Saturday, March 28, 2009

Our Chickens

Its been just over a year since we brought home our four baby chicks and joined the growing number of urban households who raise chickens.

Because our lot is so visible to neighbors and code enforcement I opted to apply for a proper permit through the city and avoid any problems. While we were keeping the chicks in our home waiting for them to grow feathers we built our coop. After an official visit from code enforcement we received our permit which allowed us to keep four chickens on our land. It was pretty ironic that the officer who did the inspection had absolutely no clue about chickens and what he should be looking to inspect. He seemed more concerned about the unregistered camper my brother had parked on the side of the house.

At ten weeks of age the chicks had feathered out enough to make the move to their new diggs. My kids and I had so much fun watching them scratch for bugs and worms. Finally at 21 weeks we were surprised with our first egg. It was a tiny little thing but we were thrilled. Before long all the girls were laying one egg per day and over time the eggs grew to be a mostly extra large size.

Caring for the birds has been quite easy. I wake up at dawn, open their coop and put out fresh food and water. At dusk the girls make their way back to their coop and jump up on their roost. I lock them up for the night to keep any predators away. Eggs are gathered once a day and at least once weekly the coop is cleaned out with the manure going to our compost bin. The return for my efforts is well worth the work involved .

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