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Raising Backyard Chickens

I really, really want to get chickens for our backyard.  My husband does not quite agree that this is a good idea.  In fact, I’m pretty sure he thinks that I’m insane.  He somehow seems to feel that people with two kids and two somewhat unruly dogs, just don’t need to add chickens to their lives.  But even with all our craziness, I’m feeling a pull towards those chickens.

Click here to read a quick how to guide on raising backyard chickens.  There’s even a cute little list at the end that shows some of the different breeds of chickens and what to expect from their plucky little personalities.   Not only would your fresh egg delivery be very popular in the neighborhood but studies have shown that backyard chickens lay nutritionally superior eggs compared to those mass produced eggs you’re picking up at your local grocery store.  Think of all the fertilizer!  Your garden would be SET.

One thing is for sure…if we ever do decide to get chickens for our backyard, that really seals the deal on my vegetarianism.  Having little Plucky Pearl as a chicken pet should certainly cure any Kentucky Fried Chicken cravings.

 

Photo from Stock.xchng1376695

 

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Comments (8)

  1. vanessa 04/21/2012 at 2:28 pm

    Sorry last thing…the only time ours are loud is when I haven’t fed them on time in the morning. Another good thing to know is they can fly higher than you think! one got scared and flew over the 8 foot fence and was killed by the neighbor dog 🙁 You need to put some bird netting over the dog run. We let ours roam the yard once a day to eat bugs and just sit out there to make sure they don’t get scared and jump the fence. That is another thing that most people don’t know. Ok Todays Mama have me guest post on this 😉

    • Shannon 04/23/2012 at 12:19 am

      I love this! Thanks for all of the info, it’s just what I needed! We’d love to have you do a post, you have the full scoop!

  2. vanessa 04/21/2012 at 2:24 pm

    Also yes Melissa is right…I don’t think…no I KNOW we don’t save any money on eggs having the chickens. After the feed and figuring in the coop and dog run. You aren’t going to save any money. We just love having them. But if you want to get them for that reason only…buy them from a local formal like she said.

  3. vanessa 04/21/2012 at 2:16 pm

    You have to have it set up right so you don’t have the problems Melissa had (with the yard digging up/poop) Once you have it set up right, it really is so easy. Also she is right…it puts a kink your plans to go anywhere, you gotta find someone to come feed/water them/pick up the eggs. But an older neighborhood kid would be great at that.

  4. Carina 04/20/2012 at 9:40 pm

    Under no circumstances. Forget it. NEVER.

    They’re CHICKENS.

    They’re dirty, mean, and dirty. And dirt. And poop. And dogs, coyotes, racoons, foxes killing them.

    (But I will take any extra eggs off your hands…)

  5. Deirdre @ Ladies Holiday 04/20/2012 at 7:26 pm

    My family were the lucky recipients of the six chicks the second grade hatched (now two years ago) At first I was more like your husband, but all the begging and the cute fluffy chicks made me cave.
    I’ll admit the poop is horrendous, but there is something so nice about our sweet hens clucking around the yard all day. I’ll keep ’em and as long as you have a hose to spray your paths down with now and then recommend the birds as part of a family.
    Melissa makes a few good points, but to be sure talk to other people with them, get a book or two from the library and have a family talk about chores, etc.

  6. Erica Fehrman 04/20/2012 at 3:49 pm

    RH and I have a mutual friend with backyard chickens. Her husband built a coop and they fenced off the chicken area (to preserve the yard and to keep barefoot kids from trodding on the poo). I don’t know about the expense, but they seem to love the setup. Let us know if you go for it!

  7. Melissa 04/20/2012 at 2:01 pm

    We had chickens in our backyard for about a year. The eggs were fantastic, but all the rest…not so much.
    –They were loud. A LOT louder than I thought they would be. We live in a neighborhood, not on property, and we were paranoid we were bothering people, especially on the weekends when we weren’t up as early. But the girls always made a huge ruckus when they laid eggs, cheering each other on and such. While it was cute to me, I think our neighbors must have likened them to an incessantly barking dog.
    –They tore up our yard. Chickens dig and eat everything green. We pretty much had no grass in our backyard by the time they were done.
    –They are more expensive than you might think. We did feed ours plenty of table scraps and things like watermelon rinds, but they went through a larger amount of food than we had guessed and it was pretty expensive, not to mention the cedar chips and other things we used in the coop.
    –Whenever you go anywhere overnight, you have to have someone come take care of your chickens, collect eggs, etc. And this isn’t easy. You can take dogs and cats to a kennel, but you can’t do that with chickens.
    –We have found that purchasing eggs from a local farmer is cheaper in the long run and a lot less stressful.

    My opinion isn’t the most popular one, but I like to warn people who have a romanticized view of having chickens just for the better eggs that it’s not as cheap, easy, or stress free as you might think.