What does someone waking early in the morning, grabbing a basket and heading out to the chicken coop to collect eggs that were laid over night make you think of? An old farmer in overalls and his hundred acre farm land? Or an urban woman in her pajamas and slippers stepping out of her house into her small fenced back yard? If you pictured the second you are not alone. Urban farming is a trend which has been gaining ground in the past few years; from small backyard gardens and chicken coops to community gardens and buying from local markets and growers.
Backyard chicken flocks are all the rage these days across the country. Many people are indulging in this simple, yet rewarding fad for the environmental benefits as well as the health and economic advantage. Backyard flocks allow for people to be more self-reliant and the eggs which come from homegrown hens are known to contain more nutrients and are far less likely to contain hazardous bacteria. Not to mention the more humane, organic ways the chickens live when raised on a homestead as opposed to a factory or company owned, non-organic farm.
You may be wondering what all this means for you; the benefits seem worth venturing into the world of a backyard homestead but the thought of an ugly coop and all the work to care for them may be turning you off. Don't fret! Chickens are simple to care for; once they are old enough to live outside you need only give them water and supplement their main diet of bugs and weeds (which they find on their own by foraging) with organic chicken feed. They are even great companions; if you love them they will love you!
As for the ugly coops, you don't even need to worry about that. The company RAAD has caught on to the backyard flock trend and has begun to make designer chicken coops that you will not be ashamed to have in your backyard! Raised off the ground, the coop has three levels, the lowest being a chicken run filled with wood shavings; it slides out for easy cleaning. It has four private nesting areas which have easy access for humans collecting eggs. There are acrylic panels which provide a view inside. There is also a roosting area, storage, and a solar-powered fan which provides ventilation in the warmer months.
Get yourself some chickens, a RAAD coop and become a backyard homesteader. You will be the talk of all your friends and you won't regret it!