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Hen House: Our Foray Into Backyard Chickens

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As COVID-19 has dramatically changed almost every area of life as we’d known it, many people have suddenly found themselves spending far more time at home. New projects, habits, and interests have sprung up in many of our lives during lockdowns as we try to find entertainment in and around the house.  Backyard chicken rearing has been one of them.  

Over the past ten years, owning chickens has been steadily growing in popularity. Come this past year’s succession of lockdowns, and backyard chicken rearing has experienced a massive boom.  

Inspired by my friends back home in the UK, who, as a COVID family project, purchased a build-your-own coup for their newly acquired flock of four, we started to think about the possibility of owning our chickens too. As I began to investigate chicken coup ownership in our community, I was surprised by how many Ridgewood residents own chicken coops here also. Everyone was only too happy to share the joys of having these curious, sociable and quirky animals in their backyard. 

With some trepidation towards chicken ownership, we decided to start by renting them, which you can easily do through RentACoop. A coop (on wheels for easy maneuvering) arrived at our door, accompanied by food and bedding for the duration of the rental and, of course, our new feathered housemates. While it may vary by provider, RentACoop offers rental periods of between four and twelve weeks and requires a minimum of two chickens.   

While there are hundreds of different breeds of chickens available, we were given two Golden Comets.  These are a hybrid breed known for their egg-laying capabilities. They’re curious and friendly creatures, hardy and entirely at ease, even as the kids chase them around and pick them up for cuddles.