Inspired by our love of all things chicken, a number of Durham’s newly hatched hen owners, thanks to a recent city ordinance allowing backyard flocks, wanted to stage an event allowing the public to tour some of the city’s various coops. Those of us with chickens in the yard often face an array of questions on our motivations for owning the animals. Now is the chance to show citizens of Durham and nearby areas what it’s all about.
Those who raise chickens, in Durham and elsewhere, try to use earth-friendly, reclaimed materials when possible or practical when constructing their coops. Kudos to those who can design and build an urban chicken habitat with 100 percent reclaimed/reused/recycled materials. This isn’t always doable but many try. In this spirit, you’ll find coops of various designs, shapes, sizes, and colors, all reflecting the owners’ approach and what works for them. Chicken coops often exhibit quirky or even fancy designs, and they can range in style from a poultry Taj Mahal (or Biltmore Estate, if you please) to a canvas and balsa lean-to.
Other environmentally friendly benefits: Owners can supplement their birds’ diets with table scraps or from old food in the fridge that’s slightly beyond what their non-feathered family members would choke down. Chicken manure can break down into great compost or fertilizer that’s free of added chemicals, if a bit odiferous at first.
If you raise hens, you no longer need to bother with store-bought items to bring to parties, potlucks, or gatherings. [Forrest Gump voice] “You have your deviled eggs, stuffed eggs, egg salad, scotch eggs, pickled eggs, huevos rancheros…” [/Forrest Gump voice]