I’ll never forget the day I brought home my first flock of baby chicks. I had planned to only get about four or five, and came home with ten, naturally! At the time, I had no idea the profound impact that chickens would have on my life. Believe it or not, it was only about a year later that I taught my first class on raising chickens. I’ve continued to share my knowledge with others ever since.
Some might question my dive into teaching about backyard chickens when my level of experience was so relatively new. All I can say is that when chickens entered my life, I just couldn’t get enough of them. I completely immersed myself in learning every detail about their nature and care. I faithfully followed larger chicken keepers that I respected and quickly developed my own style and preference. When I completed that first three-hour class at my local community college, a woman approached me and said, “I’ve had chickens for thirty years, and I learned more about them today than I ever knew.” I will forever be grateful for her kind words, because from that moment on, what was just a hobby became the way I would communicate with the world.
From the beginning, I have always seen chickens as a wonderful common denominator among human beings. I quickly realized, however, that there were others who didn’t see it that way. I’m not going to speak poorly of anyone who has strong beliefs about how chickens should be raised. I get it. I have my opinions as well. But ultimately, I try to remind myself that chickens should be for everyone, and that not everyone is the same. Should I condemn the long-time farmer for free-ranging his birds with full knowledge that he may lose some to predators? I keep my birds safe in an enclosed run because it’s hard for me to lose them, but my experience is not the same as his. What about the person who culls her flock after two years of egg laying service? I keep mine until they die of old age, but my livelihood doesn’t depend on their eggs, and I also have the means to keep them as pets. Not everyone can or wants to do that. And that’s okay.
So, what is the Chickenlandia Way? It’s the way that allows more chickens to live a life outside of factory farms. It’s the inclusion of all different types of chicken keepers who love chickens. It’s a path that opens doors rather than closes them. It’s easy, it’s simple, it’s inclusive. That’s why my specialty is beginning chicken keeping, because I want people to know from the start that they belong here and that they can do it!
Whew! I truly didn’t know I was going to write all that. But I’m glad to have the opportunity and I’m glad to possibly bring others the opportunity to raise baby chicks. For a very easy guide to get started, click the play button below!
What kind of chicken person are you? Let me know in the comments!