Warning: Having Chickens May Change Your Life

Chickena May Change Your Life
I have wanted chickens for quite awhile. I was amazed to find out that you could have them in urban areas, and once I found out that they were much easier to care for than I would have thought, I knew that I would have them myself. I finally convinced my husband that we were ready for them and he agreed to let me go get ‘a couple’. I brought home three hens and the story was that the extra one jumped in the box!

Having our hens has changed a lot in my life. It has changed our living style, outlook and goals. They keep me a little bit more active and help me stay focused on our home life.

We started spending more time outside. Even in the heat of the summer we spend time outside to care for the chickens, or just to enjoy watching them do weird chicken-y things. We also love to go outside to check for eggs.

DIY Hen House
My DIY Hen House, made from scraps!

I started being handy and resourceful.I’m not sure how long this one will last, but I needed to build them a coop and I used our scrap wood to make them a little henhouse. My husband had to teach me to use powertools and he had to help me with some of the planning and stepped in to help with putting a couple peices together, but mostly I built the coop myself. I am so proud and it gives me the encouragement that I need to know that I can do other projects and fix things myself if needed.

I want my yard to look nice. Going out in the yard more makes me want to keep it looking good so that we can enjoy being out there more. I have plans for actual landscapers to come and do when we save up for it, and I have been taking time to slowly work on it myself.

I pick up the dog poop more often. I have always been pretty lazy about picking up the dog poop. Being outside more and seeing it (and smelling it!) more often has helped encourage me to pick it up in a more timely manner. That makes for a much nicer yard and a more enjoyable space.

I want to garden. The landscaping I have been attempting and planning has made me want to garden. Although I have yet to start I have been reading up on anything and everything and watching gardening youtube videos.

We have been eating better. We feed the chickens mostly table scraps. They mostly eat veggie scraps, so now everytime I buy veggies I’m not worried about them going bad, because they will be eaten one way or another so it’s not wasteful. When we have more healthy food like veggies around we tend to eat quite a bit healthier. Not to mention that we have fresh, healthy eggs to eat too.

I now have a compost pile. The chickens don’t always eat all of the kitchen scraps, so it started a compost pile. I then did research and started adding more to the pile and now we have a great compost pile going. It’s a perfect way to clean up the chicken poop and wood shavings from the henhouse. The compost will be great for the garden I’m starting soon!

We waste less. With what we feed to the chickens and put in the compost pile our trash cans take much longer to fill up. It’s great because I hate taking out the trash.

I’m getting into shape, and sitting on the couch less. The landscaping I have been doing, and caring for the compost and everything else gets me up and going almost everyday. I have needed it. Even though it is still super hot outside I finally get a little bit of exercise, and I sure have needed it.

I keep the housework up, a little bit. My husband wasn’t too thrilled about me taking on more responsibility when before I was having a hard time keeping up with housework and caring for the kids and everything else I want to do in my life. I was pretty lazy and acted helpless while I was pregnant but after I showed him that I could do everything he was ok with us getting a couple chicks. I don’t always have all the housework done (ok, it’s never all done or even mostly done) but I actually do some of it and quite a bit more than I used to do. Really I just loathe laundry, dishes and cleaning but now that I have something to work towards (keeping the chickens) I tend to do quite a bit more. Also, being active with stuff outside helps me be more active with stuff inside. I guess it is true that an object in motion stays in motion.
the kids and our baby chicksWe had to get cute baby chicks. The hens we found on craigslist seem to be much older than we were told. Only one is a good layer, and one hasn’t laid for us ever. It was a great start for me to get to know and care for chickens but I won’t ever get hens again, we will just start with chicks. We just bought a few chicks so that we will have eggs in a few months. Until then they are so cute and fluffy and just a joy to have and to play with. I mean look at the kid’s happy faces. I’m just as happy looking at them and holding their cuteness! I can’t beleive how the grow so quickly.

Bob the Builder- the Hen versionMy son loves the ‘chicky-chicks’. The pictures and memories of him playing with all of the chicky-chicks is completely worth having the chickens and all of the work. He named some of them himself and just loves them. That’s why we have a hen named ‘Bob the Builder’. It’s also a great lesson to him on being gentle!

Do you have chickens? How have they changed your life?

For some great reading check out these books! (Affiliate Links)
Keep Chickens! Tending Small Flocks in Cities, Suburbs, and Other Small Spaces
Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard