I set upon my chicken adventure a couple of years ago, yearning for fresh eggs and a more natural approach to living. There are a few things I’ve learned along the way about my chickens, that I feel I need to share in case you might decide to purchase chickens on your own.
1. Your neighbors will be unhappy by being woken up at 5:30 am every morning, 7 days a week, all year round by your rooster crowing. Be prepared to hand over dozens of your fresh eggs to your neighbors as a peace offering.
2. Your rooster will choose to only service his hens in the front yard, much to the horror of the elementary school children waiting for the bus.
3. You will realize that your neighbor has surely lost her mind as she drives her car across her lawn, and around her house in order to chase your chickens off of her property.
4. Your next-door neighbor will drop subtle hints about the condition of his yard, and the bottom of his shoes as he informs you that your chickens have been visiting.
5. You realize that no garden is safe, anywhere within the vicinity of a country block. Do not attempt to grow anything with free-range chickens around. Be prepared to buy your neighbors fresh fruits and vegetables as a peace offering.
6. No matter how safe and secure you think you have your chickens run, there is still a way for them to get out. You will never figure out how, and they will never tell.
7. If you build an emergency chicken coop as a peace offering to your neighbors, remember to have the roof fully put on before winter sets in. A tarp will leak and fall apart, but only during severe storms so that you can fix it as you have icicles hanging from your nose.
8. If you have a sick chicken, and attempt to help it, it will run away from you, faster than the speed of light. If you want to pat your chicken, it will run from you faster than the speed of light. If you go to collect eggs from your chicken, it will stay and peck your shoes, hands and everything in between until you have no feeling left in the lower part of your body.
9. Chickens will not eat the very expensive mix of food you personally hand selected and mixed to ensure their nutritional needs are met. They will however, eat their own manure, and they will enjoy it.
10. Chickens that are handled from very young will come to you and fall asleep in your lap as you sit in your lawn chair for a leisurely afternoon. There is nothing greater than that.
Chickens can be great pets. They are fun to watch, and much cheaper than paying for therapy. They can provide you with companionship, yes… companionship, and a peace of mind as you watch them mill amongst themselves. Buying chickens was a decision that I’ll never regret.