Friday, April 9, 2010

clucking and canning giveaway!

I met Ashley English a few months ago, she emailed me to talk about homesteading and writing. It turned out that she was also a designer, blogger, and small-scale backyard homesteader so we had a lot in common. Over the months we swapped emails and stories, getting to know each other a long the way. She lives in Western, NC and I live up here in New England. Consider us a pair of Highland Girls: north and south. (Districts represent!) You can read her blog here, and follow a farm girl in her southern homestead stories.

Anyway, we became fast friends and I'm here to proudly announce her first pair of books in the Homemade Living Series. She just came out with a guide to chickens and canning—both fully illustrated with beautiful photography and geared towards beginners. (And, ahem, if you flip them over you may see a familiar quote from someone you know...) We'll be giving away a set of these to the winner of a random drawing from the comments section. To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment about you and your stance on chickens. Do you have them? Want them? What breeds and for what purpose? We'll all share our stories and I ask that you end the post with your city and state. I find that a lot of future farmers reading this blog didn't realize someone in the next county over shares the same desires to get back to the land. (Perhaps a few small homesteading community projects or bartering could rise out of this post!)

So add your stories and yarns to the comments and check back to this post Sunday night to see who the winner is. They'll be getting both hardcover copies and a goose feather from CAF. Happy clucking and canning!

266 Comments:

Blogger Pricilla said...

We have Rhode Island Reds. They are good layers, they taste good but the roosters are NASTY.
I have to take a stick with me when I go into the goat pen where the chickens also reside.

Superior, MT

April 9, 2010 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger pamwares said...

This is exciting! I read & enjoy both blogs - glad to know you both have become friends. As for chickens...the hubby is building a coop right now. It has taken several months to get here but here we are. The hubby has been reading away at all things chicken and urban gardening. I'm tagging along and enjoying the ride. We live in S. St. Pete, FL.

April 9, 2010 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Jamie @ Woodside Gardens said...

We're working on building the coop, but its taking a while as we are trying to do it with all recycled materials. I can't wait to get my chickens and my kids are very excited too!

April 9, 2010 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Karen L. said...

We don't have chickens but have been talking about getting some. I keep seeing them advertised, especially right now, on Craig's List. We are on small land but have thought about a mobile coop. Don't know if this will ever happen but it is nice to dream. My son is a Chef and he seems to know about chicken breeds so we could confer with him. We live not so far from Western NC in the middle of the state in Summerfield, NC.

April 9, 2010 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Rois said...

We have had assorted chickens for 7 years now.My all time favorites are the Americana's not only for their Easter colored eggs but for their sweet personalities. We are also raising 15 assorted chickens for meat.This will be our second round of raising our own meat birds.
We live in the suburbs so until some of our older girls are gone I am holding off on chicks this year.My next round of chicks I would like to try the Australorps.
Happy Homesteading folks!
Rois

April 9, 2010 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger D said...

I love chickens! We had them when I was young and now that we've bought our own farm our first two chickens arrived this spring (pair of Buff Bantam Brahmas). There are more coming, some laying hens and lots of meat birds... one step closer to being self sufficient! It's been hard to locate heritage breeds in my province so if there are anymore Nova Scotians out there with contacts let me know!
Nova Scotia, Canada

April 9, 2010 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

No chickens yet - in our rental the backyard is paved (?! what kind of a yard is that?). I keep talking about going to the chicken class at the Love Apple Farm (http://www.growbetterveggies.com/) but haven't gotten around to it. Canning however, I have done a bit of - tomatoes and apricot jam.
Sunnyvale, CA

April 9, 2010 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

We have three ladies, 2 sex links and a big ol' leghorn gal. We keep chickens for eggs. Have enough eggs for me and my husband, our two grown girls and a couple co-workers. Our girls are egg machines right now :-) They also keep the weeds and bugs down in our defunct horse pasture. We let them out of their coop for the day and they go back in for lock down at dusk (lots of opossum and coyotes here in N. FL).

April 9, 2010 at 8:09 PM  
OpenID ruralaspirations said...

We will be getting chickens for sure within the next year. I haven't decided on what specific breeds but I plan to get some layers for sure, and we're going to experiment with some meat birds too.

We live in Duncan, BC (Canada)

April 9, 2010 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

I grew up with chickens. When my grandmother would come from WVa to visit she would listen for the hens to lay and then she would go to collect the egg. We would always be excited when it was spring and we were getting chicks. At one time we also had guienas.(sic?) They were harder to control since they were able to fly.

Sadly we lost all but one hen during the blizzard of 1978. My parents had 8.5 acres. My parents were gone to accompany my brother for surgery and left us with one of my older sisters. We just did not know what to do, we did not have electric or heat for a few days and was not able to keep them warm. It was really sad when we realized what had happened.

My mom keeps talking about wanting a rooster. She is having a hard time because we lost my father recently. I think I may end up getting her a couple of hens and a rooster. She likes to hear him crow.

Pam

April 9, 2010 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger Meghan said...

My stance on chickens is that a yard without them is missing something IMPORTANT! I have 10 laying hens and 5 youngsters. The hens reside in a converted Airstream trailer, and free range during the day, composting the horse manure, aerating the lawn, and eating my chives as they try to come up. Australorps, Ameraucanas, Sex links, Rhode Island Reds, Buff orpingtons, Silver laced wyandottes, a Welsummer,and a Barred Rock. I live in Bellevue, Idaho, now but had chickens in E. Orange, VT as well.

April 9, 2010 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

No chickens yet--but hopefully as soon. In the meantime, we babysit the neighbor's chickens when they go out of town. Free eggs in exchange for our services.

April 9, 2010 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger (Mary) (Mo) said...

I am on the lookout for chickens as we speak!
I've been wanting them for years and I'm finally in a place that will let me (even encourages me!) to keep them. There's a small farm down the road who will probably supply me with a portion of their chicks. I'm not sure of the breed(s).
I think we're getting two ducks to add to the mix too. Yipee!

Boulder, Utah

April 9, 2010 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Celia said...

I love both of your blogs! I live my dreams through you. I don't have chickens.....but I dream of having them one day. Where I live chickens are not allowed. I love chickens and I love reading about them and dreaming about them! Most people think I'm weird!

April 9, 2010 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Mermaid said...

Someday I hope to have a few hens. We have the space, I just need to find the time. Probably when my babies are a bit older.

Raleigh, NC

April 9, 2010 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger Kimberly Ann said...

I have 3 hens: one RIR, one Buff Orpington and one Blue Cuckoo Marans. I would recommend the RIR to new chicken owners - she is a consistent layer and I've never had a problem with her. On the other hand, the Blue Cuckoo Marans is noisy, flighty and inconsistent as a layer.

I'm in Western Washington, living in the 'burbs and making a little micro farm.

April 9, 2010 at 8:20 PM  
Blogger Farmer's Daughter said...

I really want to get laying hens, just a few for our family of three. I'd like to get Auricanas because I love their blue and green eggs! I'm after my husband to build us a coop, but we got slowed down by ourlittle boy who was born a month ago. We're in North Branford, CT.

April 9, 2010 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Frenchie said...

We have had chickens for 10 years now. I still have one from our first group! Right now we have a variety of breeds with 13 hens and 1 EVIL rooster. I would like to cull the group and get some chicks but my son is too attached. We live in Cherry Valley, CA.

April 9, 2010 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger Willew said...

I've been reading your blog a long time and enjoying it greatly. It's a little embarrassing that after all this time my first comment is for a giveaway. Good thing I have no shame. Ah chickens, not yet, hopefully soon. As soon as I sell this house I hope to find my homestead with birds and bees.

April 9, 2010 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

I currently have 27 chicks (3 weeks old) living in my laundry room. This is my second time around with chickens. I ordered and raised 25 chicks 2 years ago. Got rid of them in late fall to make room for new ones this spring. Big mistake. We sure miss our eggs. Grocery store eggs are barely edible after home grown eggs. I have the heavy breeds. Last time had barred rocks, americanas, rhode island reds. This time have americanas (just love those pretty eggs), speckled sussex, buff orphingtons and black stars, I think. There's probably some other type in there as well. I pick them first by their adaptability to my area, their egg production and by their cool colors. We are in Middle TN, Rockvale area.

BTW, have read your book and enjoy reading about your experiences, good and bad. We've been homsteading just over 2 years and have 12 acres. We raised our own beef for the first time last year. Next week I'll be posting on my blog about a joint cow project we're doing with our neighbor.

April 9, 2010 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger Shannan said...

Just moved my little flock into their coop. I have 12 a mix of RIR, Silver Wyandots, and a bunch of we are not sure. I decided a year ago that I wanted chickens and it took me a few months to convince the hubby. Now he loves having them. They are so much fun to watch now that they are outside. I have even talked one of my friends that had no intrest in them into getting some after she saw mine. This is our first step toward our own small farm with chickens, goats and sheep. I love seeing so many people taking an intrest in having a backyard flock.

Shannan
Hopkins (Columbia), South Carolina

April 9, 2010 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

While I never expected to grow up and have hens in the backyard, my chickens are one of the best additions to the household economy. They make me laugh and their eggs are so much more delicious and vividly yellow than "store" eggs. I have Dominiques, and one elderly Rhode Island Red who is still laying at four years old. We live in Portland Oregon, a hotbed of urban chicken keeping

April 9, 2010 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

This is kind of random and I couldn't think of the best way to get the link to you, but I saw this on Etsy and thought of you: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=44204759&ref=fp_feat_1.

Loyal reader, infrequent commenter. Sorry if this is really random!

April 9, 2010 at 8:30 PM  
Blogger Mallory said...

I am dying to start raising chickens, but am currently living with my family as I attempt to pay off my student loans. My parents, after my 2 cats wreaked a bit of havoc around the house, insist that "NO MORE!" animals will be allowed anywhere near our house. I managed to convince them of the merits of a beehive in the backyard, so if all goes well with the hive I'm hoping they'll cave and allow a coop next spring! And if they do, I already have a plan in mind...
http://www.thegardencoop.com/

Cape Cod, MA

April 9, 2010 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

oh goodness, yes, count me in! Don't have chickens yet, but hoping in the next year or so to have enough of a yard to start some. I'm thinking of keeping them mainly for laying, but who knows. Love the added gift idea, your geese are so beautiful! Thanks for the opportunity. Jacksonville, FL, hoping to move to Charlotte, NC this year.

