Thursday, June 26, 2014

Backyard Chicken Keeping

In case you haven't noticed, I don't have any real theme for this blog. Yet. I'm still throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. I mainly throw the stuff that bounces around in my head all day and must. get. out. All five of you out there reading this know what I'm talking about. {hi, honey!}

So today, I'm going in a completely different direction and talking about backyard chickens. And why you need them. Because chickens are awesome. 

1. They Poop Gold
Okay, not really. Think of it as garden gold. I've tried for years to compost. Yeah. Not happening. I always end up with something akin to sludge. I know I need to turn it more, aerate it, yada yada yada. But quite frankly, ain't nobody got time for that. Or the money for one of those fancy composters. Chickens are extremely efficient composters. Scraps in, fertilizer out. It's quite a lucrative arrangement. For both parties. I still have a compost pile, but it only gets what the chickens can't or won't eat (and that's a short list, lemme tell you). 

2. Fresh Eggs
If you weren't sold at fresh poop, how about fresh eggs? Have you had a fresh egg recently? A real, honest to goodness, just pooped out of the hen egg? No? You're missing out. Life is not the same after you've had a fresh egg. Those pale, runny imposters at the grocery store are not fresh. I promise you that. Eggs from a backyard hen are amazing. The yolks are vibrant, almost neon, and the whites are thick and strong. They are even better for you

3. Free Entertainment 
You think I'm kidding? I'm not. Chickens are hilarious. At least for people with no cable or satellite. Ahem. I stand around and watch their antics with a goofy grin that only another chicken owner can understand. It won't be long before you are dubbed the "crazy chicken _____" anyway, so you might as well enjoy them!

4. Simple to House
You don't need a fancy, Pinterest worthy coop to house them in (But a girl can dream!). Just something that keeps the foxes out and the chickens in. I speak from experience. Keep an eye out for an old rabbit hutches, dog boxes and dog pens. They can all be modified to create a cozy home for your ladies and are often set on the curb when no longer "needed"...if you know what I mean.

5. Roosters are Optional
Speaking of don't need a rooster. Nope. Not unless you want chicks. Which you don't. If you want to stay sane that is. Roosters aren't always aggressive and mean, but they are always loud and obnoxious. Skip the rooster. Because roosters don't crow when you think they should. And it's not just once at the crack of dawn. Oh no, it's all. day. long. 

One warning, chickens are addictive. They are also the gateway drug to self sufficiency. Because once you have raised your own food you just want more. Before you know it you will be dreaming up a way to hide a Jersey cow from you HOA. Which isn't possible by the way. So stick to the chickens. For now at least. 

This post is linked up at The Homestead Barn Hop.

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