COOP (Chicken Owners Outside Philadelphia)
COOP (Chicken Owners Outside Philadelphia)

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COOP News Vol. 4 No. 2, May 3, 2009


Amy has organized a wonderful coop tour, and Heidi & Elizabeth have opened up their newly renovated house to our potluck directly following the tour. See Amy's Tour invitation. This tour is only for COOP members and a few selected guests this time around. We are planning a COOP open house for the summer, which will be open to the public.

Here's how it will work in general:

Meet at H & E's and drop off food no later than noon on Sunday, May 17. If you have a car that seats more than 4/5, please bring it so we can carpool most efficiently!

Nancy is preparing a Google map (google link to follow in an email closer to the date) which will take us to 7 locations to visit 10 coops (3 on W Mill Road). Once we know how many people will be touring, I will approximate what time we'll be there so those who need to jump in the tour later will know where to go.

We will end up back at Heidi & Elizabeth's around 3pm for potluck and meeting

You are welcome to just do the tour, just do part of the tour, just do the potluck or to do everything.

Several of the houses we will be visiting have very limited parking so we need to know ahead of time how many people will be coming on the tour, since that may change the timing somewhat.

RSVP Amy ( for the tour. Please send her an email asap even if you aren't sure so we get an idea of our largest numbers

RSVP Elizabeth ( for the potluck and tell her what you'd like to bring.


Today the original 45 chicks that the original COOP members received from Murray McMurray's were hatched! Happy Hatchday girls (and boy).

Of the original chicks, six went to Larry and Pat (our neighbors) and a few of them died from various causes, but of the remaining, all have survived except Juno. Two (Kateski and Ishtar) survived critter attacks, two have been relocated (from (Kristina & Andrew's to Ron & Carolyn's) and all are now happily laying.


So, how are this year's chicks doing? Great! They are 12 weeks old today and from all reports everyone seems to be thriving.

For a more detailed (read "long") narrative, please see below — it was just too long for the front of the newsletter.


Since my last newsletter in February, the following folks have contacted COOP and are now on our mailing list:

  • Betz Green — a Flourtown artist with 3 Light Brahmas
  • Zoray — King of Prussia, no chickens at this time but has raised chickens in Philly and Abington over the years
  • Lauren Salizbury — Fort Washington, Pennypack CSA member, no chickens yet
  • Jane Coder — Oreland, has a coop coming soon and is planning a flock of 8 hens
  • Russ Levin — Plymouth Whitemarsh, near the elementary school, coop and flock starting soon
  • Terri Bryan — Lansdale, 4 hens that started as Easter chicks!
  • Judy Balock — Lansdale, no chickens yet, and would like to fight the no chicken zoning in Lansdale
  • Tim Jaques — West Chester, looking to start a flock
  • Tanya Veitch — East Falls area off Lincoln Drive, starting a small flock (she got Liz Otwell's chicks)
  • Andrew Olsen — Philly, has one chicken someone found in a park, is looking for more
  • Druanne Martin — Cheltenham, looking to start a flock

Welcome all!


Chickens have been in the news like crazy! See what we have all gotten ourselves into? It's a "back to simple" revolution.

Lately, there have been articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Times about backyard chickens and, more importantly, zoning issues around backyard chickens. We have also been contacted by several reporters looking to do stories.

Doug put up links to the articles on the front page of the website


I submitted a picture to a few months ago and it is now the Pic of the Week. See it here quick: It will go away Monday.


I, being obsessive, have kept track of every single egg laid, and in honor of their first birthday, here are the numbers through April, with the date they first started to lay:

134Friggawhite leghorn9/6
118Ishtarbuff orpington10/13
63Junobrown leghorn11/3-3/26
114Nanshebuff orpington11/22

Total: 696!

You go girls. Thanks for the beautiful, yummy eggs. ~38>


In early February we received 45 (again) from McMurray's but 5 died right away and one of ours six weeks later. I also heard that one of Pam's son's chicks died. I think the problem with the ones that didn't make it right away was a combination of the weather during shipping (it had been warm and then there was a cold snap that weekend) and the size (the 5 were all tiny silkies or Polish). I think in the future we would wait until later in the spring to get these little gals.

In addition, Heidi and I went down to Whitmore Farm in Maryland and brought home 4 welsummers, 4 blue/black copper marans and 3 New Hampshire reds. The marans and NH reds were unsexed and, as it happens, 6 of 7 are roosters. We're not sure yet about the 7th actually, but Lisa and Laurie are hoping for a marans hen!

Of the roosters, L&L are keeping one marans rooster, Bob & Suzanne took two marans roosters, Dave Riegel took one NH red, Nancy & Doug are keeping one NH red, and there is one left over that I'm hoping Larry & Pat will take but if anyone out there is interested, let me know!

It was Chick Central around Nancy & Doug's place for quite some time. We've had so much fun raising 25 chicks. They took over our laundry room, then our garage, then we built a whole new enclosed yard for them. We also had fun hosting Lauren's 4 americaunas for several weeks while she and Maddy took a vacation to Asia (can't wait to hear about it)!

At about 10 weeks they were so big they no longer fit in the wooden crate we had set up for them to sleep in at night so 5 of them went home to Pam and have been accepted nicely into her flock of bantams (and a leghorn). Interestingly, Pam's entire flock of 12 are all black and white!

Finally we just opened up all the chicken doors and let the little girls (and boys) and the big girls mingle in the yard, and they were fine after a few days of scrapping. Sharing the coop at night is a whole other issue though, and you have never heard (I hope) the ungod-like sounds coming from Ishtar every evening as she sits on the roost, puffs up as big as she can get and "yells" at the little ones to "get the @*#*$& off of her roosting bar." Despite all the fuss, all the little ones are now roosting.

Lauren and Dave R both came and picked up their chicks a week ago and so we are down to 17 chickens. Francie and Margot's will be picked up today and then it will be just our 13 (plus an extra rooster).

Looking forward to seeing everyone soon.


3:^ Nancy