Raising Chickens: Feeling A Little Chicken

| 10/1/2009 12:33:45 PM

A photo of Shannon SaiaLast night, our modest quest for self-sufficiency took a drastic turn.

I mean, gardening – fine. Making bread from whole grain? Great. I’ve even got my own recipe for homemade dog treats. I almost have to. When you have a pack of dogs and you care as much about what goes into their body as you do about what goes into your own, that can get real expensive, real quick. And OK, I’ll admit it; awhile back I was telling my husband that I thought we should get some chickens for eggs. I was extolling the virtues of chickens. Our neighbor behind us, Mr. F, keeps chickens, I told him. They don’t smell if you take care of them. Mr. F showed me his chickens, and they don’t smell! I’m talking about just three or four chickens!

Repeatedly, he laughed at me, and told me there was no WAY that we were getting chickens. He drew the line at chickens.

And yet, I cannot PRY the Northern Tool and Equipment Catalogue out of his hands. What does that have to do with anything, you wonder? Well, nothing actually, but when you still have one foot in suburbia, and homesteading is something new to you, a mere couple of chickens don’t seem to be such a tremendous leap from wanting to buy a tractor.

That Mom might want chickens (and a goat for milk) has become something of a family joke. When I ordered six chickens from a local farmer, I can’t tell you how many times my husband said, “These chickens will be dead, right? These are dead chickens that you’re getting, right?” Honestly, I wanted to thump him on the head with one of those dead chickens by the time I got them home.

The farmer offered to bring me over a few in a cage in the bed of his pickup truck just to mess with him.

1/19/2010 6:24:40 PM

Resently moved to rural Pennsylvania, I found my corner of this coal area filled with frindly people who live close to the Earth. Invited to prepare chicken, my girlfriend volunteered. To her surprise, preparing chicken didn't mean seasoning them, but slaughtering them! What really made me smile was when she exclaimed, "I want to experience all that life has to offer, I never know what I might be missing if I don't experience something new". New experiences, new friends and a fuller life.

11/7/2009 4:05:42 PM

Great article. I too have "one foot of mine that’s still in suburbia (is) stuck fast in some recently poured concrete." We just moved from a city of almost 500,000 people to 95 acres in Vermont this year and I just convinced my husband to try turkey's and chickens next spring. It's an awesome responsibility. And I am exicted and terrified all at the same time. Looking forward to reading your journey. Pam

10/11/2009 3:55:39 PM

I know what you mean I always wanted chickens but the city ordinaces won't allow it. If I was given a chance then like you I would want to be prepared and read everything i could so I could do it just right-then I still would be nervous! vickie

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