Sunday, September 1, 2013


We felt pretty discouraged about our food project in Monte Plata last week.  We were trying our best to follow the process that apparently is successful in other areas, but we didn’t feel good about it and the one large coop we have started in Monte Plata isn’t going well.  The project is too large and complex and costs too much money.  We struggled to come up with a less expensive design NOT based on trying to make it a business, but rather sized to provide eggs for personal home production and use only.  We had an interview with Elder J Devn Cornish of the Area Presidency on Tuesday where he gave us the green light on our desire to change the project scope from 40 hens to 12 hens.  By Friday night, Wallace had finished the design of a 4’x8’ coop, purchased all the materials and put together a “kit” that can be delivered to a family and is something they can install quickly with limited tools or knowhow.  We delivered the “kit” to a pilot family in Monte Plata at 10am Saturday morning and by 11:30am the coop “kit” was put together ready for painting! 

We are very happy with the result which will facilitate moving on to other families quickly and the cost including materials to start a garden is less than ½ the cost of the 1st coop we constructed (that does not include a garden).

The 4’x8’ coop, built from 4 sheets of plywood, a few 2x4s and some tin, fits in the back of a pickup for transport, has a door that opens on the side so you can reach in and get the eggs.  The ends are hinged so you can clean out the coop or improve ventilation.  There is a little door on the side for chickens to enter or leave the coop.  It includes 7 nests just as cozy as can be.  The chickens should love it.  We are really happy how it turned out.

While we were there, Edith showed the family how to start seeds in a quart juice carton.  The family should have their garden area prepared and fenced off by the time the seedlings are ready to transplant.


We have spent our budget for Area Humanitarian projects for 2013, so we will be concentrating on the food projects the rest of the year.  That is fine with us!


  1. We are glad you found a way to develop this project. But I am concerned the hens won't have any windows to see how and catch a breath of fresh DR air.....

  2. Not to worry, lots of air gets in this coop. One side opens all the way for extra ventilation!

  3. could share the design instructions? We need a simple coop idea.


  4. There is a roost inside right? Is the kit also going to include material for the chicken run, or are they free range? How about nesting box bedding. The families could probably provide this.
    I think the smaller design was a great idea. I really like how easy it is to make the kit and to put together. Are you missionaries engineers or what?

  5. There is a roost inside. There will be a 6x8 chicken run minimum with chicken wire sides and a roof to keep them from flying off. The families provide their own materials for the nests and ground cover for the run. The idea is they clean out the coop and run when needed and put it in the garden as fertilizer.