I need your help!


Ok., so here's my post on chickens and before I start, I want ask for your help!! Hear me out before you say no and feel free to laugh but we want to get CHICKENS!!! It's illegal to have them in Fairfax County unless you have two acres (and then you're allowed 64!!) (We have 1 acre) Anyway, we have a major tick problem in our yard (they have embedded their nasty selves in even the baby!!) so we've spoken with an expert because we don't want insecticides sprayed on our property and he suggested chickens. After my initial reaction of no WAY no HOW,  (that's not the way I actually speak but it's way more typable thatn what I rpobably said .)  I did some research (they will get rid of all of our ticks and mosquitoes and are actually great friendly pets!!) and spoke to some friends with them and am convinced that we need our new pet chickens!! (these are hens we want, not roosters so no noise issues for neighbors) .. So if you're still reading... PLEASE help!! It's up for review in Fairfax County TONIGHT so the law could be changed with your help!! I had NO IDEA how good for you pet chickens were until I did the research... They're not at all what you might think. We are SO BEHIND other areas!! So please, laugh and then sign this PETITION FO CHICKENS!!!


As I was googling different chicken coops, I came across some really special ones & wanted to share with you...

Loooove this one:

{Gorgeous chicken coop built by Karen at The Art of Doing Stuff - whose blog I just discovered today.  She seems like so much fun & definitely brilliant. I want to be friends!!}


I dream of one day calling my "Girls!!!" to come running to me!! hahaha

This Youtube video is hysterical.  



To be honest, once the County makes a decision and rules one way or the other, we'll make our chicken decision then.  But either way, I believe in the right to be able to own these pets.  (Fresh eggs?!! mm)   Dave is even more into getting the chickens than I am.  (He did the research on the insecticides and wasn't happy with what he found.  Definitely carcinogens.  not good.  And with all of the deer we have, Lyme Disease is a serious concern.)  My biggest worry with the hens would be the "mess" ;) 


The image above & the next couple of images are from Southern Living.  Sooo beautiful... 


I love all of the gravel paths...



I love the modern look of this one...

{Modern chicken coop from Stephmodo-- omgosh she's amazing!!! The coop belongs to her sister}

I'm not sure what type of coop we'd end up with.  We were only thinking of getting around 4 "sisters" for our dog, Ashby, so we would probably have a fairly small coop.  I visited my friend Brooke Giannetti and loved her cute little white hens..

{ Brooke's (of Velvet & LInen)  coop at their previous house...  Dying to see what their new coop will look like!!}

Brooke stressed the importance of getting a friendly breed of chicken.  Safety with my kids is first.  (Doesn't make sense to bring in crazy chickens that could hurt them if the whole point was protecting them from harmful ticks.  We've been doing a little breed research but got stopped when we found out that our lots size was too small for hens.)

I love this gorgeous coop built by Heather Bullard:



She sells the plans to build this coop online.  I love the little fenced in area..  So pretty & we might have to do something like that to protect our garden from the chickies...

And finally, my friend Seleta recently adopted a little chicken named Lucky:



I've loved following her on Instagram and watching Lucky grow.


Anyway, if you're still reading and don't think I'm AWOL, and are in Fairfax Country, will you please consider signing  here??
love ya



If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

46 comments:

Ivy Clad said...

I would love to have chickens! I would get silkie bantams. They're just so stinkin' cute. But alas, my subdivision has covenants against them. :(

Love all these inspiration photos. Brooke's is one of my favorites.

Keri

Grace Mitchell said...

Gasp Lauren! I have been pondering getting some chickens, and now I just may have to! LOVE these! Some of them would fit perfectly with my 1920's home. :) Grace

AStoriedStyle.com

Nancy said...

That first coop is amazing! I have enough animals to take care of at the moment, but if I were to have chickens that first coop is so awesome! so is Brookes!
xo Nancy
Powellbrowerhome.com

Fiona said...

I think these all combine decorativeness and usefulness well, but it makes me sad when I read some blogs and their chicken coops are nicer than homes half of America lives in!

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon Ryan said...

Wow, those are some cool looking chicken coops! Looking at those images makes me want to build one in our garden, though I'm not sure about the cleanup part. It's a great learning experience for kids.

Dara said...

Petition signed. :-)

Nancy said...

I'm not in Fairfax County - but could enough of your neighbors agree & maybe combined you could come up with 2 acres!

The eggs are great by the way :)

www.thewowie.com said...

I also daydream of having chickens...

http://www.thewowie.com/2011/02/winner-winner-chicken-dinner/

Unfortunately, they aren't allowed inside our city limits.

I hope your petition passes :)

Jessica said...

Ummm I totally want chickens now! They get rid of ticks AND MOSQUITOS?! Sign me up. And I signed the petition too. Whoop whoop (or cluck cluck?) :)

A Shea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelsie said...

