For a while now we've considered raising chickens in the yard. Not only do some people claim they make better pets than dogs, but they lay eggs that you can eat. We finally have a backyard, so that's a start. We've read so much about it and then yesterday, we visited a friend's ranch.
We took a trip up to Santa Paula to visit an old friend who now lives on a lemon ranch. And among other animals they have close to 15 chickens. We took a trip down to the Hay and Grain to grab some ear tags and they were selling chicks, adolescent chickens, and almost ready to lay chickens (for $12/each). They were so knowledgable about the chickens and how to raise them that they totally built my confidence. I was super tempted to take home 2 or 3, build them an Ikea hacked coop and call it a day. Of course, we want to be more thoughtful about it than that, since it does mean more work to care for more animals. But the opportunity to have fresh laid eggs and animals for the kids to discover is pretty tempting.
In Los Angeles you can have unlimited chickens as long as they are at least 20 feet from owner's residence, and must be at least 35 feet from any other dwelling. Check out this site to see what the laws are in your city.
Here are some of the links we're looking at for research:
News To Us: Pet Chickens
An Angelino Raising Chickens gives advice and tips.
DIY Chicken Coop Plans
Cool Coop Makeover.
Do you raise chickens? Were there any major surprises? Do you raise them in a small space? Urban? Suburban? Countryside?
(Images: Laure Joliet, Christine Chitnis and Sarah Rainwater)