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i <3 my chickens

June 21, 2011

So here’s the post many of you have been waiting for; the chicken post. Keith and I have chickens. 5 to be exact. And yes we named them: Sasha, Prima, Lucy, Ruby and Rose (aka Rosie). They are hysterical and keep Keith and I laughing all day long. I have a soft spot in my heart for Rosie. She’s the runt of her litter and she has quite the personality. She lets us hold her and pet her and basically follows me around like I am her mama. Whenever I am in the backyard she is never more than a few feet from me. We think seriously that we may have gotten her too young and she has therefore imprinted on me. But I’m fine with that because she is adorable!!

Say Hi Rosie!

Anyway, we decided to get our chickens after attending the Funky Chicken Coop Tour in Austin a few months ago. Keith and I both eat a lot of eggs and after doing some research it seemed like a healthier option to have our own. They are truly free range. They have a chicken coop, that Keith built, but they only go in there at night to sleep and to lay eggs. Other than that they freely roam around my backyard eating bugs, earthworms and pests to their delight. We do supplement with an organic chicken feed and they also eat our scraps. Their top five favorite foods are apple cores, tomatoes, lemons, saltine crackers and WORMS! They love worms. Keith and I buy earthworms from a bait shop to give them as special treats (usually about once a week).

The chicken coop!

We do not have a rooster so all the eggs they lay are sterile. (as in they won’t hatch) We usually get 3 to 4 eggs a day.  We have 2 Rode Island Reds (Ruby and Rosie), 1 Araucana (Lucy) and 2 Black Sex Links (Sasha and Prima). There are definitely benefits of farm fresh eggs that are free range:

1) Less Cholesterol: There is, on average, a 1/3 less cholesterol in the free-range eggs.

2) Less Saturated Fat: They have been found to contain 25% less saturated fat that grocery store eggs.

3) More Vitamin A: Substantially more vitamin A which helps in all sorts of areas including vision, skin health, immune function, and so much more.

4) Extra Omega-3s: Almost double the Omega-3s!! Always a good thing!

5) They Just Taste Great: They taste a lot better than traditional eggs and their yolks are bright bright yellow!!

Here are all the girls minus Sasha

We have a fairly large backyard with a huge garden so the chicks have plenty of room to roam around and get lots of exercise! Keeping them out of the garden has proved difficult and if we don’t get the tomatoes off the vine fast enough they snag them! Remember I told you they LOVE tomatoes.

Our backyard...that is our garden up against the back fence.

They are eating our scraps!

It has definitely been a fun experience and I enjoy having them around. The one downside is they poop a lot. And I mean A LOT! We have to rinse our back patio down every night. When it gets cooler we might try to block the patio off but right now it is just too hot. We are in triple digits every day and our patio offers shade and we have ceiling fans to help keep them cool. We leave water bowls on the patio and they stand in them to cool off. It is quite cute! I have several videos of them (can you imagine what I will be like with children?? haha) and promise to post some another time. They are always good for a laugh!

What do you think about our urban chickens??

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32 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2011 7:35 am

    I think having chickens is an awesome idea. My best friend had a bunch until her dog got ahold of them. Whoops. Now she just has 2 ducks, which also lay some pretty tasty eggs.

    • June 21, 2011 3:36 pm

      I’ve never had duck eggs but I bet they would be good!

  2. June 21, 2011 8:15 am

    AHH! I’m sending this to my husband! I want to raise chickens too!! OMG! I love your set up and the chickens are SO cute! Definitely something we will be looking in to in the future! Can you estimate a cost for owning them and the set up? If you could email me: thehealthyapron@gmail.com, I would LOVE to hear more abou tthis!! Awesome Kelly!

    • June 21, 2011 8:21 am

      Hey Erin. I did email you but I am also posting the information here in case anyone else wants to know. It cost us about $100 to build the coop (those were the material costs, wood, screws, feed buckets, hay, etc.) and it took Keith about 3 days to build it. He used You Tube to find some videos on how to build them and decide what kind of design he wanted. Then the actual chickens were $15 a piece (we got them when they were 4 weeks old). The organic chicken feed costs about $25 a bag and a bag lasts us about a month. We get anywhere from 3 to 4 eggs a day. It is so much and the eggs taste amazing!!!

  3. June 21, 2011 8:54 am

    How fun!! I am obsessed with your little garden! I buy fresh eggs from one of our customers at work and you can definitely tell the difference between those and store bought! 😀

  4. June 21, 2011 8:57 am

    I think this is downright awesome!

  5. June 21, 2011 9:06 am

    I would love to have chickens, and if I had my own house (and if Lexie could avoid eating them) I would absolutely get some. I always knew their eggs were better than store bought, but I didn’t realize they were THAT much better. That’s kind of sad isn’t it?

  6. June 21, 2011 9:10 am

    No way!! That is SO awesome Kelly!!!

    I visit these hens, chickens and turkeys in the local park, I went yesterday with Alfie and they got all riled up clucking and “speaking” it was super cute. lol

  7. June 21, 2011 9:13 am

    Awww I LOVE Rosie! She’s so adorable.