April 9, 2010 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Ginny said...

I love chickens. I would love to have them, to be able to pluck the eggs out from under a warm hen and right into the bowl of a whirling mixer. Eggs with yolks so bright yellow you are blinded by the brilliance. Love chickens, you betcha, can I have them? I'll have to ask the zoning board...they prefer to have farmland turned into tract housing......houses costing 1/2 a million $$ to start and you back into your neighbor's garage door. What can I say, welcome to Lehigh County, PA.

April 9, 2010 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger Robj98168 said...

I haven't thought about breeds as of yet, just know I expect to have my three ladies sometime this year. I already have the names picked out. (Kind of the chicken before the egg) My coop will be a dog run conversion.
My hope is the hens will enjoy it.

April 9, 2010 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger PenelopeRose said...

What a great giveaway! Chickens, they are my one true weakness. I don't know how many we have, but there are a bunch (with new ones in the brooder). My favorites are the Salmon Faverolles because of their sweet disposition. For egg laying the Leghorns are my preference. For looks, it's the Brahmas. DH says his favorites are fried. Right now we're getting 12 to 14 eggs a day and the demand exceeds the supply.

West Haven, UT

April 9, 2010 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger nested said...

I dream of the day I will have chickens. Thanks for keeping the hope alive! I figure after 10 years in NYC that this also-living in Vermont girl needs some land.

April 9, 2010 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger NorthernBaby said...

Our first birds arrive in May - seven Buff Orpingtons. We are currently repairing a large coop that was on the property when we bought our house, and are excitedly awaiting mid-May in Jericho, VT

April 9, 2010 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Someday I will get chickens because I LOVE eggs! I am about the graduate from grad school, so I will be moving soon. I will be getting chickens as soon as I can get myself establish in some sort of house in Beecher, IL.

Jill
(long time reader, first time commenter!)

April 9, 2010 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger TheRaspberryChicken said...

I want chickens in the worst way! We live in Worcester, MA and they are currently not allowed. There is talk of a movement to fix that. I need to finish my letter to city counsel...

If I could have chickens, I would love to have Buff Orpingtons. I've heard good things about them. Of course, Americaunas sound interesting and Barred Rocks are pretty and...

I want 4 hens: Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy!

Lesa

April 9, 2010 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger Richard P said...

We have 6 chickens that we just got a few weeks ago. Two are Rhode Island Reds and the other four are to be determined.

I'm in the process of building a coop but haven't been able to finish because I ran out of lumber. Hopefully that will be fixed tomorrow.

Pictures can be seen at http://parsonsfarmstead.com/2010/03/18/my-peeps/

April 9, 2010 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

I live in a condo (sadly, no backyard). Many people in the city have backyard chickens already so there are sources for us condo dwellers. We have many community gardens in the city too that people like me can rent a space in. I'm hopefully getting some soon for my grandchildren to raise in their backyard and I can purchase eggs from them!

Salt Lake City, UT

April 9, 2010 at 8:56 PM  
OpenID nagoonberry said...

Want them! Most likely Rhode Island Reds, because they're a good dual purpose breed. And for sentimental family reasons.

April 9, 2010 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger MistySeptember said...

Chickens ROCK! We have 10 girls (1 Brahma, 2 partridge rocks, 3 silver Wynadottes, 2 Red Comets and 2 weird looking ones that we have no idea what they are). I can sit for hours watching them scritch and scratch across the yard.

Potter County, PA (I'd list my town except I like to be a bit anonymous online and our town has 14 people)

April 9, 2010 at 8:58 PM  
OpenID sweetavenuefarm said...

I'm currently in an apartment, so no chickens here, but I had Rhode Island Reds and Arucanas while growing up, and the reds do have a special place in my heart. I'm trying to convince my mom to keep chickens again, they're just so practical, entertaining, and endearing. I'm a vegetarian and my mom's a wimp, so we kept them just for eggs and companionship.

Arcata, CA

April 9, 2010 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger Leigh said...

In less than a week, we'll be getting our shipment of new babies... five Ameracauna pullets, five Barred Rock pullets, one White Rock cockarel, a Khaki Campbell hen and drake, and a Royal Palm turkey. We cannot wait! We moved onto our small farm (eight acres) last fall, and are in the process of building a beautiful coop and starting our organic garden.

Leigh
New Haven, Mo.

April 9, 2010 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger hickchick said...

This summer we are getting our first batch of 'freedom rangers' a heritage breed meat chicken good for pastured poultry.
Hamburg, WI

April 9, 2010 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger prov31wannabe said...

We don't have chickens of our own but we know people who do and we support all of them. We enjoy rural living and simple pleasures. I have been reading your blog since your book appeared in MEN but I can never get your blog to let me comment w/o an "identity." Good luck on all your endeavors.

Oh, yeah, we live in Teutopolis, Effingham County, central Illinois.

April 9, 2010 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger Elsie said...

Thought about chickens but fell in love with a picture of runner ducks in Storey's Illustrated Guide to poultry so prioritized them. Still hope for chickens in another year or so... then maybe a dairy goat.... I have bees and and a big 'ol urban garden so would love either book! Charlottesville, VA

April 9, 2010 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger RuralLegend said...

Our city is getting close (we hope!) to legalizing chickens. In the meantime, we've been toying with getting some "exotic pet birds" *cough* silkies *cough*.

-Brent
Holyoke, MA

April 9, 2010 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger Aimee said...

Oh! I SO want chickens. I am trying to convince my husband of their benefits!! I like the Ameraucanas and the Rhode Island Reds, and Buff Orpingtons. I definitely want them for the eggs, but I also want to learn how to use them for meat. Raise them from hatchlings to table. That would be so awesome!

April 9, 2010 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger granny said...

Not sure if the giveaway includes o/s comments..I understand postage costs are high :0)
I live on a 1/4 block in a semi-rural town in Austarlia,we grow afew vegies and have half a dozen fruit trees.
We also have six chooks :0)
4 are Hysex Browns,and are terrific layers(but only for about 3 years)then they start to wear out.The other two are newbies! They have just began to lay beautiful eggs..very rich dark yolks *bliss*
They are Orpington x Faverolles,big,fluffy robust girls,that I hope will be with us for many years :0)
Kind regards,
Granny.

April 9, 2010 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger Aimee said...

Oh and I live in Denver, CO, but would prefer to either go back to Oregon or see if I like the New England area. However, my husband is from CO, so I feel it is unlikely that we will relocate. :(

April 9, 2010 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger ErinMama said...

We currently have 6 lovely egg layers (2 Brahmas, 1 Barred Rock, 2 Buff Orpingtons & 1 Easter Egger.) We need more, because my proud husband gives eggs away by the dozen. And he was the reluctant one!

McCall, Idaho

April 9, 2010 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Dog Trot Farm said...

Last year at this time I had ten fuzzy babies living in our spare bedroom. 4 Barred Rock, 4 Buff and 2 Americauna. These breeds were chosen for their cold weather hardiness as we reside in Gorham, Maine. Today my lovely ladies reside in a backyard coop and have the luxury to free range. One of the best things I have ever done in my life, getting chickens! I highly recommend it. Gorham Maine

April 9, 2010 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger Angi said...

I just ordered some copies of this book in today for the bookstore I work at! I can't wait until I am able to have my own flock. Only wanting a few hens for eggs at first, but would like to have more after I get the hang of it! Right now I am just brushing up on my research. I am in Morgantown, WV right now but am aiming for Knoxville, TN in the near future. No backyard chickens allowed there yet but there is an active group of people working on getting that changed.

Morgantown, WV

April 9, 2010 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Bri said...

First I would like to say I enjoyed reading everyone's stories about chickens here! and I'm glad Jenna, that you pointed out a new blog for me to follow. :)

As far as chickens go. YES PLEASE!
I don't have any yet, but I have catalogues galore and have spent lots of time looking them up on the internet. As soon as my Honey and I are married and on land of our own, we will have chickens. I'd like to raise some Layers(not sure what kind, I want brown eggs, I think they're pretty!) but I would also like to raise some specifically for meat. I would feel much better about eating a chicken if I knew it had a happy chicken life before it sat on my table.
Would also love to have those books! All I can do at the moment is dream about my future farm...but soon...soon I will have chickens and a big fat garden...and all the other critters I deem necessary. ^_^

April 9, 2010 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Sweet, your first commenter (Pricilla) is from MT! I grew up in Helena. MT is my first love.

We're a little over halfway done building our chicken coop. In about a week (or less), we'll be first-time chicken parents. SO excited! We're starting small, 2-4 hens (large, cold-weather friendly breed). It will also be a first for our three, loveable, large dogs (two labs & one Golden Retriever/Border Collie mix), so I'm sure we'll have our work cut out for us. But I can't wait to have more fuzzy friends around.

Living life in Sheridan, WY.

April 9, 2010 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger Carrie in Wisconsin said...

I desperately want chickens! I'd love to have some Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, and maybe some Americauna's. Maybe even some Buff Orphingtons. And, I'm curious about having a pair of Toulouse geese around. My current living situation doesn't warrent having chickens, but trust me when I can, I WILL have my own backyard flock!
Doing it all from Manitowoc, WI!

April 9, 2010 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Dawn Dutton said...

We have barred rocks and rhode island reds. We had Baby chicks hatch out of Easter Sunday... How appropriate! Funny!..... I love my chickens!
Northfield, Wisconsin..... on a hobby farm...and loving every minute of it !

April 9, 2010 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I started with 4 sex link chicks a little over a year ago. Then, I built a bigger coop and still sold two because I thought that they would be crowded over the winter. They roam the yard in the summer but winter is our rainy season here in the PNWet. I am now building a bigger, covered, run and I am expecting 3 chicks (a Welsummer, Holland, and Buff Wyandotte) in about a month. Yay city chickens! They are technically not legal yet but my neighbours are fine with it.

