Archive for the ‘Coops’ Category

Fun at the Windy City Coop Tour, Part II


Other coop owners have shared their Windy City Coop Tour photos with us, displaying their fabulous coops and birds! Here are some highlights:

Elizabeth of Chicago says: “I have learned a lot in past years from going to the coup tour. It’s fun to see everyone’s set-ups. This is the first year we hosted and it was rewarding having people come through. I think the general consensus is that we have some spectacularly spoiled hens.”

#1 accessory for the stylish chicken mom: a chicken stroller!

No wonder, given that they have a chicken stroller! Elizabeth’s husband Art made the stroller, which has a yellow plastic bin for chicken snacks and a hole in the clear plastic panel for the chicken to poke its head through. Sounds like a fun way to give your hens a change of scenery (and show off your flock to the neighbors) when you go out for a walk.

Melissa in Darien, IL enjoyed giving tours of her totally redesigned and improved coop to visitors who ventured out to the Southwest suburb. “This was our second year being a host of the windy city coop tour,” she said. “We have young boys who really love showing the guests around the coop and how they collect the eggs every day. They even enjoyed showing off some of the essential chicken health care items we keep on hand in case any of our hens get injured… We really enjoyed sharing our knowledge and hearing from other chicken enthusiasts alike.”

Redesigned coop in Darien, IL, complete with decorative shrubs and outdoor lights! See more photos at: Instagram.com/adventure_awaits_mom

What a beautiful coop. We especially love the landscaping in front of the run!

As you probably know by now, I spent my Saturday at a coop with 25 chickens, located in the backyard of a Chicago bungalow.

Tim the owner said “I get to share my chickens and my garden with others… it’s pretty great! This year a young woman came by to say Hi and report on some asters and goldenrod I dug up for her garden last year. They’re doing great! Another woman will come by soon to dig up some Althea – Rose of Sharon for her garden.”

Tim has an eco-yard for his 25 chickens, who were roaming around providing photo ops for the many visitors who came to see his coop. One of the most photogenic was Buffy the rooster, who can be seen strutting his stuff in the photo below:

Look who’s cock of the walk at the Windy City Coop Tour!

All day Saturday visitors came through, ranging from toddlers to senior citizens. I can’t resist sharing this video of two kids who were having a great time during the Coop Tour, following the hens who were wandering around the yard. I showed them the different feather types on a chicken’s wing and gave them some grain for the chickens. Children and chickens get along so well!

I am showing these kids the different feather types on a chicken’s wing!

Fun at the Windy City Coop Tour, starring 25 chickens and a box of blueberries [VIDEO]


I spent Saturday talking to folks about chicken keeping, ably assisted by the 25 chickens roaming around the Coop Tour location where I was stationed! We had lots of visitors, ranging from toddlers to senior citizens. I was there mainly to answer questions, but I went into Chicken Consultant mode when I noticed one of the roosters had a foot injury.

One of the scales on the rooster’s foot had lifted up and was bleeding. That can happen with these feather-footed varieties! I treated the wound by stopping the bleeding with a little cornstarch and pressure. Missy the rooster was happy to be released and get back to his hens.

A group of Spanish-speaking visitors stopped by, and I answered their questions about the coop and translated while Tim, the coop owner, talked about the chickens’ love for blueberries:

I’m so glad that I got to combine two of my favorite things, chickens and speaking Spanish! Yes, the chickens at this site really love their blueberries. We watched them jump for their favorite treat when Tim called each chicken over by name!

A yard with 25 chickens provides endless entertainment. The birds dustbathe, sun themselves, engage in chicken play, and announce the momentous occasion of egg laying. The three roosters made a raucous chorus at 8:30 in the morning and crowed occasionally throughout the day. This Chicago bungalow has a small farm in the backyard, with beehives on the roof. It’s amazing to see what is possible in a smallish backyard when you are really comitted to urban agriculture, or at least to the joy of chickens!

