About

Keith &Liz

Questions?  Comments?  Email us at liz@thecapecoop.com

Welcome!  For years I had daydreamed about owning my own farm – growing a huge garden, caring for animals, enjoying a simpler life.  I used to think that I could not enjoy those things unless I won the lottery, quit my job and moved to the country.  While that still sounds like a pretty solid plan, I am not going to wait around for that dream to come true.  I am going to fit that dream life around my real life, and into my suburban yard.  I hope this site will inspire you to follow your dreams no matter where you call home!

Cape Cod

Our name, The Cape Coop, is a nod to our home on beautiful Cape Cod in Massachusetts.  I am a 12th generation New Englander (my ancestors came on the Mayflower and didn’t go far!).  I feel truly blessed to have grown up on Cape & to be able to raise my kids in the same community.  A string of quaint seaside villages, picturesque beaches,  and a fudge or ice cream shop around every corner – what’s not to love? The Cape takes pride in inviting people to slow down, unplug and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.  We aren’t a flashy, thrill a minute destination and that’s just fine with us.  We are barefoot in the sand, we are come as you are.  On this laid back island I share my life with my husband, our four children and our ever expanding herd of furry & feathered friends.

Our backyard “farm” adventure I suppose began innocently enough in 1998 when we bought our first house.  I knew we would have a garden; my mom always had a wonderful kitchen garden, and I had so many fond memories of harvesting ripe, warm strawberries and plucking sweet peas off vines that towered over my head.  So that first summer I had a tiny plot of dirt where pretty much everything I planted died.  Over the years my garden has grown and grown and I’d like to think I have learned quite a bit over the years.

Coop Tour

But right around New Year’s in 2012 is when I feel like my farming dreams really kicked into gear. I was browsing through Pinterest, dreaming up a garden plan for the spring, when I came across the cutest little chicken coop.  I stared at that coop for a long time.  I thought to myself “I wish I could have chickens”.  Staring at that photo, I realized the only thing standing in the way of my dreams was me (isn’t that the case so many times?).  I knew my town allowed chickens because the couple down the street had them.  We called them “the chicken people”, could I be a “chicken person” too?  So for days I read all I could on keeping chickens before I told my husband & kids – they were all on board and within a month we had our first fuzzy baby chicks!

I had zero experience with chickens and I think my extended family thought I was losing my mind every time my chicken flock expanded.  2015 was a big year for us, we expanded our backyard farm with the addition of our adorable Angora rabbits; and The Cape Coop was born with the start of this blog, & deciding to turn my hobby of soap making into a business! 2016 we added ducks to the mix and now my extended family KNOWS I’ve lost my mind but they are happy I’m living my dreams.

In 2020 we were so blessed to find a little farm right in our home town.  So we packed up our house & home of 22 years,  all our animals (that was an adventure!), and took a leap of faith by purchasing an 1852 farmhouse complete with huge horse barn & 1 acre lot! The home & barn are in need of some work and I admit I’m a little bummed about leaving my gardens & orchards behind, but I am excited to make it shine again. I have no idea what I am going to fill this big barn with yet, but I can’t wait to find out! I’m glad you are here to share the journey with us!

I am a pretty big family history buff, so you can imagine how excited I was when shortly after we decided to raise chickens I discovered these photos of my grandfather when he was a young boy.  I didn’t know it, but he had grown up on a farm in Connecticut with his parents, sisters & grandparents where they raised chickens!  It was such a treat to discover this special connection.  I guess being a “chicken person” has been in my blood all along!

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grandpa feeding the flock, around 1933

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grandpa with his sisters, loving their chickens around 1933

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my kids feeding the flock – 2012

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my kids loving their chickens – 2012

Legal Stuff

*I do not accept guest blogger/writer requests*

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Liz Martin.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at liz@thecapecoop.com.  The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified independently.

I am not a veterinarian, just an animal owner & lover sharing my opinions and experiences.  Any advice on caring for animals or diagnosing & treating medical conditions for animals should be evaluated by a trained veterinarian.

