Here in Raleigh, NC, we have a “Parade of Combs” – the Tour D’Coop! Guests are invited to tour some of the most unique, practical, whimsical and creative urban chicken coops in the area.
Started in 2005, the Tour d’Coop strives to educate and inspire folks who already have and may be considering backyard poultry, as well as promote urban farming. Additionally, the event raises food and funds for Urban Ministries; a wonderful local nonprofit organization that provides food, shelter, and medical assistance to people living in poverty in Wake County.
As new chicken owners (we just acquired our little flock in March of this year), we were thrilled to join in the fun of the Grand Tour… Not to mention, we just love Urban Ministries! There were 21 coops and the event lasted from 10am to 4pm. We ended up visiting only 6 coops – but alas: a late start, a stop for lunch, and a slight delay at one stop in particular (Big Boss Brewery) swallowed quite a bit of time. However, with proper planning, there’s no doubt you could hit many more coops!
The coops we did visit were fantastic! Each one unique and just about as reflective of the owner more than any other influence. We loved being greeted by these creative signs:
Every coop was different and gave us some great ideas to incorporate into our own coop. We loved hearing stories about how to protect our chickens from predators (dig the fencing down six inches and monitor free ranging), some of the best treats (worms and grapes!), and what to do in extreme temps (fans!) We also enjoyed seeing the new chicks and coop at Big Boss Brewery, as well as an afternoon refreshment!
An added bonus to the tour included some of the most breathtaking flower and vegetable gardens we’ve ever seen. We loved one idea of using a weight (such as a glass jug filled with colored water) to create a pulley system to automatically close a gate… brilliant! Others includes brightly painted gourds and beautiful lily ponds…
We also loved the creative coop and garden artistic features. A chicken-inspired pizza oven? Chicken garden art? A rooster-painted rain barrel? We saw all this and more on the tour!
And, of course – the chickens! They were all so beautiful… we enjoyed watching them and, at one coop, we even fed a few of them a treat of mealworms!
Overall, this was a 5-star event! It’s obvious that the participants are truly the cream of the coop crop. We learned so much and can’t wait to start implementing some new ideas into our own coop.
You can view more of the highlights of our tour on my Tour D’Coop Flickr Photo Album.
Happy Urban Chicken Farming!