This post is dedicated to Sandy Hayes. Who, this morning let me know via Facebook she’s never liked chickens but now is becoming friends with them through my posts. Yes Sandy, you too can have chickens as friends.
Chickens are easy to take care of in a backyard, whether you start with chicks or get some grown up ladies. A lot of urban areas now allow chickens. Check with your area first, they may have restrictions on roosters which are loud and can bother your neighbors. They don’t just crow at dawn. They crow ALL THE TIME.
Henry stood in the barn door crowing at me for about five minutes the other day. We have a metal barn. It was loud. Henry truly believes in using sound as a way to break a person down. The military has nothing on him when it comes to using noise machines. So what could I do? I mustered all my years of working at summer camps, Youth for Christ, and working with my church youth group (you really learn how to project your voice when leading 60 jr. highers in a game of poop deck ) and crowed back at him, “SHUT UP!”. Silence descended. Henry stepped three feet back and skulked away. The next morning he wasn’t in his usual coop on the top roost. The ladies kicked him out to the other coop, where I imagine he was on a lower roost because, well, he was sporting chicken poop on his comb.
Back to having chickens as friends. This is a book I really like: Chick Days: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens by Jenna Woginrich. It’s not only a how to guide taking you from chicks to hens it also has info on all the different kinds of chickens, excerpts from her blog, and great photos following a family raising their first chickens. And of course, entries from the family’s “Chick Diary”. It’s not your typical “Chickens, blah, blah, blah. Coops balh, blah, blah. feed blah, blah, blah.” kind of book.
If you just want 2 or 3 hens for their contribution of fresh eggs this chicken house The Eglu Go is great. It’s easy to clean, provides a roost, nesting box, and a run for your new feathered friends. Wait there’s an ordinance against backyard chicken in your area? Bring on the Stealth Chicken Coop by http://www.MyPetChicken.com. From the front it looks like a garbage can. Yes, not only can you have chickens as friends you can also be an outlaw. How fun is that?
Why do you want chickens? I’ll tell you, once you’ve had a farm fresh egg you’ll only go back to grocery store eggs under duress. I didn’t buy the hype about farm fresh eggs until my friend Jennifer told me one of the girls at church kept hens and sold the eggs. One Sunday I thought, “What the heck?” and bought a dozen. Bright yellow yolks and lots of flavor. I was sold! The trick was getting to her on Sunday before she sold out. Yup, the kid had a product high in demand. So I found a second source, my friend Renate. She also tended to sell out quick. Your best bet with Renate? Put in an order early. Now, other then Easter, when has a grocery ever sold out of eggs?
So yes, you too can have farm fresh eggs every morning.
Good Morning Friends
p.s. Henry has been re-established as king of the roost.
p.p.s: Chickens are a great source of entertainment, too.