When we first thought about getting chickens, or more like, Jordan thought it was a good idea to get chickens, I had my reservations. I thought they’d be more work than benefit, I didn’t even really like eggs. I thought they would attract predators to our yard, and I just wasn’t sure I’d like chickens. I had never had them before.
I finally came around two years later and agreed that getting chickens was a fun idea. So, we started reading all of the homesteading/hobby farm books available at Barnes & Noble and Jordan started collecting materials from his job sites.
A few months later he built a beautiful coop for our future chickens.
The following Spring, we got our first 4 baby chicks from the local feed store! We decided on 1 Rhode Island Red, 1 Wyandotte, 1 Bantam, and one Sexlink.
Baby chicks require a temperature of 95 degrees F for the first week, and each proceeding week that can be decreased by 5 degrees. So we kept our chicks in a storage tote in our dining room (is that crazy?) with a heat lamp.
We lined the bottom of the storage tote with wood shavings, and purchased a chick feeder and water dispenser.
As the chickens grew, they became increasingly curious of the world outside their tote. They started to sit on their water dispenser and peer out at us.
My husband, the chicken man:
As their feathers started to come in, we were able to take them on mini adventures in the yard.
This helped them to get familiar with the surroundings they would soon roam.
After a few weeks, they were too large to keep inside and we transferred them to a large pen in the garage.
When most of their adult feathers had grown in, we transferred them to their new coop.
They laid their first eggs on our wedding day, July 21st.
One night a raccoon got into the coop and took one of our hens, Dot.
Jordan found her headless in the neighbor’s yard. This was heartbreaking.
After that we learned how to make the coop predator proof, by making sure the chicken-wire was tightly secured to the wood frame and that the door was latched well at night.
Today our chickens have a prime view of the garden, get to forage in the yard, and have dibs on our kitchen scraps.
They are little work and a lot of reward.
The following spring we added 4 more chicks to the flock and we now have 7 wonderful laying hens.
We’ve had chickens for three years now. They’ve become a wonderful addition to our lives and I can’t imagine ever not having them.
Oh, and I LOVE eggs now!
Questions or comments about raising urban chickens? Post your thoughts below!