The intent of this blog is to educate & inspire people currently or hoping to live a more sustainable life.  To compensate for my time I do accept paid compensation such as advertising and affiliate sales.  When content/products are paid or sponsored it will be clearly identified.  I will always give my honest opinion or experience on sponsored posts or products regardless of compensation and I won’t promote products that are completely off topic, any product or sponsor will be for something that is useful to homesteaders trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Affiliate Disclosure – Amazon:
“The Cape Coop” is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.  This means if you click on a sponsored Amazon link and make a qualifying purchase I may receive a small commission.  This program does not cost you any additional money.

Privacy Policy:

The Cape Coop will not, under any conditions, share your personal information with any third parties. This means we do not share the information we collect with any marketing firms, telecommunication agencies or third party services for any reason.

The Cape Coop does not collect personally identifiable information about individuals except when an individual specifically provides information on a voluntary basis. For example, information (name & email address) will be gathered if you register for our newsletter or email updates.  Personally identifiable information on individual users will not be sold or otherwise transferred to any third parties for any reason.

The Cape Coop cannot be held responsible for the privacy practices of our advertisers.   If you buy a product or service based upon a link you find on this blog you must take issue with the supplying company to resolve any issues.

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54 comments

  1. Janet LaRocca says:

    I’m wondering if I met you a couple years or so ago in Falmouth at a Gardeners Club Meeting. I am (sorry to say) in NJ, but have dear friends on the Cape and I went with them. If it was you, you had a crate of eggs as well that were all different colors. I have never forgotten that! So amazing. Anyway, I’ve enjoyed your blog/story.
    Janet

    • Liz says:

      I’m glad you have enjoyed my blog! Unfortunately, I don’t think that was me as I’m not yet a member of the Gardeners Club. Falmouth is such a supportive town for small scale farmers though, I know there are lots of chicken keepers here!

  2. DEIRDRE says:

    Hi! I live in Northern California 🙂 I just wanted to leave a comment saying I enjoy your story here. I raise meat rabbits…hahaha, we haven’t eaten one yet in the 4 years I’ve raised them, and I was looking into getting a couple Angoras, which is how I found your blog. I think its wonderful what you’ve done with your garden, chickens and rabbits etc. I have had the same farm dreams for years myself. Good luck in all you do!

    • Liz says:

      Thank you! I hope you get your dream farm someday! I don’t know if I could go through with meat rabbits either, they are so cute 🙂

  3. David says:

    Thanks for an informative site. As a new breeder of Indian Runner Ducks I have had my share of “Now what?” situations and just needed a little advice to alleviate my worries. Your site is so helpful when this sort of guidance is most needed. We are in sunny Devon in the UK by the way.

    • Liz says:

      Hi Cindy,
      Unfortunately, I am not in any stores up that end of the Cape yet. The closest to you is the Plum Porch in Marstons Mills. I will also be at a craft fair in Hyannis next Sunday (Sept 24) right near the Hyline docks at Ocean Street. Otherwise, my Etsy shop is always an option 🙂 Thanks!

  4. Sue Gierej says:

    I saw yo last weekend in Dennis and I am so sorry that I didn’t purchase you sugar scrub. Please contact me with info about if you are in any stores yet.

  5. Joyce Lindberg says:

    Hi Liz, I am a Director at the Barnstable County Fair. We have a unique opportunity in our Community Resource Building for you to tell our Fair Attendees about The Cape Coop Farm. I would be glad to send you some information if you would give me your mail address and email address. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  6. Barb says:

    I am so happy to stumble onto your site! We are first year, first generation backyard chicken farmers on a suburban half-acre in Ohio. Our families (and neighbors) think we are insane, but our children are really loving our chickens. We are looking forward to the eggs that will come, and we are finding new ways to expand our little slice of paradise in new, innovative ways. Thanks for contributing to our knowledge bank.