Vancouver, BC

April 9, 2010 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Dunappy said...

I love my Americaunas and easter egg chickens for the colorful eggs. I keep a wide variety for the eggs and every once in a while I get a few of the Cornish broilers for meat. I've had chickens since I was a kid. I used to have show chickens for 4-H and have never gotten tired of having chickens around.

April 9, 2010 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger deb said...

We also were approved for a USDA loan ( I believe the same day you were), and are under contract for a home with 5 acres. We just bought 2 chicks, Rhode Island Reds. We will get more after our move at the end of this month. We are planning a large garden also. We plan to keep chickens for meat and eggs, but have much to learn. This is our first attempt at homesteading. I was introduced to this blog, by reading your book. I was so surprised to read about your application to the USDA, since we had applied also. Imagine my surprise when you announced your approval the same day we got ours.. I have followed your journey with interest ever since.
deb
Linwood (not for long)
NJ

April 9, 2010 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

got 'em, love 'em, wouldn't be without 'em. We raise ours for the eggs and have several diffent kinds. We have several different kinds of cochin bantams, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, Delawares, Buff Orpingtons, and an Easter Egg cross that was hatched here.

Weiser, ID

April 9, 2010 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Amy McPherson Sirk said...

When I was a kid we had chickens and milk goats but I've spent most of my adult life in the big city. Almost 4 years ago I escaped Los Angeles and bought a little house on a third of an acre in the Midwest. We've gardened, slowly healing the soil and watching the beneficial insects return. This spring we made the jump to keeping chickens. I have 5 Ameraucanas. Martha, Joy, Ophelia, Squirt and Aunt Bea live in a chicken tractor I built from (mostly) leftover lumber. We've raised them as pets so they're friendly and curious. I hand feed them greens each day to keep their trust. I'm raising them for eggs, natural pest control and all that lovely manure for the compost bin. Each morning I lower the ramp from their coop and they come tumbling out. I enjoy just about everything they do. Its so peaceful to lie in the grass, watching them do what chickens do and making sweet little hen noises.

April 9, 2010 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger Steven Jarvis said...

Don't have chickens. Want chickens. Neighborhood covenant outlaws "livestock." I'm going to try to get them in as "pets," as it doesn't outlaw birds kept outdoors as pets. We'll see how it goes. My neighbors seem pretty laid back.

April 9, 2010 at 10:15 PM  
Blogger Farmgirl Cyn said...

Have them. Love them. I have 10 hens...3 are Cucoo Maran, 3 are Aracaunas, and 4 are Buff Orpington. One rooster of uncertain lineage. So I get a sweet variety of eggs! Blue, dark brown with speckles, and light brown!
I'm from Allendale, Michigan...just a bit west of Grand Rapids.

April 9, 2010 at 10:23 PM  
OpenID 106139986609735203836 said...

I grew up with chickens, my grandparents and great grandparents (who we lived near) and neighbors all had them, and I can remember waiting very patiently by the nests to watch them hatch. They were completely free range, making their nests wherever they felt like it (in my grandfather's old boat, for example).

I'm finishing up the last semester of my senior year of my undergrad program, and I'm getting ready to live (for the first time in four years!) somewhere with a backyard. My boyfriend, my sister, her boyfriend, and I are planning on buying a house and I would love to turn it into a little homestead. My boyfriend and I just found out we got into graduate school, so we'll be moving from Columbus, MS to Lake Charles, LA

April 9, 2010 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger sueguzman said...

We have four hens, Rhode Island Red,Barred Rock, Easter Egger and Red Star. These are new chicks after our big hens were brutually killed by a stray dog :(

April 9, 2010 at 10:31 PM  
Blogger kappachi said...

I don't have chicken's yet, but I can't wait to have some. Fresh eggs and insect eaters!

April 9, 2010 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger chppie said...

My Brother-in-law just started with chickens and I've thought about it for the eggs. Right now I can get them at the Farmer's Market so that will tide me over until I can make a decision. Hadn't really looked at breeds yet.

We're on California's Central Coast and people in our neighborhood already have chickens. Although they also have a larger lot.

April 9, 2010 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger Daisy Driver said...

I have no chickens but my parents do - I actually had to buy eggs this week because I didn't pick any up last weekend. I HATE to buy eggs. When we move to the country, my husband wants to have chickens. What kind? I have no idea - dad's lay these beautiful green eggs so I want those just don't know what they are.

April 9, 2010 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I live in a town that doesn't allow chickens. If they did
I would have some in a heart beat. I would love to have some layers and a few meat chickens. When I move next I will make sure that where ever I move will let me have chickens(and other farm animals).
Mayer, Minnesota

April 9, 2010 at 11:05 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I'm a public librarian and decided to do a program on raising city chickens. I had a couple of experienced chicken keepers agree to share their experiences with what I thought would be a group of 25 or so. 120 people showed up! We were turning people away! I had to schedule a second program!

April 9, 2010 at 11:06 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I live in a town that doesn't allow chickens. If they did
I would have some in a heart beat. I would love to have some layers and a few meat chickens. When I move next I will make sure that where ever I move will let me have chickens(and other farm animals).
(about an hour west of Minneapolis) Mayer, Minnesota

April 9, 2010 at 11:06 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

I am the proud mom of 13 hens and one very fiesty rooster named Gregory Peck (hubby named him) I like to think of the girls as working pets. We eat the tasty eggs and also share with our friends and family. I have had the girls and Gregory since July 2009 and now I am totally obsessed with all things chicken!!!!

Mansfield, OH

April 9, 2010 at 11:06 PM  
Blogger ashtree said...

I love chickens! I have a very very small backyard right now and unfortunately won't be able to move any time soon. For now I'll just have to visit with my friends chickens, but I plan to have my own flock someday.

I'm leaning towards Ameracaunas (I love the green eggs!) but I will definitely do some more research before I settle on a breed.

I live in Eugene, OR.

April 9, 2010 at 11:09 PM  
Blogger Ohiofarmgirl said...

i love my clucks - they are the best part of my farming day. we have layers and meat chix (we call them "dinner chickens") in our mixed flock. we have Buckeyes, RIR's, a bunch of random hens..and mutts. one of my fav hens is a little brahma mutt named, Imp. she is a peach!
-south/east of columbus, ohio

April 9, 2010 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger beansprout said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 9, 2010 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger beansprout said...

I got my first flock of chickens this past October and love them! Mixed variety mostly, but the silkies are my favorite. Especially my silkie rooster who just learned how to crow. He scrambles up to cock-a-doodle-do at my bunnies first thing every morning. What a hoot!

North of Pittsburgh, PA

April 9, 2010 at 11:19 PM  
Blogger Carissa said...

I have a small flock of five chickens in my backyard, including an Ameraucana, Buff Orpingtons and Rhode Island Reds. I'm pretty new to chicken keeping, so would love the extra help from Ashley's book!
Portland, OR

April 9, 2010 at 11:23 PM  
Blogger Cris said...

Chickens! Wah-hooo!
Yes, I have been bitten by the poultry bug. On my 3/4 acre backyard homestead, I have 6 laying hens and a rooster named George. I also have 3 ducklings, ready to be moved from in the house to the new shed, and 22 three-day-old silkie chicks in a rubbermaid tub in the guest room. Every summer, I raised chickens for meat--this year, I plan to double my seasonal tally from last year to raise 100 birds for dinner/barter/sale between the end of April through December. If that wasn't an adventure enough, I am going to try raising a couple of Midget White turkey poults in a super-sized chicken tractor. The thought of my own, home-grown Thanksgiving turkey just makes me start drooling...ahem. I also garden extensively throughout the property, and my goal is to produce 80% of what I'll consume for the next year with this summer's growing season. It's a big project, but boy howdy will it be one heck of a fun ride! (And in case you were wondering, yes I do live right in town and yes, my neighbors like me. :-D )

Cris in Prairie Farm, WI

April 9, 2010 at 11:24 PM  
Blogger Cris said...

Oops! Forgot to mention, I am not planning on keeping all the silkies--as of right now, there are 12 that could go to your home (or, a few homes) so if you live in the area and were thinking you'd like some silkies to help tend your garden, let me know! I am sure we could work something out....

April 9, 2010 at 11:30 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

I would love some chickens one day! Right now I help care for my friend's 6 + her beehive. I can't wait to babysit them this summer when she travels:)

Brooke
Oakland, California

April 9, 2010 at 11:30 PM  
Blogger tiki1682 said...

I would like to raise chickens, three due to the cities restrictions, for eggs. Right now I don't know the darndest thing about raising chickens, but hope to learn in the following months.

April 9, 2010 at 11:34 PM  
Blogger SWEETHEARTS MOM said...

I have 2 beautiful Araucana roosters who love their hens so much and find food for them and talk to them and keep an eye out for preditors while the hens eat. I have 3 Araucana hens and 1 Rhode Island Red. I want more!! I have a 125 pound dog that I feed with them, feed myself and feed my family. If I had more hens, I would have enough to sell.

April 9, 2010 at 11:49 PM  
Blogger Sharon Delman said...

We have five chickens. The Rhode Island Red and the Hamburg we adopted from the kids' school--and yes, they're still laying at 4+ years. We added a Minorca, a sex-link red and sex-link black and voila we have a flock. Our bees (two hives) plus the garden round our efforts to make Palo Alto a little greeener and encourage our kids to be a little closer to the Earth.

April 9, 2010 at 11:50 PM  
Blogger Sacha Joy said...

When I was a little girl, I would go with my mom to collect eggs from the hen house. It was my favorite thing in the world. Throughout my childhood, we had geese and ducks as well. In fact the goose had a vendetta against little 4 year old me, and my dad had to butcher it. And somehow, like voodoo magic, in the butchering process, he hung the feet from the rafters of the barn with twine, where they remained for over five years.

