Out East Foodie Visits Chickapalooza, Building a Chicken Coop

The Garden of Eve’s first Chickapalooza was a great way to kick-off Earth Day and celebrate spring. Throughout the weekend the farm held cooking demonstrations, provided information about their CSA and gave workshops on creating an organic home garden, shearing wool, working with bees and, the highlight of my visit, raising chickens.

Birds have always been a part of my life. My father raised a flock of a hundred or so canaries, which started small in our basement and eventually made its way to an outdoor shed. At the crack of dawn, just when the sun peeked its way through the window, the canaries would sing the longest and most beautiful melody you have ever heard. My father tried raising chickens for eggs years ago, until the town put a stop to his love affair. Thankfully, the chicken laws and ordinances have evolved since then.

Four years ago, when my husband Chris and I bought our 1.1-acre lot in Hampton Bays, my father’s first thought was, “Chickens, you can raise chickens!” Our first thought, “We need to build a house.”
We are three and a half months away from Sheridan Green’s completion, and all I can think about is raising chickens for eggs. We have not picked out our kitchen appliances yet, but I’m fantasizing about the chicken coop’s design and the young Araucanas, Bantams and top hats pecking around our property.

While Chris was busy being architect and general contractor for Sheridan Green, I went to Chickapalooza.

Dr. Mark Bridgen, professor and director of the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center at Cornell University, led the seminar. He has been raising chickens for more than 25 years and is an authority on the care and management of chickens for the home.

Visit outeastfoodie for the full post, top takeaways for raising chickens, and information the North Fork Hen House Tour, hosted by Cornell University, on Saturday, June 15.