Raising city chickens about more than eggs
Chickens are typically a farm animal, but having four hens in town provides the experience of raising animals, Peabody resident Stephanie Hurst said.
“Even just having four a day is plenty for us,” she said. “There’s that, and just having the experience for sure. I wouldn’t say I got them specifically for eggs. I got them basically as pets.”
Paige Ensey’s family originally bought their 10 chickens because they were eating a lot of eggs. Now, the 13-year-old also sees the chickens as more than just a way to get eggs.
“I named them all because I really love all my animals,” she said. “I’d say I’m a lot closer with my animals than my siblings.”
Ensey, who participates in 4-H, says she also enjoys taking them to Marion County Fair every year.
The animals are easy to connect with because they are easy to take care of, she said.
“I can just go out there and let them eat out of my hand so that also gets them closer to me,” she said.
Raising chickens provides a feeling of nostalgia for Hurst, who grew up on a farm.
“I’ll take over the farm because it’s a family farm,” she said. “This is the closest I can get until then.”
Hurst has little worry about having her children or other animals around her chickens since they grew up in a family setting.
“They were held and handled since day one,” she said. “That’s a big factor.”
While Ensey has 10 chickens, Hurst said four is plenty for her family.
As a resident in town, Hurst has limited herself to four hens on both occasions she’s owned chickens.
“It’s not like it’s a farm for them to roam, but that’s why I wouldn’t get too many,” she said.
In addition to having enough space, living in town means there has to be good maintenance of the coop, Ensey said.
“One of the worst challenges is probably the smell,” she said. “If you don’t clean out the coop every month or so, the smell gets pretty bad.”
Last modified April 30, 2020