The day we closed on our Baltimore house, we ran out and got three chickens. I had read a post on Design*Sponge about chickens, and just decided right then and there that I REALLY wanted some. I did all my research, talked about it to Steven until he finally conceded and by happenstance, a lady in Westminster, a rural part of MD about an hour north of Baltimore, had three chickens she wanted to give up. We brought them home, set-up a coop for them in our garage (it was detached. We’re not that weird) and became those “crazy chicken people” in our neighborhood.
Then, last March, we were at the feed store and it was Chick Time. Normally, I avoid any pet stores during baby-animal season, because I’m a sucker for animals and Steven will eventually murder me if I continue to adopt pets. But, on this particular day, Steven was in a more accepting mood and the feed store had Americauanas (the chickens that lay green/blue eggs) and he agreed to letting me pick up a few. However, baby chicks need to be surrounded by other baby chicks in order to survive the cold. We picked up a grand total of 6, with the assumption that my friend would be taking 3 (that didn’t pan out) and went on our merry.
Fast forward a year and we now have 9 full-grown chickens. At our Baltimore house, this was a bit of a hassel, as they had taken over our detached garage and our yard wasn’t really a yard, so much as it was a concrete postage stamp with a little bit of garden space.
Therefore, when we bought a new house, a large yard was on the “must-have” list. Or at least large enough our dogs could run around, we could have a garden, and the chickens could have a dedicated outdoor space.
Fortunately, our new house has almost a .25 acre of land. While this doesn’t seem like a large yard, compared to our .016 acres in Baltimore, we’re living a life of luxury. Given that we’re also pretty much in the District, we feel especially lucky to have so much space.
A few weekends ago we spent all day, out in the cold and rain building the chickens a predator-proof run. This involves digging and burying chicken wire, cementing in poles and using approximately 200 feet of chicken wire/mesh and a LOT of zip-ties.
Now we can leave them out and not really have to worry too much about predators getting in. We’ve already had a stray dog, stray cat and stray people come by looking at them, so probably best that we put so much effort in.
We might be in an old suburb of D.C., and very urban, but looking out the kitchen window and seeing this tableau, as I pretend to do dishes, makes me feel so…quaint and rural.
Oh and for those curious, our chickens are named:
Banjo, Cowbell, Bacon, Biscuits, Waffles, Grits, Archimedes, Daedalus and Bingley.