    Also, I’m seriously jealous that you have chickens!! There has to be nothing better than being able to have fresh eggs whenever you want. What do you do with them in the colder weather? Is their coop insulated or do they get to share the house with you and Keith 😉

    • June 21, 2011 9:52 am

      Since I’m in Texas the heat is actually scarier than the cold. Chickens are fine in temps well below freezing so they will fine this winter. It is the summer and these 100+ degree days that are rough…they can only shed so many feather! Poor things!

  8. June 21, 2011 9:47 am

    This is amazing. I LOVE this post!!! I have always wanted chickens in my backyard, and this makes me so excited to be able to have them one day! They are all beautiful 🙂

  9. June 21, 2011 10:29 am

    What a cool experiance to have your own free range chickens!!!

  10. June 21, 2011 11:44 am

    I love that my boyfriend and your chicken have the same name… haha! Just spelled differently. lol

    Anyway, I LOVED having chickens growing up! The eggs truly are WAY better tasting and it’s so fun to have those little guys running around the yard, following you and such. 🙂 I love that you just did a post on them. Fun to see the coop and damn, you really do have a great yard!

    • June 21, 2011 2:29 pm

      Oh I love our yard…Keith is really the one who takes care of it and makes it look so good. He deserves a lot of the credit!

  11. June 21, 2011 1:06 pm

    They’re adorable! Will they be good freely roaming outdoors all year? I love how well you keep yours.

    • June 21, 2011 1:21 pm

      Yup…we plan to let them free roam all year round. We rotate the location of their coop around the yard to help with fertlization (from their poop) but we don’t ever plan to leave them locked up.

  12. June 21, 2011 1:09 pm

    Awesome! Are you able to eat all of the eggs they produce? Are they loud or stinky? I’m just trying to come up with all my answers for the day I start the pressure to get some of our own! 🙂

    • June 21, 2011 1:24 pm

      We do eat all the eggs they produce. We usually get 3 to 4 a day and between me and Keith we can easily eat that. They aren’t loud at all. Because we don’ thave a rooster…they are very quiet. They do cluck occasionally when we are in the backyard with them but not loud at all. As for the stink….they don’t smell but they do poop a lot and the poop can smell. We simply scoop up some of the biggest quantities (like inside the coop) just like you would dog poop but for the most part it really isn’t that bad at all. We spray down the patio every night and that helps a lot!!

  13. June 21, 2011 3:02 pm

    That is so amazing! We have neighbors that have the same set up and it’s so funny to see the chickens just chillin’ in the backyard. I bet the eggs taste great!

  14. June 21, 2011 3:20 pm

    My parents new neighbors have chickens and it’s so random to hear them clucking in the ‘burbs. So if you ever bought my parents house (ha) you could be chicken neighbors. As for me, you know I’ll pass on eating eggs but I’m glad you like them – ha! I don’t ever really even remember eating eggs at Mamaw and Pops’ house with ALL their chickens…even before I vehemently hated eggs…I guess I was just never a fan. It’s so weird how much worse it got during pregnancy (and stayed afterwards). Even now, 2 years later, I still can barely even be around the smell. Weird, huh?

    • June 21, 2011 3:33 pm

      I hope when I get pregnant I develop a severe hatred for peannut butter! ha! When there is an open jar around I am like a fiend!

      Oh and one more reason to buy your parents house! #mydream!

  15. June 21, 2011 3:22 pm

    My mom and I were just talking about how people from our hometown are buying chickens! She told me how the eggs are all different colors and how people are giving each other eggs. I think this is great..emailing it to my mom as we speak!

    • June 21, 2011 3:32 pm

      All of out chicks lay brown egss except Lucy…her eggs are blue! An aqua-blue like the color of equal packets. It’s pretty cool although I can find a taste difference between hers and the other brown layers.

  16. June 21, 2011 3:39 pm

    Those chickens are adorable! Congrats 🙂

  17. June 21, 2011 4:29 pm

    omgsh that coop is soo awesome Kellly! Hhaaha, this is funny b/c my friend from school has a ZOOOOOO OF BIRDS IN HER HOME!! She has at least 100 birds including chickens. It’s so funny b/c she’s Jewish too! Is there a pattern here? 😛

  18. June 21, 2011 5:20 pm

    This looks like so much fun! If I didn’t live in a little studio with no outdoor space, I would definitely like to give this a try! Some day, I guess 🙂

  19. June 21, 2011 6:23 pm

    Those chickens are AWESOME!! We almost built a chicken coop, but our neighbors “chickened” (hehe) out when we were supposed to build it.

  20. June 21, 2011 8:11 pm

    This? IS AWESOME! I love that you name them.

  21. June 22, 2011 12:05 am

    This is so dang cool! My mom teaches at a preschool that has a chicken coop (I think the have 5, too) – and they teach the kiddos about where eggs come from, and they let them collect the eggs each morning. I think it’s such an awesome learning experience for kiddos – not to mention fun and healthy for you guys, too!

  22. June 29, 2011 3:33 pm

    HOW oh HOW did I miss this?!?
    Ahhhh this is so awesome!
    I just texted Craig to ask him if we could please get chickens, but ONLY girl chickens…no hatching going on here! haha! He texted me back & said ‘Little Jerry Seinfeld.’ I have no idea if you are a Seinfeld fan, but if you are I thought this would give you a laugh 😀

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