A country boy at heart, who would always have a dozen hens if the local
authorities would allow, I've recently designed and built 3 coops for my
home building partner in Austin, Texas who is heavily into that areas
"urban sustainable living" scene and has kept chickens in an urban
setting ever since I've known her.
Here are photos of those coops that are specifically for an urban setting:
Ping me on the back channel and perhaps I can help you out.
A stand is optional and doesn't have to used. In an urban setting with
limited yard space some folks want extra room under the coop to be part
of the run. Some use it as a good place to hang the self feeder to keep
it out of the elements, to provide shade for the occupants during the
heat of the day, or as a place to store the feed.
And, as any farm boy knows, chickens prefer to roost as high as they can
get. If it's too low you will be forever going out at night to capture
(easiest way is with a broom handle) those few activist hens with a mind
of their own that never seem to get the word that they are safer locked
up inside, rather than roosting on the roof.
After all, chickens can, and do unless you keep one wing clipped, fly
.... after a fashion.
I wasn't exactly raised on a farm, but spent several Summers on a
small cattle grazing ranchette. The family I stayed with had banty
chickens for the pot and what were probably leghorns for eggs. The
banty chickens ran loose around the farm yard, with the exception of
3-4 banty's in lone cages, much like rabbit hutches, for some reason I
don't recall. The leghorns had a relatively large ground level pen (~
10-15') covered over with chicken wire and laying boxes inside a room
at one end, but it was also at ground level and the laying boxes jes a
foot or so off the ground.
I don't recall ever seeing a chicken in a tree and I don't think the
egg hens had any roosts, but the leghorn pen was covered completely
over so the hens couldn't get out. Perhaps the banty chickens did
roost in trees, they having no real coop. This was over 50 yrs ago,
so there's a lot I don't remember. I do know it was a great place to
be as a kid and I still have a certain fondness for chickens to this
very geezer day. ;)
Truth were told, it's not the chickens I like so much as the fresh
supply of eggs that stand up and look backatcha in the morning when
cracked into a hot skillet.
Old hens also make the best gumbo ... the meat stays on the bone, thus
you don't a disgusting pile of bones at the bottom of the gumbo pot.
And, I don't name my hens ...
There are several books on chickens you might consult:
* How to Win a Pullet Surprise
* Filet It As It Lays
* Feathers in the Attic
* Scratch 'N Sniff, My Life As a Hen
* Teach Your Chicken To Spit
* Breast In The Mouth, Thigh In The Hand
* Drumsticks Along the Mohawk
* Nuclear Power or Chicken Kiev
* Fear of Frying by Erica Chong
* Bantam Fighters of Somoa
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