Friday, December 10, 2010

Are backyard chickens a need or a want?

So I suppose that for me it is the natural course to go from buying organic to growing organic. This past year I planted my very first vegetable garden. The only things that survived were beets, squash, beans and a few carrots. The cilantro, cucumbers and tomatoes for some reason decided they didn't like the weather. Or perhaps it was my soil. Anyways I am doing research on what to plant when this coming season and hopefully as I learn more, I have more success.
As my mind has turned toward more things organic I have craved many things. My latest craving or desire is backyard chickens. I wanted them last year but with a one month old baby thought perhaps I should leave it until the following year. Well, the following year is almost upon us! I have been talking about it so much I have the accountant excited at the prospect. We got online last night and requested a catalog from a hatchery just so we could look through the chickens. Our favorite so far is the black silkie look how fluffy it is! I must admit what brought this somewhat strange craving up is reading a book I had checked out from the library called "Made from Scratch: The pleasures of a handmade life" by Jenna Woginrich. It was a very entertaining read. The author is a girl in her mid twenties who moved from the east coast to Pennsylvania to "homestead". In the book she rights about chickens, bee keeping, angora rabbits (I want a few of these when the children are older), and so forth. Check out her blog here. Some of the tales she tells made me laugh out loud. Which resulted in the accountant wanting to know what I was reading about. So I would read out loud to him and he would laugh too.
So I have called my local co-op and found out the chickens arrive in mid March. They are only about 2.60 each. So the accountant and I have started planning. We have looked at many chicken coop plans. We are going to keep it simple. I am number 13 in line on the holds list at the library for the book "Building Chicken Coops for Dummies" and number ten for the book "Raising Chickens for Dummies". I think I want 5-8 chickens. Good egg laying ones. Not so into raising them for meat. At least not now. One more thing I must admit. I am not doing this to save money. Perhaps I will in the long run but that is not what I desire in my pursuit of raising them. I am wanting chickens for my children, so that we know more about where our food comes from. An egg is not "from the grocery store" it comes from a real live creature, one that walks around the yard eating bugs!
So come end of summer I might have eggs for you all! Nice organic farm fresh eggs. Doesn't that sound yummy? I welcome any advice you want to give me as this is a new and exciting adventure we are preparing to embark on!


  1. We have two hens in a pathetic little tractor coop, and I am dying to build them a mansion and get more hens! I love their cackling and fussing! I highly recommend How to Build Animal Housing for plans (at our local library) and Keeping Chickens by Ashley English for care information (cute, hilarious and simple, not overwhelming).

  2. This is exciting! I've wanted my own chickens ever since we started buying farm fresh eggs from the guy down the street. Brianne & Drew have chickens and a very cute homemade coop. I'm pretty sure they love having them. If you have questions, I'm sure she'd love to answer them. My mother in law had some and they ruined her garden, so if she got them again she said she'd keep them in the coop/fenced in area. Have fun! :)

  3. I'm so excited to hear more! I want chickens so badly too but don't know that right now is the right time...

  4. Hi! I don't know you and therefore you can take this with a grain of salt, but if you want a good egg laying chicken a silkie is not the way to go. If you want a chicken you can walk right up to and cuddle with, a silkie is perfect. I have 3 silkies and they are my babies...I keep them for the cute factor and the "big girls" for the eggs. The 3 silkies and 9 assorted full size hens all live together, but know that the silkies may be picked on, and that can lead to disaster (since the puffball on top of their heads contains part of their brain). Good luck! My toddler LOVES having the flock around, as do I, and I think you will just fall in love with chickens. Great blog by the way : )




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