I love that you are researching a natural remedy! The coop pictures were very fun to go through! My sister-in-law has chickens and it has been fantastic to eat fresh home produced eggs! One thing to note; when you go get your chicks, you may end up with some roosters as they cannot indentify the gender when they are so young. I think most feed stores, etc. allow you to exchange them should you end up with some roosters. Petition signed!

A Shea said...

I just wrote a NOVEL sized comment but then removed it b/c it was just so gigantic. :) Sorry!

In a nutshell, I'm in Suffolk, Long Island. I have a densely wooded acre, lots of ticks, and am currently still being treated for late stage disseminated Lyme (prob had it about 3 years prior to diagnosis). No joke, I think my heart rate went up 10-fold when I read that even your BABY has had embedded ticks.

Let me just leave one good URL here: www.tickencounter.org. This is the U of Rhode Island's tick research center and it is an invaluable source of information. Don't discount "chemicals" until you do some additional reading. Pyrethrum/permethrins come from chrysthanthemums. They have an extremely low level of mammalian toxicity. Given what LYME can do to you and your loved ones, I think it's worth learning more about how you can use pyrethrum safely to control/prevent ticks--especially if you end up not being able to do the chicken thing.

Please be careful out there! Ticks are bastards and Lyme is EVERYWHERE out here on the East Coast. Take care of yourselves and tick check your BUTT OFF this spring and summer.

Farmgirl Paints said...

You had me at chickens. I want them so bad. I live in a subdivision and I don't even need to ask to know they are forbidden. Good luck.

Stacey {steward of design} said...

I have a couple of friends that have chickens. There are pluses and negatives to having them. Varies on the owners. All those coops are amazing!

Lumen Drops said...

Done

DRIFTWOOD HOME + DESIGN said...

We had guineas that were free range and roosted in low branches (till the foxes got them, one by one). We live on a farm and wanted them for pest control as well. As long as you don't feed them from your garden, they shouldn't bother your plants. Once they get a taste of yummy veggies, they will snack at the all-you-can-eat-buffet of your garden all day long. The cool thing is that they will scratch around your plants to look for critters to eat, thus tilling the soil for you and keeping weeds down. As if you needed another reason to get chickens!

stephanie said...

Ok I will tell you my girlfriend in newtown Square PA has chickens and loves them. The mess is nothing she says! And there is nothing like fresh eggs. can't even describe the taste. I am sure she will talk to you if you'd like!

Ricka35 said...

Chickens make the best pets. Do your research for the best type of breed for your situation. I have Buff Orpingtons and they are wonderfully friendly. My "girls" will sit on your lap, follow you around and they will come running when you call "Girls!". Buff Orpingtons are a wonderful breed if you have children. My 9-yr old can pick them up. They are very docile and a beautiful gold color with brown eggs. They are also a breed that cannot fly over a fence like some smaller breeds. They put themselves to bed every night and all I have to do is close the door. They do squawk and talk in the morning to be let out so they are not completely quiet, but much more so than a rooster, of course. I could not imagine not having chicken now. They have been an awesome addition to our family.

Melbourne Girl said...

We have chickens...or as we call them chooks...or as I call them "the girls"...Although, I'm in Australia and not in your neck of the woods.

We're allowed chickens as long as they don't cause a noise problem, as a rooster would, to the neighbours...oh, and we're just on a normal 1/4 acre house block.
xx

Building Walnut Farm said...

Petition signed! (Not sure if it counts since I live in Canada...).

Looking forward to getting our own chickens here on the farm so thanks for the extra info / research.

Kristi Lynn said...

Hey Lauren,
I live in PA otherwise I would totally sign the petition for chickens! If it doesn't go through you can use cedar wood oil mixed with water to spray on your lawn. It's an all natural/safe alternative to creepy pesticides! We'll be spraying ours soon...if Spring decides to show up! Good Luck!!!

jeannene said...

JUST KNOW that with chickens you will get RATS! Its a fact they are attracted to the food. I took care of a neighbors chickens one summer. There were many rats. One night the chickens were attacked by racoons. It was a massacre. Dead chickens everywhere. They smell very bad too. It's not as easy as you think. You might have fewer ticks, but there will be chicken droppings everywhere.

RestonDogHouse said...

Totally signed! I'm in Ffx and would Love it if they passed this rule. My mom would also love to have chickens once she retires, she and I have both daydreamed about it...I've mentioned the possibility to my husband a couple of times too, you never know!. :)

RestonDogHouse said...

P.s. did you know williams-sanoma actually sells chicken coops and supplies now? Who'd have thought?! http://www.williams-sonoma.com/shop/agrarian-garden/agrarian-garden-chicken-coops/

Anne said...

Pretty sure you've convinced us all we need chickens now!! :) Not to mention how beautiful all of those images are!! Hope you get your laws changed!

