Here at Canticle Farm we consider chickens to be a gateway animal. As in, you buy a couple of chickens, then decide you can fit some goats in there, and maybe a donkey or a horse, and hey, pigs are cool too... Seriously, we are often asked by folks who have some space in the city (and an HOA that allows it) or small acreage. "What animal would you suggest for people to get started with?" "Chickens" is always our answer. There are a rainbow of breeds and sizes all of which produce eggs to some level and personality in spades. Our first rooster, a Dominique called "Dommy," started his career at Windchime Hill Farm and moved to Canticle Farm with 100 of his ladies as soon as we were able to get a coop built. He crowed us awake every morning for 9 years , kept his ladies warned about hawks, and never once tried to chase anyone. Over the years we have bought a few birds of many different varieties and have settled on a few favorites, but we are always open to a breed we haven't had before. Our daughter has a flock of Serama chickens that are our "yard birds." This breed is the smallest of the chicken breeds and can be very people oriented. Their diminutive size makes them great for keeping bugs out of your yard or garden, once plants are established and they lay super cute, tiny eggs. Currently in the chicken yard we have:
Rhode Island Reds
and an assortment of classroom chicks and crossbreeds from ladies who hide nests in the woods.
Our chicken house has a door that we rarely close unless we are trying to do a health inspection, and the chicken yard itself has a gate that the birds can get through but not the naughty goats. You will often find our chickens out in the woods or pasture foraging, which results in very dark orange yolks in our eggs!