(Not So) Patiently Waiting for Chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Asahi, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. Asahi

    Asahi New Egg

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    Jan 6, 2011
    Southeast South Dakota
    Hello!

    This site is great, and I am already a major addict. [​IMG] I've lived in many places, including Japan, southern Georgia, and North Carolina, but currently I live in South Dakota. I have never owned chickens, but I am already obsessed! However, my beloved hometown does not allow chickens so I am waiting to either (a) make friends with a bunch of chicken fans in town and try and change the law or (b) save up money and buy some property outside of city limits or (c) move to a place that allows chickens (strangely enough, this seems to be big cities). Either way, it may be years before I get chickens, so I'm trusting in ya'all to scratch my chicken itch until then.

    Funny but true story:
    I came to my love of chickens by being obsessed with hawks. I fell in love with falconry at a young age after reading My Side of the Mountain, but had no chance to become a falconer (boarding school, not just for wizards!). Then I got a pet snake (bloodred corn snake), realized that a hawk will never love you, and changed my mind (Hawks = giant, feathery snakes with sharp beaks and talons that require daily flights/walks outdoors). Then I thought about parrots and bought some books but decided that they were too social for me. The Parrot Who Owns Me (non-fiction) kinda put me off, since the husband had to avoid the parrot every summer during mating season. Then I thought about pigeons, but it would break my heart to loose them to hawks, and it would break my budget to make them a large enough screened in aviary.

    So I decided on chickens. They're feathered, friendly if hand-raised (or so I've heard), come in millions of gorgeous colors, hardy, don't require constant human interaction, and have two great by-products: eggs and proto-fertilizer. They can live happily in a predator-proof chicken tractor, and if one gets dangerously ornery, then you can take of it. [​IMG]

    Any advice on changing zoning laws or sub-zero chicken coops (-19 w/ windchill right now and 3 feet of snow on the ground, joy!) is very welcome. [​IMG] I'm thinking about getting Australorps and Easter Eggers, so any first hand experiences would be awesome, too.
     
  2. Peipooch

    Peipooch Out Of The Brooder

    [​IMG]

    When we were deciding what breeds to go with, we checked on cold hardiness (size of the combs makes a difference as far as frostbite goes), egg production, color of eggs, etc. I did a lot of research as far as how docile (wanted to avoid over aggressiveness due to smaller space), tendency to broodiness, etc., etc. I would recommend getting some books/magazines (Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens is one I recommend, as well as Mother Earth News). Mother Earth News has a good website with info on just about anything. My husband built our coop from a picture we found on the internet; we added the nesting boxes on the side on our own.

    As far as city ordinances go, have you checked them specifically? When I got "chicken fever"[​IMG] , we went up to the township and asked them to do a search for any ordinances. We had heard of people in our little town having chickens, but as we have one particularly cantankerous neighbor, we didn't want to take a chance of coop/run construction in vain. Our ordinance says it's fine as long as they are 75 ft. from a neighbor's dwelling. Cantankerous actually had the village policeman come out to measure and then tried to say her yard was her dwelling! [​IMG] Needless to say, we only have hens (no roosters to really antagonize her or the friendly neighbors). I guess the point to all my ramblings is, actually check your ordinances and don't take someone's word for it. I would attend a board meeting or two, maybe run an ad in a local paper to see if anyone else is interested in raising them, too. Most places have ordinances against nuisance (nuisance could equal vocal roosters). If there's a 4H club, they could also direct you to some resources. Our friendly neighbors were kind of skeptical, too, but we've buttered them up with eggs when we have extra to spare and they've remarked about how they enjoy the clucking, etc. One said she doesn't even know that they're there unless one is singing her "egg song" when she's laying. My one regret is that I can't let them free range the yard due to Cantankerous (liberally sprays pesticide along our joint property line!), so a bigger run is in the plans this spring![​IMG]

    There's a wealth of info on the site, so enjoy!
     
  3. Desert Rooster

    Desert Rooster El Gallo Del Desierto

    Sep 4, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca
    Hello [​IMG] from Hesperia, Ca and [​IMG]
     
  4. ThePigeonKid

    ThePigeonKid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2010
    Ohio - Chickens 3yrs
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Ohio
    [​IMG] from Ohio
     
  6. Muscovies

    Muscovies Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] from North Carolina
     
  7. mgw

    mgw Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Eastern Wa.
    Welcome from Eastern Wa. You did not hear this from me , BUT you can always go underground ie; stealth!! LOL
     
  8. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Quote:[​IMG] and [​IMG] from Ohio. I agree. [​IMG]
     
  9. Asahi

    Asahi New Egg

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    Jan 6, 2011
    Southeast South Dakota
    I feel very welcomed! Thanks for all the advice, too [​IMG] [​IMG]

    @Peipooch: I checked and "No person shall keep or maintain any livestock or fowl in any zoning district other than the A-1 district," and there is no A-1 district in town, oddly enough [​IMG]

    And as for stealth chickens, I live on Mainstreet and rent, so they wouldn't be stealthy for very long. And for some reason, my housemate doesn't want them to be really underground (in the basement) [​IMG] [​IMG]

    However, two cities near me, Sioux Falls and Sioux City (there's a theme) do allow chickens, so I might just be moving in a year or two. More jobs there anyway.
     
  10. John-DownEastNC

    John-DownEastNC Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 11, 2011
    Beulaville, NC
    Welcome, Asahi. Hi from a newbie in DownEast NC! Lots of helpful folks and info to be found here. Good luck in your quest! No chicks of our own yet either, but, luckily, NO RESTRICTIONS to be found here!! We are in the sticks with turkey farms (etc.) all around so a few chickens are more expected than not!

    Except maybe for South Dakota, the rest of the places you've lived sound sort of familiar... Are you a Marine too?
     

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