The first step in building a coop that works for you is to have a look at several designs, and understand the reasoning behind them. For example, you may want a structure big enough to walk into, or, if you have limited space in your yard, a smaller design with access doors to the inside.

The good folks over at Backyard Chickens have pulled together a great variety of designs, with lots of pictures. You may also want to contact your local agricultural extension office for useful information.

There are numerous books that can help you get started. I always suggest that you start at your local library. The first book I read was Hobby Farm Chickens, by Sue Weaver. It is easy to read, full of good information, and inspiring. And it is small enough to slip in your coat pocket, and read anywhere.

Another good one is How to Raise Chickens, by Christine Heinrichs.

In my last post, I had mentioned the metal watering fountain as a better choice over the plastic variety. Here is a link to a nice 3 gallon size, available from Rural King.

I recently read that our first lady, Mrs. Obama, is planting a garden on the White House grounds. Everyone should do the same this year in their own backyard. If ever we needed to rekindle the concept of a Victory Garden, it is now. Victory over bad produce, shipped by truck from far away places. Victory over complete dependence on someone else for the very food you eat. Victory over an economic machine that literally, is turning mankind and nature into a sort of monoculture.

Eleanor Roosevelt also planted on the White House grounds, and inspired millions to do the same.