  7. Nancy Wiley says:

    Hi Liz and family! I love your site!!! My wife and I live in Sandwich – we also love the Cape. In 2016 my wife ordered some chicks, they arrived, and then she told me about them and added that I needed to build a coop! It has been fun and now we are adding 2 baby goats this summer.
    I would love to buy your soaps, but my wife is allergic to anything flower. If you ever make a fruit soap – let me know. Have a great spring.
    Nancy

    • Liz says:

      Hi Nancy! I would love to add goats someday, they are so darn cute! I have plenty of soaps that are not floral (I personally love citrus scents the best myself), and even a couple that have no scents for people that are sensitive. Hopefully one could work for your wife 🙂

  8. Mary says:

    I have 2 silver appleyards, one drake and one female. We now have 8 5 week old ducklings that the mother and dad pick on (chasing, biting). They were incubated since mother won’t sit on them. We have given them time to adjust each evening for about 1 hour (we are close by) and separate them at night but they can still see each other. This has been for about 2 weeks Is there anything else we can do to ease everyone into living together peacefully?

    • Liz says:

      Hi Mary, unfortunately many domesticated ducks just don’t have great parenting skills anymore. You are doing everything right, give them time to be together but keep them separated until the babies are fully feathered and old enough to hold their own. In general females are usually pretty accepting of new ducks in the flock, but when you have drakes around it changes the dynamics for everyone

  9. carol Clark says:

    Hi Liz,
    I love the picture of you coop and garden! I am commenting because of your article about chicken eyes. Do chickens have the two types of fovea in EACH eye?

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Carol! Soon! The next batch will be done curing next week so they should be back listed on the site by the site for the 18th 🙂

  10. carol Clark says:

    Hi Liz! The soaps I bought are wonderful. I particularly like the Rose one.
    I noticed that one of the ingredients is palm oil. Im not certain, but I think palm oil is obtained from an area of the world where the removal of the trees endangers orangutan primates. Do you have to use palm oil?

    • Liz says:

      Hi Carol! I am glad you are loving the soaps! Palm oil is commonly used in soaps to make a harder, longer last bar. Another option commonly used in it’s place is lard or tallow (pig or beef fat), both animal fat & palm oil make great soap, but I have found the animal fat turns off many people. You are correct that much of the consumer palm oil is unethically harvested. The palm oil that I use is Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), my supplier is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil – a group that has developed environmental, ethical & socially responsible ways of farming palm oil. So no need to feel guilty when using my soaps 🙂 Thank you for your question, I love when consumers are informed on ingredients. That is how we can really make a change in this world!

  11. ATIQ says:

    Hi Liz,

    Hope you are doing great. ….!

    I would like to discuss regarding your soap making class.

    Please can you email me your contact number through email then we will discuss further.

    Thanks.

  12. Juli M. says:

    Hi Liz, I bought a few things from you at Upper Cape Tech this fall and enjoyed chatting with you – I don’t think I realized that you had chickens and angoras but I think I recognized a kindred spirit – I raise Giant Angoras (also Evergreen) and chickens and garden. So nice to meet you – love your soaps and website!

  13. donna holland says:

    hi Liz! Im hoping you could help me we are looking for silkie chicks or grown silkie hens, we recently lost a silkie and our remaining one is so lonely, we are located in Cohasset I was curious if you had any or knew of someone who did?

    • Liz says:

      Hi Donna! I don’t know anyone currently but if you are on Facebook I would highly recommend joining the group Cape Cod Homesteading. You could post in there to see if anyone has any silkies, there are always people selling chickens in there. Good luck!

  14. massage050 says:

    I love your products I was at the Craft show last week and you accidentley charged me twice for the pr
    ducts. would you let me know if you correct this
    Lucy MacDonald

  15. Nadine says:

    I see that the Cape Cod Girl soap is out of stock… It is my absolute favorite! Pleaaasseee tell me you will be making more??? Thanks so much.

