Jim Lee, his wife, couldn’t believe their luck when they found their Medford dream home this spring. The previous owners asked the couple if they would keep their chicken coop and chickens outside. They agreed to it.
Sudbury, a South Oaks Hospital cook in Amityville, says, “My wife wanted a coop. So it was perfect.” It came with the house, which made it much more manageable. “
Now their son, Isiah Jr., 6, accompanies his mom, Dana, 30, and dad to feed the chickens and scoop up the eggs from the five chickens in their coop.
Sudbury, 29, says that watching the children run around the yard is what makes it fun. It’s very entertaining. “
Sidberrys are a new breed of Long Island homeowners who keep chickens in their backyards. Although there aren’t any statistics about coop owners, it is evident in the difficulty of getting chicks and feeding and the increase in the number of social media pages dedicated to the activity, such as Long Island Chicken Keepers.
Rent The Chicken’s owners Phillip and Jenn Tompkins, both from Pennsylvania, claim that sales in the area have increased by 15 to 25% over the last three years. The company rents four egg-laying chickens, a chicken house and feed for $1,150 per summer. Phillip “Homestead Phil”, Tompkins says that extended Island summer communities are a big customer.
Many customers are setting up coops:
Families who are homeschooling.
Parents of children with autism say it is calming.
Even empty nesters who love them as pets.
“The therapy they provide can be amazing,” says Tompkins.
It has become a family tradition and a way for parents to teach responsibility to their children. Some believe it was motivated by concern about food insecurity due to the pandemic. Others see it as a matter of reconnecting with nature and the origins of the food we eat. Finally, some believe that growing food reduces the carbon footprint.
Most say it gives them a sense of homesteading, even on small suburban plots.
Nick Sarin, who owns extensive gardens, says that his goal is to be self-sufficient. He is also an avid beekeeper. He has six hens, which allow him to produce three to four dozen eggs per week. This is what his four-member family eats most of.
He says, “People are not satisfied with the quality of industrial agriculture.” “I know the food we feed our animals so we can be sure it is healthy. “
Chicken keepers often say that fresh eggs are what keeps them going. But, once an egg is laid, it can be challenging to return to a store-bought one.
Sarin states that eggs in stores have pale yellow yolks. “Mine are a deep orange. “
Jill Werfel (55) and Kim Frost (50) keep chickens as part of their growing and raising the best food possible. The couple has been living on their 3 acres Stony Brook property since 1993. They have two chicken coops and eight chickens.
Werfel says that “it is about limiting your carbon footprint.” She also noted that packaging is her biggest pet peeve. It is comforting to know that the chickens are being raised with dignity and fed and cared for well. They would be so happy eating spaghetti, who would have thought? “
In Southampton, Amanda and William Krzenski started their “brood” last year during the pandemic.
Amanda, 46, says that remote schooling allowed us to be at home and had given us the time to set up a flock. She has two daughters, ages 10 and 11.
The hens are now considered pets and a part of their daily lives. When they can watch out for predators, they let the hens go outside. Each day, the family enjoys a lot of eggs and shares more with friends and family. Amanda loves baking with eggs.