In the summer of 2007 I visited my cousin in Boise, ID. Janice and her husband live on a couple of acres where besides a lush welcoming yard which is watered with recycled water, they have room for a steer and a chicken coop with run. It is not surprising that Janice keeps chickens, collecting the eggs each day. She was raised on a farm on Whidbey Island where her parents kept a smattering of livestock including chickens. I envied her then and now.
It was last summer that the idea of our keeping chickens began to hatch in my brain. I told my husband that I wanted to turn the cobwebbed plywood playhouse in our wild backyard into a chicken coop. I expected my urban-loving husband, who gets irritated by our pets, to think my mind had flown the coop. It was one of those musings you give voice to without the expectation that anything will come of it.
While I was 150 miles away this year taking care of my mother who was recovering from an illness, Dave phoned to inform me that he and my middle son were making plans for the backyard and it was to include a chicken coop and run. I was pleasantly surprised by his enthusiasm. So we are embarking on chicken parenthood. Like most adoptive parents we are reading books about chicken rearing and articles off the Internet and asking my cousin lots of questions. Somewhere my grandparents are laughing. That’s okay. I’ve got a couple of sons who will as well.
I am asking the Neighborhood for information regarding this adventure and will share our progress as we venture forth. Do you keep chickens? If you do, please comment as to how many and what breed you have, where you get them, and how best to retrofit a 4X6 ft. play-shed for chickens.