Chickens



So I am totally on a chicken kick...I really want to get a couple of chickens for our backyard.
(Yes, Kristie, I know...I really am crazy. :)
Last Easter I wanted to get a baby chick for the boys. Mike was against it. This Easter again, I am pleading my case for another chick. But this time I am doing my research and finding out all I can about raising chickens in an urban setting.
This website and this one have been loaded with a ton of info.
I think I have determined we will get a couple of crested chickens. The crested chickens are the cute ones with the feather mohawks on their head. They are supposedly much more docile with children and are better behaved than other breeds.

So once again I am pleading my chicken case with Mike. (To no avail yet, though).

Any thoughts on raising chickens? I know in large quantities they can be messy and alot of work, but what about just 2?
Mike grew up with over 50 chickens so I think his negativity is coming from cleaning the coops for many of them.

And for those of you wondering, in most states (cities) it is legal to have chickens in city limits...just not the rooster. You can still get eggs from the chickens just not fertilized ones (thats where the rooster comes in).

In other news, we have been building a small deck out back. Also Mike's first annual beer tasting (homebrew) is this weekend with over 30 expected to taste the fine samplings :)

9 comments:

  1. Another great website source is http://backyardfarming.blogspot.com/.

    Yes, less then 50 hens would be a lot less messy. :) If you don't have a way to keep them warm enough outside (a heater) they will need to be indoors for awhile. The first two weeks they need temps (if I remember right) around 90. I kept mine in the kitchen with a heat lamp over them. I have really, really bad allergies, so the timing coincided with the chicks and I hardly smelled a thing. And I cleaned their huge box out all the time...

    A few random thoughts, if you order from someone like Murray McMurray Hatchery, they will sex them for you, if you go to most places, they don't really know if it a girl/guy. The downfall of that is it is a minimum order of 25, so unless you can split the order with someone, you will get 25. I split mine.

    You will lose some, if you have heard someone say they haven't had one eaten, die or disappear, that would be amazing and the first I have heard.

    I have an old hen house, with my grandma-in-laws roast in it, and except for extremely wet days, or the hard winter, I move them out of the house in portable runs my brother-in-law built me.

    They are lots of fun, if you hold them as chicks, they are still friendly as adults. The one left from our original batch still lets us pet and hold her, the others we have, can't touch.

    And, we are ordering more again, later this year, but it is a good enough experience I think it is worth it. Plus, gathering the eggs everyday. Well,way cool. :)

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  2. We have 8. 4 Cinnamon Queens Really nice and give great big brown eggs some w/speckles. 4 Silkies. They are little banties and give an egg every other day or so. These make really good pets.

    My daughters carry the Silks around in baskets and do other crazy girls things with them. Very friendly breed with fluffy mohawks on their heads.

    One of are Silkies(Cinderella)is setting right now. So we have barrowed 2 Americana eggs for her to hatch. We would like about 4 more Cinnamon Queens for eggs, but we need to enlarge our run and coup.

    We have a small dual coup in our backyard that we made out of the girls old play stage. To keep cost down. We spend about $10 in feed and $7 in hay per month. I give them any extra veg, bread, and pasta we don't eat.

    Clean up is really easy. We change the hay out and compost it weekly. Feed them twice a day. Water them once and enjoy their wonderful sounds. They're a lot easier to maintain than some of the books make it out to be. We live in the center of a smallish city/suburb and it's going great. Sometimes I think it's so strange to hear the traffic going by like crazy and right in our backyard we have country.ahhhh.

    Make sure you find out about codes in your area. We're not allowed to have roosters etc.

    I hope, when the time is right you get some. I waited 5 years.

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  3. SERIOUSLY... We now have 21 chickens on our property.. YOu should really pick Jim's brain because he has DONE sooo much research.. the little ones are in my house at the moment~~ and we have 13 outside.. unfortunately we ended up with 8 roosters.. not good for wanting eggs :)
    WOOHOOoooooooooooo

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  4. Thanks so much for all the great tips and thoughts!!! I still don't have Mike convinced but I will show him all of these great comments and maybe these will sway his decision :)
    Christine--I had no idea you guys had chickens!!!!!!

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  5. If he likes to entertain as much as you do you could mention that you can make a fresh frittata anytime someone drops in and it would be awesome for the boys to have some thin to be responsible for.

    You can definately put me down for a carton of eggs :-)

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  6. Ah yes, Mrs. Needham...love the frittata idea! I tried the "it will SAVE us money" and he was like "yeah Megan--that $3 we will save each week on eggs will help a ton". I'm trying!
    I did mention getting a bunny instead and he said he'd rather have a chicken...so now I just need to keep asking for a bunny :)

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  7. When I was 10 or so, my dad came home with a chick from the store. My brothers and sister loved it! My mom kept asking my dad if he knew that this chick would eventually turn into a chicken. (My dad just smiled and winked at us.)

    We named him Chirpie. He followed our finger and would cuddle. Very sweet.

    We thought he might want a friend, so we talked our dad into buying another. (Not sure where my mom was.)

    For some reason, Chirpie's personality changed. He wasn't as friendly. He and the other chick pecked at each other.

    My dad ended up taking the chicks back to the store he bought them from. He didn't ask for his money back; he was happy that there was a place to take them back.

    That's my small experience with chickens.

    It would be a great learning tool for the boys, and it will be a great memory. (Plus, you'll know exactly how old your eggs are!)

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  8. Megan-this sounds like a lot of work..LOL! Maybe a fish would be a good start for the boys first :-)

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  9. Well they had a fish...fishy was his name :) He lived for a little over 2 years but had a stroke or something along those lines, and died. The problem with a fish is that you can't really interact with them, ya know? It ended up that I just cleaned out the bowl all the time and would chat with fishy while the boys were playing :)

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