Growing your own food and urban farming in general are more than trendy today. As people become aware of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and pesticides, they are demanding organic food.
My first chicken coop
My first chicken coop was going to be my retired outhouse coupled with some cedar fencing I rescued from a landscaping job site. I sold the house before I had a chance to build the coop, but the dream of having chickens for meat and eggs has not died. Actually, it’s on the front burner now.
More recently, I had a big shed that would have made the perfect coop on a quarter acre fenced to keep out coyotes, dogs and cats. The shed was not safe, and, after close examination, it was easier to tear it down than shore it up. So I am back to square one designing a chicken coop from scratch, hopefully of recycled materials.
Basics of urban farming chicken coops
A coop can be a sustainable DIY project of recycled windows, doors and siding materials. Chickens need a well-ventilated area out of the elements. Include windows with screens, a door to get in to clean and harvest eggs, a waterproof roof, and you’re halfway there.
The coop can be portable (then it’s called a tractor), or it can be a permanent structure with a big run attached. Each chicken needs 2-3 sq ft of room inside the coop and 4-5 sq ft in an outdoor run.
Put your coop where you have easy access, then get some chicks, food and water! Chickens do not only provide food and fertilizer, they make great pets, and children love to be involved.
If you live in the city, check the ordinances! More and more cities are allowing a small backyard coop, and others, like Richmond, VA have recently changed the codes and made residents get rid of their flocks and coops. We want to move forward, not backwards!
Seven types of chicken coops
Here are seven coops that run the gamut from Seussian to contemporary. See my chicken coops Pinterest board for more creative ideas!
Stylin’ inside and out:
Urban farming and chicken coops equal greater self-sufficiency
You will be more self-sufficient whether you buy or make a coop. Producing your own food is healthier and reduces your carbon footprint. Share your abundance with friends and neighbors, or barter for goods or services you don’t have. Raising chickens for food and fertilizer is part of a sustainable lifestyle, and sharing creates community. It’s a good thing all the way around!