Backyard Chickens + Homesteading

A few years ago when my husband mentioned that we should get a few chickens to keep in our backyard, I was a little hesitant. It seemed like one of those things that only people with lots of land and tractors and cows could do, but in reality it has been one of the best things we have done! We buy their food at a local feed store, give them plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit scraps, and let them roam around in the woods behind our house to hunt for insects. As twilight, they return to their little home, and we close them in for the night! We have amazingly fresh eggs every day that are rich in protein and incredibly healthy.

Via

Right now our coop is a simple structure with a small window, a ramp and a small run. Since we live far enough away from our neighbors, we allow the ladies to roam around in the yard every afternoon. We were talking the other day though, about our big dreams and long-term goals as a family, and a homestead is at the top of the list. I'd love to have a really large flock and a gorgeous coop to house them. Here are some of my favorites!

This whole layout is so dreamy. I love the cedar planks, the modern fence and the large open area for the chickens. This is hands-down our favorite inspiration image, and we would love to recreate this whole garden/farm enclosure! I'm thinking lots of fresh herbs - basil, thyme, oregano, lavender, dill, cilantro, chives, garlic - and plenty of flowering leeks and leafy greens.

We would add plenty of drought-tolerant plants and flowers such as these to surround the coop and garden pathways. I love big, wild-looking flowers and bushes such as lantana and fanal that are reminiscent of natural secret gardens and the English countryside.

Another must for our new coop and garden area is a large workspace for potting, organizing, and storing our homestead necessities. I also want to try our hands at raising bees! Imagine having fresh, raw honey for your tea every morning. Amazing.

Those are our long-term dreams! For now we love our girls and love having them in our yard. Elliot loves them too! One of his first words was 'chick' as he pointed out the window to the foraging chickens. ;) If you want to get started with backyard chickens and just need a small, simple coop, here are some great ideas!