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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 backyard. I hope this site will inspire you to follow your dreams no matter where you call home!
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. I share my life with my husband, our four children, a grandson, 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.
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 farming but we have learned a lot along the way. 2015 was a big year for us, we expanded our backyard farm with the addition of rabbits; and The Cape Coop was born with the start of this blog & deciding to turn my hobby of soap making into a business! In 2016 ducks became a fun new addition on the farm.
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 1850s 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 & fruit trees behind, but I am excited to make this old homestead shine again.
While the huge barn was a major reason for buying the house, we were not sure what we were going to put in it! We finally decided on alpacas and have been so happy with them. They don’t require a ton of care and provide us with lots of fiber for making socks, hats, gloves, and more. In 2022 we added geese to the every growing poultry flock, they are so hilarious and personable! I definitely feel like a “real” farmer now and love this crazy, busy life we have built!
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!
This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Liz Martin. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at email@example.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.
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“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.
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.
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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.
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!
we have a pair for mallards with angel wing who just hatched their first clutch (9), 5 weeks ago and the ducklings just the drake out of the pool and also have been pecking at each other. is this normal pecking order behavior? he had to come into the house for a while to settle down. I love your page!
thanks so much,
Thanks Steph! Drakes don’t typically have much interest in raising babies, they generally sit back and the moms do most of the baby raising. He might just be feeling a little lost and left out of the family loop. But yes, it is totally normal for the babies to pick on each other a bit. They are establishing a pecking order amongst themselves. As long as they aren’t drawing blood or seriously hurting each other, I would let them work it out. Good luck!
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!
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 🙂
If I sent you a photo of my pet duck, do you think you could help me determine the breed?
I can certainly give it a shot! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Glad to be of help, thanks for stopping in! 🙂
do you sell your products anywhere near the Chatham Area. I am looking for the migraine product
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!
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.
Hi Sue! I am in a couple shops in Famouth, but they don’t have a full selection of my products. The easiest is to check out my online shop – shipping is free if you spend over $30 and for smaller orders, it’s just $5 https://www.thecapecoop.com/product/whipped-sugar-scrub/
Love your soaps! Always look forward to See your table at local events vending! Thanks again.
Thanks Holly!! ?
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.
I love the fair! I’ll shoot you over an email 🙂 thanks!
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.
Thanks for joining us! Glad I can help in your farming adventures 🙂
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.
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 🙂
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?
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
I placed my order and got it fast and with a gift!!!!
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?
Thanks Carol! Yes, they have two types of fovea in each eye, one for distance and one for close up
Love your mermaid soap. When will you have it back in stock? So cute!
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 🙂
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?
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!
Ah! Here is the reply. I did not look in the right place. My new soap order will be made in about a week:)
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! I’ll send you an email
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!
Hi Juli! So glad you popped by & that you are enjoying your soaps 🙂 I love my angoras, they are such sweethearts!
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?
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!
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
Hi Lucy can you please send me an email? Info@thecapecoop.com. I did get a message from square about a double charge but they said they refunded it. I want to be sure to follow up with them if that is yours. Sorry about that!
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.
Hi Nadine! Definitely! It’s scheduled for next week – so should be cured & ready for sale late March. Thank you ❤️
Soooo happy! Thank you!
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.
Thanks Becky! Fall is a lovely time on Cape 🙂
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.
Glad I could help! Welcome 🙂
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!!!!
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
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!
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
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! 🙂
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.
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!
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!
Lol I am so glad I could help!
I’m so glad I was looking for a recipe for chicken poo tea and found your website. I love your story!
Winning the lottery isn’t going to happen in this family either but 5 years ago we were able to get a house on the runway at a private airport in Texas with 2.5 acres of land. I knew right away I needed to get some chickens. I’ve enjoyed them ever since.
One of my neighbors is a potter and taught me what she knows. I now have my own pottery studio in the hanger an have started my own online business.
Now that I’m 50 and about to retire I hope to spend more time making pottery, gardening and sitting with the chickens, my dogs and husband. Definitely a blessed life!!
Such a blessed life, I love it! Sounds like you have an ideal farm with lots of love, and that is what is important 🙂
CAN YOUR TOMATO SAUCE BE CANNED IN BIGGER MASON JARS?
You certainly could 🙂
This thank you is very late in coming.I have been reading(and learning )from your website since I got my first chickens 7 yrs ago.You have been a godsent to me(and my flock)! I am now getting my 3rd batch of chicks next month(serious case of chicken math !!).Your email today is over the top helpful with avian flu info,and I plan on using all of it.I plan to enlarge my pen asap,and practice biosecurity starting today(and no more free ranging).I also live in south eastern Ma.,and feel this is way to close for comfort.Hopefully these measures will be enough to keep our flocks safe!Thanks again!
Awww thank you! I agree, it’s getting way too close, I hope everyone’s flocks stay safe 🙂
I stumbled upon your blog when researching outdoor bunny habitats. We have a long haired rabbit that is almost a year old. We are having a tough time figuring out grooming. She isn’t a big fan of it…. She has some decent mats that I try to cut the tops and brush out but she runs away. She runs as soon as she sees the brush, really. The prior owner had pulled her fur out grooming. She had a couple of bald spots for awhile. I have never been that successful with her grooming after having accidentally tore her skin trying to release a mat, which I felt so horrible that I am now afraid to brush her too much . I’m wondering if you have dealt with matted bunnies and if you could post any tips or videos on caring for matted fur. I’m mostly afraid of hurting her. I have tried to find a local groomer, but haven’t been able to. I did have the vet help once but they are incredibly expensive and felt like they were punishing me for not being great at keeping her fur well groomed. I just want to keep her healthy and happy.
It can be hard to condition an adult rabbit to grooming, especially when they have negative experiences with it. Is there a treat she especially loves (apples and strawberries are two of my bunny’s favorites)? Start by sitting with her in your lap and giving her the special treat while very gently brushing her. Keep the sessions short at first (5 mins or so a couple times per day). Then start working up to longer sessions. Don’t try to touch the mats in the first week of doing this. Once you are ready to tackle mats you might want to do this is short bursts to start off with. Long haired rabbits get mats, it is just part of living with them. You aren’t a bad rabbit owner, you are doing your best! Mats that are close to the skin are very tricky. Instead of trying to cut flat against the skin, I like to poke the grooming scissors into the mat perpendicular to the skin. Be sure you are using blunted end grooming scissors so you don’t poke her skin. This way you can cut the mat in half, then do it again on each side so you just have four smaller mats. From there you can usually use your fingers or grooming comb to work the mat free. If for some reason you absolutely HAVE to cut flat against the skin, don’t pull the fur up (you will just be pulling the skin up, exposing it more). Place the scissors against the mat so they are laying flat on the mat, but before snipping turn the scissors on their side. This way you can’t accidently cut their super thin skin. If you are not confident in handling or holding your rabbit still, it might be good to have a helper. You got this! It just takes patience, lots of love, and lots of treats and eventually your rabbit will get used to grooming (and even look forward to it!)
Thank you so much!!