My Chicken Coop: Agrarian Co-Owner Anne Collins

The homesteading queen accessorizes her backyard pen.


Inspired by her grandmother’s urban-farming roots, Agrarian co-owner Anne Collins tends her flock of 13 chickens—12 hens and a rooster—in Meridian-Kessler’s pluckiest animal shelter.

Collins chose the breed Easter Egger for its blue eggs, Silver Laced Polish and Buff Polish for their white ones, and Barred Rocks for its speckled shells. The other chickens lay different shades of brown.

Collins’s children named the animals. There’s Anna and Elsa, from Frozen, and Adele, a “diva” who makes a bunch of noise after she lays an egg.

Collins converted her shed into a coop in three days for $600 in lumber and parts. But building a larger, more complex structure might  run $1,500.

This little door leads to an exterior chicken run, a coop necessity. The animals need to take regular dust baths. “It reduces the mites and bugs on the body,” Collins says. “This is how they groom themselves.”


“Most of the chickens are females, so the space needed a little glamorous touch,” Collins explains.

She describes her grandmother as “kind of an urban homesteader” who raised chickens in Columbia, South Carolina. “I told myself, ‘If she could do it, why can’t I?’”

“I like to have something fancy to put my eggs in,” she says.

This old laundry basket, now topped with a piece of wood, belonged to Collins’s mother in the ’60s.

Twelve-year-old Boca grew up with chickens and often naps in the coop.

Collins dons Wellies to clean the coop and hot-pink Hunter flats when it’s time to gather eggs.


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