ISSUE 46  |  The Family Farm

Modern Farmer: 9 Backyard Gardens with Chickens

November 19, 2014 2:30 PM

BY Meredith Swinehart

Is a backyard garden complete without a coop? The last few years have seen a surge in popularity of chicken-keeping, making chickens as much at home in the city as on a rural farm. Here are our favorite backyard flocks (plus one that lives on a ferryboat):

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Above: In Rhode Island, Gardenista contributor Christine Chitnis and family are backyard chicken wranglers. “Our four ‘girls’ don’t seem to understand the concept of coming back to their coop once night falls,” she says. “And so we head out into the backyard to chase them down. It’s always comical, with one of us wielding a rake, and my husband cursing lightly under his breath as he crawls through the bushes.”

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Above: Cheep the rooster has a sad story about how he came to artist Celia Hart. But he now lives a charmed life inside an old walled garden near Cambridge, England. Read the story in Celia’s Garden: At Home with an English Artist and Her Chickens. Photograph by Jim Powell for Gardenista.

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Above: For more, see Garden Visit: A Factory Yard at Emma Bridgewater in Stoke-on-Trent. Photograph by Arthur Parkinson.

“If Arthur Parkinson (the 23-year-old mastermind behind the gorgeous garden at English potter Emma Bridgewater’s vast Stoke-on-Trent headquarters) has a holy trinity of garden inspiration, it is surely Beatrix Potter, Sarah Raven, and the late, great Duchess of Devonshire,” writes Clare Coulson.

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Above: For more, see A Love Affair with Houseplants (and Chickens) at Pistils Nursery in Portland. Photograph by Jesse Waldman courtesy of Pistils Nursery.

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Above: For more see Lady in Red: A Backyard Chicken Coop with Charm to Spare. Photograph by Sylvia Linsteadt for Gardenista.

“In a sunny woodland clearing with a backdrop of redwoods and ferns, the chicken coop that Chiquita and Bob Woodard built in their Mill Valley, California, garden for their feathered brood of four (and growing) has all the casual charm of their 1902 shingled farmhouse,” writes Jean Victor.

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Above: Jessi Bloom, author of Free-Range Chicken Gardenskeeps backyard chickens. See the rest of her flock in Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard. Photograph by Kate Baldwin.

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Above: In Oakland, CA store owner Jamie Kidson keeps chickens and bees in her backyard garden. For more, see A Simple Garden in Oakland, Chickens Included.

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Above: Actress Shiva Rose grows produce for herself and her two daughters in her LA garden and relies on chicken eggs for protein. For the whole story, see Shiva Rose’s Rustic LA Garden. Photograph courtesy of Rip + Tan

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Above: Clemmie Hambro’s aging chickens like to dig up “a nice chicken-size hole where they then sit and sunbath for three hours.” For more of their adventures, read School’s Out: Three Kids, 11 Baby Chicks, and a Garden in Bloom. Photograph by Clemmie Hambro.

Love animals? Read on: