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Raising Chickens Inside Your Home

We want fresh eggs but where we live, chickens are illegal. We could have two ducks and one pig, but chickens? Not allowed. Totally doesn't make sense. Go figure!

Anyway, we started thinking. We have heard about people raising quail in their homes, but haven't eaten quail, and we know that quail eggs are very small. So... is it possible to raise a chicken or two inside a home for egg purposes? Would they grow to be neurotic? Prefer indoors as opposed to outdoors? Be quiet enough? Docile enough? Tolerate our cold family room?

So a little research was needed.

This past Monday, I called Murray McMurray Hatchery and spoke with Pat. I asked her the question: have you ever heard of anyone raising a chicken or two inside a house for eggs? Her answer surprised me (I'll paraphrase her answer):

Yes, she has a co-worker in that office who took two chicks home. She set them up on a spare bedroom with a bunny. All cozy in their cages. Just started producing eggs (although for some reason she hasn't eaten any of them yet!). The smell isn't too bad, and when it's sunny, she lets them out for a little air. Changes "bedding" daily.

Murray McMurray Hatchery's contact info is: P.O. Box 458, 191 Closz Drive, Webster City, Iowa 50595, phone: 515.832.3280 or toll free: 800.456.3280 or fax: 515.832.2213.

So... I guess it IS possible.

I wonder...
We could build a couple of nesting boxes in our family room, right next to the sliding glass doors that lead to the fenced-in backyard. Maybe a little ramp to get down to the ground for when we let them into the backyard. Safe from our puppy, but where he and the older chihuahua will get used to them and won't chase them when we get our 2-5 acre homestead. Close to the backyard for cleaning-cage time (daily would be necessary).

I wonder...
If we let them out once a day, when it's nice out, during the day when most neighbors are at work, would the chickens be quiet enough so people won't know they are there?

I wonder...
What kind of chicken could we find locally? Here's a link to breeds: http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html - would need some chickens that are adaptable to confinement, cold hardy, small/miniature size full-grown, quiet, etc.

I like the Ameraucana (also known as the Easter Egg Chicken - lays blue and green eggs), Araucana (lays blue eggs), Cochin (yellowy-brown eggs), New Hampshire Red (light to medium dark brown eggs), Plymouth Rock (light to medium brown eggs), Silkie (light tint), or Sussex (creamy to light brown eggs).

Still...
Would we be able to keep the smell down so we could sell the house? Would they be warm enough in the family room which is quite cold right now? (We keep our house's temp between 55-60 degrees F for financial reasons.)

Still...
We would have to find a local supplier because when you buy chicks from a hatchery, they usually ship in groups upwards of 20 for the babies to have each other for body heat.

Still...
We would have to get a different kind of chicken for when we have the homestead because there they will be free-range foragers.

These are questions we're still pondering. Does anyone have any experience raising chickens in your home? Details, please!

= = = =
As we haven't used any of the following, we can't endorse any, but here are a few links to chick suppliers:

http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/

http://www.randallburkey.com/

http://www.lionsgrip.com/producers.html

http://www.mypetchicken.com/default.aspx

great link:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/directories/Hatchery-Directory.aspx?directory=116150


One more thing... I had been thinking about this for a while. Could chickens be raised exclusively in our home? What if we get notice that the bird flu has mutated so it could be passed human to human, and that strain has entered the USA?

So.... if the bird flu does hit, wouldn't it be nice to know that with a little warning, you could set up an area inside your home (garage, basement, family room, or guest bedroom) for your feathered friends, and know you'll be safe from exposure to the bird flu, at least from your own flock? Plus, if you're confined, you'd have fresh eggs daily, which is a great source of protein.

Now... for a sad sidenote:

We have given this a lot of thought over the last week, and even more discussion. With our financial situation the way it is, we're going to put off getting any additional critters to take care of. If we had to suddenly rent an apartment, we'd have a time trying to find one to take our little chihuahua and our giant puppy! But meanwhile, this is good info for later, or to share with you!

3 comments:

ConfessionsOfAnOverworkedMom said...

Just a thought for you. Khaki Campbell ducks lay white eggs. Their egg production is the same as chickens (ie they lay one every 26 hours or so). The eggs taste just like chicken eggs. They are slightly higher in protein so your baked goods will bake up higher. They are really easy to care for. We have both Khaki's and chickens for eggs.

Melonie said...

I don't have any suggestions for you, but I'm sure interested in this journey if you decide to go for it. I had never thought of something like this - but now that you mention it, I've got a huge "eating nook" in our kitchen that is home to a wee little sofa table and nothing else.

Hmmmmmmmm......

Trashdigger said...

I would say go for it. My son raises reptiles as a sideline and we have lots of pets. We dont breed them but we enjoy their company