Now I'm a transient 27 year old horticulture graduate student and happy chicken sitter. I go to the feed store in the spring and hold the chickies in my cupped hands. Someday over the rainbow, there will be poultry.

Skagit Valley, WA

April 9, 2010 at 11:51 PM  
Blogger Anny said...

I live in an apartment in Indianapolis right now so I don't have chickens...but I dream of them all the time. The happiest day of my life will be when I can finally pick up and bring home some chicks! I really want Andalusian's, Dorking's, and Wyandotte's! One day (hopefully soon) I'll be able to have them!

April 9, 2010 at 11:55 PM  
OpenID urbanpreserves said...

I've been coveting chickens for ages now--we have a great community of urban homesteaders here in Oakland, so I get my share of eggs in trade for jam! My neighbor has a coop, so I get to watch his chickens out my bedroom window!

Oakland, CA

April 10, 2010 at 12:07 AM  
Blogger Rosie said...

Live 25 miles from San Francisco and in and area that limits the number of chickens I can have but.. Oh well can’t let that stop me. I bribe the neighbors with eggs.

I have 6 feather-legged cuckoo marans hens, a black copper marans rooster named “Handsome” and a cute black copper hen name “Henny Penny” that I adore. I just got started with them and I am going to raise golden cuckoo marans. Marans are great dual purpose birds and the eggs are remarkable. My hens are gentle and the roo is protective of his girls but such a gentleman calling the girls when he discovers something great to eat. He puts what he has found down in front of his favorites girls to make sure they find it.

Additionally I am raising the cockerel rejects from my friends’ pullet business. They raise day old chicks for people who want started pullets, it’s a booming business with people coming from all over California to get beautiful started “girls”.

I adore my birds and they give me hours of enjoyment.

SF bay area
California

April 10, 2010 at 12:08 AM  
Blogger Myrnie said...

I'll play! :) I really want chickens, but don't feel like I can handle little kids/babies and chickens right now. A piano student is willing to trade fresh eggs for lessons, so we have all the beautiful eggs we can eat right now! For the moment, that will have to do :)

Myrnie, Seattle, WA

April 10, 2010 at 12:09 AM  
Blogger Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

I love in the Vancouver, BC, area and the local gov't *just* passed some new bylaws about keeping backyard hens in the city. (They approved them.) This og tme to pondering the feasibility of having laying hens. I grew up with chickens on my Grandparents' farm, but have all but fogotten the hows of it. I'd love to have fresh eggs, as we've been organic gardening for the last 12 years.

April 10, 2010 at 12:12 AM  
Blogger The Sprouting Acorn said...

Our gals are Buff Orpingtons and Welsummers. We added some more buffs and assorted reds this spring. Ah, and five black Slikies -- all are pullets. Last year's roosters are in the freezer.

Our coop is a former pool house. We bulldozed the pool in last year and planted a garden on it. Built a fence around the pool house and ta-da! instant chicken coop (well, that's after tearing out the furnace, filter, and built some laying boxes).

Wabash Co., IN

April 10, 2010 at 12:17 AM  
Blogger Trish said...

We have 3 girls... Bertha, Mildred, and Irene...Named after our grandmothers. They are Rhode Island Reds and are one of the best decisions we've ever made. They're a year old and are more fun than we ever imagined.

Trish in Siloam Springs, AR

April 10, 2010 at 12:17 AM  
Blogger Tammi G. said...

Chickens... wish we could have them. Not allowed in our town ordinances. Next best thing is farm fresh eggs from our CSA! Support local! Manitowoc,

April 10, 2010 at 12:23 AM  
Blogger SouthernHeart said...

I love my hens and my farm fresh egss! I have 5 Rhode Island Reds and 5 Barred Rock Plymouths. They live in a wonderful little chicken house that my husband built for me. You can see pics on my blog at: http://www.patacakebabies.com/wordpress Just go to the Life on the Tree Farm category!

Roseburg, OR

April 10, 2010 at 12:50 AM  
Blogger HaleDN said...

Our three RIR hens have been good to us, so we added to our flock this Spring. My son wants to try his hand at selling eggs to our Herriman, Utah neighbors, so we bought a mixture of black sex-linked and americauna. I still need to build a bigger coop, so hopefully the weather will start to cooperate!

April 10, 2010 at 12:58 AM  
Blogger Sherri said...

We have 2-1/2 acres in rural southern california and chickens are next on our list of self-sustaining goals. Right now we get fresh eggs from our neighbors chickens and oh what a difference! Can't wait to have my own so I can watch farm TV!!

April 10, 2010 at 1:03 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

I live in Concord Twnshp, Ohio, and I bought three bantams at a local feed supply for my youngest daughter as an Easter surprise last year. A friend who has a small farm said she would take them when they were older. We grew to love the three -- and were sorry to give them up. Now I'm looking at coops for sale, and thinking harder about buying chicks again, this time for keeps.

April 10, 2010 at 1:20 AM  
OpenID Too Many Scarves said...

I'm in Los Angeles here! Wanting chickens but don't have anywhere to put them in our current living situation. We're in an apartment, no patio, no grass, nuthin'. I read your blog to live vicariously through you and to build some knowledge about what to do in the (hopefully) near future when we move and CAN have chickens.

-Stacey

April 10, 2010 at 1:31 AM  
Blogger Kerri said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 10, 2010 at 1:41 AM  
Blogger Kerri said...

Hello from the Pacific Northwest! We've been raising chickens and enjoying their antics for 2 years now. We are finishing a very nice new chicken coop, 10x8 with windows and flower boxes to boot! In May we will start raising Silver Gray Dorkings, a very lovely Heritage Breed...less than 2000 in the U.S. They are known for their strong mothering instincts and for being very good foragers.

We homeschool our kids and we are looking forward to entering our new girls at the state fair in the fall. We noticed last year there were no entries for Dorkings. It should be really fun. I enjoyed your posts about you showing at the fair last year, it definitly lit a spark in me.

Jenna, I just wanted you to know I think this blog is super cool, I've been a daily reader for 14 months now. You feel like a friend and I plan on swinging by your place someday when I'm in upstate NY.

All my best,
Maple Valley, WA

April 10, 2010 at 1:58 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

We've got 5 chickens - a Silver Laced Wyandotte, Welsummer, Cuckoo Maran, Buff Brahma, and an Ameraucana. We raise them for the eggs, but they make a great substitute for television. Very entertaining. We live in San Francisco, CA.

April 10, 2010 at 2:32 AM  
Blogger Katrin said...

I would love to have chickens round the house - but it's not allowed in our part of the city. So sad! But I love to read all the chicken stories here.

Böblingen, Germany

April 10, 2010 at 4:17 AM  
Blogger Kathleen Stoltzfus said...

I keep chickens mostly because I just like them, and so focus primarily on aesthetics - the eggs are a bonus. I have a lovely group of assorted bantams and will be getting a shipment of 30 Blue Silkies next month. Silkies, because the others refuse to stay in the pasture and keep flying into the dog's yard which is not conducive to longevity. I've also started a market garden and would rather not have it raided by a roving band of hoodlums intent on feasting on my produce. Last year I also raised Cornish Rock crosses for meat. I may do that again, or perhaps this year it will be ducks. I like duck.

Lancaster, PA

April 10, 2010 at 6:58 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

No chickens yet but we've a bit of land in northern WV where we hope to retire--before buying it we made sure chickens were allowed in the subdivision's covenants :). I've been making and freezing 100 qts of applesauce each year, mostly from our own apples and have considered canning but it seems so complicated...would love to learn.
Longtime reader, firstime commenter--Jenna you are an inspiration.
We're near Philadelphia, PA now, and hope to be near Berkeley Springs, WV soon.

April 10, 2010 at 7:01 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

We have lots and lots of chickens! Dominiques, Rhode Island Reds, Silver laced Wyandottes, Buff orpingtons, araucaunas, light sussex, black cochins, jersey black giants, light brahmas....and just hatched out about 70 chicks from eggs bought on Ebay...black copper marans, splash marans, blue marans, partridge rocks, blue cochins, buff rocks, dark brahmas, etc. We get about 2 dozen eggs per day, which we eat, share with friends and sell the excess. We also raise Bourbon red turkeys, guineas and peafowl. We live in Gibsonville, NC

April 10, 2010 at 7:01 AM  
Blogger Bobbie said...

I have had chickens for a almost a year now! I moved outside a village so I could have them! I got them as chicks on Mother's Day last year! Everyone where I work said "too much work, why not just buy your eggs in the grocery store!" They were a little work at first, but now are nearly maintenance free, and well worth the 6-8 eggs I collect daily! I wanted eggs from happy chickens, not from a factory farm! My first egg was laid on Labor Day 2009 and I was so excited I took pictures on my cell phone and sent them to nearly everyone I know! OK, I'll admit there was some work involved at first, but it was mostly because I didn't have a chicken coop and had to improvise with rabbit cages inside a dog kennel that had been left on my property when I moved here. Then my son-in-law helped me convert the dog kennel itself into a type of chicken coop that we could move around the yard. Then I finally finished making payments on a small barn I bought from an Amish farmer who had built it for his horse and meat chickens, and finally had it delivered. Then my tenants built a fence around the barn for me using recycled wood, and now my chickens live happily free-range with the goats I picked up later! Everyone survived the winter except for one rooster. I love having my chickens and goats!

Great Bend, NY

April 10, 2010 at 7:07 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

I'm planning on finishing my coop/yard area next weekend, since I don't hafta work, and will be buying some chicks shortly thereafter. I've wanted chickens for years--the boyfriend took the dawgs when he left, so I have a vacant dawg shed (chicken coop) and a fenced yard. Gotta put some chicken wire over the top since we have many hawks in the area.

Maggie- Tallahassee, FL

April 10, 2010 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Kasha said...

We are in the process of getting a coop set up for chickens. My biggest concern is our dog. How do your dogs get along with the chickens? I would hate for him to eat them as they will be pets and for eggs. Also, anyone have a suggestion as to what type of chickens are good with kids/easy going/and can tolerate the cold winters. Alna,ME.

