Saturday, May 1, 2010

Raising Chickens

Yep. We are raising chickens!

For years Mike and I have talked about having a few laying hens. With having young children, we thought that we just couldn't handle raising more little lives. :) We realized that we didn't want to keep putting aside our small homesteading dreams just because of our "stage of life".

So I checked out a few books from the library. Then I talked to two local friends who raise chickens AND children to get a realistic perspective on what the daily rhythm would look like. I found some helpful websites and entertaining blogs. And then we headed to a local feed and seed and found our little chicky peeps. Six Little Women to be exact.

It has been incredibly easy.

The sistahs are living it up in a Rubbermaid bin with a small feeder, waterer, pine shavings, and a heat lamp in my master bathtub! We make sure their water and food is clean and filled twice a day and change their shavings twice a week. That's it! We have an old dog pen in the backyard that we are converting to the coop quarters and will be moving them out there in the next week. We take them outside every few days for about 30 minutes of fresh air and roaming and exploring. I love it!

Every time we make one small simple step towards a more self-sufficient lifestyle, it feels very liberating and empowering. Living sustainably and knowing where your food comes from is such an exciting adventure. Homesteading isn't just for farmers or families who own a few acres. There are backyard homesteads everywhere and people are growing their own food on teeny-tiny plots of land in urban areas!

If "getting back to the land" and simple living interests you, don't let your location keep you from your dream. Start small with containers of veggies grown on your back porch or apartment balcony. Grow herbs on a windowsill. Bake some sourdough bread and try making your own yogurt. Make your own cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, and deodorant. Put up a clothesline. Plant a blueberry bush. Raise some urban chickens!

Start with where you are and what you have. Keep it simple.

Fresh eggs, anyone?

**by the way, I just finished this great book that I found in the library...a quick and fun read on small-scale homesteading!**

photo credit


Beth said...

I love this! We've talked about raising chickens for a year or so now. I think we're getting ready to take the plunge. I look forward to following along as you raise your girls.

SimplyMe said...

Inspiring post! I love how you described them living in your bathtub - that is dedication, but it shows it can be done. When people think "Las Vegas," the first image that pops to mind isn't a veggie garden, but it's exactly what we have in suburban Las Vegas. It's year two and everything is already looking wonderful. I won't have to buy tomatoes, carrots, chives, basil or peppers until October. Love it!

Domestic Accident said...

We've been keeping chickens for a year. I can't remember the last time I bought eggs, and it is an incredible learning experience for the kids. We love it.

Good luck. I bet you continue to find it gratifying!

Teri H said...

We recently got chickens for the first time too! Mine are now 9 and 11 weeks old...

The author of the book you mentioned has a blog too!

Bonita said...

My next door neighbor has chickens. Even though he has a fence they rarely stay at home, but much prefer life in our gravel driveway. I guess I'm homesteading by association.

Rae Grant said...

I really like chickens and wish we had space for them. So glad to learn about your blog via simplekids.

Aimee said...

Bonita, I LAUGHED SO HARD at your comment!! "Homesteading by association"...hilarious. Yes, another cardinal rule of keeping chickens is to talk to your neighbors FIRST! :)

drucillastitches said...

I just came across your blog and I'm so's great! We have been talking of raising chickens and your information is very helpful, thanks for sharing!!

Ann Kroeker said...

I want to raise chickens, but I live in a subdivision that has a "covenant." We agreed to and signed the covenant about 10 years ago when we moved in.

You can imagine that the covenant said something along the lines of "Absolutely no chickens." I can't remember the legal wording.

I guess clucking could lower property values or quality of life. Whatever.

If I move out to my parents' farm, however, I could have as many chickens as I could ever want. And a cow. And horses. And goats.

For now, we're staying put in the neighborhood and buying our eggs from a small farm down the road.

Enjoy those eggs!

Aimee said...

Yes Ann, I am amazed at the number of restrictions neighborhoods tend to have (I have seen that many don't even allow clotheslines...what?!) And even city ordinances can be ridiculous when it comes to have chickens or other animals. We Americans seem to like things neat, tidy, quiet, and BORING! :)

Jayme, The Coop Keeper said...

Oh Aimee! I'm so happy for you! I know how fun and exciting it is when you first start. I'm still in love with my flock and want MORE. This is a great post, one step at a time is the way to go.

tonia said...

yippee!! i adore our chickens...and the ducks too. i always smile when they come trotting down the path. they even wait at the back door now for us to throw out a handful of oats to them. so cute!

btw, i just finished that book too. she has a blog, in case you didn't see it: