April 10, 2012

URBAN CHICKENS: Part 1 - What?

Posted by Ethne~

I may have mentioned before that one place I splurge in our grocery budget is eggs.  I buy eggs laid by free-range chickens.  I appreciate the idea that the chickens aren’t caged 24 hours a day and have time to run around and peck grain and pebbles, or whatever it is chickens do when they roam free.  I also like that free-range eggs are brown with nice yellow yolks.  The $2 difference in price is totally worth it to me.

But even better…my friend, RM (and her hubby G and daughter A), has her own chickens!  What’s this stroke of genius, you say?  That’s right, the next great thing since urban farming (a/k/a gardening) is urban chickens.  I think the term ‘urban chickens’ is HILARIOUS in and of itself.

RM's chickens are a motley 4-H
mix of Americanas

So here’s the s-coop.  [Yeah, I’m a laugh riot.]

Many cities and townships allow residents (even in regular residential neighborhoods) to have poultry.  Thrifty Nana (my mom) lives in a suburb of big city, MN, and the residential limits for the number of small farm animals is something like 100.  I have to say when I read the city ordinances, they seemed a little antiquated, but they did not prohibit chicken ownership.  I’m pretty sure the neighbors might complain if TN had 50 hens and a couple of roosters clucking and crowing around in her back yard.  But 2 or 3 hens – I’m all for it.  TN says she’ll wait till she retires in 2 years before she gets any chickens; I’ll continue to nag about it though since I think it’s awesome (and also since I have a way better chance of convincing TN to have chickens than I do my own sweet husband).

I told TN that the girls' play house would make a FABULOUS hen house.

And won’t Easy Mac and KD LOVE IT?  There’s nothing TN loves more than spoiling her grandbabies.  I don’t think I’ve played this angle in my pro-chicken-ownership campaign yet.  Hmmm.

So I’m going to do a little blog mini-series about RM’s urban chickens.  She calls her little clutch “R Chickens”.  I love it.  You’ll flip when you hear about the expensive (and/or totally creative and thrifty) chicken coops out there; the breeds of chickens available are CRAZY.  I did a Wikipedia search on the types of chickens R Chickens has and I couldn’t believe there was so much I had no idea I didn’t know.  And, of course, I’ll tell you about the fresh farm eggs I’ll have access to whenever I want (when the chicks R Chickens is raising now turn into hens and start producing more eggs).  I’ll get the beauty of fresh free-range, organic, multi-colored (hello, pink!!!) eggs with their golden yolks and I won’t even have to enter a grocery store.

Aren't they lovely?

I will make RM promise to take lots of pictures of her current hens, Gravy, Ugly Mary, Auburn and Little Red, and her rooster Whitey.  And I PROMISE she’ll take us lots of pictures of R Chicken’s chicks (though she said right now they’re kinda homely with pinheads and scraggly adult feathers coming in).  And you can sleep soundly tonight knowing that RM knows me well enough that she’ll take lots of pics of Auburn and Little Red’s PINK EGGS.

RM (in pink of course!), Wolfie (her dog), TN and friends at one of our
Twilight parties

Get ready WOMS!

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