Add A Chicken Coop… Increase the Value of Your Home?

Over the past couple of weeks, my lovely wife and I have been talking about adding a chicken coop to our home.  For a variety of reasons, it felt like the right time to make the investment.

Regardless of this recent planning effort, when my wife sent me a story from the Dining and Wine section of the New York Times called, “Straight from the Home Coop” I was a little surprised.

Why I was surprised is worthy of a bit of explanation.  Let’s dive into the article.  The article begins with the following:

FOR newly hatched chicken enthusiasts, the first egg from your own hens is a small miracle. “You want to dip it in gold,” said the writer Susan Orlean, who keeps nine hens at her home in Columbia County, N.Y.   Then comes the second egg: enough for a triumphant breakfast.

But when the whole coop starts laying, she said, the supply of eggs quickly turns into an “I Love Lucy”-style conveyor belt scene, bringing absurd, unmanageable excess.  Ms. Orlean scrambles them into a pile for brunch or dinner, sprinkled with Indian spices, slivered almonds and unsweetened coconut.

It’s not unusual for food lovers to toy with the notion of adding chickens to a thriving garden or building a rooftop coop. Now the novelty has become reality: despite coyotes, foxes and the occasional cage-break, many urbanites and suburbanites are raising their own eggs.

As the article goes on, it talks about how great eggs fresh from the backyard coop are and what you are missing by not having access to them.

How the flavor is better than the eggs you buy from both standard commercial AND organic sources.  How the egg yolks are yellower, the taste is richer, and the whites don’t run.  How the flavor of the eggs are at a peak in the days just following when they are laid, before they are refrigerated.

Wow.  It’s a rave.

If you run this through your head one more time, it’s even more than a glowing article.  They made a chicken coop sound like an essential part of a gourmet kitchen.  In other words, The New York Times just made the case for why a chicken coop is an aspirational home amenity.

A Chicken Coop!

Seattle Chicken Coop and 2 Hens

Resilience is IN

In marketing, an aspirational product is something that is difficult to attain (usually financially).  In this case, you need the space, the zoning, and the time to have a chicken coop.  If not, you are out of luck.

Glowing articles in the aspirational press about adding a chicken coop, growing food and herbs in a home garden, adding rainwater irrigation for your yard, etc. are all part of a pattern.  The case is being made that life is better with them, and that you need them to live your life to its fullest.

It’s a pattern that is telling us that resilient homes and communities are places you should want to pay more to live in.  Places that are worth much more because they produce than homes without a similar capacity.  Places that provide you with access to higher quality food and experiences than other places.

In short;  Resilience is IN and that’s a good thing for all of us.

Your soon to be eating fresh eggs from a backyard coop analyst,


John Robb


PS:  Of course, all of this can be done DiY.  Which means that you can enjoy the benefits without the expense.

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  • itor

    Excess eggs can be stored, refrigerated for months, Or traded. Or given away. Or prepared and frozen in quiche (with ham yummm) – MREs, home style.

  • different clue

    Kurt Saxon once wrote an article about how one could set up a set of racked trays holding a humanure-water slurry-mix to raise huge amounts of housefly larvae on. One could then harvest those maggots and feed them to chickens. In essence, spinning

    humanure into chicken. One would have to disguise such a fly-room to avoid offending the aspirational neighbors.

  • Carl Farnsworth


    I don’t have much to add for the article itself, but for those who might be looking to raise chickens of their own, I’ve found quite an insightful article by a gentleman named Paul Wheaton:

    He talks of the various ways of raising chickens, and the best way he’s found through some trial and error and research. It’s quite a good read if anything.

    The only thing I would like to make people aware of is that whatever you feed your chickens will determine how healthy they are, and how high quality the eggs themselves are. If you feed them bagged “chicken feed”, you’ll notice lower quality when compared to feeding your chickens vegetable scraps, grass, worms, insects and egg shells (yes they can eat their own egg shells, and they benefit from the minerals stored in them). Chickens will even eat other chickens if they sense blood.

    • johnrobb

      Thanks Carl. Good pointer and tip. JR

      • Bailey

        Id like to add that it is work too, at least if you have over 5 or 6. We have 15 and a fair sized yard. Take into consideration the cost of the coop, an enclosed structure to protect them at night and during the day when not free ranging and fencing to deter them from heading into the garden or your kids play area. Youll need time allotted to clean the enclosed area daily and rake up the poop from their outside adventures at least weekly. Source out where or if you can get organic feed nearby,shipping 50lb bags is expensive! Finally is there someone you can sucker into caring for the lil devils when you leave town? Generally having chickens is fun and its nice to have eggs to eat and barter with but there is the $ and labor involved. Ducks may be a good idea too for families with smaller yards and children. Pekins are pretty tame with small kids and cant fly into the neighbors yard and reek havoc in their garden. Theyre generally stoked with having a green turtle sandbox for a pond too, nothing fancy.

        • johnrobb

          Thanks Bailey!

        • Tom

          I would also add that ducks are heartier than chickens (they don’t need antibiotics or complicated coops), which makes them easier and cheaper to care for in my experience.

  • Bailey

    Oops forgot to mention that ducks are far more gentle on the lawns your kids play on, they weed them not destroy them as chickens do. Our Pekin mom lays an egg a day usually and the drake doesnt mess with the wee kids. Chickens especially Roosters are far more aggressive with small kids.

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