Archive for June, 2021

Chicken keeping, up close and personal with Cluck Nut the chicken

A lot of people turned out at the Lemont Public Library last night to hear me talk about chicken keeping. I was ably assisted by Cluck Nut the chicken, who was a very good sport! She is a client’s chicken I borrowed for the occasion.

It was great to present a live chicken-keeping class for the first time in over a year. Among other topics, I talked about chicken breeds, chicken coops, chicken feed, and how a chicken purse led me to my improbable career as an urban chicken consultant.

A great time was had by all — even the chicken. I invited participants to feel her crop, where all the food goes when she swallows. Filled with grain, It feels a lot like a hackysack! Have you ever seen a chicken’s ears? On Cluck Nut, they are small but unmistakable. While I talked, Cluck Nut roamed the table next to me, getting to know the people lucky enough to sit up front. In-person classes are so much fun!

Creative Recycled Chicken Coops

We have culled the Web to find the most creative chicken coops made from repurposed objects. Beat the high price of lumber and materials by re-using some of these common items to make a home for your hens! We especially love the idea of repurposing old wardrobes, cabinets, and other large pieces of furniture to make chicken coops. If you don’t own any of these items, they can readily be found at thrift stores or resale shops for a low price.

Build Your Own Recycled Coop!

To make a functional coop from recycled materials, it is important to know the essential components that all chicken coops should have. I am teaching an online class called Chicken Coop Basics on July 7, 6:30-8:30pm, that will help you give your chicken coop design a firm foundation. This class addresses minimal requirements for building a safe and comfortable home for your hens. You’ll learn the basic housing needs of backyard birds, construction materials to choose and avoid, important construction tips, and see different coop styles. More information about this online class is available at the link below.

Chicken Coop Basics, July 7, 6:30-8:30pm

Tip: A great place to find used building materials is at your local re-building warehouse. These are popping up all over the country to salvage unused building materials from construction projects, home remodeling, etc. and make them available to the consumer. Here are links to a few in the Chicago area:

Chicago Rebuilding Exchange

Maywood Reuse Depot

Habitat ReStore – many Chicago-area locations

Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse

Learn the Basics of Chicken Keeping: Outdoor Event, June 28!

UPDATE 6/24/21: This event will most likely be held indoors.

We are pleased to announce the first live, in-person event presented by Home to Roost in more than a year! Basic Backyard Chicken Keeping, June 28, 6:00 – 8:00pm at Lemont Public Library in Lemont, IL. Jennifer Murtoff will teach you the basics of raising chickens, from chick to adult bird. Bring your questions about chicken keeping to this live event!

This class is free and open to the public, regardless of where in IL you live. Register now at the link below:

Basic Backyard Chicken Keeping, June 28, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Lemont Public Library
50 E. Wend St.
Lemont, IL 60439

We hope to see you there, up close and in person!

Photo by Liz McCrory,

Basic Chicken Keeping, Coop Classes at Fremont Public Library

I will be teaching Basic Chicken Keeping and Chicken Coop Basics for the Fremont Public Library (located in Mundelein, IL) in June and July. These online classes are open to all, regardless of where in the U.S. you live. Please note that all class information on predators and climate will be geared to the Chicago area. Register now at the links below!

Basic Backyard Chicken Keeping, Online — Fremont Public Library, June 23, 6:30 – 8:30pm

Learn the basics of raising backyard chickens, from chick to adult.

Chicken Coop Basics, Online — Fremont Public Library, July 7, 6:30 – 8:30pm

Learn the essential components of a chicken coop, important construction tips, and different coop styles. Do you have your own creative ideas for a coop? This class will teach you the basic elements that all coops need to have.

Out-Of-This-World Chicken Coops

We love how some chicken keepers express their quirky personalities in the coops they build (and, incidentally, their science fiction/fantasy fandom). These coops may push the boundaries of practicality, but we admire the creative vision expressed in these designs!

  • TARDIS Chicken Coop

Build your own creative henhouse!

Do you have some ideas for a fantastic chicken coop design? Once you have built your chicken castles in the air, give them a firm foundation by signing up for my online class, “Chicken Coop Basics” on July 7, 6:30-8:30pm. Learn the essential components of a chicken coop, important construction tips, and different coop styles. More information is available Here!