I've known The Viking since grade school. We dated in high school. Now, he's off on his own adventures and keeps me updated with his backyard shenanigans.
Last year, he built a chicken coop, intent on raising hens for eggs.
The fence board in the foreground is used to collect bugs over night. In the morning, it's flipped over and put into the chicken run, so the birds can get some extra protein.
Another way to supplement feed for hens is to grow sunflowers. Black Oil Seed is best, but the Mammoth variety works too.
When ready to harvest, dry the flower heads and chuck one in the coop for hens to pick at. It'll give them something fun to do, while providing nutrition.
Which has rewarded him... twelve hens averaging eleven eggs a day.
He also converted his then-empty rabbit hutch into a pen for ring-necked pheasants raised for feathers and meat.
This year his bunnies are filling one of the hutches
These two are named Yummy and Tasty
... While ducklings have claimed the other hutch, which has been placed inside the coop. That way the hens and ducks can get acclimated without a blood-bath of henpecking.
Seeing The Viking's progress makes me want my own wee flock of hens. Drew some plans up a few years back... maybe I'll get the opportunity to build a chicken tractor in its stead for my parent's backyard.
I think a tractor would be great for a bunch of reasons. Firstly, my dad was in an accident and broke his neck. He's got mobility, but mowing the lawn kicks his ass, pain-wise. With a chicken tractor moved every day, it'll help keep the grass down, in addition to tackling bugs and crawlies that could otherwise nibble on the garden. In addition to mowing the lawn and exterminator services, hens would provide eggs. Delicious, fresh, superior to store-bought eggs. What's not to love about that?