I’ve been reading about and been fascinated by the idea of backyard chickens for a while now. From Martha Stewart to MaryJane’s farm, to Susan Orlean’s great article in The New Yorker, “…they have undergone an image rehabilitation so astonishing that it should be studied by marketing consultant.”
Our experience in the Earthship made me a little more eager to get some chickens of our own. Last summer, Anchorage revised the ordinance and so now backyard chickens are allowed on smaller pieces of property; our 8,000 square foot yard can legally be home to four chickens.
Chicks were out of the question for us because our one year-old kitten is a great mouser and I believe those skills would naturally carry over into his dealings with the chicks. I ordered pullets, “teenage” chickens, but in the meantime posted an ISO on Craigslist for hens that are young but already laying. It turned out our new birds were living just over a mile away.
With my ad answered I then had about 2 days to get a coop and run ready for the chickens. I had already decided on trying to find an old playhouse (which I found for $40 through Craigslist) and renovating it. The family with the playhouse were kind enough to drop it off for me and, in the rain and even a little sleet, I screwed on hardware cloth, wood, and some other reinforcements. I’ll post more about the princess coop pictures another time, but here are a few pictures of it in progress.
The chickens are happy, and spend most of their time free-ranging in the backyard. I am exhausted still from the weekend so I’ll try to revise this post in the next couple of days. We’ve gotten three eggs each day and they are delicious.