Many of my neighbors and I have begun their own flock of chickens. The wooded part of a residential lot is an ideal place to locate a chicken hutch, away from direct summer sun. Both Carrboro and Chapel Hill ordinances allow hens, but not roosters. Here are my neighbors’ kids selling eggs last Saturday. What a delight to buy fresh eggs on our street corner!
Our neighborhood, Coker Hills West, has turned over and younger families are moving in. It’s a place where kids can discover the woods and a stream – a Booker Creek tributary winds its way through the middle of the neighborhood on its way to Eastwood Lake. And kids can lend a hand in raising chickens!
A wooded lots makes a perfect place to raise chickens and for kids to play. Brand new in 1971, our neighborhood has become older now with a mix of post modern and traditional homes, aging gracefully. The old trees shield the roofs of our homes from the heat of summer and when the leaves fall, winter sunlight provides passive solar heat. Leaves don’t need to be raked and fall into the woods feeding the trees and a understory of native plants such as Viburnum and Buckeye. These natives provide food for a variety of wildlife: birds, squirrels, hawks, owls, possum, racoon and yes, deer.
Keeping chickens can be compatible with our wildlife but you must offer them protection from predators. Hawks can carry off a young chicken during the day and without a secure hen house, raccoons will find out and carry off a chicken or two at night. You can build your own coop or go with a ready made model such as an excellent self composing model from Carolina Coops. Different breeds will lay different color eggs. Backyard Chickens is a good source of information if you want to get started.
Kids and chickens are a great mix for a neighborhood!
Submitted by Julie McClintock