A gift of four Silver Laced Wyandotte chicks from the Easter bunny started my backyard flock. Since then, it has grown and currently consists of various breeds and even a few roosters. I have both hand raised my chickens and also let one of our broody hens hatch and raise her own chicks. I’ve nursed sick chickens back to health, watched as they live long and happy lives, experienced predator attacks and even scared off a few potential predators myself. My chickens free range and return to the coop each night. They do have a fully roofed run attached to their coop where they can safely get outside when we’re not home or in bad weather. Now, our Easter baskets are overflowing with brown, white and green eggs and my children are growing up with an appreciation for healthy food and the world around them.
On our farm, we have a lot of forest acreage so we draw lots of local wildlife. Frequent trips to the coop are filled with chickens and nature. In fact, one time a resident hawk fledged right in our backyard. The chickens were curious about the creature hopping around and I was too! We have extensive gardens that are intentionally planted for the local wildlife. From birds to bees, bats to insects and snakes to frogs, there’s always something to see around my house. And we enjoy tasting and using the plentiful bounty in my herb gardens.
As a journalist by trade, it was second nature to write about my experiences with chickens and poultry, herb gardening, gardening for nature and wildlife. I started Pam’s Backyard Chickens as a way to share my experiences. I am the editor for Backyard Poultry and Countryside magazines. I also answer questions for Ask the Expert at Backyard Poultry magazine. Through that, I noticed many of the questions had similar roots. To address those root issues, I have written a book called Backyard Chickens: Beyond the Basics. It will be available in Spring 2017. It's a must-have for every chicken keeper as it explores the realities of raising a flock of chickens. It's full of practical advice that helps make the complicated easy to understand and gives deeper insight into the workings of a backyard flock.