Backyard Girls aka: Chickens

… a rooster in town is a bad idea and I think you can imagine why.

I grew up on a small farm so of course I know a considerable amount about Chickens. Growing up I didn’t like them but now that I’m older, it has almost become an obsession. I don’t have chickens at the moment for these reasons… First, I live in town. Albeit a rural town where believe it or not, a lot of people do have chickens in their backyards. Secondly, I did have chickens and it went sour. When the neighbor knocks on your door furiously to tell you that your chickens are tearing up their flower beds, something has gone wrong. Third, a rooster in town is a bad idea and I think you can imagine why. And lastly, I don’t have adequate accommodations for chickens… yet.

I’ve been doing some research into backyard chickens and different styles of coops and yards. I’m leaning toward a small coop and a run that is basically a “tunnel” that runs around the yard wherever you want. In my thinking, I’ll make mine to run around the perimeter of the yard and garden areas to cut down on the bugs. The coop will be small yet large enough to house 6-12 chickens and will have outside doors for egg collection. One thing I want to make sure of is ease of cleaning. I’m still researching that but I’m thinking a raised coop with a wire floor that I can cover in straw. I figure I can change out the straw when necessary and anything else will drop through for easy raking. We’ll see where that goes after I do a little more research. Coop with outdoor yard and tunnel yards. I think that’s the way to go.

I would like to be able to accommodate 6-12 chickens, strictly for personal use. I’d love to have some acreage for a larger operation but right now, I’m good with going small. Laying hens are my focus first then I might add some meat hens to the mix for something different. I never liked butchering chickens growing up because the smell was horrid, I know now that skinning is the way to go. My goal this year is to begin the process of becoming non-dependent on the grocery store as much as possible. We’ll talk about my garden in another post at a later date, but soon. I’m getting excited about planning that too.

Back to chickens. They say chicks start laying eggs at 5-6 months old and commercially they keep them for 1-2 years but will continue laying for 5-7 depending on care and environment. The older they get the slower production. There’s a lot to consider when choosing what breed to get and I’m still unsure what I’ll go with. It will probably be decided by what my local feed store has in stock when spring rolls around. Living in a rural area choices are limited. Right now I need to concentrate my efforts to their habitat, so I’m ready when the time comes.

I need to get back to planning! Have a great day and thanks for reading!

~ Jane

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