SEATTLE—When it comes to Seattle tours... you might think of a nighttime walk under Pioneer Square or hitting the water on one of those tour boats on wheels. But a tour planned for Saturday will give new meaning to the term "Duck Tour".
On Saturday, Seattle Tilth is hosting it's annual City Chicken Coop Tour. A look at 29 different backyard farms featuring chickens, goats, ducks and bees. The homes are spread out around different parts of Seattle. Falaah Jones with Seattle Tilth explains "you'll see all different kinds of coops; some are fancy, some match their houses, some you can move around."
Joslin's sort-of "ranch-style" coop is very different from the "craftsman coop" that Beth Lindsay and her husband built in Wallingford. The coop was designed to look like their home. The Linsday's painted the inside and put "little framed photos of famous chickens" on the walls for inspiration.
They recently brought in bees to expand their backyard farm. "I think chickens are 2009; it's all about the bees in 2010" Lindsay explained. It appears the bees are the last addition, for now. "I don't think we have room for much more, I would love to get goats but they would have to go on the roof."
Setting up a chicken coop does require a financial investment. You can set up something pretty basic for a few hundred dollars. Building the chicken dream house has cost some people more than a thousand. Jones says a better hen house doesn't necessarily mean more eggs "the chickens don't care what the coop looks like."
Of course, being "Old McDonald" in the city does have some downsides. You have to scoop the chicken poop and get a chicken-sitter when you head out of town. The bees don't need a babysitter but they require other types of work. "They say you start keeping bees for honey and you quit keeping the bees for honey; it's a laborious process to extract the honey" Joslin explained.