Those of you who have been following our journey since I started blogging back in 2009 or have read our first book, Patina Style, may remember that our foray into farm animals started when we lived in Santa Monica. It was during a morning walk around our suburban neighborhood that I heard the astonishing (for a city girl) sound of clucking hens and realized that I needed to have my own flock.
It wasn’t long after that fateful morning that we turned our narrow side yard into a chicken haven for six small bantam chicks.
Over the years, our avian family has grown and now includes over 30 chickens of various breeds and sizes.
We built two different coops when we lived on Patina Farm
Our first coop was featured in our book, Patina Farm. Situated just between our garage and a small “chicken garden", this hen house was purposely located so I could see my feathery ladies from my office window and enjoy their clucking serenade all day.
When we added goats and sheep to our family, we turned our original coop into our small animal barn and built a new coop connected to our greenhouse on the lower level of our land. Several of our hens refused to relocate and became happy roommates with our ruminants.
Before we moved our ladies across country to Patina Meadow, we built a new coop so our girls would be comfortable when they arrived. We constructed their new home on an old farm trailer chassis with the reclaimed wood from the old barn on our property.
We placed the door on the wide side of the coop, making cleaning and egg gathering easier.
A set of twelve nesting boxes on the back wall of the coop provides plenty of egg laying space, and two long roosting poles on either side of the coop give our ladies ample sleeping room.
Steel mesh covered windows provides ventilation while still keeping our ladies safe at night.
In spite of our best efforts to create an irresistible home for our girls, we still find a few of them curled up at night in the barn with the goats, sheep and pigs.
Since our move to Patina Meadow, we’ve also added a couple dozen guinea fowl to our flock. These honking jowly girls are not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love them.
Not only do they roam our land in search of ticks and other insects, they provide endless entertainment for our four shih tzus who love watching them at work.
There have been many lessons learned and challenges faced over the years, but after all this time I can’t imagine a life without a gaggle of clucking ladies.
Do you have chickens? What have they taught you?
If you are thinking about introducing chickens to your family, I included some helpful tips in our book, Patina Living.
For a limited time, you can get 10% off signed copies Patina Style, Patina Farm, and Patina Living, with our Patina Design Bundle. I hope they inspire you to design a life you love.