Anyone who knows me, knows I love my chickens! I’ve had chickens to spoil for almost 9 years. One of my favorite activities at the farm was walking out to the barn every day for an “egg hunt” with Henry and Ellie. It took a little time to keep them from breaking all the eggs they found, but the joy on their faces as they found an egg, picked it up with their little hands, walked it back to the house and placed it gently into the egg basket was priceless!
Hens (not to be confused with roosters!) are sweet, productive, fun, beautiful and very low maintenance. You circumvent the biological and ethical concerns around mass-produced eggs, and – if you don’t go too hog wild on structure and feed – you’ll also see a MAJOR reduction on your overall egg cost. If there is one thing more townies should do it is keep a clutch of hens in the backyard.
|The new chicken palace, Independence. About half the materials were reclaimed! Total cost $350.|
My girls have recently moved into their fantastic new house/run and they love it. At the farm they were the epitome of free-range. They ate mostly bugs, worms, and whatever greens they could get their beaks on. They were strong and healthy – and very, very happy.
|#4 & #5 at the old farm.|
This new little run is as close as I can get here in town. Independence just passed an ordinance allowing laying hens back in March. We can have five, they need to be contained (unless someone is supervising), and there are clear rules around the structure placement and requirements. The rules are reasonable and easy to follow.
I was nervous my girls would have a hard time adjusting to “captivity”, but they are doing just fine. There aren’t as many as there were at the farm, so the smaller enclosure suits them just fine. They still get treats from the kitchen every morning and grass from the lawn so their eggs are still fresh with deep yellow/orange yolks.
|The girls talking over the new digs.|
|Henry checking out my work on the feeder. From the look on his face, he doesn’t think it’s up to snuff.|
By keeping my hens I can still connect to my food source. I can show my kids what it means to care for animals first hand. It’s a small expense for a whole lot of joy. Check the ordinances in your city and see if you can start your own henny adventure!