The Friday before Spring Break, my 3 year old was given a book by his preschool teacher. Let me say he LOVES reading. Well we read to him. He'll sit raptured as we read him stacks of books. I love reading anything about gardening to him. Surpisingly there are many kids books that are about farming or gardening. So when he showed me the book from his teacher, I was happy. It was about a real chicken and how she loves worms when her "sisters" like corn, and she likes finding creative places to lay her eggs rather than just the nesting box. He loved the book and wanted me to read it over and over. That afternoon, the sun was breaking through the clouds I took my boys for a walk.
A block away from my folks place is a couple that raises chickens in their fenced front yard. I had expected to show them the coup and the nesting boxes like in the book, and maybe get a glimpse of some of the girls pecking away in the yard. Instead, we found the home owner in the yard gardening. She was gracious and generous. She let us tour the yard, the coup and play with the hens. I hadn't expected that, but it was a joy for the kids. I love that she uses the eggs for her family and the left overs go to her restaurant. When I get a job I plan on going there to return the favor.
The coup has all the right ingredients including 4 nesting boxes, one had several eggs in it that day.
The kids had a blast feeding bread to the chickens, though even the nicest ones shied away from them.
However, the best time was when she brought out a couple of chicks that she bought for her cousin and is raising until they're ready to leave the nest so-to-speak (she has heat lamps).
The kids got to hold the little ones, but we had one dropped bird and one pecking. All in all, that was the highlight of my week.
I would love to have a few birds of my own. I saw a mini-coup that was like an egg for two birds with a hoop cage to protect them from raccoons. I am a bit worried about the viscious coon problem we have here, but that setup was a good solution. Sorry I didn't take a picture of it.
Anyway, it doesn't matter, my wife doesn't want them. I've asked and asked, but she keeps saying no, despite her love of the fresh eggs we've had in the past. Maybe some day.
Enjoy your garden, and try a fresh egg, they're unbelievable!