Several years ago, when we got our first chicks and I started researching chicken coop designs, I immediately fell in love with this coop I found on Google (this was before the days of Pinterest where I now have my dream coop pinned !). I still have coop envy.
So when Heather Bullard, fellow backyard chicken enthusiast and builder/owner of that gorgeous coop and also contributing editor and stylist for Country Living Magazine and the Editor in Chief for Souvenir Magazine, agreed to an interview with me, I was thrilled!
Heather couldn't have been nicer and it was fun to ask her, a fellow chicken keeper, a few questions about her flock, coop and photography.
I'm sure she gets interviewed all the time about her roles at the magazines and her photography (she is also an amazing photographer), but I would venture a guess this is the first time she has sat down (virtually) to chat specifically about her chickens!
FED: So, Heather, how many chickens do you have and how long have you kept backyard chickens?
HB: We currently have 6 and have been raising hens since 2010.
FED: I know you keep them as 'pets' and layers and don't eat them. So I'm sure you've named them all. Could you share their names with us?
HB: Coco (Plymouth Barred Rock), Ruby (Rhode Island Red), Souffle (Ameraucana), Frenchie (French Maran), Whitey and Gray Girl (both Ameraucana). Having a variety of breeds ensures I have a great
selection of beautiful eggs...from pale blues and greens to light browns and chocolate.
FED: You designed and built your own coop. Why did you decide to build instead of buying one and where did the inspiration come from for your unique creation?
HB: We couldn't find a design that would fit the style of our home, so we decided to build and design it ourselves. My inspiration was to have a traditional style, with clean lines and convenience as far as cleaning, storage and gathering the eggs. I'm a lucky girl in the fact that I'm married to a guy who can build anything...he gets the majority of the credit.
HB: Having the brick walkways makes cleaning a breeze. We just hose everything down. With gravel, the droppings would be embedded in the rocks. And we installed perimeter fencing around the coop to keep them of the porch areas. Although we do let them out to graze most of the day, when we have parties or visitors they remain in the fenced area.
FED: I'm guessing eggs figure heavily into your family's diet, as they do ours. Eggs Benedict is probably my favorite way to eat eggs. What's your favorite way to prepare eggs?
HB: Scrambled, second would be hard boiled or fried. I suppose I'm a purist. But we do try to find recipes that call for a lot of them!
FED: Your photographs of your flock are just beautiful, as is all your photography. How does photographing chickens differ from photographing say a room setting or landscape? What is the most difficult aspect?
HB: Quite a bit of difference, since chickens aren't inanimate objects. You have to be willing to follow them around and be patient. Or take photos while they're eating, or on the roost or nest.
FED: What has surprised you most about raising chickens?
HB: Their quirky, odd personalities and how much fun they are! And how simple it is to raise them.
Well, Heather your coop and run area is beautiful and you clearly take excellent care of your chickens. You are an inspiration to us all. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us a bit.
~all photos used with permission courtesy of Heather Bullard~
To purchase the plans to build Heather's beautiful Chez Poulet Coop, click here.
To subscribe to Country Living Magazine, click here.