I met Mike two years ago when he came over to my house on business. As he was leaving, he inquired about the chickens in the yard. Of course, I had to take him over to the coop, introduce him to the girls and give him my 15 minute schpeel on the glory of keeping backyard chickens. It wasn’t long until Mike emailed me to tell me the news, they were the proud owners of baby chicks!
Mike soon sent me pictures of the beautiful coop he and his wife had made for their new flock. As time passed, they added new members and their flock has grew from four to ten. The chickens were officially members of the family with names to match their personalities and looks. I was also happy to hear that, Mike and Wendy are now the proud parents of two call ducks, Fletch and Flash. Yesterday, I was invited over to visit their human and feathered family for the first time. I was so excited to meet everyone.
The yard is beautifully landscaped. Fruit trees, a Kousa dogwood and a spectacular koi pond lace the property. The koi pond is gorgeous! The sound of the waterfall fills the air. Lily pads, water hyacinth, cattails, assorted koi and the occasional bullfrog croak are all part of this magical oasis.
Their flock of ten chickens is a combination of Buff Orpingtons, Australorps, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks and Golden Laced Wyandottes. With names like Patches, Honey, and Puddles, you can tell these chickens are well loved.
After researching many different internet sites and books, Mike and Wendy designed the coop, making sure that it had plenty of ventilation, windows and easy access for cleaning. One of the challenges of building their coop is the slope of their backyard. With a little bit of innovation, Mike and Wendy leveled the coop and built the run into the hillside.
Inside the coop, there is plenty of room to roost and three nesting boxes. A large hanging feeder is in the corner and the waterer sits perched upon some blocks in the center.
They created windows covered with plexiglass. I love this! This coop has windows on three sides and all can open and close depending on the weather. They are screened with hardware cloth. The run is over 32 feet long with the width matching the coop. It was created in eight feet sections covered with a corrugated roof, pitched for snow and rain run off. The run is enclosed with hardware cloth. Hardware cloth also lines the outside perimeter of the run. These extra measures, help ensure that the run and coop are predator proof. Living in a wooded area, it is not uncommon to see coyotes and fox running through the yard as well as hawks overhead.
All of the chickens are docile and gentle. They are lucky enough to have chickens that love to be held by the kids and receive snuggles. One of their chickens loves to swing on the swing set with their eldest little one. This sweet chicken below fell asleep in Mike’s arms as we chatted.
Of course, my visit would not have been complete without meeting their two male call ducks, Fletch and Flash. These two are the newest members of the family.
Mike and Wendy built their duck coop with left over scrap lumber and supplies from the chicken coop. It has a house with an attached run and a swimming pool just for the boys. I learned that male ducks are much quieter than females. With a bit of handling, these boys should become just as docile as the chickens.
Soon enough, our visit was over. They always seem to pass too quickly. It was a lovely afternoon and I was so overjoyed to see how much happiness the chickens and ducks have added to this family’s life. One of Mike’s friends from work plans to come over this week for a tour of Mike and Wendy’s coop and run. He too is planning on adding a flock of his own to his yard. One thing is for sure, with a little inspiration from a friend that keeps chickens, it is so easy and clear why keeping a small backyard flock is not only possible but incredibly rewarding.
This post is linked up to Homestead Revival’s Barn Hop.
Photo Credits: Tilly’s Nest