Okay so I get up and I'm browsing the net, and I'm hearing my mother talk on the phone to my dad.
Starts of normal, but then I hear her talking about chickens and coops.
So I wait until she stops talking and then I inquire as to what she is talking about.
Apparently my dad wants to clear out some of the mess and build a chicken coop in the backgarden and raise chickens.
I thought thats was very odd and asked what my mother thought about it.
She thought it was a good idea.
I thought they were crazy, but when I thought about it, and did some research it actually sounds like a good idea.
Chickens are apparently pretty easy to look after, (and my dad has raised budgerigars and cockatiels and other birds in an aviary before), and they don't need loads of space, just some room to walk about and a decent shelter to lay eggs and rest in.
Chickens are actually pretty cheap to buy as well. You can get a hen ready for laying from a breeder for about £17, and in the first year at least hens lay about 250-300 eggs, (and less each year, until around 3 years-ish they no longer become cost effective).
You can gets fertilised eggs and ex-battery hens for even cheaper of a farmers market.
(Which I think might be a better idea to start with, as if we get it wrong with battery hens, at least we wouldn't lose out on much)
Their food is pretty cheap, and they don't mind tap water, (my cat hates tap water and will actively go out and search for rain water if he needs any extra fluids. He also drinks mineral water. Its the smell for them. Indistinguishable to us, but cats have very sensitive sense of smell and they don't like the cleaning chemicals that are in tap water (We got a drinking water filter in the house too just in case we need it)).
We do have a few cats in our street, but not many of them ever come over here, Merlin tends to keep them away, and when they do come to our garden, Merlin just chases them off.
Merlin has been quite the hunter lately though. He's caught at least three small birds in the last week, though its obviously for sport (I don't think a chicken would be a interesting target for him (I mean he loves to eat chicken, but he gets plenty of cat food and biscuits), though obviously we would have to keep him away from them which shouldn't be so hard since we had birds before when he was younger and he tolerated them. Never terrorised them)
Its the eggs mainly why we would want them.
Eggs from the supermarket are pretty expensive these days, and the eggs we get are usually pretty small, and off a low quality.
My dad, an electrician, did some work lately at a farm, and the farmer gave him some free eggs they had spare.
And boy, were they gorgeous!!
So its obviously got my old man thinking, about whether or not it would be better to get and raise chickens for our own supply off eggs.
Only need to get bacon in the morning then!
(Plus they would be handy for general baking purposes too. Which we normally like to do but we usually run out of eggs)
We get 3 or 4 hens, thats 3-4 eggs a day on average, thats about 21-28 eggs a week.
(We could give some to our Nan then)
Obviously we need to do more research into it, but it seems plausable.