  16. becky McIntyre says:

    Your website is awesome. Thanks for the SFG tips. Hello from Sacramento. We’ll be in Brewster in the fall. Love Cape Cod, we have a friend who lives half the year in Chatham.

  17. Sue Ohlson says:

    Thanks for all your info. It’s my first time raising chicks. I inherited a older flock of hens from a former tenet. So researching how to integrate them your info was perfect and reassuring to this worried chick mama.

  18. Cindy Bladl says:

    Thanks so much for the duck info! I am in a suburb of North Texas (near Dallas). My in laws have a pool, and a boy and girl duck who Like to visit them. . I Googled “ducks head bob” and found your site. As I was reading your post, we got to see the “ducking” in progress. Your blog was funny and informative. Thanks so much!!!!

  19. KATIE says:

    HI –

    I HAVE 3 12 WEEK OLD BUFF DUCKS, ALL FEMALE, WHO ARE DELIGHTFUL. EXCEPT FOR THE MESS.

    I HAD A QUESTION ABOUT BEST FLOORING SURFACE FOR THESE DUCKS. RIGHT NOW I HAVE GRASS IN THEIR COOP AREA THAT IS TURNING INTO A MUD PIT. CAN I INSTALL DG OR SOME KIND OF DIRT/SAND FLOOR FOR THEM? THEY HAVE A NICE LARGE DOG POOL TO SWIM IN AND LOTS OF WATER SOURCES. HELP! THE POOP AND THE MUD ARE DESTROYING ME

    • Liz says:

      You definitely can! Sand is great because it drains really well and you can scoop out poops fairly easy. I usually have to replenish the sand every year or so, but it is worth it!

      • katie says:

        Oh great! Thank you! And do you recommend any type of bedding for the ducks, especially as they get older and get ready to lay? I have been putting alfalfa in their house on top of the wood flooring and mesh flooring as bedding but maybe they don’t need that? I tend to overdo it. Or shavings now that they’re older and won’t eat them? or nothing? It think I was more relaxed raising my human children lol

        • Liz says:

          I use straw for bedding, it insulates well and doesn’t absorb as much moisture as pine shavings do (if the ducks track in mud and wet the pine shavings tend to absorb that and become a soggy heap). Alfalfa or hay would work too though if that is what you have. There is a lot to learn, I definitely feel the same when I start out with any animal! 🙂

          • Katie Aviv says:

            Hi there

            First of all, thank you for your lovely website and blog and overall humanity. It’s a pleasure to visit your site and I appreciate your quick answers.

            We had a terrible tragedy today as our neighbors’ dog got out of their property and tore through our fencing and ravaged our ducks. They were in their fenced in pen (as opposed to their roofed/evening pen and house) and he grabbed them out of their pond. 1 has survived (!) so my question for you (if she makes it through the night) is do you have any experience with ducks that have survived a trauma like this? She has lost all her back feathers and has a puncture but her feet and wings are intact. However, she’s alone now. Her sisters are gone. Would best practices be to get another duckling for her to “raise” and mentor? To get another grown duck for good company? Either way we will wait and see how she recovers. I don’t know if they have memory but they’re such feeling creatures it’s hard to imagine they don’t.

            Thoughts?

          • Liz says:

            Oh my goodness that is so horrible!! Poor little thing! I haven’t had such a devastating attack, but I have had hawks pick off birds while they free range. The general flock tends to be a little skittish for a couple days after the attack, but they do get back to normal. I am sure she is going to be terrified of dogs for quite some time, poor dear. It would be best if you could get her adult duck friends, but those can be hard to come by so duckling(s) would be fine too. She will feel safer as part of a group, as they rely on each other to look out for danger. So if she pulls through the sooner you can get her some friends they faster she will get back to feeling normal. I hope she makes it through!

  20. Diane says:

    Hello! While conducting a simple Google search, I stumbled upon your website. My intention was to make it a short visit. However, four hours later…!! 🙂

    You have provided so much helpful information. Thank you!

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