If you live on a farm, you must have livestock. It's a rule. As my farm is pretty tiny, I can only handle tiny livestock. As appealing as cows and goats are, they have no usable byproduct other than milk and I'm pretty sure that I won't roll out of bed at the crack of dawn to milk those suckers. If they could keep to a reasonable schedule of say perhaps 9-ish or so, then maybe. But they would explode if it were up to me to keep them milked if it had to happen at dawn.
I'm also pretty sure that I couldn't raise anything for meat. If I had to slaughter my own meat, I would turn into a vegetarian. Yes, yes... that is terribly hypocritical of me, I know. I do love a big ol' grilled steak or a nice, juicy hamburger. But once that animal is in my yard it has a name and is a pet. I just can't fathom eating Fluffy the Cow after raising Fluffy from calfhood.
So chickens are about the only form of livestock that I think I can handle at this point. They're pretty little and they generate an edible byproduct that doesn't involve me slaughtering anything. Plus, rumor has it that they eat ticks and fleas. At this point, if giraffes ate ticks and fleas I would have a herd of them. My little stretch of country is, sadly, infested. I hate the little buggers. I have declared war on the flea and tick population and the chickens are my Weapon of Mass Destruction.
So the chickens are coming. This week, in fact. My first order of 15 chicks will be here on Wednesday. Stay tuned as the chicken extravaganza unfolds!