Chicken Coop Tour 2009


2nd Annual Local Chicken Coop Tour

Going into the hen house

Chicken coop at Red Gate Farm in Buckland, MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

On Sunday, April 19th, 2009, spend an afternoon in the hilltowns and Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts visiting local coops and the chickens that lay in them. Learn from Pioneer Valley Backyard Chicken Association (PVBCA) hobbyists and farmers how they made their coops and chicken tractors, and how they keep them safe from predators.

General topics will be discussed, including:

  • nest boxes
  • egg production
  • perches
  • light
  • winter concerns
  • outdoor runs
  • breeds

Stops on the tour will include 7 different backyards and farms in Hatfield, Florence, Easthampton, and Chesterfield. Expect lots of useful ideas and even more inspiration. Children welcome. (But no dogs please.) Carpooling appreciated. FREE.

2009 Coop Tour Schedule: 12 pm to 5:30 pm (tour stop addresses can be found below):

  • 12:00-12:30 Pam (Hatfield, MA)
  • 12:45-1:15 Sarah & Tom (Hatfield, MA)
  • 1:30-2:00 Tracey (Florence, MA)
  • 2:15-2:45 Suna & Ben (Florence, MA/Bay State)
  • 3:00-3:30 Adele @ Rocky Hill Co-housing (Florence, MA)
  • 3:45-4:15 Jim @ Park Hill Orchard (Easthampton, MA)
  • 4:45-5:15 Crabapple Farm (Chesterfield, MA)

Sponsored by the Pioneer Valley Backyard Chicken Association.

10 Comments on “Chicken Coop Tour 2009

  1. Wonderful, what a blog it is! This web site presents valuable information to us, keep it up.

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    What a funny blog! I in fact loved watching this funny video with my family as well as with my friends.

    Pictures are actually nice source of lessons instead of wording, its my know-how, what would you say?

  2. I would love to have gone on that tour..but alas I don’t live in the US..

  3. You know, this is a new one on me. I have never heard of a chicken coop tour. My what have we become? Really, I think it is a great idea to foster interest in raising chickens and to get ideas on the different types of coops and how to make them. The chicken coop rage just keeps rolling on..

  4. hey sexy farmers, i want to know how come chickens cant walk backwards. thank you

  5. Coop Tour Details for the Pioneer Valley Backyard Chicken Association
    2009 Coop Tour (RAIN or SHINE!)

    Sunday, April 19
    12:00 noon to 5:30 pm

    1) Names: Pam & David
    Address/Town: 44 Plain Road, Hatfield
    # of years you have kept chickens: 1
    # of chickens you currently have: 18
    Breeds: NH Reds & Barred Rocks
    Description of coop/run or chicken tractor: Winter coop with large run; Salatin tractor; mobile coop with 40′ sq. pen
    Why you have a backyard flock: meat and eggs, fertilizer, entertainment
    Favorite chicken quote: Ask about Ernie!

    2) Names: Tom and Sarah Rossmassler, Colby (7), Loulie (5 1/2) and Branch (2 1/2)
    Address/Town: 100 Main Street, Hatfield
    # of years you have kept chickens: 1
    # of chickens you currently have: 6 hens; 3 chicks
    Breeds: Hens: 3 RI Reds; 1 Barred Rock; 2 mixed; Chicks: 2 mixed, 1 Buff Orpington
    Description of coop/run or chicken tractor: Self-designed 4′ x 6′ tractor with interior run and moveable fencing on exterior for more roaming.
    Why you have a backyard flock: Self-sufficiency for eggs; education for kids and adults; being close to nature. Because it’s fun!
    Favorite chicken resource: PVBCA! Really and truly! and Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens
    Favorite chicken quote : “Your eggs taste so good! I can really taste the difference!”

