To have chickens, or to not have chickens? Lets face it chickens are trendy right now. It a good trend, a little dirty, but good. There are so many benefits to having chickens, they eat weeds, they are a good conversation starter and they lay amazing eggs. Depending on the breed of chicken you get, you may even get a chicken that lays PINK eggs! You can buy a baby chick for three dollars and she will produce you hundreds of dollars worth of eggs that are such high quality you could not even buy it at the store. You do not need much space, a small yard will do and in old dog house works fine as a chicken coop. Chicken wire is cheap as well if you want them to be designated to one area. Chicken feed is cheap and if you eat a lot of vegetables you can get away with feeding them carrot peels, potato peels, cores of lettuce, etc. Make sure you do not get a rooster or your neighbors and probably yourself will hate you. Also check your zoning codes and/or make sure you neighbors are cool with chickens being around. There are lots of books you can buy for having chickens, but I feel like I should tell you some chicken scenarios that those books will never tell you.
1) When we go our first chicks we kept them inside. Supposedly it was too cold outside for them. They stayed in a little box with a heat lamp and mainly kept to themselves. One day while I was watching my fifth episode of Lost in a row my boyfriend called to tell me he was going to be home late and I had to feed the chicks. I went over to give them more food and water when I realized my boyfriend had been feeding them out of MY gorgeous little flower bowls I spent way too much money from Anthropologie. I called him to complain and then tried to find other options. Someone have given us Guinness and matching glasses. I hate Guinness, belgians just don’t drink stout. I thought prefect I will feed them the guinness. NO! I used the glasses, I filled them up with food and water. I decided I should get some daylight in so I went for a little walk. I came back to hear what could only be little leprachauns screaming. I looked around and realized one of the chicks had tipped into the guinness glass while drinking water and could not get out. It was awful, all the other chicks were yelping and running around the glass. I dumped him out not thinking that I would be giving him a shower in the process. I tried my best to dry him off and while I was doing it he was sneezing. I did learn however, not to use high stout glasses for chickens.
2) When the chicks got a little bigger, is was still to cold for them outside so we moved them into the kitchen. I was SO grossed out. We had blown a fuse with the heat lamp and they just didn’t work in the living room anymore. I was so ready for them to be outside. I felt like these birds had taken over my zone in the kitchen, and one day I decided to just barge in the kitchen and take over. I dramatically opened the door to see the chickens had escaped there box. They were all over the place and the looked like little furry dinosaurs. Then one of them flew up to my antique kitchen cart landed on my Le Creuset cake stand looked at me and pooped. It must have been the one I got wet. I closed the door to the kitchen walked outside, went to my parents and ate there food.
3) Finally the weather got warmer and the chickens went outside. When my boyfriend was home he let them run free throughout the backyard and when he left he put them in a part of the yard with a fence. This was good because I had become a little bit scared of them. At this point we had turkeys too. GIANT turkeys. One day I came home from work and opened the gate to the yard. We lived in a back house so I had to cross the fairly large yard to get to our front door. I entered the yard and something seemed off, it was a little too still. Then from behind a bush a claw emerged, and then the giant turkey. I was carrying a bag of food scraps for them, and he wanted it. He started pecking his giant neck at me and chickens were coming from all over. I was attacked. I ran in my pink little clogs what seemed like miles to the front door. I couldn’t open the door because I was scared one of them might weasel there way in. Finally the dog came to the rescue and started cornering them. I would pick them up and throw them into the caged area. I got all of them in, but the giant turkey. The turkey decided to run out the gate and into the front yard, it went turkey, dog, and me. I chased them out and didn’t realize that a crowd of business men in suits had been watching. They watched did not help as the dog and I chased the turkey back in the yard. I shut the gate and sprinted faster than the speed of the light into the house. I sat there still hearing the giant turkey taunting me outside. Hours later my boyfriend came home and asked if I had notice the turkey got out. I told him no.
Good Luck in your own Chicken Experiences!