End Of An Era – An End To Suburban Chicken Farming

I’ve begun the process of removing “suburban chicken farmer” from the list of words or phrases to describe me.  Over the past few weeks, my chicken farming experiment has come to a close (at least for now).

Many of you may remember previous posts about my journey into the world of backyard chickens.  Almost three years ago, I picked up eight baby chickens from a good friend, and I built my own chicken condominium in our backyard complete with a picture window, a side door, a basement deck, a nesting box, and a 10 foot high roof (what was I thinking?).

As the chicks grew, I anxiously awaited our first egg.  I still remember checking on the chickens every day after work to see if we there was a surprise.  Eventually that day came!  What excitement!  I remember saving up the first couple of eggs, so our family could enjoy an egg dish from our own chicken eggs.  We made “eggs in a basket” – you cut holes in the middle of slices of bread and fry an egg in the hole.

Since then, we’ve enjoyed hundreds of eggs.  And yes, these eggs are way better than the eggs you buy in the store.

But no one told us about the challenges of suburban chicken farming.  Do you know that a chicken poops every eight minutes on average?  Do you know that chickens need extra light in the winter if you expect them to lay eggs?  Do you know that egg production slows down after two or three years?  Do you know that chickens need heated water in the winter?  We learned all this and more through our journey.  We also sadly learned that chickens like heat, but not extreme heat.  We lost six of our chickens last summer when temperatures hit record highs – that’s a whole other story.

At any rate, a couple of weeks ago our last two chickens were “stolen” when friends came over and took the hens for a ride to a new backyard setting.  My wife and kids had enough of this crazy experiment.  And honestly, I was finished with this little hobby as well (at least for now).  This weekend, I took down the chicken coop.  It was a little bitter-sweet as I reflected on the enthusiasm that initially went into this hobby.

And now, I can concentrate on other adventures.  Leanne, what do you think about getting a cow?  Just kidding!

What hobbies or activities have you moved away from?  What new hobbies or activities have you recently stepped into?