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Lamar rises in pecking order with modernist chicken coop

You might have dreamed of keeping a little brood of chickens, but were put off by the question of where to put them.

No-one wants to contribute to the feral chicken problem, and coops can be costly and hard to obtain in Bermuda.

A Berkeley Institute student has come up with a solution.

Lamar Samuels, 16, has constructed a “chicken tractor” as part of a carpentry class project. It is now on display in the Agricultural Exhibition woodworking section.

Before you start picturing a chicken at the wheel of a John Deere tractor, a “chicken tractor” is actually a coop fitted with wheels so it can be moved around.

Mr Samuels was assigned the project after Frances Eddy spoke with his class about her own chickens over a year ago.

“I gave a presentation in the classroom on why people might be interested in having a chicken coop these days,” she said. “I thought that more people might want to keep chickens but the barrier would be the chicken coop. I thought, what a great project for a class.”

There are a growing number of people “going back to the land” to become more self-sufficient, she said.

A lot of people are also concerned about chemicals that are used in the production of commercial agricultural products.

“It is not just something that people used to do in the past,” she said. “They are now doing it again [but] people are often too busy to build their own coop.”

The students found the thought of selling the coop to be the most inspiring aspect of Ms Eddy’s talk. She thought the sale could help buy supplies to build more coops, or perhaps start some other carpentry project.

Lamar started working on the chicken coop last November and completed it only two days before the Agricultural Exhibition opened yesterday. He is in the process of building a second coop so that ultimately, there will be two for sale.

“I started by taking measurements of the incomplete chicken coop I found,” said Lamar. “From that I built the frame. Then Ms Eddy brought us a book with plans to follow. From there I went by the book until I finished the coop.”

All that’s left to do is to paint and sand it.

“The most difficult part was making sure that everything fit together properly,” he said. “I enjoyed making it a lot.”

Despite his immediate interest in carpentry, he hopes to become a marine navigator one day.

“I have always been interested in boats and the water,” he said. “I have a lot of people in my family who are marine pilots. I might do carpentry as a side job to earn a little money, here and there.”

Anyone interested in purchasing a chicken coop can call Berkeley Institute teacher Trevor Haynes on 292-4752.

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Published April 19, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 18, 2013 at 7:23 pm)

Lamar rises in pecking order with modernist chicken coop

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