Meet the Chickens

One of my projects this year has been getting “Operation Hen House” up and running. With the completion of our house for the hens in the side yard and the screened in chicken run attached to it, we became the proud “parents” of 5 teenage chickens. They have not yet begun to lay.

All credit for Operation Hen House, goes to the amazing Patrick, who built the house and its accompanying screened in yard and helped me with a bunch of other parts of this project. Patrick is the consummate farmer and builder and my family quickly fell in love with him. The boys helped him to paint the poles of the chicken run and he included them in a number of other (construction) aspects as well.

Having chickens is pretty cool. I feed them little scraps through the chicken wire quite often (their main feeder is in the hen house). They now follow me along the side yard whenever I walk through it hoping I will bestow scraps upon them. We now have 2 separate compost buckets in the kitchen, one for animal food (don’t forget the bunnies) and one for compost waste to go in our compost pile.

The other day as I was out in the garden pulling weeds and trimming overgrown greens, my husband came out to chat with me. “It’s like we live on a farm!” I exclaimed.

“No,” he retorted, “it’s not like we live on a farm, we DO live on a farm.”

Well, just to give you an idea of what it’s like over here….we live about a 10 minute walk from downtown Boulder in a lovely tree lined neighborhood where the houses are very close together. There is not a lot of space. The house takes up most of our yard, however, I do not let that deter me, I just squeeze in everything I can. We have kale where all the flowers used to be, chickens in the side yard and bunnies living inside with us. All of this on less than 1/10th of an acre.

Stay tuned for more gardening, composting, chicken rearing urban farm fun! In the meantime, head on over to Nourishing Days and their blog carnival Food Roots to see what others are sharing in regards to where their food comes from.

chickens

Comments

35 responses to “Meet the Chickens”

  1. Hello,

    Chickens are a great animal to have live with you!
    We have 5 here in sunny but still a bit wintery Canberra Australia.
    All of the chickens have names
    Esmae, Mrs Jessup, Hayley,Fred and Velma!
    We love them as well as the eggs they give us!
    Don’t forget to say thankyou when they lay we give ours- hulled sunflower seeds.
    Thanks for a great website with lot’s of gluten free and vegetarian ideas!
    bye
    sheryl miller
    canberra
    australia

  2. Dear Elana,
    I am so jealouse, actually green with envy! I am a neighbor of yours in Castle Rock, CO. I live in the huge subdivision, The Meadows, with a postage stamp size backyard corner lot that was flat when we bought it but after we closed we have a 45 degree angle slope. I hate living in The Meadows so we go to Boulder for some normalcy and sanity compared to this backwater of food, politics, and intolerance known as The Meadows! Yea, I love the chickens and the coop, that would never “fly” here in Castle Rock but I am glad that you have them in Boulder! You go girl! And boys!

  3. They look gorgeous – congratulations! Don’t let stores try and sell you chemical stuff for them we’ve been keeping chickens for years and diatom (fossilised algae) and apple cider vinegar work just fine!

  4. Elana, everything looks great! My husband would agree with yours-we are quietly building our little farms…We have a small lot also but seem to manage with it, and have the motivation to do so.
    We do not have bunnies but we have a cute turtle and lots of other critters.
    Thanks for sharing your life and pics with us!

  5. This is very sweet! We too use up nearly all of our yard space for our gardens and fruit trees (plus the play structure and trampoline)! We have a 1/4 acre plot where the house takes up most of the space. I have 3 garden beds on an old gravel parking space that is perfect for tomatoes and squash. The gravel holds the heat which seems to help the tomatoes grow and ripen early here in the NW – we started to get cherry tomatoes the 1st week of July! We grow lots of kale and collards like you. I accidentally found that all of the volunteer sunflowers growing in our green garden protect the greens from excess heat and sun in the middle of the summer. We have not had problems with aphids or the plants bolting, well not yet anyways.

    Tom and I were just talking about ripping up the front lawn to plant more vegetable beds. We are all having so much fun growing our own food – great learning for the kids too!

    I ordered your cookbook and just got it in the mail yesterday. It looks great! I was surprised to find a good number of egg-free recipes. I like all of the color photos! Congrats! -Ali :)

  6. Elana – you and your readers will love the new book “Farm City – The Education of an Urban Farmer” by Novella Carpenter. Michael Pollan’s blurb on the back begins: “If you think the local food movement is getting a tad precious, then you’ll relish Farm City…” Chickens, ducks, turkeys, all in the ghetto! Congratulations on your new brood.

  7. They are lovely! if I had my own house and yard I would have chickens in a heartbeat. I do what I can now by buying all my eggs from neighbors who have extra.

  8. This is fantastic Elana! We have big plans for the next two years that include a major move back to VT, chickens, bunnies, sheep and goats. This post is lovely! Just re-affirms how much I want to have something similar! Great job!

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