Coops Be Crazy: Chicken Abodes Inspire Creativity and Craftsmanship
One Oregonian trait I’ve always been in awe of is craftsmanship coupled with determination. Activities I would consider hard work are considered mere hobbies. People follow their whims with a shrug of their shoulders and a year later there’s a giant raised garden bed in their yard, or a new craft brewery on the scene, or, as I witnessed on a recent Sunday afternoon, a solid redwood, architecturally sound, Tudor-style chicken coop rooted in a backyard like it’s been there for 50 years.
Cooped Up in Corvallis is an annual, self-guided tour of local chicken and duck coops, organized by the Corvallis Environmental Center. Show up the day of the tour at SAGE, get your ticket, grab a pamphlet that includes a map and directions to each coop, and take your time soaking up the most wonderfully inspired fowl houses Corvallis has to offer. The coops are found anywhere from Crystal Lake Drive to Oak Creek Road to Appaloosa Lane, and people have been known to turn the tour into a bike adventure.
The Coop Tour typically draws over 100 people and this year featured 11 coops.
“I think it was a great success,” said Mida McKenrick, the Corvallis Environmental Center’s program assistant. “We’re looking forward to finding more creative coops next year.”
Megan Conca’s friend, Dee Grubbs, had some salvaged redwood on his hands and wanted to do something nice for Conca. Living in Salem, he needed to make the coop portable, so he constructed it in several partitions and assembled it on site. The coop houses seven chickens and opens onto a fenced-off run that follows the perimeter of the backyard. Grubb’s plans for his latest model? Add functioning dormer windows.
Housing three hens, this mobile coop has a sweet set of bicycle wheels, among other repurposed materials. Owned by the folks behind Northwest Naturescapes, a landscape company who goes to worksites via bike, the ingenious transportability of this coop comes as no surprise.
The Eglu Go Coop
This online-purchased coop fits in great in the tour, thanks to the other amenities Sharyn Clough and Jon Kaplan have provided for their chickens. The Eglu Go coop—lightweight plastic, easy to clean, well-insulated—is a nice enough home, but it’s what’s outside the coop that really counts. The coop resides in a fenced-in area about 8”x10” that offers a short, canopied platform for rainy and sunny days, as well as, no kidding, a small burbling fountain.