The Chicken Cabana Room

| 12/18/2015 11:21:00 AM

Tags: backyard chickens, poultry, raising livestoc, modern homesteading, chicken coops, Cam Mather, Ontario, Canada,

chicken jungle gym 

I don’t know when I started liking animals, but it started later in life. I didn’t grow up with dogs or cats. Michelle introduced them to our family. But they become a part of your life pretty quickly. I was looking at some video of our previous dog “Morgan” the other day, and I got very melancholy. Now Jasper the Wonder Dog is a very big part of my life. He just wants to be with me, ALL THE TIME, so I don’t go anywhere outside without him. And if I’m inside he wants to be there too.

As we started migrating our diet to a more plant-based one I started to think about how animals raised in larger industrial settings spend their lives, and it’s quite sad. We decided to acquire some chickens because I still like some animal protein before working outside all day and we wanted to be sure that our eggs were coming from happy, well-cared-for chickens. I still put cream in my coffee, but Canada has a “Supply Management” system with our dairy (something free trade agreements hate), so our dairy farmers can still earn a reasonable living with manageable herds.

As I drove the area during the last election, you can always tell a dairy farm — it’s well maintained, and they usually have large screen barns to keep the cows comfortable in hot weather. Even I don’t have a screened in porch, so I believe there is an economic incentive here for farmers to keep the cows happy. I’m sure the TTP will dispense with that.

As our chicken posse has grown we’ve continually upgraded their facilities. We started with a small coop, which got added onto until we finally converted a shed for their coop. Last year I was so proud of our ‘sunrooms’, which were two pickup truck caps. They spent most of the winter under them able to dig in the dirt. (Read about the sunrooms here.)

This summer we added 10 more chickens. Instead of the usual “red sex links” we chose a variety of chickens, some barred rocks, etc.  So we were up to about 30 chickens and I noticed that on rainy days this past summer the one remaining truck cap was getting pretty crowded.

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