In the spring of 2006, I was obsessed with the desire to keep three hens. I wanted to name one Brenda. And I then thought have having a 90210 theme and naming the other two Kelly and Donna. Andrea Zuckerman was always kind of a geek. Anyway, I was given Chicken Tractor: The Permaculture Guide to Happy Hens and Healthy Soil and I bought Keep Chickens! Tending Small Flocks in Cities, Suburbs and Other Small Spaces. I researched breeds and even bought a feeder. I hatched plans for a chicken tractor which is a portable hen house that allows you to move your chickens around your yard while keeping them contained. The benefits of this include the hens pooping (fertilizing) all over the place, scratching the soil like little aerators, controlling what they eat and don’t eat (they eat all kinds of harmful insects but you wouldn’t want them getting into your lettuce) and eggs!
My darling husband wasn’t thrilled with this idea because he knew I’d grow attached to the foul and they can live for over ten years and when/if we move, the idea of hauling our three four-legged critters with three two-legged critters was too much for him to wrap his mind around. And he thinks Sam would try to eat them. The ten-year deal freaked me out too because they only lay eggs for three-four so then you just have chicken pets. Not that there is anyting wrong with that.
The other obstacle is that it is illegal and some folks in Missoula were just busted for their city flock. I think this is lunacy because having chickens is sustainable and responsible. And, really so very Missoula; we are a recreation crazed, organic veggie obsessed, dog lovin’, bike commutin’, peace nik, hipster, make your own farmer’s market tote kinda town. When I called Animal Control and the City last spring I was told by both that as long as I was respectful and asked my neighbors that the two governmental entities could really care less. So, I think it is fine and even a little racy. But it is indeed illegal.
I want a Rhode Island Red (Donna), a Barred Rock (Brenda) and a Silver Laced Wyandotte (Kelly).
I also really want chickens as well as some other small farm animals. (goats, ducks, maybe a milk cow) I just checked out a book called Barnyard in Your Backyard and it has been really interesting.
I am working towards the “mini-farm”. That’s the next house…