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Our Poultry Aviary

Posted by on November 6, 2013
Del is a Delaware breed. She is one of the more dominant hens.

Del is a Delaware breed. She is one of the more dominant hens.

It seems to be a ‘thing’ around here where I live.


Free range, organic, local. These are all key words that are equated with being conscientious, healthy, and proactive. Some elevate these things, other snicker and scoff.

Well, for me, these are good things and I support them. The thing is, eating and living this way is expensive. It shouldn’t be, but it is.

And I love eggs.

And I am an animal lover.

I’m thankful for my husband, because if I lived alone, I could become one of ‘those crazy ladies’. He sets boundaries for me.

I have a lot of friends that have gotten chickens lately. As in the last 2-5 years.

We live in a university town, with lots of rural space in the outlying area.

My girlfriend, Kathy, has kept chickens for a while and she knew I was thinking of getting a couple. They had a pre-fab coop and since they were getting a newer, bigger one, they offered us there first one. And they also had a couple of chickens we could fill the coop with.

How can it get better than that?

I wanted to name them Hagar and Tamar (it’s up to you to figure out why), but settled with Ophie and Evie.

But then … (here’s where the story gets a little complicated and isn’t very short)

Evie turned out to be  Everett (no bueno), so I found a home for him. I wasn’t ready nor did I have room for a rooster.

Did you know chickens aren’t loners? They’re not. They don’t do well alone.

So I got a couple more young ones. These two never seemed to ‘take’ to me. I tried, but they would NOT let me be their friend. So I planned to give them to another girlfriend.

And when I heard of a woman who had lost her lease to a barn and she needed to find a new home for hens, I contacted her.

She liked me and I liked her hens. And we arranged to bring them home.

TWELVE of them. Many different breeds – so colorful. So fun and exciting.

So, I gave the two young ones away.

But there was no way those twelve would fit in the little coop we had.

And that little coop? It was place inside our dog pen, which was displacing the dogs, of course.

So, my man began building.

And boy can he build. He’s built our Pergola, our screened room, my garden and compost bins. He’s done wonderful things inside our home, too.

In making the coop plans, we joked about what we’d call it. We have a history of having silly names for things. For our chicken coop, we decided to call it a Poultry Aviary. We’d have ‘activities’ for the hens, etc. etc. Of course, he built with the hope I’d get bored or tired of hen raising after a couple of years and he could convert it to a garden shed.

We’ll see.

But, with the little coop not being big enough, we asked our friends to be foster parents to the 12 until the coop was finished.

I told them they could keep the eggs. They kept some, but shared them with us. We fed them along with theirs. That was the least we could do.

We brought the hens home to roost in their ‘real’ home just two weeks ago. They’d been at our friends’ house for 3 months. It’s been an adjustment, but everyone seems happy now. The coop is 90% done. We just need to add windows and finish some trim, and that’ll come soon.

But, for now, we have a baker’s dozen in hens.


Our lucky number.

(for realz – our two children were both born on Friday the 13th – just different years)

True story.

So, here are some pictures of the progress. I’ve captioned them if you’re interested in details.

Ask questions if you have any.

And, you can laugh at me. My dad does.

That’s okay, ’cause I got me some fresh and beautifully colored eggs, ya’ll.

Do you have any interest in chickens?





7 Responses to Our Poultry Aviary

  1. Beth

    Beautiful chickens! I can’t wait to see them–I still think you should have gone with Tamar and Rahab….if Wayne still says no, I might steal the idea for my next hens…. 😉

    • Terry

      Well, there are ‘trends’ in girls’ and boys’ names … why not hens? Come over a take a look some time after going to the Farmers’ Market. At least it’ll be daylight.

  2. Lesley Harris

    Great!! I will be over for some eggs haha Well done!! the biggest chicken house ive seen. Lovely to see pictures xx

    • Terry

      Yes, I know there is a big difference in our property here in the states than over in Wales. Meaning, too, that we have plenty of space for you to come and visit!! We’d love it!

  3. Dawn

    I’ll have to let John know he’s been immortalized on your blog. :) And he’s still terrified that I’m going to demand he build a palais du poulet. Seriously, I am jealous.

  4. Erin Blegen

    What a nice job your hubby did! Whereas I grew up my entire life with chickens, my husband did not. But he has really grown to appreciate our chickens and ducks and has many times built things for me :) Great men they are!

    Happy to make a visit here (from the Clever Chicks hop!)

    • Terry

      Thanks for stopping by, Erin. Neither of us grew up with chickens, but we have both really enjoyed this process. My husband now feels the appreciation of the hens with their recent increase of eggs. Stop by again, any time!

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