Monday, April 27, 2009

Here a Cluck, There a Cluck

About 4 years ago, I decided to get some chickens. My husband and dad built a nice chicken house. It's of moderate size with several roosts and nest boxes. I think we started with about a dozen chickens. Over the years racoons, hawks, snakes, and cats wreaked havoc in our chicken yard. When our numbers dwindled, I'd buy a few more. Last year we had a terrible time with the coons, and eventually lost our last chicken to a hawk. Since I was busy with a new baby I didn't bother to replace them. Lately, though, I've been considering getting back into the chicken business.

We have an area fenced off around the chicken house. Originally we had a garden there (the fence was to deter deer and rabbits). The chickens roamed around the garden, eating all the pests off our plants. They didn't do too much damage to the plants. Since the chickens could fly over the fence we opened the gate and let them run around the yard, too. A little before dark they'd head back to their house. We had to shut them up at night in order to avoid serving an all-you-can-eat buffet to the racoons.

Chickens are fun to watch, especially banties (they're a miniature variety). No chickens are noted for their intelligence, but banties seem to be a little smarter. Olivia enjoyed feeding them and watching them (and chasing them). Jesse enjoyed watching them, too, even though he was tiny when we lost the last of them.

When you have chickens, it's nice to be able to run outside and grab some eggs. You know what they eat and that they run around outside all day, so you know they produce good eggs. Likewise, their meat should be healthier than what you can get at the grocery store. Also, chicken litter makes wonderful organic fertilizer.


  1. I LOVE our chickens :) I love chickens period :)

  2. I haven't had chickens since I was a little girl. I remember coons getting every one of our chicks one year. They didn't eat them though. They left a terrible mess in the coop. Since then, I've been worried about getting chickens. I do love the thought of fresh eggs though!

  3. Fresh eggs are delicious! Yeah, the coons have given us the most trouble. But our coons usually drag the chickens off into the woods and, I assume, eat them. Snakes tend to get our chicks. We've taken measures to deal with the snakes, but we're still not sure what to do about the coons. We trapped 6 or 7 last year and carried them off, but there are more out there.

  4. Hi (new here, just discovered Crunchy Bunch a couple of days ago.)

    I think keeping your own chickens is such a fantastic idea. I keep day dreaming about it.

    I'm curious about Plano's codes about chickens and such. I live in Frisco and keep wanting a few layers, but haven't looked into it yet. My HOA (oh how this country girl loathes living in a ticky-tacky HOA neighborhood!) probably doesn't allow them anyway.


  5. I don't know anything about Plano's or Frisco's codes (I'm close to Nacogdoches). Fortunately, I live out in the boonies :)

  6. Sorry, Rachel. I totally didn't realize there were multiple people posting when I wrote that. For some reason I was thinking you were in Plano. I blame my ditziness on hormones and lack of sleep these days :-)

  7. No problem, Emily, I COMPLETELY understand. My son is about to be 1 and he STILL gets up at least twice each night to nurse. Last night I think he woke up about 5 times!

  8. Hi Emily,

    I'm in McKinney and it depends on the neighborhood, but I've seen and heard the chickens in peoples yards. Some of the HOA's aren't too strict...I would look into it! I've never had chickens, but I've dreamed of having a coop too but hubby won't let me. :(

  9. What a meanie hubby, Alex. I'm sure he has other redeeming qualities, though. :-)

    Yeah, the little man still gets up 2-3 times too. He just turned 9 months. Oh well, one day I'll look back fondly on these days....