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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Chicken Playhouse

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

  • Chickens Playing

    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

    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

    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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