Our Urban Chicken Quest: The Chicken Class.

Thanks for your support, and for following along with John and I as we soon become urban chicken owners. We are so passionate about sustainability, and doing the most we can with our little homestead in the city. Keeping chickens for egg production {and other benefits, like composting!} are a new experience for us in a city setting. Wouldn't it be awesome if our learning experiences were valuable for others? That's pretty much why we're documenting our journey in such detail.

For example, today we are sharing a bit about a chicken keeping class, which is a required part of our city's ordinance. Personally, I don't think taking a basic chicken keeping class is a bad idea. Here are the topics that were covered at our class:
  • History of chickens in an domestic agriculture setting
  • The Sustainability Factor of Keeping Chickens
  • Backyard Chickens vs. Factory Farm Chickens
  • Health Benefits of Eating Free Range Eggs
  • Educational Benefits for Children
  • Debunking Common Concerns with Chickens in the City
  • Feed, Water, and Supplements
  • Chicken Breeds (including those best for city living)
  • Preventative Health Measures & Predator Protection
  • Coop Design
  • Getting to Know the Local Ordinance
We learned that Leghorns and most white egg layers aren't the best for city living. They need a bit more space, tend to be temperamental, and are noisier. Breeds recommended for our area are Easter Eggers, Buff Orpingtons and Rhode Island Reds.

Our teacher also told us how to get bedding for our coops (wood chips are fine, but don't use cedar!), and that 4 bales a year is great for most city coops. At $5 per bale, that's very affordable. Our teacher also said she has food available for her birds 24/7 in barrel feeders, and supplements their diet with kitchen and garden scraps. She also allows them to free range in the yard, which is something John and I intend to do as well.

We also got to meet Katie, who belongs to our teacher, Rebecca:


After the class and a Q&A session, my classmates and I got to meet Katie, and hold her:


For some attendees, this was the first time they've held an adult hen, and this reinforces how social chickens are, and how loving they can be. For city dwellers, this is important  since we'll be living in much closer proximity than on a farm or acreage.


Do you have chickens? Do you live in the city? What are some things you wish you knew before you got your birds? 

This is surely a quest that we are on to welcome chickens to our city homestead. In the coming weeks I'll share photos of our chicken coop and run, the feed/supplements/supplies we are using, and our first days with our hens. Stay tuned!


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2 comments:

  1. Hi Kelli, Yes we have chickens! Love them! We live in the country so no ordinances. The only thing I wish is that I had gotten them sooner. We lived here 10 years and thought they would be more upkeep than we could handle but they are quite easy! They are fun and watching them can be so relaxing.
    Cindy@Glass Slipper Restorations

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  2. Keeping chickens is one of my goals (I have 1/6 acre in town). Currently, the city zoning laws do not allow it. However, I hope to see that change in the next year or so. Thanks for sharing some tips you learned in your class, pinning this for future reference. :)

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