Raising chickens is a load of responsibility as you can imagine. Jimmyredhed and I spent two and a half years planning our chicken coop and researching chicken keeping particularly in urban settings. We read books, participated in online forums, and visited with families in Chicago to learn from their experiences. It hasn't been a short road, or particularly easy, but it sure has been enjoyable.
Our chicken run is 10'x10' for our three birds and has hardware cloth sunk 18" below ground to protect from predators. It also has two layers of chicken wire and hardware cloth strung tight across the top to keep out hawks. We bought our beginner's coop of Craigslist and Jimmyredhed built the new nesting boxes. We purchased our galvanized metal feeder and waterer from Belmont Feed and Seed.
We let the girls out to roam about the yard and do their chicken business during the day and then they put themselves to bed at dusk. Frances always falls asleep on the door. We have to go out before bed to put Frances in the coop, latch the door, and then latch the run.
Raising frontyard chickens has received an incredible response from the community. We've had so many neighbors and passersby stop to talk about our flock, to share stories of their own chickens from growing up. Many children, elderly, and folks in between have stopped to pet our girls and feel their silky feathers. Many tell us that they plan their nightly walks past our little farmhouse. Our neighbors to the east actually had their house on the market when we got our chickens and our new neighbors, who we've become quite friendly with, told us that our chickens were a selling point for them and their children. Their four year old sits out on the sidewalk and talks to our girls and often asks to come over and chase them ... yes, chasing the chickens is a game that the children play around here! We also hire the nine year old boy across the alley to tend to them while we're away. He gets such a thrill, and healthy dose of responsibility by letting the girls in and out and collecting their eggs each day.
We've been so humbled by the outpouring of support from our community. Our girls have met more neighbors than we have.
All images were taken by Emil Schiavo, www.imagesbyemil.com