Visit my station at the Windy City Coop Tour on Saturday, Sept. 25!


During the 2021 Windy City Coop Tour I will be at the following tour location:

3717 N Kenneth Ave, Chicago IL 60641

Stop by anytime between 10am – 4pm on Saturday, Sept. 25! I will be talking about chickens and chicken keeping. The coop owner has 25 chickens, ranging in age from 15 weeks to nearly 8 years. Three of them are roosters, each with distinct roles in the flock.

I was at this same location last year. In the video below I am showing Coop Tour visitors how to locate a chicken’s crop. When it is filled with grain it feels like a beanbag or hackysack. We had a lot of visitors last year and are looking forward to an amazing experience again this year!

HOSTS NEEDED for Windy City Coop Tour! Apply by Friday, Sept. 3.


Register now to become a host of the 2021 Windy City Coop Tour and welcome participants to see your coop! You can host on either or both days of the Tour (Sept. 25 & 26), and choose a time slot that works in your schedule. Apply at the link below:

2021 Windy City Coop Tour Host Application

2021 Windy City Coop Tour is September 25 & 26

The Coop Tour is a self-guided tour of backyard coops and eco-spaces, presented by Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts and Home to Roost LLC in partnership with Advocates for Urban Agriculture. Visit the chicken coops of Chicagoland and see what is possible in terms of raising chickens and other urban livestock in your backyard!

More information about the 2021 Coop Tour is located HERE.

Visit with Home to Roost during the tour!

During the tour I will answer questions about chicken keeping and talk about the services of Home to Roost LLC. I will be stationed at the following tour location on Saturday, Sept. 25:

3717 N Kenneth
Chicago, IL 60641

I hope to see you there! Last year I was also at this location, talking with folks about chickens and chicken care:

Save the Date: Windy City Coop Tour, Sept. 25 & 26, 2021!


It’s that time of year again: visit the chicken coops of Chicagoland and see what is possible in terms of raising chickens and other urban livestock in your backyard!

The Coop Tour is a self-guided tour of backyard coops and eco-spaces, presented by Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts in partnership with Advocates for Urban Agriculture. The Tour also showcases other sustainability practices (intensive food production, rain gardens, pollinator habitat, composting, solar and other renewable energy…)

More information about the 2021 Tour is available HERE!

2021 Windy City Coop & Eco-Yard Tour
Saturday Sept. 25 & Sunday Sept. 26

Register to become a tour host!

Do you enjoy raising chickens and think you have a great coop? Do you love talking to people about your birds? Consider applying to become a host of the 2021 Windy City Coop Tour and invite participants to see your coop!

Host Registration deadline is August 27! The registration form is located HERE.

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

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!

Reminder: Chicken Coop Basics — Online Event on May 19!


If you have questions about chicken coop design or construction, bring them to my online event “Chicken Coop Basics” on May 19, 6-8 pm! Learn the essential components of a coop, important construction tips, and different coop styles. Use what you learn to construct your own coop or evaluate an existing design.

This class will be hosted online by the Chicago Rebuilding Exchange. Registration information is available here.

As a free gift for participants, I am offering a copy of GRIT Backyard Chickens magazine. This publication is full of practical advice for chicken keepers. I wrote several articles in this year’s issue, on subjects including reasons to keep chickens, how to boost egg production, and the importance of chicken gut health.

Chicken_Magazine
Register now and receive a free copy of Backyard Chickens magazine!

Register now for Chicken Coop Basics class (virtual) on February 11!


This is your last chance to register for Chicken Coop Basics, presented by Home to Roost LLC and the Chicago Rebuilding Exchange on February 11 at 6:30 pm. This online class addresses what you need to know about building a safe and comfortable home for your hens. You’ll learn the basic housing needs of backyard birds. Find out the essential components of a coop, construction materials to choose and avoid, important construction tips, and see different coop styles. 

Registration info is available here.