Laura Casey Interiors said...

Fingers crossed for you!! I had no idea how helpful chickens could be. I think this sounds like a great idea.

aD said...

I'm sure you know that those photos are staged! We've had chickens for a few years. They are awesome, but they poop. Wherever they are. Poop. As for the comment about rats- you just have to make the floor of the coop secure and keep the food hanging. The picture of the chicks eating out of the tin bucket= lol. Cute and clean, but fake.

Sandra Carson said...

Loved those chickens..:)
Android Developer

5280milesfromhome said...

Chickens are lovely and sweet. DO NOT get a rooster. They can be very protective and ours would attack my husband and me. (He went to a new home very quickly!) You do need to clean up after them, just like a dog or rabbit, etc. If they wander your yard they will poop everywhere. (Good fertilizer, not good on the pavement and deck.) One last tip. The fancy breeds are not always good egg layers. Get a traditional breed and they will each lay one egg a day! Fresh eggs are the best. Good luck on the petition.

Susie @ Maddie's Nest said...

Check out LLH Designs Blog. I went to High School with her and she an her family recently left their dream home in Houston for a farm in Franklin, TN. Chickens were part of the dream! She has great info and photos of her Chickens, et al.

Sonja B. said...

If you get chickens, be sure you take caution against Histoplasmosis; if you google you will find lots of info and preventative measures to take.

Sonja B. said...

I wanted to give you a little more info since a former colleague of mine is going blind from histo. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/histoplasmosis/histoplasmosis.asp#4

EDYTA & CO. INTERIOR DESIGN said...

I LOVE pet chickens and I hope you could get some and I can envy you :)
Hope everyone signs the petition! :)


xoxo
Edyta
www.edytaanco.com/blog/

Silver Magpies said...

Hi Lauren

As a fellow Fairfax County resident I'm thrilled to see this petition. I've signed it and fingers crossed we get results.

- Nan

Life On Planet Mum said...

Hi Lauren,
We are also considering getting chicken in Montgomery County just because my kids love them! Just because our winters are so cold, just be aware to get those which can withstand our winters, I think it narrows down your options to about 3 or 4 species. Good luck with the petition!

farmhousebythefalls.com said...

I'm in FFX CO as well, but next to GF Park with many foxes and (I swear) even a coyote. I dream of chickens but know they would soon be cutlets, and not on my table. I feel you on the tick issue. Deer fencing helps, and is mandatory for me if I want to have a single bloom or veggie. Happy to have found you and followers who are also in this area! (We should have a blogger night out sometime!).

Frieda said...

We live in Brazil and have bantams; we love them, even(and especially) the rooster. (He's named Col. Sanders. His favorite wife is named Chick-fil-A.) We are softies and don't ever eat the chickens, but we do love the eggs.
Build the coop first, and when you get your chickens, leave them in their coop for a couple of days before you let them out, so that they identify the coop as home. Then, for a few more days, let them out at mid-afternoon only so they'll run back to bed before they forget where it is.
Yes, chickens certainly do help to keep down ticks and other undesireable bugs. Yes, they do eat some things from the garden, but hey! so do we! About the poop problem,fence off the areas where you don't want the chickens to go, like your front yard and porch. Look at the positive side: chicken poop is wonderful garden fertilizer.
Don't overfeed them (extra feed attracts rats and other creatures.)

M Claire said...

I signed it - I was signature # 335 or 355 - sorry I can't remember which! Good luck! I'm sure you already know that Brooke had a little bit of trouble getting hens (several turned out to be roosters).

betsyg said...

Hi Lauren,
Your readers are sooo smart and well informed.
I would love to sign, but live in CT.
My friends here got guinea hens because there tic problem was so bad.
They had great results...eggs and no tics.

christy said...

We have 3 hens and they are pretty awesome. They do like to eat plants though. Hope you get your hens! It's been great fun for my son.

Melissa @ Lived In said...

Lauren, I feel like you should live in East Austin. Almost 1 out of 3 couples in East Austin have chickens. We are chickenless so far, but open to becoming a chicken family :) --- I LOVE looking at all of these awesome hen houses. If we do cross the chicken barrier, I will make sure the hen house equals the main house. LOVE THIS POST!

Sadia Noor said...

I made a lot of profit by selling hens last year. Now I have 20 hens. They give lot of eggs. I love and like pet hens , chickens.
work from home

A Lifestyle Thing said...

Hey there! Hope you get to have hens! We love ours. We have twelve and my kids just LOVE them. The eggs are pretty sweet too. Not as much of a mess as you would think:)

Colleen said...

I live in Fairfax County and didn't know this was being reviewed. We recently moved from another state where we had 15 chickens. We would love to keep some hens again, but are just under 2 acres. Has anyone heard what was decided? I looked, but the county website doesn't have any updated information.

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