So you want to keep chickens but you're not sure where to start, what to do, or even whether you can?
What to feed them, where to put them, how to know when they're poorly sick, what keeps them warm - or cool, how to keep them happy ... eeeek!
Our hens have "free range" of our land!
You like chickens. You don't know why - you just do - and you think raising some hens in your backyard or garden might be fun.
You have a busy, stressful, demanding life, and you'd like to add some quiet, quality de-stressing parts to it.
You'd like your children to learn a sense of responsibility for other living things, and for the food they will eat in their future.
You like to give your family healthy, unprocessed food, and you want to know where it's come from.
You just know that when you do have your own flock, you'll be talking about them as "my girls" within no time.
You don't or can't have your own "girls" - but you dream that some day, you will (and if you want it badly enough, you will get there - trust me!).
You've heard that keeping chicks is addictive, and this is one addiction you would definitely like to have!
Happy, happy, happy!
I'm doing a happy chicken dance because -
you've come to the right place!
I wasn't sure what to do either, until I did it!
My name is Cath, and my husband Mike and I live in rural Italy now. But originally we're city born and bred. What we knew about keeping any kind of farm-type animal you could have written on a postage stamp. There are not many backyard chickens in Liverpool (England).
But did I learn? I did!
Am I happy I did? Ecstatic! (No, not "egg-static" - you won't find any of those oh-so-predictable egg- jokes here! Well - not often!).
So I thought I'd write a website about it.
To help all the other people - like you - who are keen on raising their own "girls", want to make them happy, but aren't sure where to start.
And because I know from first-hand experience how great it is, and how much
it can add to your family life. I also know about the hard bits, and the pitfalls - and you need to as well.
But I guarantee - you will never regret keeping hens!
Claudetta, enjoying the shade of our orchard on a hot summer's day.
Your girls' lovely fresh, delicious, healthy eggs will add up quickly!
You need to be prepared for the eggs. You will have lots of them (yes, even if you don't have a rooster). So we also have a section on what to do with eggs - because there's nothing like being prepared! :
A place where harm is done to chickens. This is an important one to me. This site is about raising happy chickens. I don't talk about killing our girls and I don't talk about eating them. If you want a place that does, that's fine - there are loads around the internet.
A place where you're afraid to ask a question because you think it's too silly. There are no silly questions. When it comes to keeping our girls happy, everything's important. I asked lots of silly questions when I first started. In fact sometimes I was so clueless I didn't even know what to ask.
A place of know-it-all experts. I don't pretend to be an expert. I have my own girls. They are the experts, and they teach me. I read books. They teach me things too, although sometimes my chickens don't agree with the books. I also take an active part in forums and talk to people I live near, who have been raising their own hens for generations. I find out what works for them, then I try it out and I let you know what worked. And most importantly, whether it might work for you.
This is Claudia. You'll see her on this website - a lot.
Claudia is named after one of our hens, who in turn is named after a good friend of ours in Italy. Well, to be honest, his name is Claudio.
Our friend Claudio is great. He's always positive, always helpful, always full of good advice. And he quite often despairs of us, of how little we know and understand.
Claudia is very similar. She's keen to dispense "good advice". She's opinionated, quick to judge - and she likes to have the last word.
And she does often have the last word. Because ... Claudia talks. You'll find that out as you go through this site.
So, watch out for Claudia. You don't want to mess with her, or who knows what might happen ...