My attempt to move from Southern California and create a happy and sustainable urban homestead in North Dakota, with some musings on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.



Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Chicken Debate

I've spent the last several months in a raging internal debate as to whether or not I want to get some chickens. Chickens would not only provide fresh, organic eggs (which are significantly nutritionally better than conventional eggs), but also a significant amount of pest control (they eat a lot of bugs). Our potential poultry partners would also help make the garden a more efficient/organic place through not only the aforementioned pest control, but also turning the dirt with their constant scratching and pecking.

There are numerous articles I've read where people integrate their compost pile and chickens, and the chickens do a marvelous job of physically breaking down the compost, snacking on any fruit/veggie scraps in the compost, and munching any insect interlopers that might stop by.

The drawbacks are 1) building a pen/coop for them, 2) making sure they don't turn into chickensicles in winter, 3) how the dogs might react to them, 4) who'll tend to them when we're out of town, and 5) how much noise they might make (as Alycia's Mom has said repeatedly "Your neighbors will HATE you if you get chickens"). For now we're sticking with the "let's wait and see" how things shake out. Right now the drawbacks are reasonably more significant than the benefits.

In the meantime, we have access to farm fresh organic eggs from a friend of Alycia's Mom. I think as long as we have a steady supply of eggs, the need for chickens dissipates. We'll reassess this Spring what to do.

Backyard chicken keeping has become quite the hot trend, articles abound on the topic all over the Internets. There's a great article I read just recently that deals more honestly about keeping chickens - check it out here.

1 comment:

viggie said...

I'm waiting for my city to allow chickens. Noise isn't on my list of concerns in making the decision though. Dogs are a whole lot louder than chickens.