Over the past several years, we've been trying to make wiser choices about the food we eat, where it comes from, and so on. Naturally, having a garden helps with that endeavor, although even gardening presents challenges. Do we want to use pesticides, fertilizers, etc? These are all questions that we have to discuss, and we have to agree on. For instance, I'd like to be chemical free, but my husband starts to panic when the Colorado Potato Beetles show up in our garden. And rightly so! After all, we've already got time, energy, and cash invested. I do my best to research natural remedies and present them to him, and then we discuss our plan of attack.
When I started buying more organic items from the grocery store, my husband had no problem with that. "If it's really better for us and we can afford it, then it's fine." And to be honest, I buy different things from week to week. Some weeks we have a bit more money to spend than others. My theory? It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Every little bit helps. If I can buy organic milk this week, then I do. If I can't next week, then I don't fret about it.
Every family eats differently. Our family eats loads of veggies, and the garden certainly helps with that. Another big item for us is eggs. Eggs are very versatile and I use them many different ways. Since I love to bake, we go through them like water. The problem is, most chickens aren't humanely kept. This got us to thinking that perhaps we should get chickens. We would know exactly what they ate, and how fresh the eggs were.
All winter long we discussed chicken coops, where we would place it in the yard, and breeds of chickens. The excitement grew. Two months ago, we started building our own chicken coop. Since we don't have much shade, we raised the coop off the ground. The chickens can take refuge from the summer sun under the coop on hot days.
Our coop is 4 x 8 feet, with four perches and four nesting boxes. We're housing a dozen hens. The chicken door is to the right of the window. (It's closed in the photo.) We'll be installing a fence soon. We'd love to let the chickens free range, but we live in a neighborhood with dogs.
Peeking inside, you'll notice the nesting boxes to the right, and the perches to the back of the coop.
We moved the "ladies" from the galvanized tub in our bathroom to the coop two nights ago. They seem to love the extra room, and the sunshine and fresh air that the windows provide. I can't wait until they're big enough to roam around outside.