I’m starting to succumb to the backyard chicken movement. Do you have chickens in your garden? I may soon.
When I started blogging about your home kitchen garden, it hadn’t occurred to me that there would be an enthusiastic gardening community well-established on-line. Moreover, chickens were not in my thinking.
Chickens? As I’ve become familiar with on-line gardening resources, I’ve “met” gardeners of nearly every stripe. Some garden primarily to produce food. Others garden to surround themselves with flowers and ornamental plants. I’ve met people whose gardens are metaphors for their lives, some who relate to gardening spiritually, and others who dig in their gardens simply to escape the grind of corporate jobs or the occasional chaff of family life. I’ve also met gardeners who raise chickens.
One of my new chicken-loving friends, Robin Wedewer, writes Bumblebee Blog and contributes to www.examiner.com where she recently published an article presenting the benefits of raising chickens. Please check it out; it may start you down a new garden path.
I actually got introduced to the backyard chicken movement a few years ago when a poker buddy built a moveable chicken coop and started several birds in his garage. The coop’s design let him move it into the yard where chicken droppings would fall directly onto the lawn. After several days, he could move the coop and fertilize a different patch of grass. Of course, when I met the chickens, I figured my friend had blown a gasket and I got on with my life.
The on-line garden chicken community is changing my thinking. Because of their enthusiasm, I recently visited with hundreds of chickens at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg. There, I came to appreciate the charm of these useful animals. They aren’t as cuddly as dogs, but they certainly develop attachments and genuinely seem to enjoy interactions with their human caretakers. Oh, and they lay eggs you can eat.
There are many sources of information about backyard chickens. Of course, check out Robin’s articles, and when you decide to set up your own garden chicken operation, go here: Chicken Coop Plan.
In the meantime, I’ve prepared a video in appreciation of all of my on-line chicken gardening enthusiasts. It’s a collection of intimate portraits of chickens at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. It runs just under three and a half minutes, and I call it Sixty Chickens:
If you get a chance, check out the site Life in the Lost World for some terrific chicken-related humor and further discussion about backyard chickens. Here are a few other articles to help inform you about backyard chickens:
Backyard Chickens Part 2: Housing | Urban Homestead – What kind of coop should you have for your chickens? Let’s take a look at your options.
Backyard Chickens – Five Reasons You MUST Try Them, and Two … – Esther the Chicken. 1. They make charming pets! I love their happy little chortles when they see us, and if you want them to love you forever, a bit of leftover rice or lettuce goes down a treat. They’re great gardening companions, too. …