Yes, we really do build the chicken coops we sell!
We get asked all the time, “do you guys really build the coops you sell?” We live on 10 acres, hatch and grow out 4000-5000 chickens a year, and yes, we build the coops we sell. Maybe more importantly, we use the coops we sell.
The Twinings live in the ultimate product development and testing environment. They keep chickens, a lot of chickens, in their back yard just like their customers do. Not just one breed of chicken either, but dozens of breeds. They are constantly tinkering with ideas and improvements to Urban Coop Company coops and dreaming up new accessories and designs. There is nothing on earth they love more than meeting the people they sell coops to. Yes they are customers, but many become friends.
Montie points out… “Whether you label yourself a Locavore, Naturalist, Prepper, Health Food Enthusiast, Animal Rights Person, Recycler or just recognize the psychological benefits of high touch activities like chickens in the low touch high tech world we live in, chickens make sense at a personal level for a great variety of people, and they have for centuries. Its only been in the last 50 or so years that it was different than the previous 5000+.” And he’s right. For all of recorded history, people have had “backyard chickens”.
Several years back Dyan & Montie seriously considered the purchase of a medium sized egg farm only to come to the conclusion that it was too outdated and fixing it would not make financial sense. In December of 2012 they revisited an earlier idea to get into the backyard chicken boom but were not sure of the right approach. They finally settled on the idea of building a very particular backyard chicken coop that met a series of design goals. They had personally been dissatisfied with coops they themselves could purchase. Urban Coop Company was born. From the initial conception of the idea of the company to the day-to-day operations everyone in the family was to play an important part. Several notions were key in the Twining’s leap of faith into the coop business. Most convincing was a deep belief that the locally produced food movement was for real and the renewed realization that having chickens made a lot of sense, to a lot of people, for a lot of different reasons.
As a life-long entrepreneur, it was important to Montie for his children to grow up understanding the precepts of business and the value of customer service. He’s done everything from running publicly traded consulting companies, to building multi-million dollar Super Yachts (Calixas Yachts) to running commercial and residential construction companies… and a dozen other ventures between. He’s an inventor with several issued patents. People who know him best describe him as a “beaver”… always building something and can’t really help himself. He designed the Round-Top Chicken Coop™ from the ground up with consultation from Dyan the Texas A&M poultry department and FedEx. He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of fabrication and assembly of the coops. He’s passionate about building a quality product and oversees several dedicated workers who, like him, think it’s fun building chicken coops. He’s constantly innovating some new idea and plans to file more patents around coop innovations.
Call on the phone and it’s likely that you’ll talk with Dyan, “the chicken lady” in the family. She enjoys answering questions about coops and chickens and loves interacting with customers. She is a voracious reader and has a crazy volume of chicken facts swirling around in her head. She prides herself in providing support after the sale and is dedicated to making sure every customer gets up and running as quickly as possible after buying a coop. Not really a “salesman”, Dyan is most happy helping someone find the right coop for their needs, even if its not an Urban Coop Company Coop. But, she’s a little biased as she and her girls use their coops daily and that feedback loop goes into continued evolution of the designs and assures that customers get highly refined features. She really knows coops.
Twelve year olds Olivia & Cassandra are Officers in their local 4H, show chickens and know more than their fair share about chickens too. Olivia works in assembly and is the chief packer. She’s very conscientious about making sure your coop shows up to your door in great shape (with some adult oversight of course) and helps out with some of the easier shop tasks. Olivia can answer just about any question you might have about the care and keeping of your flock.
Twelve year old Cassandra also helps with the shop from time-to-time but mostly helps with back office tasks like order entry, shipping and is in charge of inventorying the many components and parts that go into each coop. Cassandra is also great about follow up emails with customers and is learning how to do some basic work on the website. Cassandra and Olivia also have their own little business, Huevos Locos, selling hatching eggs, chicks and started pullets. They’ve also recently branched out into incubator rentals.
Seven year old Nathan is our head gopher. We generate a lot of scrap wood around here and his main job is to keep things neat and orderly around the assembly shop. He has energy to spare and we keep him busy sweeping and cleaning.
Montie’s oldest daughter Courtney, is a fifth grade school teacher and ideas even swirl around in her head about Science and Math curriculum that can be based around chickens. In fact, several Elementary Schools have bought Urban Coop Company Coops so the idea may not be that “chicken brained” after all.
All of this is a long winded way of saying that the family behind Urban Coop Company is just as excited as you are about backyard chickens and they know what they’re doing. You’ll get more than you paid for when doing business with them and they’re committed to great customer service. Thanks for reading about Urban Coop Company.