St. John had many wild chickens roaming everywhere. After a few days on the island, it soon became clear to me that most likely not many people kept backyard chickens. However, a girl can try. I searched everywhere I could trying to discover and share a Tour de Coop. I watched as homes whizzed by as we were driving, hoping to catch a glimpse of a small coop tucked away in someone’s yard. I did not have any luck until my husband and I decided to go horseback riding.
We met Dana and her menagerie of wonderful animals including donkeys, horses, goats, cats and, finally, chickens. As Dana saddled up our horses for our hour and a half scenic tour, I could not help but interact with her chickens. Some she raised as chicks and some just happened to show up. She has a few roosters and one in particular that likes to follow her around. For the most part, they are skittish, like those in the wild.
Dana allows them to roam free on her property. She has a coop and nesting boxes in a small corral with a couple of goats. The chickens know that there is a supply of fresh food and water here and that keeps her flock nearby. The chickens and the goats actually get along pretty well, but the goats have been known to interrupt egg laying. Some of her hens prefer to lay eggs outside of the boxes and coop area. Dana has found clutches of eggs here and there. On the day of our visit, she spotted a tiny white egg laid on the top of her roof!
|Coop area with nesting boxes|
It was heartwarming to meet this woman with such a wonderful heart and compassion for animals. Some of her animals are rehabilitating from injuries. Some cannot return to the wild. A few of her horses are in their retirement and spend their days interacting with other horses and taking visitors to view amazing vistas and island scenery. We had a wonderful time. The horseback riding was fantastic and I encourage you to visit Dana and her animals if you are ever visiting St. John. You can read more about Dana, her company and her animals here.
Photo Credits: Tilly’s Nest