Wednesday , 26 October 2016
yvonne chicken [ic

A McKinney Woman’s Journey to Owning Backyard Chickens

Editor’s Note: Yvonne Evans is the creator and organizer of the McKinney Historical Neighbor Association’s Annual Chicken Coop Tour. With the support of the McKinney Historical Neighborhood Association,  the 2nd Annual MHNA’s “Tour d’ Coop” will be open to the public on Saturday, April 26th from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.  The cost is $5 per person. There will be seven neighborhood backyard hen owners that want to  share “their” vision of the” perfect” hen or chicken coop. Plus several businesses located in the historical square will be sponsoring this event by offering free food, beverages and dessert when presenting a tour ticket. Free eggs and sausage will be waiting on attendees beginning at 10:30 a.m. at D&L AgMart of McKinney … until the food is gone.

Yvonne has shared her story for TSB. Read below, in her words, to find out how she came to own chickens at her home:

I heard once in my 20’s that the French philosophy of life and creating a lifestyle can be best described as, “It’s not what you do in life but how you do it.”

Being an American in my 20’s in the 1990’s, I didn’t quite “get” the deeper meaning of this message, but I never forgot the saying. Now, 20 years later, I finally “get it.”  As I immersed myself into learning about my new unique town and neighborhood, my husband and I happily discovered six years ago — and elbow deep in renovating our historical McKinney home — that a lifestyle can be carefully crafted, and honed on a very conscience level. Cultivating a lifestyle can be both aesthetically pleasing, wonderfully clever, environmentally friendly and inspire others to seek out  their own inner passion no matter how quirky it may sound to others.

At first blush, you wouldn’t think that owning backyard chickens would be aesthetically pleasing, or a worthwhile lifestyle addition that could inspire. But ironically it has and it does! More than three years ago, I got it into my head that introducing chickens was just what my backyard was missing. And quite honestly, being a city girl,  yearned to nurture something that actually yielded a tangible testimony of the fruits of my labor.

People say you should start every morning with writing a gratitude list to start the day off right, but I don’t think I need to do that. With coffee mug in hand and my fuzzy well-worn robe, I do my gratitude walk out towards my lady bird’s abode every morning. And every morning they greet me with happy chatter. And like a child on Easter day, I excitingly seek out eggs with in their nesting boxes. The morning rituals has been going on like this for over three years and the novelty  still hasn’t worn off and I don’t think it ever will. I can’t believe it all started with three thumb-sized, cuter-than-cute yellow chicks and an overachiever, over-maternal and slightly type-A mom who wanted to do everything right the first time around.

I have to mention that I have a very tolerant and patient husband named George. Being new in town, I had no idea that we were literally surrounded by several feed stores within bike-riding distances from our house.  I began my diligent Internet search for the “perfect” hen.  Mind you, I had very specific criteria: The breed had to lay brown eggs, had to have a  good docile temperment and perferably be heavy in the body so as to be least likely to fly over into the yard of my neighbor, who owns two adorable, but bird loving (eating) golden retrievers.

After hours, days and weeks I chose my chicken’s breed. My selection was Buff Orpington. As per the Internet, the only chicken hatchery in the state of Texas who sold Buff Orpingtons was located near College Station.  That’s a 3 1/2 hour drive from our house. So my husband lovingly drove me a total of seven hours to pick up three one-day-old chicks (chicks cost $10, gas cost $100). Later we laughingly learned that these Buff Orpington chicks sell at our local feed store one mile from our house for $2.50 each!  Life lesson: Not everything you need to learn is on the Internet and it pays to ask around!  Oh well….I still think that these particular three hens out of my brewed are extra special, extra smart and extra cute. That’s my story and I am sticking to it!!

It is because of my journey that I was inspired to reach out to all that are curious to learn about potentially owning backyard chickens and to show them how absolutely fulfilling it can be.

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