This Saturday I hosted a coop building extravaganza in my backyard. We had five people total that showed up to help me build my coop and maybe learn a little about raising backyard chickens in the process. This is what in Haiti is called a konbit. Here in los Estados Unidos we have taken to calling it a crop mob. You may be more familiar with an old fashioned barn-raising. No matter what you call it, when the community comes together around a project a lot can get done very quickly. That is just what happened on Saturday.
About 9am friends started trickling in as I was getting materials set up, marked and organized. Plans were drawn up (and consequently tossed out when it came to putting it together). Tools and materials were donated. Nando brought the power tools, a jigsaw, power drill and skil saw. My friend Charles donated a whole roll of chicken wire. Maggie brought even more chicken wire to share. I got plastic crates for nesting boxes off of a Freecycle ad. The only things I bought for the coop were the lumber and some old hinges. Total = < $50
We even had our local NPR affiliate show up to check out the goings on. At one point she took off her reporter hat and grabbed a paint brush. The truth is it would have taken me forever to get this coop built if I did it by myself. I needed a community to really make it possible. There’s some finishing touches left, but I hope to have some birds happily clucking away in my backyard by next week (donated graciously by World Hunger Relief). It’ll be a month before they start laying eggs. In the meantime I’ll enjoy the added life to the backyard and funny looks from my neighbors. When they get their first half dozen fresh eggs, they might not look so funny when I pass by in my overalls.
Look mom… it’s a door!
Isn’t she a beauty! Very light and easy to move. Plenty of room for four chickens, which will give me more than a dozen eggs a week when they start laying. I recommend the A-frame. It’s a simple design and super easy to build.
Oh, but this is so cool. If I only had a yard…
my life’s mission is to make you jealous… mission accomplished!!