Vermont Coop & Run Done !!!


In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 26, 2009
Ripton, Vermont
Here's a picture of our chicken run, lower vegetable garden and a bit of the riding-mower palace that I converted into a chicken coop:


Today we had a fierce hailstorm! It looks like snow...

I made a portcullis-type door for the coop that I can raise and lower with a rope pulleys from outside the gate. If it ices up I'll have to operate it manually by going inside the gate. The gate is up about a half metre from the ground, to make it easy to open in the snow.

Decided to make a concrete floor. This was after hearing about the weasels that got into my neighbours' coops repeatedly, from underneath. Theoretically this should act as a heat sink in the Winter, storing energy from sunny days and releasing it at night... but we'll see. Put a drain underneath and sloped the floor

Got a price shock from the fencing; the welded wire fencing from China doubled in price from the time that I ordered it at the farm supply place, to the time that I picked it up. 'Everything steel has gone up' they said. So I paid $700 instead of $350 thinking only that the money was soon to be worthless in the coming commerical collapse, but my ability to raise chickens and protect them from foxes, weasels and raccoons would be important, at any price.

The run itself was tilled in early Spring and then I picked up the rocks and sowed a cover crop of rye and clover. Also planted random vegetable and wildflower seeds outside the fence.

I'll try to borrow a real camera and get some pictures of the chickens outside; they really seem to enjoy it. In the morning they peep like crazy to come out, and pour out when I raise the door like commuters from an overcrowded Subway train...
What a setup! That's a fantastic garden. "Lower vegetable garden" - how much do you have under cultivation? All for your table or do you also sell at a farmer's market? I'm envious!
Thanks for the compliments, SimplyForties, it was s lot of hard work!

At the moment we simply plan to share with neighbours (all of Ripton, Vermont are essentially neighbours). Someone is trying to get a local market off the ground though.

I'm planting some things that others are not, in order to have what to trade. Garlic, kiwis, leeks, beets, blueberries, currants, plums etc. (Tried sakatoons but it's possibly too darned hot here in Vermont.)

By 'lower vegetable garden' I wrote in haste and meant the following... there is an old sheep meadow bound by stone walls, on the other side of the chicken run, but it needs to be cleared of saplings and tilled; and then properly fenced. Next year it will be the actual chicken run. The current chicken run will become the 'middle vegetable garden'. I'll keep rotating the two.

Here's a diagram. Everything is so gosh darn expensive now, good thing the fertiliser is free !!!


x x
x x
x Upper Vegetable Garden x
x (Year 2 Chicken Run) x
x x
x x
x | | x
x | coop | x
x | | x
x DOOR_______| x
x Year 1 (present) Chicken Run x
x (Year 2 Vegetable Garden) x
x x

Lower Vegetable Garden
(Rotating crops, free chickens sometimes)

You are living my dream Portalguy! I've only got three 4x8 raised vegetable beds and put the chickens on each, sequentially at the end of the season, to help me till and fertilize. They do a great job! Just wish I had space to do more!

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