So my husband and I have decided to get chickens. Crazy? I thought so at first too, but check it out. From what I understand, raising chickens is easier and cheaper than raising a puppy. Plus, they produce fresh, delicious eggs. We already have a dog; her name is Cooper. We were seriously considering another puppy when we stumbled upon an article in the Independent about Backyard Chickens. I fell in love with the idea of fresh eggs, quirky pets, and teaching my son where our food comes from. Then the real research began.
I had no idea what went in to raising a flock of chickens. Where would we keep them? What do they eat? How many do we need for a family of three? What happens in the winter? How do you predator-proof a coop? How big should the coop be? The list of questions I had went on and on. So I bought two books: Raising Chickens for Dummies and Building Chicken Coops for Dummies. I have to say, these books are not a bad place to start. I've found answers to all my questions and then some.
With the help of my books and several websites, we've decided on four different breeds. We plan to build the coop this winter and order our tiny flock of four in February 2011 from mypetchicken.com. I've already picked our breeds after careful consideration of our situation. I looked for birds that do well in cold climates (hello Colorado), have good temperaments, and do well with confinement. I had a list of seven birds I wanted, but my husband said we could only get four to start with, so we are going to get a Rhode Island Red, an Easter Egger, a Silver Laced Wyanadotte, and a Welsummer. I'm going to have quite the colorful egg basket!
We still have a lot of reading to do, and a lot of supplies to purchase before coop building can commence, but I am ready! I have become chicken obsessed the past couple weeks. Thank goodness my husband want to do this too.