There’s good news and bad news. The bad news first: Jackie and I did not make the trip to Tennessee this weekend for Sarah & Eric’s wedding. Katie went, but we felt the ten-hour trip with one day between travel days would just be too much for the little one.

The good news is that Jackie and I were able to make the fourth annual Tour d’Coop, which showcased more than 20 different urban chicken coops inside (hen-side) Raleigh’s I-440 beltline. Six of the coops are within a one-mile radius of our house, so Jackie and I set out on foot/stroller to check them out.

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I’ve had an interest in having chickens of our own for a couple of years now, and it was great to see the diversity of fowl-friendly accommodations so close to home. Like any type of pet, the chickens and their dwellings reflect the people who own them. Some coops were elaborate, even to the point that they matched the architectural detail of the adjacent houses. Other coops were simpler and less ornate. Every chicken owner we met today had a simple process for feeding, egg-gathering, and composting. The really interesting part was the small backyard footprint that each coop required — some had three or four chickens in less than 100 square feet.

Today’s tour convinced me that as long as there’s no co-mingling with Baxter and Robah, chickens would be a great addition to our family. I hope to start working on our coop sometime in the next year. On the other hand, Katie has already reminded me of the other changes we want to make to this house. For some reason, she seems to think that home-improvement endeavors might be higher on the list of priorities. Katie’s flan was killer; I think the only way to make it better would be to start with home-laid eggs.

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