    3) Names: David & Tracey Culver
    Address/Town: 8 Cloverdale St., Florence
    # of years you have kept chickens: 40(Dave); 6(Tracey)
    # of chickens you currently have: a few
    Breeds: Silver & Goldlaced Wyandottes, Light Brahmas, Buff Orpingtons, Auraucanas, Plymouth Rocks
    Description of coop/run or chicken tractor: Shed with two coop areas, outdoor run divided in two
    Why you have a backyard flock: Best eggs and chickens are fun
    Favorite chicken resource: PVBCA
    Favorite chicken quotes: “Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.” — Frank Lloyd Wright and “Grasshopper always wrong in argument with chicken.” — Book of Chan

    4) Names: Ben Wood and Suna Turgay
    Address/Town: 509 Riverside Drive, Florence (Bay State)
    # of years you have kept chickens: < 1
    # of chickens you currently have: 4
    Breeds: Help?
    Description of coop/run or chicken tractor: Old Chicken tractor with portable fencing for moving around yard.
    Why you have a backyard flock: Eggs, eggs, eggs, fun for the kids, sustainability, and to have some more characters running around the house.
    Favorite chicken resource: friends and the PVBCA listserv

    5) Name: Rocky Hill Cohousing, Adele Franks et al
    Address/Town: 123 Black Birch Trail, Florence (off Florence Rd.)
    Phone Number: 413-320-9418
    # of years you have kept chickens: < 1
    # of chickens you currently have: 5
    Breeds: 2 araucanas, 1 white leghorn, 2 golden comet
    Description of coop/run or chicken tractor: Wooden shed adapted as chicken coop with small temporary run. We plan to build a larger run this spring.
    Why you have a backyard flock: For eggs
    Favorite chicken resource: Backyard Poultry magazine

    6) Name: Jim Hankins, Park Hill Orchard
    Address/Town: 82 Park Hill Rd, Easthampton, MA. 01027
    # of years with chickens: I grew up with chickens and have had my own flock for eight years.
    # of chickens: I think about 60 chickens and 5 turkeys
    Breeds: Light Brahmans, Blue Cochin, two types of Polish, Old English Gamecocks, Black Sex Link, Rhode Island Reds, and quite a few mutts
    Description of coops: main coop, 75′ by 12′ area divided into two separate runs with separate houses, second smaller coop, 8′ by 4′ coop with 20′ run, two chicken tractors, one is 16′ by 4′, the smaller one is 3′ by 8′.
    WHY? Because life is better when it is full of chicken sounds, plus eggs, plus garbage disposal, plus fertilizer factory, plus quality companionship.
    Favorite chicken resource: common sense and friends, listen to your chickens, they’ll tell you what they need.

    7) Name: Sally Stites Robertson, Crabapple Farm
    Address/Town: 100 Bryant St., Chesterfield
    Directions: Take Rt. 9 to just past the blacksmith shop in Williamsburg, and then turn left onto Rt. 143. Go to the center of Chesterfield (top of the hill) and turn left onto South St., just past the Town Hall. Take the next right (just a few houses past the park) onto Bryant St. When you see plastic hoop houses on the left, you are at the farm driveway and the next driveway is the red chicken coop driveway. You can park in either driveway or along the road.
    Phone: 413 -296-4076
    # of years you have kept chickens: 14 years as a keeper of backyard flocks and 1 year as a larger CSA and market
    # of chickens: farm flock, currently we have 164 hens and about 10 roosters
    Breeds: Araucana, Columbian Wyandotte, Buff Orpington, Dominique, New Hampshire Red, Silver Spangled Hamburg, Ancona, Moran, and various farm raised mixes.
    Description of coops: 24 x 26 spacious, sunny coop built on the milk room foundation and slab, plus a chick mobile. We keep the laying flock confined to an outdoor run in Winter through mud season to give the grass a chance to get established, then rotate them through our orchard with electric net in the growing season.
    Why do you keep chickens: I have taken on the egg enterprise because I wanted to be more a part of the farm operation than builder / Grandmother, and I have enjoyed keeping chickens much of my adult life.
    Favorite chicken resource: Karma Glos’s Humane and Healthy Poultry Production: a Manual for Organic Growers, put out by NOFA.
    Favorite quote: I like the term “Respectfully Raised”, recognizing the bird’s physical, social, nutritional, and psychological needs.

  6. Hey there! Austin will be having its first Funky Chicken Coop Tour on 4/11/2009, rain or shine . Would love to talk turkey – um, chicken – after our tours. Have fun!

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