October 13, 2012

The Ladies of the Yard


The coop with its storm door.
" Chickens? You have Chickens? Wait, can you have Chickens in the city?" For those of us urban chicken owners, I can guarantee that you have had these questions asked of you. My answer is "Absolutely! How lucky am I!"

There are many cities across the United States that allow chickens within the city limits. Did I perk your interest? Good! Let's continue...
 Each city has laws regarding owning chickens. I strongly encourage you to research the laws first. For example, where I live we are allowed up to six hens, no roosters. The living areas of the birds must be clean and not become a nuisance, and the basic needs are to be given.( i.e.food, water, shelter)  I recommend calling your own City government or Health Department for answers. The Internet has a ton of information! However, I spent a lot of time researching the Internet for our city, and there was conflicting information on our laws. I even read city laws, which can also be a bit confusing. So your best bet is to call City Hall.

So, why would I want chickens anyway? Well, for me the answer was simple. As a family, we strive to eat clean, organic food whenever possible. We also believe in being self-sufficient as much as possible. If we can take steps towards that direction, than we will make it happen.  Chickens could add to that journey. In order to reach that goal, I needed to become informed. I read everything I could on owning chickens. Spent hours reading informational pages, and books. Believe me if it was about chickens I soaked up the information like a sponge. My husband and children said I was becoming obsessed. No, I would reply "I was getting educated." However there was a problem. As I perused all the information, I began seeing statements like the following:

 "you will love them"
"they make the best pets!"
 "they are addicting, you can't just have one!" 
"I love my chickens!"
"Wait to you watch Chicken T.V!" 

WHAT? I want chickens for eggs, so we can be self-sustaining, I don't really want them as a pet. Do I really even like birds? What are these people talking about? So I dug a little deeper in my research, and began reading people's stories and blogs. I found that I could not get enough of these stories.  I believe my heart grew just like Dr. Seuss' character The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, after he realized what Christmas was really about. Next thing I knew I have a McMurray catalog on my desk with pictures of the breeds I had to have circled. I was ready!

.We decided to get day old chicks. But that did not happen. We found a woman, now a friend who lives not far from us. She and her daughters have an incredible farm. They love chickens and had some 6 week old chicks available for sale. We were a bit hesitant, I was afraid that they would be too old to bond with our family. But we decided this would be the best way to go. We loaded up the kids, who are now just as "obsessed" as I am about chickens, and drove out to the farm.

The kids were so excited when we told them they could each pick out a chick. Bless our friend's heart as she chased these chicks around in the pen for "the one" for each of the kids. We actually all picked out a chick. We ended up with five peeping babies in a large tote. Liam was the first to name his chicken. His pick was giving our friend a bit a fuss about being caught. She kept hopping and flapping her wings. He said "I am naming her Time, because time flies, get it? Time flies?" But he agreed that her name looked nicer spelled as "Thyme" she is a Barred Rock. Lavinia's pick is "Isabelle" a Maran/Australorp mix. Avin picked a New Hampshire Red, "Graciella." My pick was a Rhode Island Red, and her name is "Mrs. Babcock." Finally, we have "Luna." She is a mystery mix. We know that she is part Maran from her Dad, but she looks like she could be mixed with an Americana. She reminds us of a Barn owl in the face. We cannot wait to see what color egg she will produce.
Isabelle

We have had our girls for over a month now, and I can not imagine life with out chickens!  I totally  understand what everyone was saying. I am in love with my flock. They do make the best pets.  I want more, I have a wish list. And yes, "Chicken T.V" is my favorite show.

Isabelle's shimmer is gorgeous!

Thyme and Isabelle very curious of the camera. I am ready for my close up!

What's up chicken butt? Graciella's backside.
Graciella and Isabelle. Love Graciella's expression.
Mrs. Babcock


Luna's cool feathers
Luna in my hubby's arms falling asleep.

1 comment:

Roberta Augustini said...

So nice to find your blog! Love the stories, pics of ladies! I have 12 chicklets, almost 1month old, got them as day old chicks which is difficult at this time of year. they are in my bedroom, hoping to get them acclimated to outside before it gets too cold. hand raising most of them, all react differently to being held but very fun for the most part!