Friday, January 17, 2014

Farm House Friday: What Comes First...the Chicken or the Egg?

Or the Chicken Coop?

Lately I have been thinking a lot about living in the country.  The downside…farther away from stores and more time in the car, the upside…more room for lots of animals (if you know me well you know I love dogs and if my husband allowed I would have a farm full of rescued pups).  Spacious country also allows room for a fresh garden to cook from and fresh free range chicken eggs.

One of the things I really look forward to is fresh eggs every morning.  Aside from the health benefits, its groceries right in our backyard.  Just imagine waking up, hopefully not because the rooster crows, brewing a cup of coffee and walking out to your backyard to scoop up some fresh eggs and then cooking a fresh breakfast for your family.  That puts a huge smile on my face:)

Naturally, my husband and I will be designing and building this coop ourselves, so I set out to do some research on the options for a chicken coop.  My champagne taste immediately had me salivating over fabulous pictures of chicken coops.  It also sparked my design nature and the wheels started turning…yep I am going to design our chicken coop, but first what do chickens actually need to survive?

There are differing opinions on whats best for chickens.  On one hand people believe chickens are naturally hardy and an "open-air school" philosophy is best.  Others believe that the health of chickens can be compromised by outdoor weather and they need to be in a controlled environment. I believe that striking a natural balance, being able to get out of the elements like snow, wind, rain, but also being able to "stretch their legs", is best. Much like humans, that benefit from the outdoors, I believe animals do too.

In researching chicken coop designs I have come across some pretty cool design ideas.  There is so much out there and lots of free designs to follow.  I love that I can build a coop that flows with the design of our house.  Just because its function-able doesn't mean it has to be ugly!

Some of my favorite Fancy Designs:

These others are very utilitarian for our rural application and have the potential to be dressed up!

Also available are mobile coops.  These tend to be on the smaller side and are more applicable for an urban setting with fewer chickens.  But, I do think they are cute!

Curious Pups!

There is a lot more to plan out, but this is some great inspiration. One thing I am concerned about is the dogs...I know our dogs will be so curious.  So, if anyone has some advice on how to train dogs not to eat free range chickens we welcome it!

Also, if you want more information about raising chickens yourself, I've come across a great blog and page on Facebook called Fresh Eggs Daily.  Check out her website and follow her page for daily tips.

Happy Friday!

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