Forget Fido, Lets Get Some Ladies Up In The Hen-ouse!
Out the door they go: raise egg-laying chickens in your own backyard. Yep, right outside your urban or suburban home (check with your town ordinances), you can teach kids to care for a small flock, plus you'll have fresh organic eggs every morning.
- Liberating hens. Each hen needs only 3-4 square feet of outdoor living space - doable even for city peeps - and that's still bigger than the battery cages forced on factory hens.
- Shutting out chems. Organic seeds, corn, grains, and fresh greens - the stuff you'll feed your hens - are free of antibiotics, so the eggs will be free from 'em too.
- Locking in (really) local food. Gathering eggs in a bucket from your yard, instead of picking up store-bought eggs, saves loads of CO2 emissions and packing materials.
- Opening up good taste. Kiddos'll see that eggs don't actually come from cartons at the grocery store. Plus, fresh eggs? Delish.
- Chicken Keeping - website primer on raising backyard hens; includes resources for buying chicks or hens, plus how-tos on housing, care, feeding, and dealing with predators.
- The Chicken Shack - basic henhouse with waterproof roof to keep your egg layers safe from predators (raccoons or the neighborhood cat), plus provide shelter; also matching play yard so they can roam a bit ($165-$199).
- Chicken Coops: 45 Building Plans for Housing Your Flock - a guide to DIY chicken coops of all sizes ($14).
- All Purpose Organic Chicken Soap - vegetable-based liquid soap lightly scented with green-apple-skin oil to clean and sanitize your chickens, and their eating and living areas ($12/2 pounds).
- DIY Bite: Line an old Easter egg or fruit basket with a dish towel to gather eggs.