This Month’s “Cool Coop” is a wonderful example of how a small backyard project or hobby can – with a little creativity – become a thriving business. Continue reading as Pamela Adler describes how her backyard flock grew from providing not only her family with fresh eggs, but also friends and neighbors who enjoy her unique “U-Serve egg hut”!
A Bountiful Backyard
by Pamela Adler
How many of us have fantasized about our own backyard chickens…just a few to eat the bugs, cluck happily in the morning and produce those wonderful organic eggs? I, too, had this dream; but what began as a simple idea of a few chickens producing a couple eggs a day quickly took on a life of its own. Now, just a year later, we have a thriving self-serve egg business, just over 200 chickens and a beautiful backyard with several coops, a raised bed garden and wildflower meadow woven into the landscape.
We chose the theme of the old west to bring a sense of continuity to the landscape. We began with a few vintage window frames…this got the ‘Wicked Chicken Saloon’ under construction. Re-claimed, beautiful barn wood graces the exterior of the saloon with egg boxes constructed with a hinged lid for simple egg gathering. No need to enter the coop which the ‘girls’ appreciate as they get down to the business of laying.
The second building was an existing garden shed…we simply again added vintage window frames to continue the theme and painted out the ‘Wicked Chicken Mercantile’ sign on a nice piece of barn wood. The use of signs and vintage treasures displayed on barn wood shelves adds to the flavor of a mercantile.
Finally, with more girls now than we knew what to do with, we took a hard look at our large metal storage shed and constructed a very large coop within the shed. This has become the ‘No Tell-Hotel’.
Why so many chickens, you may ask. We found that so many of our friends and neighbors enjoyed the backyard eggs just as much as we did and once we offered a few for sale, the demand far exceeded what our few girls could produce. That is when I spotted a rustic barn wood hut for sale…perfect for our egg hut; now complete with a small fridge, chicken decor, flowers and candy to greet our eager customers. Often the hut will be visited by strangers who just come to take photos of the scene; we’ve added a vintage horse-drawn wagon near the hut and planted wild flowers for summer color. Our little business thrives on the honor system and harkens back to a simpler time…the self-serve hut houses a small cash box where customers help themselves to the eggs they need and always leave the payment; often with a tip included!
The little chicken farm has blossomed into a thriving small business which has brought us a lot of happiness. The ‘girls’ are a joy to care for and we never grow tired to gathering the beautiful eggs each evening. If you are still ‘on the fence’ and contemplating adding a few chickens to your backyard I would encourage you to do some homework, build a small coop and jump in…you will be rewarded each and every day.
Thank you Pam for sharing your beautiful setup and unique coops! I’m sure our Community Chickens readers will be inspired by not only your fun and functional design, but also the addition of the backyard market you’ve developed! Backyard chickens – attractive and productive gardens – and a little revenue! – It’s the perfect setup!
If you have a “Cool Coop” you would like to share with the Community, email me at RNickols@communitychickens.com
Click on the link below for previous entries in the “Cool Coops!” series…
To view what else is happening at our Southwest Missouri property visit: the garden-roof coop
If you enjoy bird-watching (in addition to chicken-watching), I invite you to follow my Facebook page: Rebecca’s Bird Gardens