Meet Our City Chicks

We welcomed a new batch of ‘pets’ to the home just this past weekend… we are now the proud owners of three lovely little hens! I know what you’re thinking, and yes, it’s a little crazy – especially since we live in the heart of suburban San Diego with pretty much zero backyard space.

But in our continued effort to go green and sustainable, we couldn’t help but entertain the idea of adding delicious, organic, properly fed, no pesticide, free range eggs to the mix.

Currently, we support our local farmers by participating in Community Supported Agriculture, a neat concept that includes paying a quarterly growing fee and picking up a huge box every other week stock full of seasonal fruits & veggies fresh from a farm within thirty miles of our home. Best part? They deliver to our neighborhood, so we literally drive five blocks south to grab our treats. It’s organic, it’s sustainable, it’s cheaper than the super market and it’s de-licious.

CSA’s are located all over the US, check out this link to learn more. If you’re from San Diego, here’s the link to our local ranch though there are many to choose from. Of course farmer’s markets are a great option, too!

But back to the chickens…

A couple of months ago we decided it was time to build a coop. After much research learning everything we could about ordinances around ‘city chickens’, asking our neighbors kindly for their opinion, and of course, hunting down what every chicken farmer needs to know… Kevin created the perfect little hen home in an 8×10′ area of space between our fence and house.

Chicken farming goes something like this…

1. Protect little chicks from any predators (chicken wire above, below, on all sides and buried in the ground)

2. Offer chicks a warm, cozy and well-ventilated home to nest in (see big blue box)

3. Find a comfortable spot for chicks to roost on (sleeping when not nesting – and this old peach box plus a few 2x4s did just the trick)

4. Add plenty of delicious and nutritious food to their diet – in addition to the usual seed and mash prescribed by the local feed store (local = well out of town), we add watermelon rinds, corn cob and really any other kitchen scraps that are healthy for them to peck at. And they LOVE it.

5. A clean environment equals a happy hen! I’m proud to say that after just five short days these chickens are not smelly and are not noisy in the least. You’d never know they were there.

In six short weeks we should have our first round of eggs! We opted for five month old hens as this allows us to make sure we actually bought hens and not roosters (neighbors would not love us if we did) and gives them enough time to acclimate to their new environment before they are old enough to produce.

So, you might ask, is it worth it?

We’ll get one egg each day from each lady (if all goes well) and that works out to be an abundance of eggs for a reasonably low price. Chicken feed is a bit pricey (roughly the cost of a dozen store-bought eggs each week) and given the overall upkeep, it’s probably a labor of love that is best saved for those who don’t mind a few extra pets around the house.

But I’m definitely excited to see how it goes!

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  1. says

    I have wanted chickens for a long time but, because I live in a development in a suburb with neighbors close by I felt I really couldn’t have them. Your chicken coop has given me new inspiration!

  2. says

    Girl, you and Kev are CRAZY! How about getting a bunny too. I’ll come over and play…then you can make rabbit stew.

  3. says

    I first experience what it’s like to live with chickens when I visited my sister-in-law and her family in the south of England. The chickens had a huge area to roam but every once in a while they wandered into the house. That combined with the thatched rooves and stones fences, I still think of having chickens as one of the most romantic notions on earth. I love it!

  4. says

    No way, you are my idol. I would so have chickens if the timing were right. As for now I’m good…but the thought of fresh eggs is super appealing.

    Hope all is well!

    xx – Christina

    P.S. – Our family is coming to San Diego in a week but we still haven’t lined up our hotel so if you have any recommendation feel free to share.

    • Morgan says

      Hi Beth, I do! I love hard boiled eggs – they make the most delicious snack and it’s funny you ask, because even though I love eggs I’m hoping we won’t be able to keep up with what our hens produce and will have dozens for family and friends as well. :)


  5. says

    I had chickens when I lived in Maine and I loved them. I’d have them again in a heartbeat, but we live right in the center of town. I don’t think our ordinances would allow me to have chickens. I would love to buy a little patch of land on the edge of town, just to make a mini farm.

    I hope you love your chicks and get lots and lots of eggs. It looks like you’ve made them a happy place.

  6. says

    Ohhhh I am so enamoured with your chickens. I’ve been wanting to put a coop in our backyard (we live in Suburban Portland Oregon). Some friends have said that chickens in a back yard bring RATS. Have you heard of that before? Are there ways to prevent it? If so…we might just follow suit.

    • Morgan says

      Thanks everyone for the chicken support!

      In regards to the rat question, I’ve definitely heard that hens attract rodents – not so much because they are chickens but more so because of all of the tasty food left behind. Our solution is to make sure we don’t overfeed the hens (no extra feed lying about late at night) and to keep high grade chicken wire buried under the ground to prevent burrowing through. It’s also smart to line any exposed wood with wire to ensure the rodents have no area to nibble on and potentially break in. We live next to an alley so we’re pretty sure mice and rats and other small icky creatures will be aware of our new pets, but hopefully enough deterrence will send them back to where they came from. I hope that helps! But I’ll keep you posted on how it goes :).

  7. says

    I LOVE it Morgan! I’m totally afraid of chickens (because my family has had them all growing up and there was one really mean one that guarded the front door of our house so we couldn’t get out…) But I’m still always tempted to do it for the eggs. We do a CSA, too!

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