Getting Our Flock: Backyard Chickens

I have been wanting backyard chickens since I moved to this house with its big yard 6 years ago. This year, we took the plunge. The timing seemed right because the bylaws just changed this spring making it easier for people to have backyard flocks, and because we have a child now who will learn about living a self sufficient lifestyle through collecting eggs every day. 

My wife set to work building the coop. It’s still not done, but the framing is done, insulation is done, walls are up… We still have to put siding and shingles on, and then build the outdoor run. But I knew I had to get started looking for hens if we wanted to have them at all this summer. 

I searched for a while for ready to lay hens (they don’t start laying eggs till they are at least 6 months old). But I wanted specific breeds so we could get that Instagramable colourful assortment of eggs… Those proved very difficult to find in a 6 month old bird. 

Finally, I found a farmer not too far away who has chicks in all the varieties I was looking for, and he will keep them on hold (for a mere $0.50/week) until they no longer need to live under a heat lamp and can come live in our coop. So I placed my order, and we are expecting them some time around mid June. Plenty of time to get the coop done, and done right. We won’t have eggs until fall or possibly next spring, but we will get to bond with really young chickens, so that’s a bonus. 

I ordered: 

  • Ameraucana chick who will lay blue eggs
  • Marans chick who will lay dark chocolate brown eggs
  • Olive Egger who will lay olive green eggs
  • Buff Brahma (with feathered toes) who will lay common light brown eggs

I am SO excited. There will be pictures a plenty when we finally get them home. 

6 thoughts on “Getting Our Flock: Backyard Chickens”

  1. Aah, I loved having chickens. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I’ll just have to live vicariously through you until we get to that point where we can have chickens again. They love kitchen scraps, especially fish, and omg watching them go to town on a cold watermelon in the summer is hilarious. Are you going to let them roam at all or keep them safe in the coop? Depends on what kind of predators you have in your area, of course. Oh and the poop! Such good fertilizer!
    …sorry, I might have gotten a little excited. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the excitement! I’m so psyched! We don’t have a fenced in yard so we are building a big run (10′ x 4′). The run is fenced with 1/2″ welded wire (not chicken wire) because we have racoons and weasels to watch out for. We will let them out to roam free when they are trained and used to us only when we are also outside with them, so no one wanders onto the road. I have a Pinterest board loaded up with ideas to keep them from getting bored, and giving them a watermelon is on there I think!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I want chickens! It’ll never happen while we live in LA, but maybe someday. My SIL has a large flock that is so cool. I can’t wait to take Charlotte to SIL’s ranch–hopefully sometime soon. Have you ever seen https://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/ ? She has chickens and she writes about raising them with a ton of detail and information.

    Liked by 1 person

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