April 10, 2010 at 7:17 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

I just got chickens again, after being without since JHS. It is great! They are Japanese Hinai-jidori- you can read about them on my blog. At the moment I only have the two- Hot (my hen) and Dog (my rooster). The kids loved naming them, and they go out every morning to check for eggs. Man, I love having chickens again!

April 10, 2010 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger Toni aka irishlas said...

Six hens - 3 barred rock and 3 white rock. We have the girls for the eggs and at the end of their laying life, they will fill the stew pot.
Chickens rock! Low maintenance, entertaining, and eggs to boot.
FYI-I'm also doing a 100th post giveaway. It's the Backyard Berry Book by Stella Otto. C'mon over and check it out.
Ashley's blog is the bee's knee's, too!
Westminster, MD

April 10, 2010 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

During my childhood years, we usually had a flock of hens. As an adult, I longed to have my own. At 60+, my dream came true with 5 pullets and a cockeral. The RI Roo is belligerent but if one of my German Shepherds is standing by he knows better than to attack. Here I am 2 years later, with 32 chicks in the basement. They are New Hampshires, Buff Orpingtons, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Black Austrolorps, and Partridge Rocks. The cockerals except one will end up in the freezer.
Visiting with the chickens is such good therapy after a stressful day. I awaiting delivery of a new chicken house so I can move the old birds and get the young ones out of the basement. Having young birds coming along just feels right this time of year.

April 10, 2010 at 7:34 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

I forgot to give my location.
Bar Harbor, ME

April 10, 2010 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I want chickens but don't have them yet. This summer I'm getting my yard fenced and then I hope to get a carpenter friend to build me a small coop. The bad part is, chickens are illegal where I live. I will have to be careful with my girls. I am a mddle aged woman and a beginner homesteader. In a few years I hope to have chickens, bees, and a lots of gardens! I love your blog!

April 10, 2010 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Somehow over 2 years we've ended up with two Rhode Island Reds, two Barred Rocks, and two Ameraucanas (one hen, one roo). We;ve bought them at various times so have had the pleasure (?) of learning all about pecking order. The different breeds do have different personalities as do the individuals. But all in all, there is nothing funnier than a flock of chickens decorating your yard.
McDonough, NY

April 10, 2010 at 7:38 AM  
Blogger Peacemom said...

Love that your promoting your friend's book, that's great! We don't have chickens yet, still renting where we can't...but we hope to in the next couple of years! I would like to get RI Reds and some Orpingtons for eggs. Anyone else in my neck of the woods with a common interest is welcome to check out my blog, maybe make a new friend myself! Chester, NH

April 10, 2010 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger our urban farmhouse ♥ said...

I'm very excited that these books have hit the shelves. I can't wait to read them. We recently bought our first home, a farm house smack dab in the middle of Chicago and have begun building our front yard homestead. We've started our first raised bed and have plans for a chicken coop in the works. We have to redo our front porch and will use the extra room for the coop! I have been reading all things "urban homesteading" related and am totally excited for this journey! We love in Chicago, IL (yes, in the city).

April 10, 2010 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger Brambly Thicket said...

Wow!! So many chicken lovin' folk in one place! I am just starting out this year. I have 2 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, 2 Dominiques and one little Cochin that was a gift to my daughters.

Thanks for the link too. I am a small scale backyard southern homesteader and look forward to reading Ashley's blog.

April 10, 2010 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger Kristin Marsh said...

After following Ashley's blog & yours (was led here via there) and discussing the practicalities with a brother-in-law who has a small flock (and having tasted truly fresh eggs--yum!), I've been wanting chickens of my own for some time now. My city, Asheville, NC, recently passed an ordinance which makes backyard chickens possible for more people, and as soon as I'm able to sustain a living for myself & my son (just became a single mom), I'll be working out coop/tractor plans.

April 10, 2010 at 8:18 AM  
OpenID lisasfoods said...

We don't have any chickens now, but want to get some once we start a family. I used to work on a farm and loved getting eggs each day, and my partner grew up raising chickens.

Becket, MA

April 10, 2010 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Beegirl said...

We have a few Red Star ladies. I've never been more happy to have them and if I could, I'd have more. They have a wonderful temperament, wintered well, and produce the most huge, delicious brown eggs. It brings us all joy to see them running around the garden. Love both of your blogs..
All the best~Beegirl

April 10, 2010 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

We have eight chickens total. Ever since we moved out of the city it was a goal to have some cluckers around our place. We started off with two older white leghorns and a three year old white orphington we got for free from a local professor. We have since added a Buff Orphington, a Japanesse Bantam Rooster, and our newest addition of three chicks - Barred Rock, Golden Comet and Ameraucana. My son has named all the ladies and they will end up being forever pets. Even the ones who are no longer producing eggs for us. They are still very much a part of our family and will crawl up into your lap and wait to be petted. I do not know how we existed without them before.

My coworkers in L.A. ( where we are from ) think I have gone and become Amish for wanting some barnyard animals and attempting to grown my own food, and I have been constantly trying to educate them on not only the health benefits of having your own chickens in the backyard, but the fun family entertainment that comes along with the package. No need for indoor video games here!

We're just getting started, so if anyone is in the Lexington / Georgetown / Paris KY area, I'd love to hear how you have your place setup.
Thanks for such an awesome blog Jenna!

The Kellys - Paris, KY

April 10, 2010 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

We have 8 hens, got them in June last year. They started laying right before winter, so we had fresh eggs when a lot of other hens weren't laying. Now we get about 7 eggs/day. We love having our ladies on the homestead. They are happy to scrape up bugs and bits of vegetation in the woods.

April 10, 2010 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

We've got over 100 chickens currently- most of which just arrived last week!
We've got 12 laying hens in the barn with the dairy goats (australorps, dominiques, and Americaunas) the chicks that we just got are mostly broilers that we'll butcher ourselves in a couple months (some going to friends and family but mostly staying here in our freezer)
The rest of the chicks (about 25 or so) are destined to be layers and are mostly red stars, buff orpingtons, and rhode island reds.
I love having chickens, can't imagine life without them anymore! I think everyone needs at least a few! :)
Our farm is growing rapidly with chickens, goats, pigs, and soon-to-be Bees! We've got over 1000 sqf of garden space and we're hoping to be self-sustainable someday!

Johnson, VERMONT!!

m
@
senesacfamilyhomestead.blogspot.com

April 10, 2010 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger unpackingtreasure said...

I have a mixture of breeds,I cant keep it to just one breed! I think my favorite is the Auracauna..I love the pale green eggs.I have a few Buff Orpingtons, and Rhode Island Reds, and some Barred Rocks,and a few that I'm not sure what they are. When I want to unwind, I go out and sit in the doorway of the coop, and watch my ladies...they make me laugh!

April 10, 2010 at 8:43 AM  
Blogger Cary said...

Hey Jenna! Very cool. Would gobble :) up both books. Thanks to you and your clear writing and encouragement, we for the first time, have 7 chicks on the porch, 6 Buff Orpingtons and 1 Araucana. They are a delight and we look forward to watching them dance around our eastern Connecticut patch of earth. We have 2 Toulouse goslings on order to bring home Cinco de Mayo, thanks to you too! Enjoy this fabulous day! from down south in North Stonington, Connecticut :)

April 10, 2010 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Velma said...

i like chickens at my friend's places. me, i want them, but don't want the grief from coyote, raccoon, or other critter predation. i still miss my disappeared goose and gander.

April 10, 2010 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

We hope to have chickens sometime this year. We just love fresh eggs and since chickens are wonderful insect eaters, our alpacas' pasture will be better off. Our friends have several different breeds so we'll probably acquire a few of their delightful 'farm mix' chicks.

Deerfield, NH

April 10, 2010 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger vcsnover said...

I had 5 chickens in my small urban backyard until one hopped my fence and an unappreciative neighbor called the fuzz on me who then forced me to give them away. They went to a good no-kill farmer about an hour away... sad situation indeed.

April 10, 2010 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I love chickens! We just got our first group of pullets. We have an order in for some more chicks to arrive the beginning of May. I'd love to get copies of those books! They look great!

April 10, 2010 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Katey and Dave said...

I live in a 90 year old farmhouse on a ranch in South Dakota, with several chicken coops scattered around the property. The coops have been empty for 30 years, according to my landlord. We'd love to return them to their former glory. My cousin's children raise chickens in Michigan, and it seems like something we could handle. Maybe next summer?

Rosebud, South Dakota

April 10, 2010 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger annie said...

We've got 8 almost year old hens and are loving it! We got a variety of day old chicks last year - Buckeyes, Golden Buffs, Barred Rocks and all made it! We moved last fall to our own little homestead and now we're able to let them free range a bit. I love watching the happy chickens! And being able to enjoy the fresh eggs ourselves and having enough to pass along the goodness to friends & family, too.

Richfield, OH

April 10, 2010 at 9:24 AM  
OpenID lisazahnwrites said...

Great giveaway! We have four Rhode Island Reds in our little city backyard. My hubby built our own version of the "playhouse coop" which is on backyardchickens.com and it looks great in the back corner of the yard. It is not legal to have chickens in our town so...it had to kind of blend in and look like a playhouse or something. The hens don't blend in very well and can be quite noisy esp. in the morning when they want to eat (and we are on a city person schedule not a farmer's so they don't get fed before 7 a.m.!).

We love the eggs and in the warmer months chicken care is a no-brainer. It gets harder when it's below zero much of the winter here in Minnesota. I would suggest to people getting chickens, don't have your husband spend a month building a cute coop before you get them. Because then you are stuck with those chickens, even if you find out you don't particularly like it! There are times I wish we didn't have them (like when it's 30 below), but mostly it's great.

Lisa
St. Cloud, Minnesota

April 10, 2010 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Meredith said...

Last weekend we went to the farm supply store and got our fencing, posts and feeders. With any luck, we will have 10 good laying hens by the end of the month, producing our own egg supply and getting us one step closer to self sufficiency.
We want chickens for the same reason we grow our own veggies and have solar panels - we want to provide as much as we can for ourselves.

April 10, 2010 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Nikki said...

