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My Mom Wants to Raise Chickens

February 22nd, 2010 at 11:21 pm

I think I've mentioned a bit ago that we've moved into town to live with my mother who has fallen a few times in the past couple of years and really needed to have someone closer to keep an eye on her, while we repair our old house and then sell it. Mom grew up on farms and has all of the knowledge and know-how to raise chickens and she's been wanting to do it for a couple of years, but this time it looks like she's serious.

She's been looking at chicken coops at various farms the last few weeks and at DIY plans in various homesteading and country living type magazines, and getting prices from various places, like co-ops and local farms where she can buy chicks. I think she's actually going to do it this time. The place is certainly large enough, though I don't think the neighbors will care much for the crowing of a rooster at sunrise. She wants to raise them for both meat and eggs, so a rooster is necessary to produce chicks.

I'm conflicted about it. I think having home raised eggs and meat is great, but I certainly don't want to have anything to do with the care of birds, since I have very bad allergies to feathers and down. I know that if she gets laid up again for any reason, the care of those chickens is going to fall to me. I also don't want to have anything to do with the slaughter or plucking off of feathers or gutting them. I had to pluck goose feathers for my grandpa when I was a kid (before we knew of my allergies) and it just makes me feel creeped out.

We've more or less come to the conclusion that if I buy the feed, help buy the initial batch of chicks, and help build the coop she'll do everything else and we'll all share in the eggs and meat. I think that's a good compromise. I wish I wasn't so creeped out by it all. I'm a city girl at heart, much as I love the concept of being a country girl my experience has always stopped at keeping a large garden.

I hope that buying chicken feed will end up being cheaper than buying organic eggs and meat at the store. I think it's got to be or how else would organic farmer's make any sort of a profit?

I think it'll probably be good for the kids, too. We've never kept pets because of allergies, so they've never been exposed to animals on a daily basis. Of course chickens aren't pets in this case and Mom says they aren't allowed to name them, but they can participate in their care. And they'll get a close up look at where part of their food comes from. Whether or not they want to participate in the slaughter or plucking is up to them. I certainly won't make them, but if they want to be less squeamish than me, more power to them.

3 Responses to “My Mom Wants to Raise Chickens”

  1. jewels3 Says:

    You might want to check to make sure the town doesn't have an ordinance against having chickens. I know we can't have chickens even as pets within the city limits. Your allergies would be a huge red flag to me.

  2. LuckyRobin Says:

    We can have them here. That's the first thing she checked. As long as the property is 1/2 acre or more, and it is, we can have them.

  3. baselle Says:

    Any wild critters with a taste for chicken? Even in Seattle, every so often a coyote or a bear makes appearance. My friends out in Duvall - next town northeast of Redmond - see bobcat and coyote and need their dog to protect their poultry ... even with the coops and fences.

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