The contemporary renaissance of healthy living and gourmet local foods has given wings to the revival of the backyard flock. More and more rural and not-so-rural families are rediscovering Vermont’s time-honored tradition of keeping chickens. And some are keeping them in the grandest style.
Since standard chickens require such a small space in which to thrive, a minimum coop space of 4 sq. ft. and a run of at least 10 sq. ft., almost any Vermonter with a yard of some sort can start his own little brood. And almost anyone with an eye for architecture can have some fun with it.
Design New England glorifies chicken coops, agrarian simplicity and glamor in a recent article on “architecturally forward” hen houses. The coop pictured to the left is called Il Tempietto Di Pollo. It was designed and built by Boston architects Robert Linn and Keith Moskow along with five college students from Norwich in a six-day design build workshop for architecture students.
This annual workshop inspires students “to engage with the rural landscape and to imagine, develop and construct inventive design solutions.” The chicken coop is the perfect vehicle.
I snooped around online for some other inspiring chicken coops:
Beyond the architectural fun of creating the Taj Mahal for your girls, local eggs are better for you. Eggs from hens raised on pasture show 4 to 6 times as much vitamin D as typical supermarket eggs. According to Mother Earth News, home-grown eggs contain 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene.