Currently, we have eight laying hens residing in our backyard: 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 2 Barnevelders, 1 Australorp, 1 Golden Laced Wyandotte, 1 Columbian Wyandotte, and 1 Speckled Sussex. We started out with four chickens in 2009, and then added more in 2011. Our eight chickens, on average, provide five eggs every day from about February to November. They don't produce any eggs when they molt, which usually lasts about two months.
The Point 17 is located within a town, and in a neighborhood, albeit one with no Home Owner Association (YAY!), and as best we can tell, we are not in violation of any codes. The town codes specifically refer to dogs, not chickens, as nuisance animals, but the county codes get a little more ambiguous and depend on your interpretation of “livestock.” Fortunately, hens generally don't make a lot of noise and our neighbors have never complained (and giving them eggs every so often probably helps, too )
Happy hens scratching & pecking in a garden bed
Although we live in town, it is not a large town, and we have had raccoons on our porch. Luckily, the raccoons never bothered the chickens. On a couple of occasions hawks briefly landed in our back yard, which really gets the chickens excited. But none of our chickens have even been injured by predators.
One of these chickens is not like the other
The hens are not too intimidated by cats. There are a few cats that
My wife and I never had any day-to-day experience with chickens, and I didn't know much about what to expect. My wife did most of the research, selected the breeds, and does the majority of the care. She names each chicken and views them as pets. I don't, but I absolutely love being around the chickens. They follow me around the yard (they probably associate me as 'that bird seed guy'). And it is almost mesmerizing to watch them constantly scratch and peck. That's right folks, we don't have cable/satellite, but come over anyway and enjoy some prime time chicken entertainment. My favorite episode is when there is a new cat in town.