I have been talking about getting some chickens for Pathfinder Farm for a year or so now. At first it seemed like more of a day dream but this year I am really going to try it. Easter is coming and the feed stores are gearing up. I went to Tractor Supply yesterday looking for a brand of hay cubes that have no GMO ingredients, and low and behold, there were several tubs of baby chicks. I managed to walk past all the nesting boxes and chicken coops and got out of there with only my hay cubes and a magazine on chicken keeping, but I was inspired to do some serious research.
Along with my magazine and Google, I managed to get pretty far along the chicken keeping learning curve in 24 hours. The first thing that jumps out at me is that everything I have read on chicken keeping reminds me a lot of horse keeping!
People who keep chickens are passionate about their chickens and often deeply bonded to their chickens. Chickens come in various breeds and chicken keeping people are very opinionated about their preferred breeds. There are chicken keeping magazines and equipment. There are many philosophies about how to best care for and enjoy your chickens. They eat feed, produce manure and need daily feeding, watering and clean up. Does all this sound incredibly familiar to all you horse lovers?
The obvious question, which any horse person reading this is now asking, along with me is, am I undertaking something that is just as labor intensive and budget challenging as having horses?
Please share your chicken keeping experiences and advice!