I have Four hens, 3 Ameraucanas (Diva, Belle and Lucy), and 1 Barred Rock (Plimpsol). They were a gift from my neighbor last summer, and I absolutely love having them! They have a converted wooden doghouse mounted on a garden cart for a coop, and a secure cattle panel hoop pen, also on wheels, for when we are away from home during the week.
I am hooked, and I want more. I am drawn to the idea of Buff Orps, but that's a dreadfully hard decision. My plan is to convert the hoop pen into permanent coop, and fence three adjacent areas for rotational gardens that can be tilled and fertilized by the chooks.

Amite, La.

April 10, 2010 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger Fresh Eggs Farm said...

Right now, we are still in the "dreaming stage" of having a farm. We live in an apartment while my husband finishes school (to be a teacher). Hopefully soon we will have a handful of chickens, a couple of goats, beehives, a small orchard and lots of gardens.
It will be really cool to use our farm as a learning tool for my husband's class.

Dayton, Ohio (currently) - but eventually hopefully back to Florida.

April 10, 2010 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger dc said...

Our city allows chickens- Yippee! A number of my friends have chickens so I can chicken-sit but we have a sabbatical coming up so ours will have to wait.

I've been a canner since college, mostly jams, chutneys and pickles. Would love to win the books!

Fort Collins, CO

April 10, 2010 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

We have JUST sold out house in the city and will be moving out the the country the end of May - and first thing on the list?? CHICKENS!! We are going to have approx. 12-15 laying hens and then probably about a dozen meat bird. I'm leaning towards the heavy breeds as they will need to be hardy enough to withstand the Minnesota winters. But my boys want blus and green eggs, so we'll definitely have several Americaunas! We cannot wait to get our chickens! We've been dreaming and planning for this time for the last year - and now it's right around the corner! Yipee! City and State? Owatonna, MN. Thanks for a chance in the giveaway, Jenna!

April 10, 2010 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said...

I am a wanna be chicken raiser. I would love to eat fresh eggs and when the chickens have led a long happy life, love to have fresh chicken soup or equivalent.

I live in Shreveport, LA and dream of having a country homestead.

April 10, 2010 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

No chickens for me...yet. I'll need to set up shop somewhere else before I can have any type of livestock, but until then I keep learning all I can in Plainfield, IN.

April 10, 2010 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Chickens! I want 'em in my suburban/city backyard, but don't have them yet. I want three, and I'm thinking Buff Orpingtons because I've heard they're really docile.

April 10, 2010 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger m said...

This isn't going to make me popular, but please read through!

I grew up with chickens and I hated them. We lived in town but had a quarter acre back yard. We were lucky. A HUGE garden, a few fruit trees, and my parents kept chickens for eggs and pheasants for meat. They also fished and hunted. I don't think we had store bought meat until I was a teenager.

Birds scared/scare the *beep* out of me. Especially chickens. I don't know why. I think it's the way they look--those eyes, those talons. I am terrified of them.

That said, over the past few weeks I've said a few times to my husband that I wished I wasn't afraid of them, because I'd really, really like to have our own egg chickens. I don't have to tell you how amazing fresh eggs taste.

We have a small garden that expands every year. I have two boys--2 and 4--and the eldest is itching as much as me to start digging and plant our garden. (We had snow here last night in northern Alberta, so it'll be a few weeks yet, though we did start our tomatoes last week). We're slowly becoming more self-sufficient. I can and jam. I garden. I make almost everything from scratch (not bread or pasta noodles, but most everything else). We haven't had a car in nine years. We believe in green living.

It feels like the next step should be egg chickens. I want them. I'm just terrified. I hope I'll learn to overcome my fear. People do all the time, right? Anyway, you may not want to give me the book because I'm not ready yet, but I think I'm going to search it out regardless. It might help me overcome my fear.

This is my first comment. I've been reading for about six months now. I love it and find your journey an inspiration. Thanks for allowing us all to peek into your life regularly.

April 10, 2010 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Brooks said...

We got six hens last year but lost 4 to an animal in January. I have six chicks, all different breeds, about 4 weeks old now in the garage to add to the 2 laying hens from last year. I grew up with chickens and goats but until recently lived in an apartment and was not able to have animals. Now we are in the country with chickens and a small veggie garden. I absolutely love it all. I hope to try canning when our apricot tree fruits later this year.

Templeton, CA

April 10, 2010 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Julianne said...

Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Rocks have lived with us for years. Last weekend we added 4 Dominiques and 3 Welsummers to the flock. I'm looking forward to the dark brown welsummer eggs. I don't think we could ever NOT have chickens. "Farm TV" just wouldn't be the same without them.


Reading, PA

April 10, 2010 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Becca said...

I've got a flock of silver-laced Wyandottes. They're the replacements for a flock of Dominiques that were eaten by stray dogs last summer. I like the attitude the Wyandottes have. Apparently there was a small hawk that landed in the back yard where they run free and they all started running towards it to chase it off. They're also fairly sweet girls and deal with my preschooler son quite well. I chose rose comb chickens because of the winter winds here. The summers can be quite brutal, but I've found it easier to help the birds keep cool than it is to fight against frostbite. Even with the combs close to the body they have some scarred areas on their combs. They are an irreplaceable part of this household, even if the plan is for them to die of old age.

Clovis, NM

April 10, 2010 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger Maura Salas said...

No chickens yet, doing my homework first. When I was around seven my grandmother gave me a job. She kept hens in her yard, no coop, just an enclosure, some perches and laying boxes on the ground. My job was to gather the eggs. I recall so vividly slowly reaching my small hand under the large warm hen, hearing them chuckle to themselves, feeling for the warm egg and pulling it out from under them. I remember how they weighed a certain perfect ammount in my hand as I cradled them, just so; inspecting them for stuck feathers and "the like", surprised by every one. I have three kiddos of my own these days, we live in a small city; we finally have our own place. I want the "put-your-little-hand-under-the-warm-chuckling-hen-and-find-the-perfect-eggness" experience for them, doing my homework first. Millbrae, CA

April 10, 2010 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

We just got 8 golden comets this year. These are our first chickens and we are loving them. They will start producing for us around August, cant wait. They are so funny and lovable. We want to get a farm someday but for now we are in a subdivision. We have set up an agreement with a farmer to sell/trade our extra eggs.

April 10, 2010 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger karental said...

I want chickens but I have to raise them stealthily. Chickens are outlawed in my area (insert rooster wearing six-guns here).

April 10, 2010 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

One Ameraucana, four Red Stars (got in trade for 2 guinea fowl who irked the neighbors) plus a RI Red rooster. Have 6 chicks on order - 3 more ameraucanas (daughter #1 thinks their eggs are both pretty and yummy) and 3 barred Plymouth Rocks, because their delivery was at about the same time so they can all share space as they grow. I can't be keeping two different sets of chicks apart from the grown-up hens AND away from the cats all summer. I would LOOVE to try raising a couple of turkeys for our holidays, but am still thinking/learning about that. Thanks again for the blog.
Middleborough, MA

April 10, 2010 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

I really want chickens, but it will have to wait until I'm a little more settled.

Eastern New Mexico

April 10, 2010 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger KC said...

Getting out first chicks on (gulp) Monday! We're excited but have lots to learn. I'd LOVE a copy of both those books.

Columbia Falls, MT

April 10, 2010 at 11:39 AM  
OpenID mountainchicken said...

Woohoo! I'm a fan of both blogs. I'm still in the dream stage of chicken ownership, although that dream is slowly coming to fruition. I'll finally have a place with some land come August, and fully intend on stocking it with chickens and goats. My chicken interaction thus far has been with Plymouth Rocks, so I think I'll start with them.

April 10, 2010 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Harvest Kitchen Sisters said...

My sister lives on a farm and hatches her own, I live in the city (Toronto) and desperately want my own...The thought of organic eggs and chicken poo for my garden makes me giddy inside!!!

amelia

April 10, 2010 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

I have wanted chickens for a while now. My daughter has a nice place in the country and wants them as well. We are hoping to add them to the menagerie this year, as soon as we can get the funds together to build a coop. Our goal is eggs and tick control!

Warwick, RI

April 10, 2010 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger SouthFella said...

I used to have backyard chickens. Bantam and Rhode Island reds... It was a good learning experience for me as a kid raising chickens.

We should encourage our kids to raise something then eat it later on. That way they know where meat comes from.

** Vegetarian population might get some new members **

April 10, 2010 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger The Milk Maid said...

We have all kinds, I could not just bring myself to ordering one kind. We are going to incubate our own this year and I hope to get more of the blue orpingtons and aracauna's. I enjoy my chickens and will always have them. Steuben County,NY

April 10, 2010 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center said...

Last year was the second year we canned & we loved it. Now coming in the spring season we feel like old pros here at our house. The garden is being tilled as I type & spinach, cabbage, kohlrabi & potatoes will shortly be added.

Chickens are on our wishlist & we hope to add them to our been there, done that list shortly. The thought of fresh eggs everyday makes my mouth water.
Wendy A.
in PA

April 10, 2010 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Caitlin said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I love your blog. I don't have chickens yet, as I went to a talk on city chickens at the Common Ground Fair in Maine last year and it took the wind out of my sails a bit. I think this is a good thing, as I would have gotten in over my head otherwise. So now I am doing my homework and researching for next year, and also considering how I will fit gardens and a dog and chickens into the same small-ish backyard. There is also the question of whether or not it is legal in my city. I live in Manchester, NH.

April 10, 2010 at 12:14 PM  
Blogger Rue said...

I'm soaking up as much information as I can about keeping chickens at this point. This year's all about bees for me, but next year may be the year of the chicken.

~Rue, in West Bridgewater, MA

April 10, 2010 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Flartus said...

Holy cow...er, chicken! Look at all these comments--I'm lol'ing here.

I grew up with a small flock of Rhode Island Reds and Buff Orpingtons, plus Stanley the white-crested black Polish rooster (who was supposed to be a hen).

