Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why Chickens?

The first thing that got us really interested in having control over where our food comes from was the documentary Food, Inc (go here to watch the trailer). Needless to say, I HIGHLY recommend it. If you haven't seen it, stop what you're doing right now and go rent the film. I'm serious. It completely changed our attitude towards food and we have never been the same.

Right after watching the documentary we felt pretty overwhelmed. Where do we start? We knew we had to change our eating habits, but after 25 years of fast food and processed meals it seemed impossible to make a change.

First item on the agenda - start growing our own vegetables. The only way to know where your food comes from is to have complete control over it, from seed to harvest. But what else could we do? David had chickens and ducks growing up and knew they weren't hard to raise, so he suggested that we get some hens to keep in the backyard to have our own supply of fresh eggs.

Of course, being a city girl through and through, my first thought was, "Chickens? Ewww! They poop everywhere and are so stinky! Why on Earth would I ever want to have chickens in my back yard?!" But David was really interested in this idea, so we researched it. Turns out there was a growing interest throughout the US in urban chicken keeping. The online forum, Backyard Chickens, became our go to source for all of our questions.

We decided to take the plunge and ordered our eight baby chicks online from My Pet Chicken (yes, we ordered them online and they came in the mail - it blew my mind!).

And I instantly fell in love.

I couldn't believe how fast they grew! I literally had to take pictures a couple times a week to catch all the changes they were going through.

This was at 10 weeks old!
Beautiful feathers at 26 weeks old.

And the gorgeous eggs! Most of the girls were laying by 26 weeks.

The hens do produce delicious and beautiful eggs, but more than that, they have been such a source of joy for me. I had no idea a chicken could be a pet, but they make wonderful pets! Mine will jump up on my shoulder or climb in my lap for cuddle sessions. They are very talkative and social and it is really interesting to see how they interact with each other. They're always good for a laugh.

We added this rooster to the flock after moving to the new place.

I was pretty against getting the chickens in the first place, but I am unbelievably glad we did. We've learned so much about chickens in the past two years and I almost feel like a chicken whisperer! Sadly, we have already lost two of our original eight hens and it was really hard on me. But it's part of the gig, and I've learned to accept it. Apparently chickens usually live to about 7 or 8 years old (unless they are like this one!), so I plan on having lots of time with the others. :)



  1. I still need to check out that movie. When did a 2nd chicken pass away? And which gal was it?

  2. Aster B passed away on June 14, two weeks after we brought the chickens out to the new place. The day before she died I even took her to the vet and got medicine for her, but she was so sick that she couldn't hold out any longer. I haven't really talked about it yet because it was very upsetting :( She's the one I'm cuddling with in the 2nd to last picture.

  3. Awww,that's a bummer. Pets really do become like family members.


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