A few months ago I decided on a whim that we NEEDED backyard chickens. I started doing the research and found out that really you can keep chickens in your backyard pretty easily. With research in hand, I took it to my financial officer (Andrew), and he said NO! I was shocked. But I am persistent! So with much convincing, a little bit of bribery, I finally convinced him and here we are 2 months later as happy as spring chickens! (pun intended).
Of course, there have been a few surprises, but mostly I love my chickens. They bring me much joy, and we love watching and holding them, feeding them meal worms. As with any pet, there are always a few things you wished you knew beforehand. These are the 5 things I think you should know.
1. Chickens poop, all the time!
You may have already thought this, but unless you have had chickens you have no idea how much crap their little bodies are capable of producing. They poop all the time. ALL THE TIME. I don’t mind it in the grass, but my chickens think my patio is their personal toilet, so every evening I have to go out and spray crap off my patio. It’s the small things in life though, isn’t it?
2. Chickens have personality.
Chickens have very different personalities, and as you watch and spend time with them you get to see the REAL them. My favorite chicken, Henrietta, played it off in the beginning like she was all sweet and innocent, but now she’s letting her true colors show. In reality she is bossy as heck! She tells the other chickens what to do. Andrew and I like to talk about Henrietta behind her back all the time, and she’s so self absorbed that she hasn’t even realized it.
3. Chickens are bossy.
Speaking of bossy…chickens will boss you around. They want what they want when they want it! They cackle in the morning for me to come let them out of their coop, they come up to the back porch window and stare at me inside my house. These animals are stalkers and if you have privacy issues, these aren’t the pets for you.
4. Chickens bring people together.
Owning backyard chickens instantly bonds you to other backyard chicken people. When you happen upon someone else who has chickens it’s like finding out they are your long lost brother. Well maybe not quite that, but I bet it’s pretty close. I get so enthused to meet other people in my area, raising chickens in their backyard just like me. There are lots of local groups on Facebook, or you can find people on a national website here.
5. Chickens are my best friend.
Not quite my best friends, but my husband won a video contest with a song called Chicken is my best friend, so I feel like it fits the moment. But in all honesty, I love my chickens. Even though they are messy, and cleaning their poop can be a little less than fun, I have not for one second ever regretted becoming a backyard chicken raiser!