Coolest Coops 2018 — The Breakfast Club Chicken Coop
By Danielle Raad, Fanciful Farming, Michigan
“Artfully eclectic” is the perfect way to describe our chicken coop. Not only is our coop decor diverse, so is our flock! We began by anticipating only a small flock of ten hens but that number quickly grew to 25 chickens! Twenty of the 25 being different breeds.
With an array of breeds ranging from sleek Svart Honas, feather-footed Cochins, ornamental silkies, and everything in between we are really able to distinguish the different characteristics and personalities of each member of “The Breakfast Club” (which is what we playfully call our coop).
Some of our flock includes Woody, the bantam Calico Cochin with his comical antics and love of being carried around or Petina the Blue Isbar for her cunning foraging skills, eating all the pests out of the lavender garden and Kitty the Silkie for her incredibly sweet personality. Our boutique farm is run by three generations, we raise miniature horses, goats, rabbits, honey bees, monarch butterflies, and chickens. We sell fresh eggs locally and hope to eventually hold small classes on the farm.
Some of our animals, including the chickens, are used for therapy purposes where they visit schools and senior centers. We feel that chickens have more to offer people than just food. They can bring joy, love, empathy, and comical entertainment. Our coop is a large Amish-made shed that we converted to a chicken coop and added on an addition. To decorate the coop, we used an abundance of vintage and some modern items to complete the look.
We utilized old shutters for both the chicken door ramp and an awning to keep the rain off the free-choice station where we offer oyster shell, sea kelp, and dried herbs. The coop paintings were painted by us along with the stenciled wall. Most of the other decorations were found treasure hunting at local flea markets. The large nest box unit is made from salvaged barn wood and the vertical nest boxes are hung from an attached vintage barn ladder. We painted and découpaged pink roses to add a bit of whimsy onto the nest boxes. We found that our heavy breed hens enjoy the large skeleton key antique drawer nest box located under the ladder. The roosts are cut and sealed birch tree branches. We even added some small wall hangings from The Breakfast Club movie.
The outside of our coop is more traditional with the barn red siding, white picket fencing, flower boxes, and a scarecrow. Each member of “The Breakfast Club” is honored with a name plaque that hangs next to the coop. We have not officially named our petite farm but we do refer to it as fanciful farming because farms don’t have to be all business all the time….. they can be bright, beautiful, and enchanting too.