Hello! I’m Velvet Sparrow. I have raised and owned chickens for eggs and pets in
Southern California since I was a child, and as an adult my husband, daughter and
I have continued chicken keeping--and I get lots of questions about keeping chickens
happy and healthy. Jack’s Henhouse is named in honor of our original rooster, Jack,
pictured here. Jack is no longer with us, but his descendants are.
We live in northern Nevada, and our current flock of 46 or so (‘or so’ because we
are suckers for chickens and the number is always fluctuating) birds is a mix of
different breeds, standard size and Bantam birds, hens and roosters that range in
age from 6 months to 12 years old. We keep a mixed flock of many different breeds
but try to stay away from the more aggressive breeds.
I grew up on a small farm where we had a mixed fruit orchard, a large vegetable garden,
horses, chickens, rabbits, turkeys, ducks, guinea pigs and quail. We raised chickens,
turkeys and rabbits for meat and eggs, and had a few as pets. On our farm we did
most everything ourselves--from building horse corrals to growing, harvesting and
canning our own vegetables, fruit and jam, to slaughtering and processing chickens
and rabbits for food.
I'm glad that I know how to do all of these things, and I commend those who make
the choice to raise their own food and meat--it's tastier and healthier than supermarket
produce and chicken by far. Being self-sufficient is very fulfilling and empowering,
makes you appreciate where your food comes from and gives you a true sense of the
circle of life and how intimately connected to it we all are. But these days, while
I still grow my own fruits & vegetables and can them, I keep my chicken flock for
eggs and entertainment, so that is primarily what this website will focus on. You'll
find no butchering instructions here, but you will find info on how to successfully
keep baby chicks in a box in the kitchen!
I'm not a big-time breeder or rancher, but on this site are some of the things that
I do, that have worked for me for many years. This information has been gathered
over many years of trial and error, reading books and the Internet, and talking to
other poultry owners. It’s a constant learning process. Your experiences in your
part of the world may substantially differ from mine. Your experience will depend
on the temperament of the breed of birds you own, their individual personalities
and how they live.
Some people might disagree with what I do, and I might disagree with what they suggest.
Ask 5 different chicken people a question, get 6 different answers! One thing we
all agree on: Chickens are fun, fascinating and extremely rewarding to keep.
If you have any chicken questions, feel free to email me.
However--I AM NOT A VET.
If you think you need a vet, please call one right away!