Here’s the backstory on our chickens.
For about a year, we went back and forth on whether or not we wanted chickens. Towards January 2009, I decided NO, we were NOT getting chickens. I was feeling overwhelmed with a new baby and having to figure out how to get my business back in full swing after taking time off for the baby. It wasn’t that I didn’t think I could take care of them – I just wasn’t sure of the ins and outs on keeping within the law, and I didn’t know anybody who owned chickens in DM.
Then, a group of folks I know all started thinking about getting chickens and, suddenly, the idea seemed much easier. Other people were reading the law, too, and trying to figure it out. After hemming and hawing about it for a while, my husband came home from work one day and told me “it’s decided, we’re getting chickens. Stop worrying about it.” So, there you have it.
Our chicks arrived some time in May, but we had a weeklong vacation scheduled for early June, and so Abby (friend who owns an acreage and her own chickens, and who ordered our chicks for us) kept them out at her place until we got back. In the meantime, we got busy making their awesome coop.
I designed the coop and built it with help from my husband. It’s portable and, I believe, predator-proof. At least, our resident raccoon hasn’t eaten them yet. We move it to different spots on the lawn every few weeks, and then I seed the bare spot that’s left behind with herbs, lettuce, or grass.
Two of our original three birds were, in fact, roosters, so we swapped them out for hens from Abby’s house towards fall. We weren’t expecting eggs until spring, but all three girls started laying eggs in the dead of our incredibly cold and harsh winter.
This year, we have the original three egg-layers, and we decided to add another 25 birds, as well. We’ll keep 3-4 of those birds for eggs, and eat the rest. They have their own coop, but as they get older, we’ll move the hens we’re keeping in with the other egg layers.
I’ll put up some pictures of the meat birds at their coop tomorrow!