Urban Chickens Living Large

For these chickens, the barnyard is actually the backyard. Funky, fun, family-oriented all describe these urban chicken coops that were part of the 5th Annual Urban Coop Tour in Atlanta.

Chicken Walking to House Paul Cox

A Wylde Coop

The coop at the Wylde Center, a community garden and learning center in Decatur, Ga., was built by volunteers -- mostly parents of young children who wanted to help their kids connect with their natural world. The center's \"girls\" are cared for by Team Chicken -- 10 families who divide up the effort and cost.

Fresh Eggs Paul Cox

Do It for the Eggs

Chicken owners will tell you their girls have personality. But, it's the fresh, protein-rich eggs that convince many to give chickens a try.

Kids Chicken Coop Paul Cox

Colorful and Recycled

Erica Jong and Josh Crook of East Atlanta crafted this coop from recycled wood flooring that had been in their kitchen. The coop is built 2 feet off the ground to give their girls some shade during the warm Atlanta summers.

Chicken Cage Paul Cox

Growing Family

Jong and Crook started their flock by keeping chickens that hatched at their children's school. Now their feathered family totals five.

Chicken Coop Painting Paul Cox

Coops Can Be Fun

Jong and Crook, who designed their cheery coop to fit in with the kid-friendly theme of their backyard, say their chickens are very social and run to them to be held or just \"chat.\"

Chicken Feeding Paul Cox

Friendly Flock

Many chicken breeds make intelligent pets, and chicks handled from birth will develop a social disposition. Plus, feeding the chickens from your hands is a pretty cool party trick.

Recycled Playhouse Paul Cox

Chicken Playhouse

This large coop in East Atlanta is attached to a playhouse and is home to seven chickens.

Chickens Playing Paul Cox

Gardening Partners

Chickens can make great gardening partners. They love to snack on bugs, they'll eat your garden weeds and they produce excellent fertilizer rich in nitrogen and other nutrients.

Chickens Eating Paul Cox

Country Barn

Hawks and racoons will prey on chickens even in the city. So, urban coops must be completely \"critter proof.\" This co-op built coop in Decatur, Ga., is styled as a country barn and features a feed area that is completely enclosed with screen, including the floor.

Hen Close Up Paul Cox

Co-op Coops

It's common for neighbors in urban areas to build and keep a co-op coop. \"It has really brought us together as neighbors and friends,\" says Decatur, Ga., gardener Leslie Stuart, whose cooperative includes eight families. \"We are outside of our homes more and talking and building a community.\"

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