Tuesday, September 14, 2010

City Homestead Tour #1...The Burb Chickens

You have seen the country version of chicken husbandry...now...the city chickens.
Being in "the burbs"  we have quite a few neighbors (and their guests, professional gardener for hire, or third cousin twice removed) that come and look at the chickens and then ask questions.  We don't have fences between us, and that also attracts backyard conversations.  Often I hear the same questions time and time again. 

The Girls

My favorite questions:
Are they legal? (yes, no fighting cocks or rhinos though in our township)
Where do you get them? (in the mail from My Pet Chicken or from Country Sister)
Don't you need a rooster? (no, they lay without a rooster)
Do all of them lay every day? (no, maybe 2 out of 3 days each although the three oldest are starting to slow down)
Can I have some eggs (sure...$3.00/dozen or maybe free...it depends)

Salt is Laying
For housing we use a 6x10 foot dog kennel covered partly by a tarp (we can get away with tarps here too.)  For roosts, we use dog crates tied up with wire.  And for laying boxes, we use old cat litter boxes.  The kids named all the girls.  We currently have: Salt and Pepper who are Barred Plymouth Rocks, Cotton Tail (Flopsy and Mopsy went to the great Rooster Pot Pie in the Sky), who may be a Delaware, and Henrietta, Cockle-doodle-do, and Big Red, Red Comets that used to belong to Country Sister (yes, they spent 700 miles in the back of a pickup truck and still managed to lay on the trip.)  Six more are on their way in a few weeks who will be Red Stars.

A great resource for other chicken questions is the city chicken.  Katy has a lot of experience with chickens and the urban/suburban setting (she even had a chicken on a balcony in the city once.)

Chickens are a great choice for us.  They eat our scraps, fertilize our gardens and lawn, keep down bugs and pests, and best of all, give us beautiful yummy healthy eggs.

Country Sister did a great annalysis of the cost of keeping chickens, I will only reiterate that it costs less to grow your own eggs, and the taste, texture, and baking abilities are much better.

Country Sister/ Country Brother-in-Law will continue to get calls when one gets hen pecked to a pulp...or when I want confirmation on rooster status...or slaughter...
Lets see what the next frantic and insane call is about.

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Thanks for visiting with us girls...put your feet up and stay for a while.