Would I be a good chicken owner?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by eri401, May 17, 2008.

  1. eri401

    eri401 Hatching

    May 17, 2008
    Hello! I have been reading this forum for some time because my fiance and I are interested in keeping hens. But, I wonder if it is even feasible for us. Could you please respond here with your input?

    1) location
    We live in Orange County CA in a little neighborhood where most people have concrete pools out back instead of hen houses. I've only seen 1 or 2 posters here from SoCal urban/suburban areas. Rather, many people that post here seem to live in more rural spaces, with lots of land and natural predators. So, your backyard is quite different than my backyard!

    By law we *can* keep chickens here but it somehow seems infinitely more difficult. What do you think?

    2) career
    I'm not sure what most posters do for a living, but many seem like they have some flexibility in their schedules. When raising chicks or letting chickens go 'free range,' it sounds like there are more people watching their animals full-time (as full-time farmers, etc). My fiance and I will have very standard 8am - 6pm careers. I imagine waking early and taking care of the chickens...and then coming home in time to lead them to roost.

    Are we being too naive?
  2. chcknrs

    chcknrs Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    Kelso, WA
    Absolutely not! You can build a tractor for your hens, and move it around your yard so they can range, but be protected while you are at work. On your days off, you can let them out to completely free range. It's wonderful stress relief just watching them!
    Go ahead, take the plunge. You'll love it!
  3. momma's chickens

    momma's chickens Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    I don't think you are being naive at all. It is true that lots of have land and time, but that is not the case for all. Chickens are wonderful animals, I would say mine our more pets. [​IMG] I think the biggest thing is to have a desire to have chickens and then make sure you legally can. Sounds to me as if both those bases are covered.

    Since you have neighbors very close I would definitely stick to hens. [​IMG] The neighbors may not appreciate the alarm clock of a rooster. I might even research a quieter breed, as some hens are quite noisy.

    Chickens are very easy animals to raise. They don't have to free range as long as you have a run for them to be in. You can also start with older chicks if you don't want to raise them from babies. I have raised all mine from babies and work 7:30 until 5:30. They are fine while I am gone.
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Welcomer to BYC.

    I would suggest you build a secure hen house and run. Make sure they always have plenty of feed and fresh water. Keep them locked in their coop all day. If you want them to free range let them do it in the evenings when you are at home and can supervise.

    If they free range while you are not home -

    - They will eat and scratch and dig up everything and your yard will no longer look like a yard.

    - If a predator gets after them you won't be there to protect/rescue them. Dogs, cats are common but even in Orange Co, Ca. you would be surprised at the critters that do wander around - raccoons, possums, etc., they live there you just don' see them until they are looking for something to eat and you do not want your chickens to be their dinner of choice.

    - If they get in a neighbors yard and do damage you don't know what will happen to them before you get home.

    So many reasons to be responsible and keep them in their pen until you are home in the evenings.

    Enjoy your chickens and remember to share the eggs with the neighbors to keep everyone happy.
  5. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    I don't know what part of Orange County you're in but there are mountain lions and coyotes in those hills. A predator proof home is needed. I like free ranging but if you just have a few birds then you only need a few square feet of living space for them, well about 4 square feet per bird. Go for it but I don't think I would get a rooster. It would let all your neighbors know you have chickens and there might be ordinances against chickens where you live. Something you should check on.
  6. I don't live in ca but here are my thoughts. First of all if you are allowed chickens stay within the legal limit and no roosters if you want to stay on your neighbors good graces. 2nd of all I work long hours in nursing so I leave work at 6am and get home usually around 730 or 8pm which means I get up before the birds to feed my horses and chickens. They have a predator proof pen and coop and are very happy while I'm gone because I usually return and find beautiful eggs. I feed them when I get home before I eat and they go to their coop for the night.
    Go ahead and get your chickens, they are so much fun and after I settle down in my backyard and watch them after a hard stressful day at work ithey relax me and my dh and they are so entertaining. We rarely watch tv any more.
    Last edited: May 17, 2008

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