Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Here a chick. There a chick. - Part Two

The chicken saga continues...

We have looked into zoning, deeds, etc.  And so far, so good.  Nothing legal saying we can't have a few feathered friends.  We aren't planning on a rooster or a big flock.  So noise ordinances also should not be an issue.

Now we are looking at the day to day needs to care for chickens.  A coop - obviously.  Something to keep any local cats, foxes, raccoons, and hawks from dining on the flock and/or our eggs.  The Man of the House is working up plans for a chicken tractor.  Don't know what a chicken tractor is?  Yeah, neither did I.  It's essentially a movable coop and chicken run.  If you want more details just google it.  You'll soon know more about chicken tractors and how they are made than you ever imagined possible. 

But I digress...  As I said, the Man of the House is working up rough plans for our personal chicken tractor.  This took a serious discussion on tractor vs permanent coop, and a walk around the yard to figure out the most ideal location.  Where would we like chickens to live?   Where would we like to live if we were chickens?  Would chickens be happy under the mulberry tree?  Would we be happy if they were closer to the peach and pear trees, or the garden?  Just as with human real estate - it's all about location, location, location.

We are now the proud owners of two books outlining the finer details of raising poultry.  I certainly never expected to be pouring over volumes on chicken care.  Not by choice at least.  But here I am - avidly learning about mail order chicks vs locally hatched, chicken feed, nesting boxes, dust baths, and avoiding pasty butt.  (Yes, pasty butt is a real thing - and not a good thing if you're a chicken.  Or probably anyone else for that matter.)

And then there are the chickens themselves.  Orpingtons?  Or Plymouth Rocks?  Laced Wyandottes, or Rhode Island Red?  Which breeds are calm and friendly, but also active layers?  Can they handle the cold winters and the hot summers we get?  This is more difficult than one might think!

And so we continue along the journey.  Stay tuned.  I'm sure there will be much more to come.

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