Stories From Backyard Poultry Class


| 3/12/2010 4:21:16 PM


Tags: Chickens,

A photo of Shannon SaiaThis year we’re really stepping up the gardening effort; tilling up more yard, thinking things through a little more. We have some definite goals when it comes to preservation, particularly of tomato products. Producing some amount of one’s own food is never insignificant. But I think that you really cross the line from gardener to backyard homesteader when you start adding livestock.

We started talking about chickens last fall. Since then I’ve done some research. I’ve joined a Yahoo forum. I’ve traveled to a nearby county to meet a nice lady and her chickens. And this past weekend I took a class in keeping backyard poultry.

I will say that I don’t feel exactly the same way about this whole enterprise as I did this past fall. When we first talked about getting chickens we were thinking only about eggs, and I certainly didn’t think that I could ever actually eat chickens that lived here. But after learning a little more, and knowing that because of zoning restrictions I can only keep 2 adult birds on the property, it’s really important to me that the two chickens we have are going to lay.

Plus, my research indicates that a chicken’s natural life span could be up to 15 years. Fifteen years is a serious commitment. It’s big. It’s like getting two more dogs.

Um ... NO.

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t want to make a 15-year commitment to an individual chicken – not when they’re only going to lay eggs for me for four or five years, tops. So these days I’ve been giving some serious consideration to the stewpot.

s.m.r. saia
4/16/2010 2:20:07 PM

Thanks Sky!


sky
3/26/2010 1:15:21 PM

Shannon, I have just discovered your blog and appreciate your writing skill and the valuable information you are sharing. I am a city-transplant to the country so I need all the help I can get about how to do this country-living thing. I'll be following your blog closely. Thanks again, Sky


s.m.r. saia
3/19/2010 7:39:53 AM

Thanks so much Colleen, Susan and Rebekah for reading along and I try to balance determination with intimidation! Rebekah, thanks for that offer, which I will probably take you up on!!!!!


becky and andy
3/18/2010 2:03:25 PM

Hey, Shannon, love your sense of humor about this. Chickens can be intimidating, but you have taken way more prep steps than we ever did. I think you'll be more prepared than you even realize. Chickens are very forgiving animals...all the way to the stew pot. :-) As you know, we took on brooding chicks this winter and we really only experienced that for the first time last summer, so there is always something to learn. I have a friend from Michigan that got Goldens. She is very happy with them. If you have questions about free-ranging them, shoot us an email! Becky


susan_7
3/15/2010 10:18:16 AM

Shannon, thanks for taking us through your process of learning more about backyard chickens. We've been thinking about it, but haven't seriously considered it yet, so haven't taken any actual steps. I'm always inspired by people who forge ahead even when they aren't 100% sure about their abilities or knowledge. Susan GRIT blog: Close to the Earth in Alaska


susan_7
3/15/2010 10:12:19 AM

Shannon, thanks for taking us through your process of learning more about backyard chickens. We've been thinking about it, but haven't seriously considered it yet, so haven't taken any actual steps. I'm always inspired by people who forge ahead even when they aren't 100% sure about their abilities or knowledge. Susan GRIT blog: Close to the Earth in Alaska


almost country_1
3/13/2010 9:05:21 AM

I will be watching your blog with interest to see how this all works out! I too am interested in having chickens, and it's great to have you several steps ahead of me. Thanks for sharing! Colleen





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