How long have you had urban chickens? How has it worked out for you?

IamRainey

Crowing
We built our coop and ordered some chickens 3 years ago on a vague feeling that it would be a cool thing to do.

It's been fun. My grandson has grown up knowing where his breakfast comes from and what it takes to keep the chickens healthy and happy so they can provide for us. I'm able to give eggs to friends and family. Used them once to compensate a very wonderful electrician who thought the job was too small to charge for. It's always conversation. My husband has a constant stream of stories to tell. There are others in his office with their own urban chickens and his boss got so interested he built his own chicken palace.

Since we started we acquired a rooster. That wasn't a choice; it was an error on the hatchery's part but it turned out great because when vND and the quarantine struck our area, we had the opportunity to hatch our own chicks -- the ONLY way we could refresh our flock. All of us, from 9 to 73 got excited about that!

Our flock has grown from 3 to 10. We've become pretty confident about what we're doing. We lost one to illness. We had to cull a rooster who get aggressive. So it hasn't all been sunshine and roses, but it's been a great experience and I'd do it all again!

How about you? I'd love to hear your stories and your laments.
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Jun 23, 2013
8,619
12,043
957
The Big Island/Hawaii
Thank you for sharing, it's alway interesting how everyone got started ....

Spring 2013 I happen on a give away chick that was being pecked on. Turned out to be a cockerel and got him rehome but I was hooked. Called the lady I got him from, got 2 more, ended up a pair and rehomed them to a 4Her. Then she asked if I wanted to tend her hatchlings until they were 8wks old ... Hence Chick Nanny.

Then things got out of hand, she started off with clutches of 20 ... then 35 ... the most was suppose to be 40 but ended up 50! Enough ... I got some of my own in 2014, now have 2 WTB & 2 WTG. Great layers, more eggs than I know what to do with and fun birds.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
72,420
75,680
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Curious, what do you mean by 'urban'?
Someone who lives in a crowded city or......
that they got chickens because of.....
a vague feeling that it would be a cool thing to do.
I got chickens because I wanted eggs and meat not grown in a factory scenario.
...and had wanted them since my brother had them when I was a teen.
Have done it all from hatching to harvesting.
It's a hard balance to make egg sales pay for feed.
 

IamRainey

Crowing
Well, aart, we raise our chickens in busy Los Angeles. We're in a more suburban part but I suspect even our "suburbanness" would be a whole lot more "city" than most of the country. The main street that goes through the (San Fernando) Valley about half a mile from our house is 6 lanes wide and that's in the shadow of a major freeway.

I'm not the only chicken keeper in the area that's perhaps a 5 mile circle around my house. But it's still NOT a common activity here. I think the majority of chicken keepers are people who have horses and keep chickens along side them. At least it's the folks who sell equine supplies who also have the stuff I require.

Nevertheless, "urban" shouldn't be a disqualifier. If someone wants to share, I want to hear what the experience has been like for them.
 
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IamRainey

Crowing
The chickens are the same animal but the challenges, I think, change.

Still, once I got started I found I had a good many more options than I suspected I would. There are 3 feed stores within 5 miles -- 2 of them sold chicks until vND put a stop to that. There's a very good one that's 8 or so miles away. And I've even discovered a Tractor Supply if I'm willing to drive a bit to an adjacent county. And for anything else there's always the internet!
 

IamRainey

Crowing
You made me curious, aart. I had to go and check and I found out our "neighborhood" of suburban Los Angeles has a population of about 67,000. 67K is urban indeed but compared to the 18.7million in the greater LA area, I guess it's nothing and, in truth, though we have our urban issues, it's a pretty nice and livable place to be with all the advantages of a major world city.

Wikipedia has the picture below which shows some of the unique "urban" and "suburban" character of Woodland Hills.

Woodland_Hills_vista.jpg


My chickens and I live on the other side of those bare hills in the foreground.
 

Clairenh

Songster
Jul 13, 2018
79
221
106
Manchester New Hampshire
We live in the biggest city in New Hampshire and got 3 chickens a year and a half ago. We have friends who live in more rural areas, (which can mean anywhere from 10 to 30 miles from our city) and they have lost all their chickens to predators. Not night time ones, either. They would let their ladies free range in the day, and saw coyotes run through the yard (not fenced in) and take a chicken in broad daylight. The fact that we have about 1/3 acre total and our entire backyard is enclosed with a privacy fence, we only have raccoons and possum to deal with, and they are nocturnal. We have a solid coop and thoroughly secured an attached run. They free range all day and though we've seen hawks overhead (and piles of pidgeon feathers under trees from time to time) there are enough low bushes for our ladies to run to. We cannot have roosters in the city, but one of the girls always has an eye on the sky, unless we (the big trained roosters who also bring treats) are out there. Then they totally relax right in the middle of the grass. Sadly we lost one a few weeks ago to an unknown growth inside her. We plan to get a couple more next year, and even when they all stop laying we plan to have them live a long and luxurious life in our city oasis.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_6e8a.jpg

This is our sweet departed Rosie. She was my "parrot in training". She'd jump on anyone's shoulder and ride around.
UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_7623.jpg

Our three city Chicks. Ginger, Yolko Ono and Rose during their first molt.
 

Clairenh

Songster
Jul 13, 2018
79
221
106
Manchester New Hampshire
Here they are eating some grass on a rare warm day. You can see Rosie - her comb is small and pale. She died a week later. :hit
Yolko is the curious camera ham, and Ginger is our wanna be rooster, aka boss of the chicken applesauce.
 
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