A challenge became a passion. A coop became a cathedral.
The Chicken coup, later to become a chicken tractor, was inspired when my daughter asked if I could make one for her. I said yes and began to explore designs and options. I realized that there were basic elements to every coup which included nesting boxes, roosting poles, ventilation, clean out accesses, and feeding and watering mechanisms, but most of all was the security features providing protection against any creacher in search of a chicken dinner. I looked at the Purina design offered on the internet and was satisfied with its basic features. My daughter then notified me that after further consideration they didn’t think they would have time to care for chickens. By this time, I had cultivated a fairly healthy interest in this project, in particular the design and features which I thought could be enhanced with minimal expense and proper planning, so the analysis continued in my leisure and I found that raising chickens is an area of growing interest even in urban or suburban areas. I perused several internet offerings from suppliers to individuals like myself chronicling their experiences.
I concluded very early that I could not continue any level of motivation if I were to produce a standard chicken coup, even with many “advanced” features. I therefore began contemplating a design that would satisfy the time and energy that I was willing to invest in this endeavor. I found a few nice designs, but nothing approaching what I desired. Therefore, I turned to a consideration of architecture and began considering the great works and elements incorporated therein, such as the flying buttress. As I contemplated I learned that irrespective of the design chickens needed a considerable grazing area and unless the area could be made secure, great effort would be required letting the chickens out every morning and closing them in every night and that presupposes a safe and secure area during the day. I noted one couple who had built a very nice coup only to learn this lesson the hard way when they lost some hens to birds of prey. I was already fully aware of the threat from above, having watched with great delight, “The Natural History of the Chicken”, available on DVD and highly recommended for its humor and astounding stories that anyone would find interesting irrespective of any desire to own chickens. So, as I alluded previously, the top concern is security, and I knew already that my fences were inadequate to even keep dogs away, much less more fearsome and effective varmints such as coyotes, foxes, opossums, etc.