Lately I have been building a ton of chicken coops over at Laughing Chickens in Mill Valley. My role has been evolving from craftsman to designer to fabricator to business development and company management.
The process, logistics and working mechanisms for a labor-intensive product are very fascinating.
Everything from sourcing reclaimed redwood boards, to designing the aesthetic and hen house dimensions is exacting. No detail is too small for consideration.
We have three different hen houses and three chicken runs that we have scoped out, which vary depending on the number of chickens you own or plan on securing.
Our smallest house will accomodate 2-4 chickens comfortably, while our largest, The Bungalow, can house up to 8 chickens. With the addition of a run we are looking at coops taking up approximately 80 square feet of backyard space.
The marketing and sales aspect of this venture is particularly important to note. We have been utilizing Craigslist as a key point for sales. This is supplemented through word-of-mouth and farmer’s markets.
We have not effectively figured out how to sell directly to consumers on a larger scale.
Although web-online payments are possible, the flat-pack shipping for a full chicken coop (hen house + run), has not been fully flushed-out. Leaving us with a market that is substantial (the Bay Area has 7.15 Million residents), but not at its fullest potential.
The logistics for scaling the company and either franchising the brand identity or creating remote locations can be accomplished at a fairly reasonable cost.
More Chicken Stories and Thoughts to Come…