their flock as we do today, they were strictly free range! Never got to know what it would be like to form a bond with the flock as everything on their farm was for the family dinners, they were never looked upon as a pet, and didnt dare pay any one of them any attention.

    Thank goodness the makers of "no chicken" law has yet to establish ground here on the island, and more of the island is reverting back to those good ol days of self sustainability. Even the town folks here are catching on to being more self sustaining like us country folks. I always get a belly full of laughs when visitors to the islands comment on the chicken over population they see. [​IMG]
  8. Fox&hen

    Fox&hen In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2010
    Yes, if you start looking for the old coops they are everwhere. Have noticed that many of the old coops are actually pretty good size.
  9. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Fox&hen :

    Yes, if you start looking for the old coops they are everwhere. Have noticed that many of the old coops are actually pretty good size.

    Yeah, in many cases the wife took care of the chickens and it was her source of income. Maybe that is a gender thing and it is the reason so many on this forum are female. [​IMG]
  10. Ladybirds9

    Ladybirds9 In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2010
    I've never noticed any coops... until the day I saw a PEACOCK WALKING DOWN THE ROAD! It turned out that he lived in a chicken coop that I had never noticed before, until then, even though I drove past it every day.
    We live about a mile outside the city limits - rule is 3 hens and no roosters, but that doesn't apply to us - they can't get my 30 obnoxious chickens!
    I don't know about peacocks... but that same house had a rooster and it was in the city. I guess that means chicken rules aren't enforced unless someone complains.

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