It was almost a year ago I moved forward with our plan of owning backyard chickens. It is something I had wanted to do for a while. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Eggs – We eat eggs. Knowing where the eggs come from is a good thing. If you have the chickens in your backyard you know what they are eating. Ours would be eating clover & pests from our chemical free yard. We can supplement their diet with organic feed. In the end giving us a healthier egg.
2. Compost – Chicken manure and the litter from their coop can turbo-charge your compost production.
3. Natural Pest Control – They eat bugs (and just about everything else) that are in the yard.
4. Promote the health of yard/soil – We don’t use chemicals on our yard, our kids play in the yard, our dogs run around in the yard, we grow food in our yard. Without use of chemicals chickens, if properly managed, will improve the yard not only by pooping in it, but through scratching, pecking and eating (Don’t over graze your chicks or you will be left with a patch of dirt!).
5. Self sufficiency – Knowing you will always, at least, have an egg to eat is okay by me.
We were making changes! I was ready to take the leap and get the chickens, and I did. In the end, I learned, there are few things I would have done differently. The biggest thing would be… to have better prepared my family for their arrival! We had just moved, maybe showing up with six 3 day old chicks, I purchased while I was out running errands was not the best idea. We were getting ready to head out for the day to celebrate the 4th of July with some friends, and I bought the chicks at the local hardware store on my way back from buying flip-flops.
I truly tested Mindy’s understanding, we were just a few day (8 to be exact) into our move. Most of our boxes were still not unpacked. We also had countless plumbing issues in the house, and the best part, my work travel was at an all time high. I assured her the brooding process involved little work, and we had plenty of time to acquire a chicken coop and figure out this Chicken thing. The girls fell in love and named our 6 baby chicks (2 Barred Rock, 2 Buff Orpingtons and 2 Ameraucanas). After the dust settled the family began to enjoy having the new additions to the family. Unfortunately, just a few weeks into us having the chickens Major, our energetic 72lb Airedale Terrier, got too friendly with one of the baby chicks. We ended up with 5 baby chicks.