Duncan's Backyard Henhouses arose in the Winter
of 2008/2009 in my own backyard in Vermont. I
was doing construction and substitute teaching.
In my spare time, I was pursuing various
agricultural endeavors with my roommates.
Just in time for sugaring season, I had
built a maple sugar shack/chicken coop duplex
from the bones of an old swingset. A new
greenhouse went up, and a chicken tractor was
soon erected to make use of the abundant
pastureland. There was magic in the air. Our
landlord was named Jingles, and he donated a
shed full of wood for making syrup. He was
When I was finally bitten by the recession
and a small motorcycle accident, I took the
opportunity to make my hobby my livelihood. I
spent my spring and summer in the agricultural
outbuilding business, building and designing
coops, sheds, and barns.
When it became clear that I would be moving
back to Vancouver (where I had spent my
university years and met a lovely
Vancouverite), I started to wonder what I would
do when I got there. Lo and behold, Vancouver
was on the verge of allowing up to four laying
hens per household.
I moved back to Vancouver in September 2009 and have been
designing and building coops, giving workshops on raising laying hens, and helping people lobby for chickens in their respective cities.