Friday, October 30, 2009

flat pack prototype chicken coop

The University of Colorado, Boulder has created an Urban Chicken Coop Project to focus on the current backyard chicken raising trend happening in Boulder County. The city has seen an upsurge in its community garden project and 360,000 visitors to the Boulder County Farmers' Market each year. Many local restaurants incorporate the locavore movement so the local food movement and production is a huge priority. The citizens of Boulder are propelled to natural living, outdoor activities such as, biking, hiking, skiing and now gardening and farming have become the latest path to follow. A nationwide dialogue has begun proving that a chicken coop can be maintained in a backyard urban environment.

Two University of Colorado professors-Richard Saxton in the Art and Art History department and Rob Pyatt in the College of Architecture and Urban Planning have challenged their students to revisit the age old debate; can urban exist in the rural and can the rural exist in the urban. The "Chicken Shack Village" installation explores rural aesthetics and farming in an urban environment.

College of Architecture and Urban Planning instructor Rob Pyatt's design and build class to complete the first model for the easy-to-build chicken coop kit for homeowners. The most successful seems to be Jeff Troutman's flat pack chicken coop design (in black). Jeff's affordable design is an easy to assemble coop utilizing digital fabrication methods to cut FSC certified plywood sheeting with minimal hardware into 4'X4' sections, ultimately housing up to 6 chickens when constructed. The design includes a chicken run and is meant to be set up next to a backyard fence, still allowing for easy access to collect eggs.

Currently, in Boulder, there is an exhibit of Troutman and others designs for the chicken coops at the BMOCA Museum.

In addition to "Chicken Shack Village," symposiums have been set up to allow speakers such as the Urban Hens organization to address topics of collaborative art, raising chickens in the urban setting, environmental responsibility, healthy living, building and maintaining coops, as well as local farming and gardening.

More information available on this project at CO &

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