My folks are visiting from where they live just outside DC. It's their first chance to spend extended time with the chooks, and they seem to have moved beyond the bemused stage to show actual interest in how we're getting along as urban chicken farmers. If only we had some fresh eggs to seal the deal, I think they might even get a couple of their own back home (riiiiiight!).
As Dad and I were watching the chickens chase bugs in the backyard yesterday afternoon, he casually mentioned, "you know, poultry's in your genes..." Um, beg pardon?
Turns out my great grandfather Turquette used to raise turkeys in downtown Dallas just a few generations ago.
So, that means the poultry-raising jumped three generations to get to me. Here I thought poultry-farming was easy, but it turns out the skill's inherited.
I wonder what other talents I got from the Turquette side of the family?
UPDATE: Now Mom's chimed in to say her cousin, Joy, raised chickens in Dallas, and Mom remembers the regular visits to see the flock in their yard. But Joy's family raised them for meat, not for eggs. (We won't tell Sophia and ZsuZsu this little family story).
Looks like you're really enjoying being a poultry "farmer" yourself! I ran across your blog while searching for info on raising chickens in the city. Did you find any particular books or other resources helpful in planning? I was intrigued by the Eglu, but I'm in Chicago and it gets mighty cold in the winter. I wasn't sure if the Eglu could provide enough protection from the cold. I'm also interested in having up to 4 laying hens (or a combo of 2 hens and 2 laying ducks), and I think an Eglu is too small for that. (I figure that as long as I can provide my neighbors with some fresh eggs, too, they won't complain. Although it IS legal in Chicago to have chickens in your backyard.) Any info you'd like to share would be much appreciated!
Hi Linda, welcome to Urban Chickens! I am, indeed, enjoying raising our two hens.
The book I found most helpful was Barbara Kilarski's Keep Chickens (citation here, paragraph 4). And nothing I've read in her book has differed from my own experience (so far).
I've found the Eglu to be the perfect solution for us here in a temperate climate, and I can see it holding four hens. I'd look to others for advice about cohabiting hens and ducks, as I'm not too sure the space requirements for ducks, nor how the pecking order would sort out.
As to the cold winters in Chicago, I'd recommend you spend some time on The Poultry Site Forums in the health and welfare section. A search on "winter" looks like it brings up a lot of great info to help you prepare. Luckily, it doesn't get below freezing here (not that I'm rubbing it in or anything).
Let me know what you decide to do, but rest assured, it's great fun to have chooks of your own, even where it's legal to do so!
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