It is a great tour of coops, gardens, livestock and other surprises. It's the first time there has been a coop tour in this neck of the woods, but I have a sneaky suspicion that this may become an annual event.
We will be visiting 6 totally different kinds of coops and driving many scenic back roads to reach them.
Since you could not be here in person, I will narrate the happenings and use photos from that day to help explain the fabulous day of events. I was the "Coop Coordinator" for this big event and had been developing this unique tour since spring.
First of all it was pouring rain at 4 am and as I lay in my bed I wondered how many people would show up if the weather remained challenging. As the tour coordinator I had guessed about 15 people would show up for the entire tour. But only 7 if it rained.
By 8 am the clouds had left, the sun came out and I finished my chores, dropped off my many bags of cans and bottles at the recycling center and headed over to the local tennis courts to await the arrival of chicken coop tourists.
With plenty of parking we chose the tennis courts in the center of the village as a meeting place and an area where we could car pool to a few of the locations that had limited parking.
I was 30 minutes early and within a few seconds families started arriving by car, van, truck and bike to partake of this unusual Saturday event. Many wore boots just in case it started raining again.
As soon as everyone signed in, gave their donation to the local church food shelf ($5 suggested donation) and had their hand stamped, we headed to Coop #1. It was 10 am.
Our host at Coop # 1 was Peter.
His home is just a mere 4 doors down from where we all met on the common.
His coop is right in the center of the village and just about everyone was shocked when they realized there are chickens in the village and no one knew about them!
His coop is set back from the road, well hidden by the landscape and is part of his garage.
Considering how many bantams he has, his grass remains perfectly trimmed and growing every day.
It was an attentive audience as Peter explained why he chose the breeds he had and why he decided on his coop and pen design. He pointed out where his compost pile is and how he distributed the compost around his gardens. What people feed their flock is always an interesting conversation and Peter told us what his birds menu was on a daily basis. There were lots and lots of questions and I worried about weather we would "stay on schedule" or still be driving to coops at sunset!
He had bantam eggs on display in several different shades. It was a real "touch and tell" visit.
Not too many people had ever seen bantam eggs before or patted a calm bantam hen.
He built a 12 x 12 coop inside of his garage.
It is doubly protected from the harsh winters we have here in Vermont. Lucky birds!
Peter brought out one of his silky hens for everyone to pat.
There was a line to see his unusual coop.
We counted 36 people in attendance with lots of kids and one very very interested teenager.
A Millie Fleur hen and her newly hatched chick was discovered by one of the tour guests.
Peter was very surprised and pleased.
The rest of us were thrilled!
Peter has a different kind of nest box. Plastic. From recycled 5 gallon buckets.
He purchased them and likes them as they are easy to clean and move around his coop.
I had never seen any like this.
He had the usual feeders and waterers, but the coop door was a lot smaller than most coop doors because of his smaller sized chickens.
Before we left to go to the next coop, we all dunked our feet into the clorox boot wash.
Us farmers are very bio security conscious.
There were an assortment of colorful boots represented on this tour.
Beautiful gardens surrounded his yard.
We said thank you to Dawn and Peter and headed to Coop #2.
Most of the coop hosts went on the tour visiting all the other coops as well, but Peter had thrown his back out 2 days before and was not going to risk making it worse. He is going to have a private tour of the other 5 coops once he is feeling better.
Stay tuned for Coop # 2.
Please share this post with your poultry loving friends.
Ever been on a Tour D' Coop?