About Me

Backyard Run & Coop

Backyard Run & Coop

The notion of developing a Blog never occurred to me when I first began raising 3 laying hens in my backyard in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in March 2012. Looking back, I was just too consumed with figuring out how to sustain healthy, happy hens with no prior experience. Almost one year later, most of the quirks have been ironed out and it occurred to me that maybe I have something to offer to others who are considering this extremely entertaining venture.
Initially, I thought I would devote the entire blog to the ins and outs of raising chickens in the city. Then, I started thinking about a lot of my other interests, which coincidentally, all seemed to be woven into a “rural” tapestry.
It turns out that I am really a country boy who is trapped in a city boy’s body. It’s all now starting to make sense. I finally understand why I live on a ravine lot that is bordered with a split rail fence, why I made a living building reproduction furniture for 15 years, why my man cave resembles a pioneer homestead in the late 1800s, and why I choose to travel 264 km on a Friday night with wife, kids, dog and chickens in order to have a cup of coffee by “the lake” on a Saturday morning?
I think it’s fair to say that I am “stuck in the past”…maybe not “stuck” because it implies that I have no choice in the matter. I DO like a lot of “stuff” from the past and I don’t see the value in many of the “better” replacements of today. I think our world is way too fast, way too violent and way too focused on instant gratification. Unfortunately, amidst this transition, we have lost touch with a ton of the “good stuff” that was a staple in generations gone by.
So….. If you are attracted to a simpler time, bringing back foods and preparations from the past, and dipping your big toe into the “rural life”, than I’d like to welcome you to City Boy Hens. I hope we can share and learn a lot together.


58 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Great blog fettuccini, I mean Rick. I will be visiting again to see if Rosie has taken your advice. Don’t let the honey go to your head. As the hens already think they are the “bees knees”.

    • HI MQ,
      Thanks for visiting.
      Not sure if Rosie will take my advice. More importantly, Swiffer never layed an egg this morning. She is such a tempermental hen!
      Please check back again.
      City Boy

  2. Well done Rick. I impressed with the salami (cured meat). Have you considered ‘smoked’ cured meats….yummy! Cheers

    • Hi Peter,
      Thanks for dropping by. I believe the “smoking” is more popular on the other side of the Adriatic. I actually tried to hook up this winter with an old timer from Croatia, in order to smoke some sausage, but we couldn’t co-ordinate. Maybe next year.

    • HI Kelly,
      You have paid me the best of compliments. I started the blog for chickens, but it has grown from there. Get some chickens. It’s a BLAST!
      Hope you’ll drop by again.

  3. Enjoy your site and share some of the same interests. We too started with chickens and are now in our second year of beekeeping. These things all tie into the organic gardening that we practice here in in our NW Ohio home.
    Thanks for sharing your insight on chickens and your recipes, which I have tried and enjoyed the Blueberry Jam.

  4. Hi rick, I hope you remember me I spoke to you when you called in to Meyer Hatchery I told you I would check out your website and it is very nice. I think you have taught me a few things that I didn’t know. lol I will visit again glad I could chat with you again.

  5. So many kindred spirits long for the simple way of life in the past and try to glean those valuable lessons to apply to our fast paced life of today. Sometimes I think I was born l00 years too late. I do enjoy however my computer, advanced medical helps of today but it would be nice if we could all go back to the horse & buggy, growing most of our food and bartering with our neighbors, yet the high cost of today’s living (taxes etc.) make that impossible. I enjoy your point of view and agree very wholeheartedly with your outlook. My husband and I both grew up in the city but longed for a country life. We now live on a grape farm, raise chickens, ducks & geese for our own pleasure (not for profit!!!) and tend a large garden, for the serenity that kind of life brings us.

