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Vermont Residents Give Chickens High-End Homes
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Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
   
   
  Originally Published on: 5/1/2013

  A Vermont man takes care of his low-maintenance models who are featured in high-end catalogs.    Gina Bullard tours the inside of the models' unique homes.   Photographer John Churchman's favorite subjects are ones with attitude.   These 100 chickens are his models.   No, really. He takes their photos for high-end chicken catalogs.   "That was the cover from a couple of years ago," Churchman said. "No, these really are easy to work with models. You just basically have to feed them and take care of them."   Around 25 lay eggs and the rest are roosters. They live in four coops he built from the ground up.   "This one's divided into two sections. The roosters are on that side as you saw and on this side is where the layers are," he said.   These hen houses, along with 15 others, will be on display for the 2013 Chicken Coop Tour. Money raised will go toward the Community Center in Jericho.   "Are you proud of your chicken coops?" asked reporter Gina Bullard.   "Oh, I love my chicken coops," Churcman replied.   Along with Churchman's collection of 40 different heritage breeds, his draining compost floors are unique.   "You just keep building it up with shavings. It;s really important to keep it fairly hygienic, so there's not the ammonia smell," Churchman said.   At Donna Martin's home in Underhill, her houses are often referred to as the Taj Mahal of coops.   "It's not very lavish inside," she said.   "It looks lavish from the outside," commented Bullard.   "Nah. No," Martin replied.   "Why did you want to have a pretty chicken coop?" asked Bullard.   "Why not?" Martin said. "It probably didn't cost a whole lot more to put up a very nice coop."   Martin and her husband used reclaimed doors and windows, a slate roof and insulated the chicken and duck coop so water doesn't freeze in the winter.   "When people go by, most people don't believe it's a coop. They think it's a studio!" Martin said.   People really take pride in their coops," says Kim Cleary of the Community Center in Jericho. "They want them to be creative and have some spunk and each one has great little details that are unique to the person that made them."  
   
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