Our lot is only 4400 sq ft. I call this the Flying Horse Farm because we have a big red flying horse on the fence, and if I could, I would have a true farm with horses and pigs, etc. So we make due with the yard we have. A friend helped me build this coop ten years ago, before I ever saw photos of anyone else’s backyard coop. The inside has been “remodeled” several times as I have learned about chickens, and now three of our hens sleep inside on a roost, and the fourth is too fat to fly so she sleeps on a lower shelf. There are two windows we can open for cross-ventilation. The coop has a hen-sized doorway that opens into a secure pen. Inside the pen is a smaller “guest” house, in which the girls have chosen to lay their eggs. My husband just recently set up an automatic watering system that they have learned to use. Our two White Leghorn hens like to fly up to the outside roosting bars inside the pen and preen. When we are home we will let them out to a secondary pen under our orange tree, to give them a change of pace. Their favorite vegetable seems to be tomatoes.
Charlotte is our biggest and is 6 years old, still lays eggs frequently, and is a New Hampshire Red. Bunny is a 3 year old Ameraucana and lays pale green eggs. Angel and Snow, the White Leghorns, are just a year old. A chicken breed catalog I receive every year describes almost every breed personality as “docile” except for the White Leghorns, which are labeled “active”. “Active” is an understatement!
We grow vegetables in the front yard, and aim to do most of our outdoor watering with rainwater stored in our two 1700 gallon cisterns. Because it hasn’t rained here since February, our cisterns are currently dry, but last year they lasted until August, and the previous year we were able to water exclusively from the cisterns for the entire year.
I will provide ice tea (sun tea) and homemade chocolate zucchini cake.