Life with Chickens – Photo Essay and Video Tour

Life with Chickens – Photo Essay and Video Tour

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Our girls are a diverse collection of beauties, both classics and renegades. Various Wyandottes, Brahmas, a Plymouth Rock, and Orpingtons mingle with Russian Orloffs, a Buckeye, Partridge Chanteclers, and a Speckled Sussex. Then there are the Olive Eggers, the Easter Eggers, and the barnyard mixes making our flock a vibrant myriad of shimmering color and producing a colorful rainbow of eggs. Some girls were rehomed from owners who experienced lifestyle changes and even adopted after a tragic fire.


The actual coop is a modified greenhouse shed that underwent major modifications as we sought that just-right balance for the girls. Insulation, extra windows that have been predator-proofed with hardware cloth, and even a barn-style door, which opens either on top, bottom or both, enhance the charming comforts of “Maloney’s Perch & Breakfast.”

Our adventure-engaged adult family members have been especially adept at the chicken-yard expansion. Our daughter, Shanna, and her wife, Susan, are handy with stretching the fencing and attaching it to t-posts. Ten-month-old Braxten loves to watch Grandma’s girls. Our nephew, Ryan, and his partner, Jason, added many hours to make this dream come true. In addition, Ryan’s employment at the Chicago location of an upscale international boutique gave us dibs on a chicken-themed window display, which explains the attached two-foot-tall eggs and the six-foot skillet featuring a gigantic sunny-side up treat.

The one-acre enclosure has undergone tweaking and several expansions as we grew our expertise with welded wire fencing, t-posts, and fencing clips, and a strong desire to give our flock lots of room to roam.

Meticulous planning is one thing, but a kind of scientific trial and error presides here along with a passion to reuse and repurpose everything. From vintage doors and windows to backyard playsets and old dressers, these items have found their way into our coop and run. An outdoor cedar roost, a vintage wrought iron and wood glider, bright umbrellas, and large and small wire wheels are some of the amenities the girls enjoy. Wire-mesh gates are functional, but the charm of vintage doors breaking up a fence line is unsurpassed and welcoming to all.

As with everything we have done, we execute an idea, but then live with it in order to observe costs and benefits and consider living with chickens an ongoing process in which the chicken yard is never quite done.

Annette & Michael Maloney

Photos and video footage by Alex de Fleron Photography

FIske BYP Photo Essay
The actual coop, a modified greenhouse shed, underwent major modifications.
Hen house roll call.
Annette distributes scratch to the flock.
Umbrellas to provide shade and prevent predators from swooping in.
FIske BYP Photo Essay
FIske BYP Photo Essay
An upscale international boutique located in Chicago gave us dibs on a chicken-themed window display. How else to explain the two-foot-tall eggs attached to the coop or the six-foot skillet featuring a gigantic sunny-side up treat?
Confused Easter Egger.
So many choices!
Lots of places to lay an egg, but the floor looks good as well!
Upcycled nesting boxes from kitty litter containers and dust bathing spots.
Hens & Chicks by the hens and chicks!
Ladder conveniently located to assist the girls who choose not to rock climb.
FIske BYP Photo Essay

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