When most people think of homesteading in the city, or a town they usually think backyard chickens. I know I did, in fact it was the first thing that really drew me towards this idea of living off my land and creating a simpler life for myself.
“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka,
Wanting to raise my own chickens comes down to just a few points for me really.
- Eggs Taste Better – They just do. I don’t know how they taste better, and can’t really describe it but they do. Trust me, they just have more flavour than one you would find at the store. It’s hard to explain really but if you get the chance to try one please do, you’ll notice the difference as many others have.
- It’s not just the taste though, it’s also about knowing where my eggs are coming from. It’s also why I grow my own tomatoes, and other food. I want to know that the chickens are able to roam free, that they have a healthy diet, and they are not exposed to hormones and steroids. What happens to the chickens affects the eggs.
- Chickens Taste Better – Though I don’t know if I could butcher my own chickens I know that free range chickens taste better than the poor animals in cramped conditions and given who knows what to eat and grow. It freaks me out to think of what it is we are actually putting into our bodies.
- It’s Personal – For some time I grew up on a farm. I loved it. I had my own horse, we had a couple cows – really it was a dream. Looking back on those times I miss them so much, and I realize just how much I miss out on since I’ve left that lifestyle.
- Purpose – I loved being able to come home and have something to do that meant something. Feeding the animals that depended on me, looking after their needs and knowing in the end they would ultimately be the ones providing for us. Giving us milk, eggs and meat.
- Some of my favourite memories of the farm life were the baby chicks and ducks. I’m pretty sure there has never been anything more adorable in the history of cute babies. Those little balls of fluff were so adorable. I remember having a mother hen, we called her Honey. She was the most devote mother I’d ever met. She would sit on her eggs until every last one hatched, we would have to remove any bad eggs or she would never leave. She was such a great mother that she would hatch other chickens eggs as well. Desperate after one of other mother ducks had died we tried putting duck eggs in her nest. She hatched and raised them as her own. I remember watching her shriek at the side of our little man made pond we dug for the ducks. Her ducklings ran right to the water and jumped in. They swam around as long as they could until they couldn’t take her screams any longer. It was quite the sight to see a mother hen being followed around my ten little chicks and three ducklings.
Really I could share so many more stories of the farm life. Every aspect for me was a joy from birthing our first calf to cleaning out the barn – yes even cleaning out the barn!
I think the best part about raising chickens for me will be to have that bit of the country life back that I miss so much.
I hope to learn all I can about chickens and raising my own, after all it’s been a long time since I was on the farm and I don’t like to jump into anything. Once I do I will be sure to share any and all pictures of my lovely little brood. Until then I’d love to hear about any experiences you’ve had with your chickens, or maybe any thoughts you have on starting your own little chicken coop.