Thursday, September 12, 2013

Backyard Chickens - or - Hen Retirement Home (?)

I have watched the backyard chicken movement with great interest. There is a lot of appeal to having the lovely little cluckers keeping the yard bug free while providing the main ingredient for omelettes and helping us to grow our own mostly organic food. And, the older I get, the more I like birds, almost all birds.

But when I look at the overall picture, I shy away. Hens produce eggs for about two years. Then they last several more years. It's those several more years that have me concerned.

The logical among you are probably thinking, "Well, gee, when they stop laying eggs, just eat the chickens. Problem solved."

But our world does not work that way, and I am okay with that. Enter my wife. My wife has a phenomenal capacity for love and sympathy when it comes to animals, and a tremendous respect for the sanctity of life, all life.

So, all those Instructable plans for backyard chicken coops and chicken tractors seem inadequate to the task - the task of housing hundreds of hens who are living out their golden years in my backyard.

For those of you who have been reading this and thinking, "Well, gee, I want me some of them there backyard chickens," here is a link to get you thinking:

And for those of you local entrepreneurs who are looking for your entry into a sustainable small business (Hi Grizz, KK, and JB), here is a great idea that somebody up north has come up with for wimpy backyard farmer wannabes like me:

Happy clucking!