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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Coops #7-#11, near the Seaboard ACE Hardware ticket site:

7.  New on the Tour in 2010!  Our chicken coop and pen are an integral part of an urban farm system. The chicken run is filled twelve inches deep with coarse wood chips, and has several large sections of old logs. This slowly decaying material generates a wealth of insects and worms, and the scratching and manure from the chickens accelerate the formation of rich compost. The pen is bordered by fast growing mulberry trees and muscadine grapes, which prevent excess nitrogen from leaching into the creek system and drop free food into the chicken pen. Compost from the chicken pen feeds our vegetables, and scraps and weeds from the garden feed the hens. A perfect system.

8.  Historic Oakwood’s small urban yards were once home to chickens, milk cows and even goats. Now backyard poultry have returned to the oldest residential neighborhood in Raleigh. We have six feather-footed bantam chickens (four Brahma’s and two Cochins) living within blocks of the NC Governor’s Mansion. After taking the first Tour in 2006, we built a chicken “tractor” and a coop ourselves (our first building projects ever). Then we built two large compost bins from scrap lumber to accommodate all the wonderful droppings. Come see these simple building projects that almost anyone can do.

9.  New on the Tour in 2010!  Inspired by Tour d’Coop 2008 and informed by Chicken Keeping 101, we knew we wanted to have chickens. We felt chickens would be a welcome addition to our small urban lot in Mordecai and incorporated great ideas gleaned from various coops. We even fashioned a homemade feeder that saves time and money. Now we have ten hens, seven different breeds, each with distinct personalities and a rainbow of egg colors: white, brown, and green! The coop is attached to our garden shed and next to a small frog pond. Using the deep litter method keeps the coop environment pleasant and we harvest incredible composted litter twice a year for our gardens.

10.  Come on down to meet our little flock! We have Midge and Roosti who are the cutest little bantams and Kathy with a ‘K’, Jerky Giant (aka Blackie). She’s a Jersey Giant hen. Buffy is our youngest and most consistent layer. Lacy is getting old but still tries very hard to make an egg every once in a while. They all love to roam the pine straw in search of tiny critters. Kathy always runs up the hill to greet us hoping we have a bowl of noodles for her.

11.  We have a diverse little flock - Dominiques, Easter Eggers, Rhode Island Reds, and Buff Orpingtons - who live in their safe, secure, and economical home. In return, they give us eggs, take care of our kitchen wastes, and provide lots of relaxing entertainment.