Chickens and Bees

6:00 AM

Chickens and Bees!  I don't have either.  I want both.  I've got room for both.  I've got a site to place bees all picked out.  I think it would be perfect.  I'm considering a site for chickens.  Both would make my little homesteading in the city a bit easier.

I fully expect to have bees next spring.  Chickens are a whole other story.

I just read Keeping Chickens by Ashley English.  And we recently visited a friend of my parents who has chickens.  Corrine could hear the chickens as we walked through the backyard, but the look on her face as we walked through the chicken coop was priceless.  Too bad I was carrying her and didn't have my camera out.

I have a list in my head of pros and cons of keeping chickens.  The top of my list of course is eating eggs that I know exactly where they came from.  And the eggs don't get any fresher than walking out the back door and gathering them.  I like the idea of being self sufficient (although we aren't nor will we be), but this is a step in that direction.  Actually if I am honest eating fresh eggs is the only pro on my list.

There are two cons on my list and they are equally big ones.   We have two big dogs.  As Bryan questioned what would I do if Buffett got to the chickens?  He said (and probably true) I'd cry like a baby.  The other important consideration to take in is my  job.  Who's going to take care of my chickies when I'm on an overnight trip?  And we do love to travel.  It's one thing to have a pet sitter for the fur kids, but would she take care of the feathered ones as well?

I've given the care issue a little thought.  A type of chicken co-op.  I think work in exchange for eggs is a good deal.  Corrine's babysitter grew up on a farm and is familiar with that type of work.   I should discuss it with her first before I go ahead making plans.    That leaves the dog issue.

In the meantime we are getting fresh eggs from a co-worker of Bryan's.

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2 comments

  1. I want bee's too, but I am highly allergic and can't talk Mike into getting them, believe me I've tried. Chickens I do have, along with ducks, bunnies and dogs. Really, if you do it right the dogs won't bother the chickens and as for care, you can get large containers for food and water so leaving them overnight is not a problem. I say go for it!

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  2. We have a dog at my parent's house and she has never bothered the chickens other than to occasionally chase one when she is feeling playful. If they have their own house it shouldn't be a problem at all. If you want for them to get out to eat bugs and grass, a "chicken tractor" might be the thing for you. I would try three chickens to start out (that is the optimal number we have found). I would also recommend that you start off with Rhode Island Reds because they are very friendly and hardy. Reds are also not "straight run" meaning that it is easy for you to reliably only get hens. On short trips we have a timed feeder and waterer, for longer we have a neighbor care for them which only takes a few minutes. I wish you luck, I believe that they are well worth the effort.

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I love your comments. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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