Backyard Chickens

In 2020, the business of backyard chickens boomed. As people scrambled to purchase baby chicks and supplies, I wondered when backyard chicken keeping slipped out of the norm. Doesn’t everyone keep backyard chickens?

It may be hard to believe, but most native North Carolinians aren’t more than a generation removed from our agrarian roots. When I was born, I was brought home from the hospital to an egg farm in Monkey Junction (a small community between Wilmington and Carolina Beach). Three years later, I moved to Canton and lived on my Papaw Cochran’s black Angus cattle farm. I spent years waking up with the rooster crow.

After Papaw Cochran passed away, Mamaw and Papaw kept cattle and chickens well into my teen years. After they became too old to tend to the animals, the younger generations picked up the torch. My Aunt Karen keeps chickens and bees. Both of her children keep chickens, as does my cousin, Evan.

Sounds like it’s just my daddy’s family, but it isn’t. On my mama’s side, there are plenty of people who keep chickens too. In Wilmington, we had three or four neighbors with backyard flocks, and here in Fayetteville, there’s a couple just up the road with a coop. Then there’s my poor father-in-law who is plagued by a free-range chicken across the street from him who scratches in his garden.

I, honestly, thought this was just how people lived. So straighten me out here, and let me know: did you grow up around chickens? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below!

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