Three weeks ago, I purchased a dozen six-week-old hybrid egg-laying hens. Not knowing much about how to care for poultry, I asked my neighbors for some tips and tricks. It turns out that there isn't all that much to know when it comes to keeping chickens. Give them fresh water, feed, and some space to run around, and the chickens pretty much take care of themselves. To keep "the ladies" happy and healthy, I installed some roosts and nest boxes in the hen house and provided them with a large, fenced-in run full of vegetation. If all goes well, they will lay their first eggs in August.
I never had much of an opinion about chickens before I got them, but now that they are a part of my reality, I find them to be surprisingly delightful. Their presence also adds a little life to the yard and creates a comforting and warm ambiance.
I get the sense that hens will become a permanent fixture in my life. Next up -- goats!*
* I have to be careful with that one because my wife has bluntly informed me that she will leave me if I dare to bring a goat within a hundred meters of the house.