Urban Farming in Tacoma: Building the Chicken Coop

Chicken Coop_20121110_0031 I can't believe my first blog post about our chickens, Bianca and Nera, is coming so late! That's not because the experience has been uneventful.

We really didn't know what we were getting into. Chickens are just different animals and practically dinosaurs. We often resorted to BackyardChickens.com with our questions about what to feed them, what plants to remove from our yard, how to keep their egg shells firm, if they needed heat on the coldest winter days (they don't) and why Nera started losing all of her feathers (brooding).

We thought we had it easy buying grown chickens with a coop, but the coop was ghetto and architecturally questionable. The roofing ran rain water into the chicken run -- not good -- so I spent most of the November and December weekends building a new chicken coop from scratch. Here are some photos from building process and the finished product.

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We literally worked day and night! Chicken Coop_20121110_0089

But it was worth it! Chickens_20130309_0009

The finished product. Chickens_20130309_0002

The external nesting box allows us to stay on our patio to check for eggs. Chickens_20130309_0003


One of the walls drops with a kickstand so that we can easily clean the coop and get to the chickens. Chickens_20130309_0037




Although the coop is doing the job (keeping the chickens safe), I am planning on rebuilding part of the run so that there's a door for us to more easily access it. Chickens_20130309_0021

Now that we're into spring, we're getting up to a dozen eggs a week from the birds. It's been a fun experience! Chickens_20130309_0057