No chickens right now, but I've finally convinced my partner to let me get a small flock...someday. We're both working multiple jobs, but even if I have to wait 'til retirement, I'm gonna get me a backyard coop.

I used to love hanging out & talking to the chickens. (I'm glad I can say that without you all thinking I'm weird).

Charlotte, NC

April 10, 2010 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Frist, I'm looking for a small piece of land in SW Wiscosnin with a Amish log cabin, then when I retire and can live there full time, then come the chickens. And fruit trees.

Here in the city, no farm animals are allowed.

Milwaukee, WI

April 10, 2010 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger sheila said...

2 Speckled Sussex, 3 Easter Eggers, 2 Buff Orpingtons, 1 Rhode Island Red, 1 Golden Comet, and 4 Silkies (all hens)

To make the flock complete there is 1 Rhode Island Red rooster who is getting too big for his britches and may be turned into soup if he doesn't cool his spurs.

That's it for chickens at my place right now. I'd like to add couple of really dark egg layers. Maybe some Black Copper Marans or Barnvelders to get even more color in the egg basket.

I'm in the Finger Lakes Region of NYS.


I just read the comment from m who would like chickens but is afraid of them. May I suggest Silkies. They are so sweet and really don't even look like chickens. More like a cross between a chicken and a rabbit. Mine are laying surprisingly well too!

April 10, 2010 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

We have 12 hens -- ate the rooster -- in suburban Atlanta, GA. 5 Americana (lay beautiful blue and green eggs) 1 gorgeous black and white chicken, 3 Buff Orpingtons (oh, so sweet chicken, my personal favorites), 2 Red Star (escape artists par excellence) and one really nasty Bantam hen. We keep them in a shed at night due to raccoons and coyotes in our neighborhood and during the day, they are out in outdoor pens in the backyard that we move around each day for fresh grass, manuring the garden beds, etc. We love, love, love our chickens and so do our neighbors especially the children. Currently, there are a lot of movements here in Atlanta to ban backyard chickens and several communities have actually passed laws outlawing them. Seldom does a week go by that this is not in the news here.
We control smell, flies and rodent by being scrupulous about cleaning out the shed each day and burying the straw, thus enriching our Georgia clay soil.

April 10, 2010 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger tom kurth said...

i have chickens in urban ca. black astralorps, buff orpingtons, and cuckoo marans. i love them in my garden and they are great pets!

April 10, 2010 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger LEON said...

I have been thinking about having chickens for some time, but due to being a disable veteran, I just flat don't have the endurance to build a house and runh. Then, yesterday, I was offered a chicken house by a next door neighbor and it can be easily moved to my property. I then, got another phone call to tell me he is taking a chicken yard (fence andbuilding) down at his mother in laws and will be bringing it to me. So, looks like I will be in the chicken business. I could really use the book. Many thanks. I enjoy your blog and read it almost daily.

April 10, 2010 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger LEON said...

I have been thinking about having chickens for some time, but due to being a disable veteran, I just flat don't have the endurance to build a house and runh. Then, yesterday, I was offered a chicken house by a next door neighbor and it can be easily moved to my property. I then, got another phone call to tell me he is taking a chicken yard (fence andbuilding) down at his mother in laws and will be bringing it to me. So, looks like I will be in the chicken business. I could really use the book. Many thanks. I enjoy your blog and read it almost daily.

April 10, 2010 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger Steven_10 said...

No chickens yet, but they're coming.. mid-May, mix of layers and ones to raise for the freezer. Other livestock also but chickens will be the first to arrive.

Seeds are already going, chickens will be a big part of this little corner outside of Edmonton, Alberta

April 10, 2010 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Sue or Willow. We share this ID said...

When we moved here 2 1/2 years ago, we chose a house just outside city limits because it wasn't legal to own chickens in city or county but the county code enforcement officer I talked to said, "you know, we wouldn't come looking for chickens unless your neighbors complained." With that wink and nod, we got six hens (four the first year and 3 more the second -- a fox accounted for the apparently bad math there). A year later, the city legalized hens and so over our back fence it's legal, but not on our side! Our girls live in a coop under our deck and have a fenced run inside our yard. I love nothing better than to take a break from the gardening and to sit on a chair in their run. I immediately have lap chicken snuggling up to nap on me!
Sue in Fort Collins, CO

April 10, 2010 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger I am a quilter said...

in my town there is a one time permit that cost $180 dollars and your neighbors have to agree to you keeping chickens... wish me luck!!!!

April 10, 2010 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger sissyjane said...

I really, really want chickens.I'm having a hard time convincing my hubby though.

April 10, 2010 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger Madame said...

I would love to have chickens, but sadly they are not currently permitted by our HOA. So, I live vicariously through you, Jenna. Thx for the great blog. It inspires me to do little things to get closer to the land all the time. Including discussing chickens with the HOA committee.

-Madame in Woodbridge, VA

April 10, 2010 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Heather T said...

I've been reading Ms. English's blog for a while.
We are getting chickens this year...for eggs and entertainment and integrated pest management for ticks and the garden. (Our dog was just diagnosed with Lyme and another tick-borne baddy.)

South Portland, Maine

April 10, 2010 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Lara Katherine Mountain Colley said...

We have 15 chickens and just got 18 chicks this spring! Our family loves chickens! We had 6 hens at our house in town, and we were so excited that when we moved out to the country this past summer we could get more chickens. My twin 8 year olds were chickens for halloween. My daughter was a Welsummer hen and my son was a white crested black Polish rooster. Next year we hope to add a second coop for meat birds.

Elmira, OR

April 10, 2010 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Our adventures with Chickens started several years ago when my nephew secretly bought several chicks for 50 cents each. He was staying with us for a few days. When his Dad put the cayabosh on that one, we kept all the chicks and have had chickens ever since. We just had 35 hatch in our incubator and 3 that a broody hen rasied in the henhouse. We have light and dark brahmas, red stars, buff orps, leghorns and delawares. The ones that hatched include americanas, cochins, RIR and Norwegian Jearhons, so we can't wait to see how they turn out. In June we will be getting 50 Freedom Rangers and will be using a homemade chicken tractor to pasture them around the property. Wouldn't be without chickens for anything now.

April 10, 2010 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

We don't have chickens yet, since we don't have a yard (we're in an apartment outside of DC). But I'm looking forward to it!!

April 10, 2010 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Oh yeah, we live in Goodhue County, MN. Forgot to add that above!

April 10, 2010 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

My husband is a city boy- grew up in Germany. I am a suburb girl, with my heart firmly planted in the country, so a small town outside a large city was the compromise we made.

When I first started talking about keeping chickens, he would have none of it. Then last summer, as I was pulling tomatoes out of the one bed in which I was gardening, and as he helped me can them up into sauced for pizzas, he got it. Now when I talk about chickens, it's understood that we'll have them.

My mother wants me to get New Hampshire Reds, because that was the breed that her father had for awhile when he had the chicken ranch in the San Fernando Valley many years ago. But I'm not sure that they're cold hardy enough for Oregon. I'm thinking about Orpingtons, but there were a couple of heritage breeds in which I was interested that I read about in the poultry breed book published by Storey.

Since I'm building our garden this summer, I'm putting off chickens (and bees) until next year because I just don't want to overdo it the first year. But chickens, specifically hens, are in my future as are homegrown eggs and chicken dinners.

Paula
West Linn, Oregon

April 10, 2010 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I have wanted chickens (or ducks) for quite some time now! Eventually I'd like to have milk goats and rabbits too, when I move onto some more land. I've been doing a lot of research because I live in the city and don't want the neighbors to have a stroke! Cincinnati, OH

April 10, 2010 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger Judy Hamilton said...

I am amazed almost daily how easy it is to keep chickens, even on a lot near the Coos Bay, OR city limits. They are so self-sufficient, if you let them, and give so much more than they require. We have a flock of 14 consisting of barred rocks, cuckoo marans, blue orpingtons (two of these are roosters), silver-laced wyandottes, an australorp, an americauna, and a black sex-link. Their embryonic children are presently 6 days in the incubator and seem to be growing well. We've had chickens continuously for five years now and I cannot imagine them being absent from our life: their presence is therapeutic somehow, and their eggs, meat, and broth are priceless. Oh yes, I love chickens!

April 10, 2010 at 2:22 PM  
Blogger Affi'enia said...

Ooh don;t know if this is open to the English but thought I'd put in a comment anyhoo. We are hoping to get our first 4 chickens at the end of this month. My other half is just finalizing his plans for the coop which he is building himself. This is the first step in a move to homesteading/farming for us. We are in a rented property at the moment but our landlord is way cool!!! We're thinking of light sussex or rhode island red. Or even a cross of the 2. The plan is get 4 that are ready to lay, learn to look after them and then get 4 more from chicks.

Leeds, UK

April 10, 2010 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger Karl Micheal said...

I love chickens!! Fried, Grilled, baked, boiled, with dumplins, in a sandwich, the list goes on and on!!! I also enjoy their products -eggs! They are so much fun to watch and also quite enjoyable to raise. And, my Rhode Island Red rooster is the king of the yard and my dog and he are really great friends.

April 10, 2010 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

We moved out to the country 3 years ago to build a "green" home and begin living off the land as much as possible. We built a deluxe chicken coop last year, but were unable to acquire our breed of choice--Buckeyes!! We finally got them this March 24th--29 healthy, day-old buckeye chicks! (one didn't make the journey) We went with straight-run and because they are good all-purpose birds, we will put some of our roosters in the freezer at the end of the summer and keep our layers with a rooster or two for next year's hatching. We're so excited to slowly add to our homestead. We have read that buckeyes are friendly, consistent layers and even good mousers! In addition they are cold hardy--important for our neck of the woods in Portage, Wisconsin!

April 10, 2010 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Damn The Broccoli said...

I want chickens badly, they represent the culmination of a dream for me. I am about to build a chicken coop to get my first four but I have much bigger plans.

I currently visit a local farm and volunteer, they have 300 free range hens. My day is good when I have held a chicken for a few minutes.

I feel about Chickens the same way you feel about sheep. They are my future farm.

