Keeping Hens

Dr. Florence Buttercup

Are you feeling the call to keep chickens?  If you are ready…right now, there is a list of breeders at the bottom of the page…  If you want some things to think about, read on!

  • Are you good at limit setting?  You’ll find that you will spend more and more of your day with us.  We are excellent conversationalists.  Your significant other may feel neglected.  Facebook can’t hold a candle to us!
  • No one likes to be cooped up.  We need room to spread our wings and run around like, well we won’t go there.  7 of us live in a condo that’s 6x6x9 with an enclosed garden area that is 20×30 feet.  It’ll do for now, but we have expansion plans.
  • We require a good nutritious organic feed.  We don’t want grain with additives that at one time may have been a relation (reconstituted animal byproducts) Ick!
  • We love fruits and vegetables from the house.  They don’t have to be perfect, but we aren’t trash cans either.  Special treats (unless you have a special needs sister with acid reflux crop condition) are raisins, tomatoes, blueberries, mmmm watermelon!
  • Fresh, CLEAN water is a must.  Especially here in Tucson.  We actually have a shallow bath as well, which we wade in to keep cool.  The Romans didn’t have it so good!
  • Cleanliness is next to, wait don’t be a dumb cluck.  If we were living in the wild, we would do our business and move on.  We can’t do that living in a compound.  So get yourself wood sawdust as our bedding and just decide that you’ll scoop poop daily like you do the cat(sheesh) and that dog!  Our manure is our gift to gardening, cherish it!
  • We lay once a day.  Don’t get demanding.  You know how hard it is to lay an egg?  It’s exhausting!
  • Yes, we can be broody.  At least it’s only once or twice a year.  We don’t need medication.  Just let us be.
  • We need to be safe.  Please keep in mind that hawks, coyotes, bob cats, skunks and dogs are NOT OUR FRIENDS.  We need a complete enclosure.  Dig down along the fence line and bury wire and cover the top.  Don’t squawk about, just do it.  If you don’t, there’ll be a hole in your heart and you’ll just brood over the devastation.
  • If you decide to bring a rooster into the flock, please screen.  We don’t need one to lay eggs you know!  Besides that, they wake up way before the sun and then get everyone else up cause they can’t get back to sleep.  The neighbors will know it’s not us making all the noise.
  • We strongly suggest buying you flock from local breeders.  Incidence of salmonella in backyard flocks have been traced back to the hatchery where the chicks were hatched.  Like your food, know you chick, know your breeder!

Here are two recommendations:

Marcia Lincoln:

Marcia offers Black or red sex-linked, a hybrid breed; Black, Blue, Cuckoo Marans, French breed that lays a chocolate colored egg.  Russian Spangled Orloff and Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Rhode Island Red, Delaware.  She also offers Heritage turkeys, Royal Palm, Blue Slate and Lavender, Mottled Black
various mixed breeds of different colors.  The birds are raised on organic feed with access to the outside.

Becky Garcia Estrada:

Becky offers Blue/Black/Splash Sumatras, White Sultans, Blue/Black/Splash Polish and White Japanese.  She plans on adding Blue Andalusians, and Black Jersey Giants.  She is trying to find a source for Aurancanas laying blue eggs.  She also has heritage turkeys, guineas and ducks. All our birds are pesticide, hormone and antibiotic free with outside access. We use conventional feed. is neither affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its contents. This is a safe-cache copy of the original web site.