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Day 7:: I want some layers


I want layers. Bad. Not in my hair {I already have a few there}, in my backyard. Hens. The ones that lay eggs. We eat a lot of eggs. I buy them by the 2 and 1/2 dozen about every week and a half. We eat them most every day… poached, scrambled, boiled, over-easy… we’re not picky. Did you see this article in USA Today last week? I’m smitten with the creative coops, especially this one. I’m not sure what our dog would do, or our neighbors… but I know I’d like a coop and their poop {for my garden}. It’s fun to dream. The idea of walking in the backyard to gather eggs makes my heart swell. Any of y’all have layers? Or want them too?
sites of interest: Urban Chickens & Backyard Chickens

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  • Alison
    January 7, 2009 at 5:14 am

    Hey Darby…how are ya? I’ve loved seeing yours and Erika’s blogs (I love how everyone has one now…so fun to keep up with people that way). I had to respond to this post b/c my husband and I are thinking of doing the same thing this spring…we had a hen in college (kind of random but it was fun) and then had hens right when we graduated and lived in TN and it is SO great to go right out and gather eggs. You need to build a coop/roost for them to sleep in at night and so it gives ’em a place to lay eggs (I’m sure you knew that though) Since we live in Louisville our neighbors might think we are crazy but who cares? I say go for it…I’ll have to check out that website for more info. Take care!
    –Alison (Garling)

  • Life at the White House
    January 7, 2009 at 6:19 am

    Love that chicken coop!

  • chan
    January 7, 2009 at 6:29 am

    I have a fellow faculty member at Troy (Troy campus) who has chickens, but does live in the country. She even trained one rooster to do a card trick and he has been featured in a video on operant conditioning that many of us use when we teach theories of learning. If you decide to do this, I can connect you two. I’m sure she has lots of tips.

  • beki
    January 7, 2009 at 6:56 am

    I must admit, I’ve thought about it…

  • becky
    January 7, 2009 at 7:04 am

    well, i can’t say as i’d want them in my back yard in town. but i pretty much live in a cotton field, so that would probably be ok. unless someone had a boyfriend and he started with that blasted cock-a-doodle-doo in the morning. then i might learn to love to eat rooster.

    and that’s a honkin lot of eggs my friend. i am sad to say that i buy them by the half dozen, maybe dozen if i’m feeling frisky. i am a picky egg eater.

  • Courtney
    January 7, 2009 at 7:07 am

    I have always wanted some – especially after visiting my godfather’s farm where I got to go pick them up after they were laid (oh my gosh, they are SOOOOO warm to the touch!).

    I even have a coop. An old wooden one that I love. It’s in the garage because J feels “we don’t have room to display it”

  • Dona
    January 7, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Hey! Every year at Easter we would go to this place in town and get baby chicks and baby ducks. They were so cute, but no so much fun to take care of before school. Now it is wonderful to have chickens right next door! Eggs are a liitle slow right now, I think it must be the weather!

  • Mandy
    January 7, 2009 at 8:37 am

    My grandparents have them but they smell….only downside and the noise and disease???? I don’t know…I am going to stick to the local Publix for now…but I am supportive…glad ya’ll had fun in my town! I thought about ya’ll…the weather was not great but glad you had fun…and your siter’s version was so sweet! Love, Mandy

  • Carly
    January 7, 2009 at 8:40 am

    WE want them too. Ok, thats a lie. I want a few layers, but, G’s not fully open to the idea. Question for you, do you have to have a rooster and a layer to make eggs? Can you tell I’m fuuly ignorant on this subject?

  • Bellamia
    January 7, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Hey Darby- Just had to comment on this one! Okay, so I grew up the ol’ layers and I have to say they were pretty exciting! My parents researched and built a cope to a tee, but after the first couple of days I believe our 14 little layers ended up being 10. Let’s just say you attract a few friends when you have some fresh meat walking around in your back yard. With five children and 14 chickens, you can imagine the names we came up with for them, all to say my younger brother named his “stupid” (which I think was because it was the only way he could use that word in our house without getting a spankin’), but “stupid” ended up out living the other 13!! It was SOOOO much fun going on our egg hunts (oh, yeah, did I mention that they can fly over a 15ft fence and do love to roam and find their own “nest” to lay their eggs), sometimes we didn’t always find the freshest of eggs (YUK!)! The only negative factor on this is that we too were egg lovers and my mom still had to buy about 3 dozen eggs a week!! Go for it! It is a great adventure for your children and I do have great memories (but beware, we did lose one to our dog!)!

