Archive for the ‘Parade of Coops’ Category

Coop Tour 2010

September 15, 2010

I had a great time touring several of the St. Paul coops on Saturday at the Twin Cities Parade of Coops. Judging by the online chatter this week, there was a great turnout across the cities. In fact, hundreds of people strolled through the 28 coops on display during a beautiful fall day.








If you missed the tour this time, watch for announcements next spring, a perfect time to introduce yourself to the joys of backyard chickens.

Parade of Coops – A Success!

April 28, 2009

In spite of the rainy weather, the Parade of Coops was a success as chicken lovers from around the Twin Cities toured local coops. The misty rain and chill didn’t stop the chickens from strutting their stuff. They preened and showed off their homes to all of us who stopped by.

A huge thank you to everyone who opened up their coops. If you missed the tour, here’s a few pictures from the day.

I didn’t get to all of the stops on the tour, but the owners of one of the coops I missed kindly provided photos of their coop and construction process.

Parade of Coops!

April 23, 2009

Mark your calendar for the Spring Parade of Coops this weekend!

Parade of Coops!
Sunday, April 26th 2009 2-5 pm

Welcome to the Parade of Coops! Explore some of the Twin Cities’ finest coops and meet dozens of fans of those flocked and feathered.

Further Information: Peat W. 612 719 1988

If you are currently keeping chickens/poultry/livestock or would like to start, join our TwinCitiesChickens listserve. It is closely controlled to prevent excess spam. It serves not only as an information forum but also as a social platform for poultry keepers in the Twin Cities Metro area as well as Duluth and Mankato.

There will be printed versions available at Coop “A” on Sunday, but get your transport logistics figured out now!

Coop “A”: Peat Willcutt, Rocky Gordon, Phyllis Kahn, Leslie Ball, and family
115 W Island Ave Minneapolis, MN

Coop “B”: Aimee and Jeremy McAdams
3441 18th Ave S Minneapolis, MN

Coop “C”: Stephanie Oyen
2521 29th Avenue South Minneapolis, MN

Coop “D”: Rebecca Miller
3145 Colfax Ave (Uptown) Minneapolis, MN

Coop “E”: Devin Quince
533 Sheridan Ave N Minneapolis, MN

Coop “F”: Michael, Emily, Grace, Ezra Scribner-O’Pray
2419 35th Ave S Minneapolis, MN

Coop “G”: Theresa Rooney Garden Chicken at Birdnest Cottage
3510 37th Avenue South Minneapolis MN

Get a head start by checking out the coops in last year’s parade.

Parade of Coops!

September 16, 2008

The Twin Cities had its first very own Parade of Coops! this weekend. It’s the perfect alternative to the parade of McMansions that takes place this time of year. It was a huge success in spite of the gloomy rainy weather. I had to miss it due to a prior commitment but I sent a proxy who scooped out the latest on the backyard chicken revolution.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area has a vibrant arts and creative community along with an established grassroots movement of eating local through farmer’s markets, co-ops and community supported agriculture programs. The Parade of Coops! showcased our area at its best with backyard eggs, home gardens and creatively designed coops.

The first coop hosted at least 200 people during the first hour alone. Chicken fanciers, those who already had coops and those interested in getting started surrounded Stephen and Stephanie’s new coop. The large red coop was a hit but their 7 hens seemed oblivious to the fuss. The coop is built off the ground with a large hinged front opening reminiscent of an old-fashioned root beer stand. In spite of having over half a dozen hens and a few problems along the way with mice and even lice (the chickens), they’d love to double their flock if they had the room.

The second stop on the tour was a coop built from the “Playhouse” design by Isthmus Handyman of Madison, Wisconsin. Unfortunately, due to a malfunction, the photos didn’t turn out for the next two stops but catch the link to check out this great coop ( A perfect design for the backyard, it’s been tested in cold weather but also works for those in the warmer climes.

We didn’t make it to the coop Peat, the organizer of the tour, and his neighbor’s share. But we visited it last year after his class on City Chickens. It’s a quaint coop that houses their menagerie of chickens, ducks and geese. Their run is an interesting combination of two large dog kennels providing a large open walk-in space that’s secure on all four sides.

Audrey’s charming coop in St. Paul was the last stop on our limited portion of the tour before the downpour started and we apologize that the great photos we took didn’t turn out. They normally keep 3 hens and are on their second year. Unfortunately, they’ve had a patch of bad luck. Last year one of their birds died and just last week one of their girls disappeared (literally into thin air)! A hawk is suspected. I guess we’ve been lucky—no near misses or large problems—yet. Perhaps the large oak trees in our backyard provide cover from flying predators.

In a discussion of chicken coops Audrey’s theory that “small is better” is the perfect justification for backyard chicks. Her view, with winter on the way, is chickens huddle closer together in small coops and the combined body heat helps keep the flock warm. Her flock has never suffered the frostbite others have had to contend with. I agree. Our chicks have always huddled together at night, it started when they were a few days old and has continued to today. Even with a small coop they don’t use the entire space; in fact, our girls use only about half of the available space so it’s clearly a choice they’re making.

We weren’t able to be part of the tour this year but we’re happy to have everyone view the coop. It’s much smaller than most on the tour but it suits our three chicks just fine. If we’re home they free-range all day in the backyard, otherwise they’re in the attached run. The Eglu coop (made by the Omlet company) is insulated for heat and cold but I add extra warmth in the winter by way of a pet heating pad and heat lamp. We’ve never had any problems with pests or predators, since we use services as powerpestcontrol to help us with this. The coop can be easily disassembled and cleaned in minutes and has a slide-out tray for droppings that I empty every morning so the coop stays very clean. It can also be moved to different parts of the backyard or garden

Omlet is coming out with the bigger Eglu Cube next year. It’s already sold in Great Britain but we’ve been told they’ll start selling it over here in 2009. I can’t wait! My girls will love the extra room in the run and their old Eglu will go to our lake cabin so I’ll be able to take them with. We haul our cats, so why not the chickens? The chickens have ridden in the car several times as they’ve vacationed across town when we went away. (The coop can be disassembled and taken in the car.) They’re quiet well-behaved travelers in their dog cage.

I hope the Parade of Coops! becomes an annual event as it is in many cities across the country. I promise not to miss it next time. In the meantime, I’d love to hear of other coop tours as they happen across the country.