|Signage at one of the Tour de Cluck stops|
We started the day at Tour Central (down at the Davis Farmers Market), where we checked out the silent auction art tent, listened to some chicken poetry and watched four city council candidates strut their chicken-clucking stuff on the "Courage to Cluck" stage.
|Tour de Cluck headquarters at Central Park|
After the opening ceremonies, we hopped on our bikes and headed out to ride the various coop loops. The south Davis coops were amazing, Rancho Layena being a particularly inspiring stop. Since Willowbank is outside the city limits, residents aren't limited by the city's six hen rule, so Rancho Layena--situated on a full acre with beautiful mature trees and garden paths to make me green with envy--had 13 lovely ladies in a sprawling coop next to a goat enclosure. I can dream, right?
|Rancho Layena's coop|
Then it was on to the east Davis coops, where we stopped at Charlie's teacher's house to check out her coop creation.
|Charlie & Ms. Hansen|
Ms. Hansen's coop was built with mostly repurposed and recycled materials, including a perimeter foundation made of pavers to discourage critters from entering the coop.
|The Copper Top Kibbutz coop|
Ms. Hansen had also rigged up a great compost pile enclosure using materials on hand in the garden. I took a photo so I could try to recreate it here at Banyan's End. You can never have too many different types of compost piles, in my opinion.
Chateau de Vieux Clucks, also in east Davis, is a sort of chicken sanctuary. Right now it's home to a few formerly feral chickens that were living on the Davis Cemetery grounds.
|Luxury living for some lucky hens|
On the central Davis coop loop, Stacie and Lucas Frerichs' coop proves you can raise hens even in a relatively small urban space (a temporary gate is put up between the houses during the day to give the hens room to roam in the side yard.)
|Shepherds Close Coop|
Anna Leslie showed off her coop and dog kennel-to-chicken run conversion. She has a solar-powered automatic coop door opener that runs on a timer, allowing her to go on vacation without needing to hire someone to let the birds in and out of the coop every morning and evening. Handy!
|Anna and her "Hummin' Hens A Workin'" coop|
By 2pm, we finally made it over to the west Davis loop and quickly checked out the four coops in that part of town. One interesting feature was this sand floor at Fort Chix, with a poop collection box under the roost (filled with wood shavings). Erica at Northwest Edible Life uses sand on her floor and you can read about that here, but I'd never seen one installed. The Fort Chix owners seem happy with its functionality and cleanliness.
All in all, it was a great day and a cluck-tastic tour! My only feedback to Tour organizers would be that it's difficult to make it to all 18 coops in the five hours allotted for the tour; we only saw fourteen.
It's especially hard if you're on a bicycle, break for lunch, bike with kids, like to ask questions of coop owners here and there, and have attended the opening festivities at the market and therefore don't arrive at the first coop until close to 10:30am. I realize it's a long day for the families whose homes are on the Tour, though, so I understand the decision to end at 3pm.
|Sign at the Coop du Rhone|
Did you ride the Tour de Cluck: A Bicycle Chicken Coop Crawl this year, or are you planning to snag tickets for next year? What was your favorite coop?