I’ve recently had a revelation: Chickens are far more interesting than we give them credit for. Yep, you read that right. They’re fascinating little buggers, and a growing number of people are recognizing that. They're quickly become a very popular family addition, for numerous reasons ranging from personality to productivity.
I decided a few months ago to raise chickens this spring. I’ve wanted to do it for years, but only now have the space and the time to do so. Really, I thought, how complicated can it be? Tori Spelling has a chicken, for goodness sake.
Very. That’s the answer. It’s complicated in the beginning, trying to sort through so much information. However, I love nothing more than a good challenge, and I also have a secret academic side (shhhh! I’ll lose my street cred if that gets out) that really enjoys research. So I set out and Googled, bought books and began collecting information.
First, I had to focus on where to build a coop. And oh yeah, I have to build a coop. After deciding how many chickens to have, I’ve decide on six since you should have more than three for socialization and I like round numbers, I picked a lovely looking coop that is size appropriate.
I’m still sketching out the details, exact size and set up. I picked one that I can stand inside of, though that’s not required. There are many small ones that will do the trick. I like the idea of having one that I can “hang out” in, clean it out efficiently and additionally, I want to keep most of our chicken supplies in the building, verses in the garage.
I will do the design detail myself, so when I post pics of a crooked building, you know what happened. We’ll just call it charming. I have to include roosting bars, and nesting boxes, which is where the chickens will go to lay their eggs, as well as water and food areas. I’ve decided instead of a chicken tractor coop (which can be moved, allowing the chickens to be relocated anywhere) I will do a stationary coop but with four chicken pastures alongside of the coop. This way I can rotate their location, once they’re done feeding in one area I can move them to the next and allow the first area to regrow and replenish. This allows them to continue to forage for their own food (which I will supplement) and get outdoors for most of the day while being protected from predators. Also, they like to roll around in the dirt and give themselves dirt baths, which helps reduce the occurrence of skin parasites like mites and lice. I chose a location along the tree line, slightly hidden from predators but still close to my house that I can get out there in a hurry should I need to.
Everyone that I know who raises chickens LOVES it, and they’re passionate about it! People love their personalities, their antics and their benefits. Admittedly, these things are a side bonus for me, as my main reason for deciding to raise chickens was to be one step closer to self-sustainability. But a little extra personality never hurts.
I’ll be talking next about choosing a chicken! Send me your thoughts and feedback; I’d love to hear from my fellow chicks! You can find me at email@example.com.
PS- Pinterest has been a GREAT resource for ideas! It’s not just for clothes, ridiculous recipes and weight loss pitches, it can be really useful to remember all of those great little ideas and tips!