Backyard Chickens?

My husband and I have really been considering adding a small flock (if 3 or 4 can be considered a flock) of chickens to our backyard.  Two years ago, I couldn’t imagine myself typing those words, but now I am finding it harder and harder to go on living without these amazing little birds in my life.  Now, if my mom is reading this she’s probably raising an eyebrow, wondering what in the world the Arizona sun has done to her poor daughter’s brain.

It’s fried, mom.  Like an egg! Speaking of eggs…chickens lay those things. I like eggs. What I don’t like is spending $5 a week on a dozen organic “cage free” eggs.  It makes me sad. If I had chickens, they would give me eggs in exchange for a little love and attention. So there.

Also, chickens are funny and entertaining. And yes, this is really one of the reasons I would like to keep chickens.

My one concern, and I’ll admit, it’s a big one, is that my dog will kill all the chickens. I imagine those words running through his little brain the second he sees them…”kill all the chickens”.  It’s not that he’s hungry, he just has such a strong prey drive and likes to kill everything that moves. Except people. And other dogs. It’s scary.

The Stuff of Nightmares.

The Stuff of Nightmares.

Oddly enough (I say that, but it’s really not that odd since it’s chick season), all of my favorite homestead bloggers have been blogging about keeping backyard chickens! Just thought I’d share a few here in case any of you are considering becoming a crazy chicken lady, like myself.

6 Reasons to Keep Backyard Chickens

Keeping Backyard Chickens 101

The Basics of Backyard Chickens

(and just because I love to eat cookie dough) The Number One Reason Why YOU Need Chickens

On top of that, I have been reading A Chicken in Every Yard and The Urban Homestead.

And if my friends and family aren’t quite convinced that I’ve gone completely crazy, I’m looking into urban beekeeping. Yep. It’s true.

 

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11 thoughts on “Backyard Chickens?

  1. I live in a rural area. My Dad has chickens. It is wonderful to have eggs delivered to the door. What I miss though is the pork. He used to raise a few pigs each year so we could butcher in fall for sausage, chops and roasts. It pains me to buy in the supermarket and doesn’t taste the same. Wishing you luck!

    • Thanks! Someday I’d love to raise some pigs too but my first priorities are chickens and goats. I also hate buying meat from the grocery store after eating meat raised on my grandpas farm . He used to have rabbits…so good!

  2. Chickens are great, you will never go back to store bought and I would recommend that everyone in the world raise their own… but the dog is an issue. My experience has shown that a dog with a “strong prey drive” doesn’t change its stripes, and it will find a way to get at them. I’ve heard of methods to break it but it involves tying a dead chicken around the dogs neck, seems too much for me. We adopted a sweet dog, a border collie, but had to take him back because he could not control the urge, jumping a six foot fence as well as digging under it to get to them. Luckily our chickens were OK but we lost a duck and have one that will never fly again. Our neighbors have the same breed with no issues with their chickens, so it really seems to be specific to the dog. They also raised their dog from a puppy where as we adopted an adult, so it may be a factor that she was trained early with them. We have been fortunate with our other dog as he has never shown instinct to hurt them, he is half retriever half rottie but is well trained to leave them alone. I would be very hesitant to mix them, and if you get the chickens be VERY careful. Good luck and I hope you can find a safe way to add them to your household!

    • I’ve also heard of tying a dead chicken to the dog. I don’t plan on trying to integrate them. My main goal will be to keep the dog away. We plan on fencing off the part of the yard they will be in do hopefully that does the trick!

  3. We have a killer husky here on our urban homestead. Someday you will probably loose a chicken to your dog. You will make one tiny mistake and it will happen. It is important sometimes to remember that chickens are livestock…. In a few years they will stop laying well and right around that time they will start getting health issues. Then they go into a stewpot. It is unfair to keep an old sick bird around or to pawn it to someone else. Your dog just knows they’re food and wants them before they’re ready! Good fencing will go a long way toward keeping your chickens safe.

  4. I think chickens are a great start to trying to be more self reliant. They have portable chicken coop/pen designs that you can move around your yard and they can graze wherever and still be in their pen safe from predators

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