Monday, January 23, 2012

deciding to get chickens

My poor husband really didn’t know what he got himself into marrying me.  In fact, it is interesting the amount of change that has happened in my thinking since we first started dating…13 years ago…wow that is a long time.  When we met I was pretty much a normal American, buy whatever at the grocery store, go out to eat all the time, make as many trips to the mall as humanly possible (I did go to college right next to a wonderful mall), yes, very much a consumer.  And then I studied economics in college and realized I was helping “the economy.”  I was a good person J

Now, however, I have changed my tune…although I am still up on the latest gadgets.  I am trying much harder to be healthy.  I have learned more than I ever thought possible over the past several years regarding food.  What the current food system is like, all the problems with the meat production in our country, the pesticides used.  I tell my sister-in-law frequently that I am destined to eat nothing at all, because everything is bad for you.

After I had Emma, and really while I was pregnant with her, I realized that I couldn’t feed her a lot of the foods that I had eaten all my life.  I wasn’t completely comfortable with her having dairy due to the growth hormones.  I didn’t want her to eat CAFO meat, because of the conditions the animals are raised in, and what they are fed.  I definitely didn’t want her to eat any vegetables that came out of Mexico, and then nothing that wasn’t organic and local to us. 

What ended up happening was that she had her own tastes.  I would roast an organic chicken that was raised 15 miles from my house, she didn’t like it.  I would buy excellent quality steak from a farmer at the farmers’ market; she had no desire to even try it.  I would make her eggs and she would gobble them up.  Clearly I have a vegetarian in the making.  I couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to eat steak, I love it.  Nope, all she wanted was eggs.

We could probably go through 4 dozen eggs in a week if I let her eat as many as she liked.  She can easily eat 4 hard-boiled eggs in one sitting.  And 4 dozen would be easy with a husband who works from home, a stay at home mama, and a 17 month old who will eat your fingers if you aren’t careful when passing food to him J  What is a person to do?  Free range eggs are expensive.  We pay $5/dozen for organic free range eggs from the farm…and with the amount of money I have in the budget for groceries, 4 dozen eggs a week is not realistic.

I decided that I wanted to get chickens.  Our city passed an ordinance allowing 6 hens, and I think that would be perfect for us, and if we need more eggs, we can get 6 more hens and put them at my mom’s house down the street…I’m sure she won’t mind J

My hope is to get chickens this spring, but I’m not sure that my husband wants to deal with said chickens.  I am trying to compromise by telling him we can buy pullets, hens that are ready to start laying, instead of starting from chicks.  A little less up front cost because we wouldn’t need to deal with the baby chicks.  Now, all I actually need him to do (in all of his spare time) is to build a chicken coop/run for the chickens.  I already have a place for them to go, I just need an enclosure for them.  I have told him that I will take care of the chickens, and he won’t have to worry about it at all.   All he has to do is build the structure.  I don’t even care if it is a pretty structure, just something that will keep them safe from predators. 

I am sure that Matt will have a rebuttal to this post, so if anyone has anything to add, I would love to hear it J  Mainly I would love to hear how fun/easy/enjoyable chickens are, and that they would be a good learning experience for my kiddos…not to mention the health benefits of getting eggs from our own yard!  But, if you have had a bad experience with chickens, I would love to hear that as well!

Linking up at the awesome barn hop today!


  1. Best wishes on your new adventure. It will be fun!

  2. I can't wait to see the little guys if you do it! How fun and educational!

  3. Yippee! I love our girls and they aren't even laying yet! Hub went along with my crazy idea---although we still have our makeshift coop and hopefully this spring will build something better. (Aka he will build something better!) He really enjoys talking to them and checking on them too, although yesterday I asked him to check on them and he reminded me they're MINE--- ;0 A LOOK later and a comment about the dogs being HIS and out he went. ;) They're entertaining....and yes, quite dumb....but adorable too! Congrats on getting them. Once they start laying---you'll appreciate them even more.

  4. My hubby was the same way when I said I wanted to build a coop and get chickens (we live very close to downtown Kansas City). He swore up and down that he wouldn't have anything to do with them. But as soon as those little chicks peeped their way into our lives, he couldn't resist them. The thing is..they really don't take that much effort to care for. Feed them, water them, and make sure they have shelter. I spend about 10 minutes a day, which is much less time than it takes to care for our 3 dogs!


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