Tour D’Coop

I have a weird fixation with pets. I love animals, and it has always been my fantasy to have a menagerie of critters that follow me around and love me. I was probably indoctrinated with this idea by watching Cinderella one too many times as a child. Growing up I had (not all at the same time) fish, hermit crabs, a turtle, crawfish, a salamander, tadpoles, rabbits, chinchillas, hamsters and various sick wild animals that I tried to nurse back to health. For example, I put Neosporin and a band-aid on a frog’s hurt foot, mashed up worms to feed a baby bird that fell from its nest, comforted a road-killed wild rabbit as it breathed its last, and made a bed of cut flowers for a sick butterfly to lay on. Of course I was hoping that once they were well they’d love me and sew beautiful ball gowns for me. No wait, that was Cinderella.

Now, in spite of having the best possible pets (my two dogs who love me immensely and would do anything for me including sew me a beautiful ball gown if they could just figure out how to thread a needle), I constantly go through phases when I think it would be a great idea to get another pet. A few years ago we came this close to getting a corn snake, I wanted an aquarium for a while, and just last week there was a two day stretch where I thought it would be awesome to have a canary. These new pet cravings usually pass quickly, and if not I have Daniel to rein me in and make sure we don’t end up on a TV show about animal hoarding. However, I’ve been toying with the idea of keeping chickens for a few years now, and that’s much longer than my usual pet cravings last.

About this time last year Daniel said, “If you still want chickens in one year, we’ll talk about it.” It has been a year, and we did more than talk about it. We went on the Tour D’Coop over the weekend, which is a tour of backyard chicken coops around Raleigh, NC. Visiting a few coops in person made me want my own even more, especially since some of them were surrounded by the most beautiful gardens (probably thanks to the nutrient-rich chicken poo). I think Daniel is even starting to come around on the idea. If we decide to build a coop it won’t be until next spring, but in the mean time I’m going to attend a chicken keeping class to make sure I know what I’m getting myself into.

Do you keep chickens?

Tour D'Coop - Raleigh North Carolina Backyard Chicken Coop Tour

Tour D'Coop - Raleigh North Carolina Backyard Chicken Coop Tour

Tour D'Coop - Raleigh North Carolina Backyard Chicken Coop Tour

Tour D'Coop - Raleigh North Carolina Backyard Chicken Coop Tour

One backyard we visited also had honey bees! Add them to my list of pet cravings. How cool would it be to harvest your own honey?

Tour D'Coop - Raleigh North Carolina Backyard Chicken Coop Tour

Buzz buzz, aren’t they cute?

Tour D'Coop - Raleigh North Carolina Backyard Chicken Coop Tour

Tour D'Coop - Raleigh North Carolina Backyard Chicken Coop Tour

Tour D'Coop - Raleigh North Carolina Backyard Chicken Coop Tour

Fun Fact: My “Hive” illustration was actually inspired by chicken wire, but I figured “Chicken Wire” wasn’t a very catchy title.


  1. Kim @ Soliloquy Of Food & Such

    Until my recent move, I kept 3-5 hives of honeybees, even in a suburban neighborhood! In fact, they thrived the best there – we then moved out into the woods and had to contend with black bears….not cool. I’ve had chickens, too – 6 hens & a baby chick, thinned from a neighbor’s flock….baby chick grew up to be a sun-rise-sreaming-cock-a-doodle-doo rooster :) we still called him “baby chick”.

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      I was over on your blog the other day reading about all your chicken capers!

  2. Caitlin

    I think it’s a great idea, so that you know you’re getting eggs from happy chickens. I would love to have some one day but we don’t own our house, nor do we have the space. Also there are still bylaws in our city prohibiting it, but people are working to change that. Maybe when we’re ready, the city will be too.

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Our city just started allowing backyard chickens last summer thanks to a lot of hard working chicken lovers.

  3. Elisha

    Your photo of the chick is so precious! I would love to have a coop one day, but I don’t think chickens would be very happy living on our apartment. I just found out that my cousin works for the company, Urban Ministries, that sponsored Tour d’Coop. We are planning to go next year!

  4. Riley

    You had me at the menagerie of critters! Lifelong dream to wake up to birds chirping in greeting and a small battalion of furry creatures circling my feet as we gracefully go about our day. :)

    On a more serious note… I’ve been brainstorming how to landscape my current backyard into something more “together,” but still effortless in appearance. The yard with the (cement?) path is just what I’m looking to do!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Isn’t it gorgeous? I wish I could’ve photographed that lady’s whole yard. It was unbelievable.

  5. Chris Pridmore

    I miss having chickens. I grew up on a farm with chickens as pets, and they were always enjoyable. I remember running up to them to see how quickly they’d squat, then I’d pick them up… I probably wouldn’t do that these days… maybe…

  6. Jen

    If you ever get your hands on eggs fresh from chickens, you’ll stop waiting. I want chickens so bad I worked them into our wedding vows. If the county/city allows it, start building that coop.

  7. Coley

    I want a chicken coop so bad!!! When we were living in Raleigh there was one in the backyard of the house we lived in and I loved it. They almost had their house in the tour but then opted out. Only problem is my husband has a slight fear of chickens! haha. But maybe if i keep talking about wanting them over and over he’ll eventually warm up to the idea. I’m bummed we never did this Tour while we lived there, I heard about it and thought it would be so fun!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Check out “silkie” chickens. They are so cute, fluffy, and small I don’t think anyone could be afraid of them!

  8. Berlyn

    My family has been keeping chickens for years! I have so many silly stories from when I was growing up that involve our chickens. It never ends though, my mom recently got two mini silky fainting goats, and although they don’t give us eggs, they are adorable! :) Thanks for sharing a fun and magical adventure!

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