Chickens don’t require much room to thrive. I have a postage stamp of a backyard, and that’s plenty of space for my two hens.
I use an old dog house for a coop (where the birds sleep at night), and let the chickens out in my fenced yard during the day. Most chickens don’t fly much, so they never leave the yard. But you might need additional fencing to protect chickens from the dogs and raccoons that will be tempted to prey on them.
Watching the chickens’ interactions and behavior is very entertaining — curious children in my urban neighborhood often drop by my backyard “farm.”
Trading Earwigs for Eggs
Chickens are easy to care for, too. Their principal diet consists of the pests and weeds in my yard. I provide fresh water and feed to supplement their backyard pickings.
Since getting my two chickens, I’ve seen reductions in slugs, snails and earwigs — not to mention dandelions and other weedy plants. I compost the chicken droppings into excellent fertilizer for my garden.
Each hen lays an egg every day-and-a-half. The eggs that my chickens lay are delicious, with bright yolks and strong shells — and they don’t require factory farming, packaging or long-distance trucking.
Raising your own hens lowers your carbon footprint and your slug population — and it’s a whole lot of fun!