And the fun continues! Hopefully you all know I have backyard chickens. The Girls, as we affectionately call them, came to live with us almost 3 years ago exactly. I took a class at Love Apple Farms on raising chickens and part of the package was 4 baby chicks, which I brought home in a box. They give you four, with the idea that you will eventually end up with 3 do to attrition (or disease or maleness). All our four matured nicely into pullets, then hens.
Today, The Girls live in our converted playhouse in the backyard, with a chicken run built to the side for their daytime use. We were lucky – we had built a good playhouse (with our friend’s help) and converting it to a chicken coop was easy. We screened off the windows, added more screen to block rodent holes and added, IMHO, the best feature ever, the Automatic Chicken Coop Door.
Folks thinking about their own backyard chickens have many choices when it comes to housing the ladies, and Reinventing the Chicken Coop by Kevin McElroy and Matthew Wolpe provides plenty of inspiration and actual coop building instructions.
The Big Guy saw the book on the coffee table last week and was captured by the cover photo of a modern take on the chicken coop, the Cupe, with bright red walls, offset nesting boxes, and a cantilevered roof. He eagerly paged through the book, exclaiming at the coolness of other designs.
My favorite design is the Kippen House Garden Roof Chicken Coop, although because I am tall, I prefer a walk-in model like the Container Coop for ease of cleaning (no, I cannot make the kids clean the coop, these are really my chickens) or SYM which has the cleaning system integrated into the design.
The book is broken down into Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced designs, and I actually think (even though I did not try it) that I could build one of the Beginner designs without too much help from my handyman neighbor. The authors start out the discussion by laying a good (get it?) foundation of basic information including tools, materials and basic techniques. The first two designs are very straightforward and look like they could be completed as a weekend DIY project.
I also liked the chicken keeping tips and tricks sprinkled throughout the book, the authors clearly have been working with chickens and chicken coops for a long time and bring much experience to the process. As I said above, the book is inspirational _and_ useful, and would be a good tool to have if you are thinking about adding chickens to your backyard homestead.
NOW, THE CONTEST!
There is a copy of this book with your name all over it, and here is what you need to do to have a chance to win:
1. Leave a comment below answering this question: Sunny Side Up, Over Easy, Scrambled, what is your favorite way to enjoy eggs?
Special 5th Blogaversary Bonus! A copy of The Fresh Egg Cookbook by Jennifer Trainer Thompson, is also included in this giveaway, so even if you are not thinking about chickens just yet, you should enter for the chance to win this handy book loaded with egg recipes including homemade mayonnaise, the Classic French Omelette, pickled eggs, and egg salad 2 ways. Plus, wonderful photos of chickens, handy chicken and egg tips, and a whole bunch of answers to commonly answered questions about chickens and eggs.
Small print: One entry per person. Be sure to include your email address (which is not visible on the blog) so that I can contact you if you win. Sweepstakes runs from May 15-18 at 12midnight, winner announced on Sunday, May 19. Winners have 48 hours to respond before the next winner is announced. Winners will be selected using Random.org, a random number generator, from all the qualified entries. Open to residents of the United States only.
Disclosure: I contacted Storey Publishing about partnering together on my 5th Blogaversary giveaway extravaganza. They sent me review copies of these two books. All opinions are my own.
The contest is now closed, thank you to all of you who stopped by and submitted your favorite way to enjoy eggs!
The winner of the contest is:
Congratulations to Brilana, who likes her eggs over medium!