  • simply seleta
    January 7, 2009 at 9:05 am

    You should do it! As long as it’s not against the covenants in your neighborhood.

    I brought home a chick once and by the time it became a teenager I discovered that chickens run very fast. I made the mistake of letting it out of its cage and could never catch it. It ran all over my yard, it was crazy. A neighbor sneered at my “new pet” and reminded me that farm animals were NOT allowed in our hood.

    Since I was in the beginning stages of morning sickness of baby # 2, and couldn’t run that fast anymore, I sadly packed up the chicken in our cat carrier and brought it back to the sweet farmer who gave it to me.

    There’s my chicken story.

  • Brooke
    January 7, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I have a friend who got 24 chicks a few months ago and they are just now starting to lay eggs. He lives out in the country and I can’t wait until my next visit so I can steal some of his eggs. I’ve heard they taste so much better.

  • Holderby Family Blog
    January 7, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Hi Darby
    my husband just built us a coop and we have 5 chickens. We can’t wait to have fresh eggs, and I feel it’s been a great experience for our girls…i say go for it!

  • paula
    January 7, 2009 at 10:18 am

    ha! that coup would be divine though.

  • lindsay
    January 7, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Darbs- I love you. The only friend I have who would even THINK about putting “layers” in her backyard. I hope you get some one day girl!

  • Ashley
    January 7, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I am with you on wanting some chickens! Walker’s sister, Diana, and his brother both have them at their house. Walker’s the only Williams kid without chickens, but we need them! Diana said, I have to go check and see if they have layed to see if she can bake a cake. 🙂 They are really neat, and Sawyer and her boys LOVE, LOVE them! She even lets them out until dark, and they just “scratch” the ground. Walker grew up with some in his yard-and they all talk about how fun it is to chase the chickens. I think I want some too! I mean-doesn’t that sound like a fun thing for your kids to do??! PLUS-healthy eggs! 🙂 I’ll have to find some pictures of hers and send them to you. 🙂

  • C
    January 7, 2009 at 11:08 am

    My father in law has layers, so we reap the benefits with out getting poop between our toes!

  • Hannah Fields
    January 7, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    oh my goodness! i have had the same thought. we eat about as many as your guys do. i have told dale since the day we were married that i wanted chickens. however i have never been brave enought to try it. ill let you go first.

  • megan
    January 7, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    I have a friend (a guy) who built a coup in his backyard and has filled it full. Now he has fresh eggs all the time.

  • andi
    January 7, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Yeah. Susie had them. Ask her for more info.

  • Anonymous
    January 7, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Darby, they smell terrible and they are live bait for night roamers. Think again. It’s not all romance.

  • Dona
    January 7, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I have a photo request. A picture of the place you are planning to visit in June. I think I might be more excited about ya’lls get-away than you are. I can’t wait to hear all the details!

  • C.McIlwain
    January 7, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    i love your blog. I read it daily. As a little girl I remember gathering eggs on my granmother’s farm.It was so muh fun. If you can get some chickens your kids would love it!!!!!

  • becky
    January 7, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    i remember now why backyard chickens wouldn’t be good for me. my granny used to have some in her back yard. i watched her kill one. not pretty. i think that was the same day i ran out of the pen wearing blue jeans and didn’t quite clear the electric fence. yeah…i don’t recommend that. see, i’m scarred.

  • Katie
    January 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Oh Darby – after your comment on my blog today, I just had to check out to see if what you said was true…sweet joy it is! I love it! Seriously, the anons are my favorite commenters. It is hilarious to me what people say under the umbrella of anonymity. Pray for me Darbs…I need self control so that I don’t resort to provoking them just so that I can read their laugh-inducing quips.

    XO – Katie

  • Natalie McGough
    January 13, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    hey darby,

    i told wayne that i would move to vermont if we could get 5 chickens…so he got me 4 hens and my favorite, a rooster: )! he built me a chicken coop and all. i loved having them and we got our 2 dogs used to them by bringing the chickens in our house (sounds crazy), and making birdie and bella sniff them. i thought they would try to eat them, but they hid behind us shaking to death. from that point on our dogs didn’t bother them. we got lots of eggs from them. our neighbors dogs chewed a hole through the wire fence and killed them (very sad), but one day i want them again!! besides laying eggs, they are fun to watch and listen to. hope you get to get some chickens one day:).