Saturday, October 10, 2009

Getting Cooped Up

Flora and I hadn't been working on our garden long when we decided we wanted chickens too. Portland allows up to 3 chickens (no roosters) within city limits without needing a permit. So we talked about what our flock of 3 would look like and how we would house them. I designed a coop:

And then we built it! Here it is almost complete- it needs to be put into its final place on blocks and the wire run needs to be installed around it. Notice the vent on the side (there's another one on the other side to match. The front underneath the window is a full-length door that opens upwards for cleaning. There are 2 roosts, a nesting box (with a small outside hatch for access on the other side), and a trap door to let the chickens out. The feed and water containers will hang underneath the coop. There is a gutter on the back which will be used for rainwater catchment that will feed into the chicken's waterer. This is how it will look, more or less, when its done minus some adornments such as flower baskets and paintings of eggs from around the world.
In building the coop we used mostly scavenged and reclaimed materials. We purchased a couple new 2x4's for framing, but that was it. The final cost was roughly $100.

Although it sits empty currently, we hope to have baby chicks to raise for it in late February. We wanted to build the coop now before the rains start and so that it can sit and weather and the paint can cure before we put our hens in it.

When we do get hens, we'll be getting 3 different kinds: an Australorp, a Sussex, and a Gold-Laced Wyandotte. Each were chosen for their personality traits, laying ability, and weather tolerance. All three are prolific layers (the Australorp is known for laying 5-6 eggs a week). All three are docile, friendly, inquisitive, and good foragers (which is good for us since they'll be allowed to root out bugs in the gardens).

Expect more posts on the ladies when we get them!



  1. For some great info on raising a small flock of chickens, pick up the book "Keep Chickens" by Barbara Kilarski. She lives down in Sellwood (SE PDX) so a lot of the info is specific to our little world!

  2. Oh man, one of the main reasons we've thought about looking at buying a house rather than renting an apartment is so we could have chickens.

    Hope it works out well once you get the chickens! There are plenty of people in Portland to get advice from, should you need it :)