Backyard chickens on display at the Tour des Coops

For most Madisonians, the only place spelled “c-o-o-p” providing local and organic groceries is on Willy Street. But residents in the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood go to a different kind of “c-o-o-p” for their fresh food.

The neighborhood is home to a number of backyard poultry enthusiasts, whose chicken coops were on display at the Fourth Annual Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association’s Tour des Coops on June 23. Twelve urban farmers who live with a few blocks of each other opened their homes to community members to show off their homemade coops. Farmers ranged from new arrivals, to renters, to long-time-residents.

City law states has the following regulations regarding backyard coops: they can hold four chickens (none of which can be roosters); they must be at least 25-feet from neighboring homes; and chickens must be enclosed or fenced in at all times.

Neither these easy-to-follow guidelines nor the small risk of losing a chicken to predators (mostly to possums and raccoons) outweigh the benefits of receiving fresh eggs every morning .

In the following slideshow, you will hear from a number of farmers including Amy Alstad, who inherited her coop from the previous owners of her home; Matt Seibel, whose last chicken, “Foxi Brown,” lives in a coop modeled after a Despression-era “Hooverville” shanty; a renter, Sarah, who built her coop out of recycled materials from her childhood playhouse; and Alan Crossley, a 20-plus-year Tenney-Lapham resident who built his coop a year ago and now has a fully-sustainable backyard garden in the heart of Madison.

For a full list and descriptions of the coops on the tour, see here.


Re: Chicken Coop Tour

Thanks for letting us know! The slideshow takes a little while to buffer. Give it a couple of minutes and then press play. Let me know if you're still having trouble.

Naya (Managing Editor)

No slide show link

I also can't access the slid show...doesn't even show up in the window I have open.

Chicken coop tour


I am not getting a link to the slide show, anyone else see it?