Local Chicken Coop Tour 08
(Editor note: The 2009 coop tour will be happening April 19th, 2009. Click HERE for details.)
Has your family been thinking about getting chickens but you’re not sure how to house them? There is a chicken coop tour scheduled on Sunday, July 13th, from 11am-4:30pm to discover how other families in Hatfield, Northampton and Florence are housing their flocks. Organized by the The Pioneer Valley Backyard Chicken Association. [All Ages] (Free)
- 11 – 11:30 am
Sarah & Tom Rossmassler
100 Main Street, Hatfield
# of years you have kept chickens: <1
# of chickens you currently have: 7
Breeds: Mix (2); Barred Rock (1); Rhode Island Red (4)
Description of coop/run or chicken tractor: We have a 3′ x 6′ interior coop area which is mostly insulated and has four windows and a mesh floor. Also a fenced in run which is also covered by a roof with a door to exterior. The whole thing lifts like a wheelbarrow and can be moved.
Why you have a backyard flock: To help us out with an overall goal of being self-sufficient; education for us and our kids; curiosity and interest in farming; and mostly, because it’s fun!
Favorite chicken resource: Story’s How to Raise Chickens
- 11:45 – 12:15 pm
91 Turkey Hill Rd., Florence
# of years you have kept chickens: 4+
# of chickens you currently have: 6
Breeds: Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, Australorp, Cochin bantam, Silkies
Description of coop/run or chicken tractor: an old 5′ x 7′ pool shed converted to a coop, wood floor, recently added electric, plan to add windows, no run – truly free range hens!
Why you have a backyard flock: eggs, fertilizer, entertainment, lifestyle
Favorite chicken resource: Backyard Poultry magazine
Quote: “a happy hen makes a healthy egg”
- 12:30 – 1:15 pm (2 coops)
Nancy Childs (The Molano and McAuslin Families also share this chicken flock!)
26 Black Birch Trail, Florence
# of years you have kept chickens: 6
# of chickens you currently have: 6 (shared with two other households)
Breeds: Black Australorps and Barred Rocks
Description of coop/run or chicken tractor: Chicken House 4′ X 4′, Chicken yard 8′ X 10′
Why you have a backyard flock: A local source of fresh eggs. A great educational experience for the children.
Your favorite chicken resource: Friends! Anyone who has had chickens has knowledge and chicken stories! Murray McMurray catalog and Chickens in Your Backyard, by Rick and Gail Luttman (complete with chicken cartoons…)
Other info: We are sharing the care and expense of these chickens with three different households. All six children in the group have named a chicken!
- Rosemary McNaughton (and others!)
128 Black Birch Trail, Florence
# of years you have kept chickens: a few months
# of chickens you currently have: 6
Breeds: 2 Leghorns, 2 Araucanas, and 2 mystery orange chickens! Come check them out, and let us know if you know what they are!
Description of coop/run or chicken tractor: A portable coop made by Darryl Ballou of Artisan: Designs in Turner’s Falls.
Why you have a backyard flock: eggs from chickens whose living conditions we know, local food production, community activity, kid involvement
Your favorite chicken resource: We’re just figuring this all out!
Other info: Sharing care of the chickens with other families has helped us have flexibility for going away on vacation or just being busy one week. We are just in the initial stages of figuring out how to fairly share financial and work responsibilities. As we figure things out, we’d be happy to be a resource for other multi-family chicken flocks.
- 1:30 – 2:00 pm
48 Prospect Ave., Northampton
# of years you have kept chickens: 0, Family kept chickens when I was growing up.
# of chickens you currently have: 3
Description of coop/run or chicken tractor: Pre-fab mini-barn with attached runs.
Why you have a backyard flock: As pets for the kids; we can’t have indoor pets because of my husband’s asthma.
Favorite chicken resource: mypetchicken.com
- 2:15 – 2:45 pm
Adam Novitt and Priscilla Miner
17 Hooker Ave, Northampton
# of years you have kept chickens: 4
# of chickens you currently have: 2
Breeds: Wyandotte?, Mutt leghorn kinda thing
Description of coop/run or chicken tractor: Modified Mother Earth News 4×8 chicken tractor. The entire yard is fenced and the chickens are free range and have about .1 acre
Why you have a backyard flock: They are nice, people like them and the eggs. Mostly they are decoration. Also it’s sort of political.
Favorite chicken resource: mostly old issues of Mother Earth News and to a much lesser extent www.backyardchickens.com
Other info.: If you don’t make a huge production out of it keeping chickens is pretty simple. The best thing about them is giving away eggs. They also make a lovely clucking noise in the summer when the windows are open and it’s fun to watch them take dust baths. I lived in Mexico and saw people keeping chickens in nice residential neighborhoods.
- 3:00 – 3:30 pm
Montview Neighborhood Farm
Montview Avenue, Northampton
Lisa DePiano 413-320-4717, Paige Bridgens 413-584-5153
Lisa firstname.lastname@example.org Paige email@example.com
# of years you have kept chickens: 2
# of chickens you currently have: 10 or so
Breeds: Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rock,
Description of coop/run or chicken tractor: The coop we are using is on loan from our next door neighbors at Town Farm and was built by Ben James on a 4′ X 8′ utility trailer. When used with portable fencing, The chickens can be integrated into a rotational grazing scheme. We at Montview Neighborhood Farm have been hosting the sheep from Town Farm. The sheep graze an area, and when they move on we haul the chickens, including the coop and fence into that area. The chickens eat the parasites from the sheep manure and fertilize and in some cases clear the area for future garden beds. This set-up would be marvelous in a backyard setting. We also have a simple chicken tractor.
Why you have a backyard flock: eggs, laughter, soil fertility
Favorite chicken resource: Neighbors Anonymous, Will and Brian
- 3:45- 4:15 pm
Rachel Chandler-Worth & Diana Riddle
67 Pine St. Florence
# of years you have kept chickens: 3 months
# of chickens you currently have: 5
Breeds: Ameraucana, Rhode Island Red, White Leghorn, Barred Plymouth Rock, Partridge Plymouth Rock
Description of coop/run or chicken tractor: 2-story, A-frame tractor
Why you have a backyard flock: for eggs, experimentation with urban farming & sustainability, and for fun.
Favorite chicken resource: Humane and Healthy Poultry Production, A Manual for Organic Growers: A project of the Northeast Organic Farming Association, by Karma Glos and Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, by Gail Damerow.
- 4:30-5:00 pm
Lilly and John Lombard
39 Munroe St., Northampton
# of years you have kept chickens: 1 1/2 years
# of chickens you currently have: 4 hens
Breeds: White Leghorn
Description of coop/run or chicken tractor: Secure coop/yard plus separate chicken tractor, although the hens run free range on our property except during planting season.
Why you have a backyard flock: 1) Eggs–Leghorns are excellent layers; 2) Companionship for my kids.
Favorite chicken resource: We mostly consult with other neighbors in Northampton
1. We used scrap materials to build our coop, but worked to make it an attractive part of
our urban farm.
2. Laying hens are eating machines! Most of all, they want to scratch freely.