by Meredith Chilson
Have you ever noticed how people with similar interests just naturally seem to gravitate toward each other? I’ve made some friends while standing in line at the feed store; for example, when they’ve noticed the chicken feed or pine shavings I have piled on my cart. Conversations have started in the library, too, when I check out “how-to” manuals or ask the librarian to special order some poultry farming books for me. Friends of friends have contacted me on the Internet for advice about breeds or commented about their own flocks, too, when they realize that I am contributing to a blog about chickens.
This is my favorite coop. I divided it in half with chicken wire, top to bottom, and put nesting boxes on each side, and I did this for a variety of reasons. Occasionally, I breed the chickens, and if I want purebred birds, I segregate and only allow that particular breed on one side for a while. Sometimes I will use one half for young birds that have feathered but I do not feel are safe with older, possibly more aggressive chickens. And, I know you may cringe, but once in a while I raise meat birds. It’s best if they don’t get too much exercise, so they get big and plump—this is a great setup for them.The front of this coop has two separate small doors that lead out into what is also a divided run. The chickens can socialize, but cannot directly mingle. There are two other doors that allow me to enter each section to tidy up, collect eggs, feed and water. As you can see, there’s lots of natural light, too.