Well, it’s about time I introduced you to the ladies of the yard! This was our fourth summer sharing our city lot with chickens. It’s been an awkward dance, for sure, and a lot more work than we anticipated. That work comes mostly in the form of experimenting with trying to maximize our smaller space by combining the chicken coop with a greenhouse, or giving the chickens green space to forage while keeping a large vegetable patch. We couldn’t imagine a homesteading life without them, though. From their fluffy butts, to their goofy stares, daily songs, and incredibly awkward running, they bring a lot of liveliness and joy to our home, not to mention the delicious eggs AND soil-boosting poop!
We currently have eight chickens of four different types: Buff Orpington (the blondies in the back of the photo), Plymouth Barred Rock (the stripy butt in the foreground), Ameraucana (the black and gold speckled pair), and Cherry Egger (a Rhode Island Red and New Hampshire cross, with a red butt up in photo center).
This flock just turned one year old! We experimented with keeping baby chicks in the fall last year when we unexpectedly lost our entire flock to a strong, persistent and dexterous raccoon.
We love having baby chicks around, but it was really heartbreaking to lose our previous flock. They were our firsts, and had become much more to us than farm animals. They were loved like pets, we knew each personality, and even which egg belonged to who!
I’m not entirely sure why, but we are a lot less attached to the current flock. Perhaps that is for the best, though, as the battle with chicken predators is never-ending. This past week, two raccoons made a visit to the chicken yard that did end in bloodshed. Thanks to our beloved pit bull, it was not of the chickens, but of the raccoon! She came out with minor scratches and the chickens are all safe, thankfully.
We like to keep a variety of different breeds for the fun of it, I suppose. It’s really beautiful to see the different types all together, and the egg basket is more beautiful this way, too!
Do you keep chickens? What are your favorite breeds?