I live in the UK though so if postage is an issue and I am drawn by all means pick someone else.

Cheers

April 10, 2010 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger octobergirl said...

I want chickens but can't have them where I live. So I visit them at our CSA farm. Maybe some day.......
Littleton, CO

April 10, 2010 at 3:30 PM  
OpenID amknost said...

Jenna,
I enjoy reading your blog and now will be reading Ashley's too!
I moved to northern VT almost three years ago to live the good life. We have a small (but growing in size every year) garden and this year I will be building the coop and then come baby chicks! I can't wait! I want Black Australorps, Silver Wyandottes, New Hampshire Reds, Buff Orphingtons and a Speckled Sussex rooster.
I also hope to get some Raspberries and Blueberries in this year and plant some apples trees. Then I can start preserving the harvest!
Some day when I can afford to build a barn there will be sheep (for wool) and goats (instead of mowing!).
I am so happy to hear of your situation with the Jackson farm. I felt just as excited while I was on my way here. You will be incredibly happy, I wish you the best of luck!

from a fellow "barnheart girl" in Walden, Vermont

April 10, 2010 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger Katrina said...

I like the idea of having chickens - would love to have those fresh eggs - but somehow just really don't like them...canning however, that I am planning to figure out someday!

April 10, 2010 at 4:53 PM  
Blogger bairdlet said...

I live in a large university town, not the kind of place you'd expect to find chickens. But in our little neighborhood (a culdesac of 5 homes, mostly graduate students) you'll find a total of 29 chickens, of various breeds, who mostly wander freely through everybody's yards (a wonder considering it's still illegal to keep more than two hens within city limits). The breeds run the full gambit from Silkies to hardy dual-cross breeds like Red and Black Stars, and we've all built our coops to sit on top of garden wagons so that we can drag them from yard to yard whenever we have to leave town for fieldwork. It's amazing that chicken-keeping isn't common practice; they really are easier to keep than a dog, and probably provide more healthy food than a small garden (though they've been working great in tandem with the neighborhood gardens). And I love their weird chickeny intelligence.

April 10, 2010 at 4:53 PM  
Blogger Wanda Barrett said...

We have one little red banty hen that we hatched from an egg about eight years ago. She's just a pet (and by pet I mean that when she was injured I spent $250 at the vet fixing her up!). I'd love to have a whole flock of dominickers some day if we ever end up in a place that would allow it.

April 10, 2010 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

We LOVE your blog and we LOVE chickens!! All kinds!! My daughter especially! Gathering eggs is our favorite thing to do!!! http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1043482&l=d1bf8f9a4e&id=1248754200

You inspire me so much - thank you thank you thank you!!!!

:) Wendy

April 10, 2010 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Naomi said...

I so want chickens! We just got our rabbit barn in the back yard in the city, so we may be waiting on chickens until we have more space. I'd love to hear more about your meat rabbit operation, please keep us informed. Especially, how old are they when you butcher them?

Naomi in Oregon

April 10, 2010 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

We are getting our first chickens in June. We are probably going to start with 5 Buff Orpinghtons. All our friends here think we're crazy, but we can't wait!

San Angelo, TX

April 10, 2010 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Sarah Rachelle said...

I really want chickens. The idea of getting eggs just outside my door gets me so excited! I think I'd like Americanas and Rhode Island Reds, though I need to do more research.

Halethorpe, MD

April 10, 2010 at 5:15 PM  
Blogger Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

My chicken experience comes from my job: I am the "family assistant" to a lovely Italian-American family in the hills of Oakland CA. They have kept and ridden horses for years, and my experiences with the big animals have been varied to say the least!

This spring, the younger daughter, now nearly eight, got five chicks. At first they were in a box in the garage under a hot light and then they moved into a lovely space outside. Two are black and white-one of them has feathers on her feet-and three brick red-none with feet feathers. What does the presence of feathers on the feet signify?

I have a chance to help tend them with the young lady and it is my first opportunity to touch our fine fowl. Enjoying is an understatement, I am falling in love with them and their little chicky noises.

Oakland CA

April 10, 2010 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger pjo2179 said...

Currently we have 6 adult chickens- 2 golden laced wyandottes (very sweet), 2 golden comets (stupid but excellent layers), an easter egger (we call her hawk- she sees everything) and a barred rock (nosy watchdog). We are expecting 40 more on Tuesday or Wednesday. We ordered 25 cornish rock crosses and 15 silver laced wyandottes. We do a few batches of meat birds a year, give some to friends, sell some, etc. I have to admit that my favorite channel is FarmTV. We also have horses, heritage breed pigs, barn cats, a small lap dog (120 lb rottweiler), and are waiting for our future milk suppliers (2 alpine goats) to be weaned so they can come home. I can jams and jellies and am hoping to can some veggies this year- especially roasted red peppers.
Pam in Wilson, NY

April 10, 2010 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger Ivy Mae said...

I'm happy to say that in 6 weeks, my husband, son, and I are making the move to our homesteading dream--10 acres in Florida with a great 900 ft2 cottage. I've got the spot already picked out where the chicken coop will go (where my grandfather used to raise quail to train his hunting dogs). I remember commenting a few months ago about wishing you could get your own farm and simultaneously thinking that such a day would never come for MY family. And yet here we all are! So exciting. Anyhoo, that book looks PERFECT for an enthusiastic chicken novice like me. Bring it on!
PS--I was wondering this morning while I was showering (best thinking done there) if the name Cold Antler will follow you to the Jackson farm...I can't remember if you talked about that or not.

April 10, 2010 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger Ivy Mae said...

Oh, duh, and this is Ivy, who is currently from Charleston, SC, but will soon be calling High Springs, Fl home.

April 10, 2010 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger manzanita said...

Brought home baby chicks today. It's so exciting, it's like Christmas!! Got a Rhode Island Red, an Americauna and a Silver tip. The day is finally here and I'm a chicken farmer.

April 10, 2010 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger MESmith said...

Currently, I don't have any chickens, but am hoping to get them someday! We are in Chicago now, but moving to Austin, TX in the near future. Once we are able to buy a place with some land we can get a small flock. I envy you both for being able to wake up to fresh eggs! For now, I like to support our local farmers and get eggs through our CSA, but hope one day I will be able to walk out my back door and into the coop.

April 10, 2010 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger Finding My Truth said...

We got our first chicks a couple weeks ago. We've been having so much fun watching them get their first feathers and trying them out. We can't wait for eggs!!

April 10, 2010 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger janineem said...

I had an Arucana bantam hen and a Rhode Island Red hen. Both were great layers and very gentle. People couldn't believe we ate the little blue-green eggs(or the brown ones for that matter). They were my first and only hens. Lorain, Ohio

April 10, 2010 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Jey said...

I grew up with chickens in the back yard of our Alabama suburbian home, but haven't had them since about age 7... Now, in Alaska, my husband and I have finally gotten electricity hooked up to our little cabin, so this summer will see chickens - figuring out how to overwinter them without electricty at 40 degrees below zero was more than I wanted to contemplate. As soon as the semester (my last!!!!) is over, the pile of salvaged wood in the yard will become a coop and rabbit hutch. I'm thinking brahmas for their cold resistance, but we'll see what's available locally before I decide to order from a hatchery!
I also read both of your blogs and am so happy to see that you've become friends!

Fairbanks Alaska

April 10, 2010 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger ~ Jill ~ said...

Just got my baby chicks a couple weeks ago. I live in city limits. Plan on moving to the country very soon. I also read both blogs and am excited by what both of you are doing.

Festus, Missouri

April 10, 2010 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger Nicholas said...

I so want chickens, but figure it is best to wait until I have this whole graduate school, moving every summer experience over and done with. I am fortunate enough to have friends with chicks (new babies today!) and bees, so I get to practice.

Bloomington, IN

April 10, 2010 at 7:07 PM  
Blogger Muffy Sainte-Marie said...

Well, I have no chickens myself, but my friend Lydia Peelle, in Nashville, had some chicks arrive in the post last year while I was visiting. Two of the little dears had problems with their legs - under the watchful eyes of Lydia's 2 dogs, we tended to these poor little 'failure to thrivers', while the other chicks attempted to take care of the problem by pecking them to death. Lydia made splints from bandaids for their legs and separated them from the others, and lo and behold - they survived!
I'll leave you with a poem from the ultimate chicken lady, Miss Nancy Luce from Martha's Vineyard, who loved her many chickens so much she wrote poems to them. This one's a sad one, written in grief after her favourite hen died.

from POOR LITTLE HEARTS

Poor little Ada Queetie has departed this life,
Never to be here no more,
No more to love, no more to speak.

Poor little Ada Queetie's last sickness and death,
Destroyed my health at an unknown rate,
With my heart breaking and weeping,
I kept the fire going night after night, to keep poor little dear warm,
Poor little heart, she was sick one week
With froth in her throat,
Then 10 days and grew worse, with dropsy in her stomach,
I kept getting up nights to see how she was.

She was coming 9 years of age, when she was taken away,
By all I found out, very certain true
Poor Sissy hatched her out her egg in Chilmark,
The reason she was taken away before poor Sissy,
Her constitution was as weak as weak could be.

Her complaint that caused her death,
Was just such a complaint as poor Sissy had
Only poor Sissy's complaint ended with dropsy in her stomach.

April 10, 2010 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

I definitely plan to have chickens, both for my family to have meat and eggs, natural pest control for the garden, and to sell. I want to start with a few Brahmas next year, when I hope to move to a more homestead/farming-friendly place.

I'm in Central Oregon (Bend, OR specifically). We plan to stay within this area when we move, though I have not-so-secret aspirations to move to Fossil, OR for reasons that I haven't even fully grasped yet.

April 10, 2010 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger greendria said...

I just started my flock. Eight hens from the feed store. Brooding in my kitchen at night, outside in the backyard during the day. Two of each of the following: Golden buff, Barred rock, Wyandotte, and Ameracauna. I love them! I thought I wanted another baby, but it turns out I just needed some hens!

Andria
Raleigh, NC

April 10, 2010 at 8:19 PM  

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