Last summer we brought home 6 babies. They were soft, fuzzy, and oh so adorable. These babies grew up and still have the cutest fuzzy bottoms and give us eggs everyday. Our whole family has fallen for our backyard chickens.
We’re fortunate to live in Albuquerque as it is a “chicken friendly” city. According to city regulations, you can have up to 15 chickens (including 1 rooster) in all parts of Albuquerque. That said, in my average to large Albuquerque backyard, I’m pretty happy with 6 chickens.
Our backyard chickens are so fun to watch. It is seriously relaxing to glance out the window and see them pecking the ground foraging for bugs and scraps.
They are my 1-year-old’s favorite animal, and “chicken” was one of her first words. We let our chickens free range, and they are hilarious as they move in a group from one area of the yard to another–and it all appears so random and unexpected. During the winter months they would line up peering in our window as if to ask to come inside. When we walk out the door, they come running to see if we have any new scraps for them. Oh, and did I mention that they eat all of my kids’ leftovers?
Another reason I love my chickens is that, as far as pets go, they are very low maintenance. We make sure they always have access to food and water. At night they naturally go into their coop, and then all we have to do is shut the door. I only clean their cage once a month or so, and even that doesn’t take long.
And the eggs. They’re so beautiful to look at and so delicious to eat. We have three different breeds, so we get three different shades of eggs.
If you’re interested in having backyard chickens, now is a great time to start!
This milder weather is easier on the chicks, and you should have laying hens before winter sets in. Last year we bought our chicks at Miller’s Feed & Supply on 4th Street, or I’ve also seen them at Tractor Supply in Edgewood. Many people mail order their chicks and pick them up at the post office. Before the chicks are fully feathered you’ll need a heat lamp and small cage or container for the chicks to live in. Once fully feathered, you can move them to their more permanent residence. We found our coop at Costco last year, although it looks like Tractor Supply has a better selection right now.