  6. Love the ideas and the sausage making tutorial ( I grow my own pigs and this year we will be making sausage using our own pork and beef) What a great blog you have. I shall be back to see what you are up to as often a I can. c

  7. Not sure where to place this question but here goes: I have a pullet/hen that was injured by a dog I am babysitting. (the later is another story) She’s made it overnight in a cat carrier but some of her clucks sound like quiet quacks. I’m feeding her some Nutri-Drench mixed with about 1/3 water to keep her hydrated, nothing else. When she was attacked by the dog, blood started running out of one eye and her mouth – I thought she was dead. Lo and behold she moved onto her chest within a few hours, clucking quietly. Laid an egg last night. She was hatched in April so is still a young bird.
    She’s still in the cat carrier in a quiet room by herself.
    Any suggestions?

    • Hi Sally’
      Sorry to hear about the pullet. First off…I have no medical experience, but if it was my bird I would do exactly what you are doing. Hydration is very important. Are there any open wounds? They should be treated for possible infection. Have you tried any food? What about making a mash from her layer feed. Soften it with warm water and mix in some yogurt or scrambled eggs. I would also keep her warm and quiet. Hope this helps. I’d like to know how you make out.

  8. The warm and quiet part I’m doing. (It’s close to 80 where I live). I haven’t been able to find any open wounds but she doesn’t want to be handled so I figured I’d do a through look through in a day or two. Good idea about the mash. My girls love a good mash just from their feed. They’re pretty picky about anything new so I’m going to skip the yogurt and eggs.

  9. Update on injured pullet: she’s doing better, though breathing is very rough. After giving her a bath today to clean off the feathers and check for wounds (there aren’t any) I applied some VetRx to her chest to help her breathing. She’s now been moved from a small cat carrier to a pen in a extra bedroom. She ate some mash from my fingers this morning after the bath (good sign!). From now it’s just a wait and see…

  10. Glad to have found your blog. Being a woman, I read lots of women’s homesteading blogs and it’s nice to have found a man’s perspective on homesteading. Refreshing. I’ll be coming by again. -jean

  11. I came across your fantastic blog while researching for information and tips about our 6 new chickens. We’re horse people, and we’ve always wanted chickens for eggs- so my husband and I got each other chickens and build their coop and run for our wedding anniversary gift to each other this year. The very next day we got 3 eggs! We live in Southern Ontario near Brantford, so your winter prep tips are very useful. I’m going to make a dust bath for the girls when I get home tonight too. Thank you for the blog and all the great recipes and links- we’ll enjoy following you as the eggs keep rolling in…

  12. Old school mom of 4 boys, stubbed upon your page, love it! Just made 105 lbs of sausage and capicolo ( making my Barese this weekend) and hated the ugly contraption my hubby made last year for drying and was looking for a more aesthetically pleasing one. Yours is uncomplicated. So is your writing, thanks. Love the chicken coop, a later read, my hubby might kill me. Wonder if your neighbours complain, we back on a ravine but we still have neighbours.

    • Hi Rose,
      Thanks for the compliment. Glad you enjoy the blog! With regards to the chickens and neighbors……all is good. I keep a neat and respectful set-up. That’s a good start for neighborly peace.
      Glad to hear about your “old school” traditions.
      Best of continued success.

  13. Love this post on crecia! My parents and their parents before them were faithful about making this for Easter. My grandmother insisted that crecia rises in proportion to your “goodness” throughout the year! My recipe calls for 1/2 cup of melted butter and 4 1/2 c flour…but its all good! Do you have a recipe for pasatelli???

    • Hi Joyce,
      Thanks for your comments. I like your grandmother’s interpretation on the height of the rise. Nice memory.
      Sorry, I do not have a recipe for pasatelli.
      Buona Pasqua

  14. Just found ‘you’. I live outside of Toronto and have 4 chickens (shhhh, bylaw says no chickens allowed). Love what you have to say and we seem to lead parallel lives except our cottage is a boat but we don’t take the chickens, however; our boat is 23 kms away, and not 264 so we can pop back home if necessary. Keep up the great work! btw ‘dessert’ has two s’s 🙂

  15. Hi, I will echo the sentiments already posted, this is a pretty good blog. I think you have a very organized mind and you have a talent for posting enough information without overwhelming. The pictures are uncluttered and focus on the important details. I visited after doing a search about swarm traps – I’m most impressed – your trap is exemplary and your tutorial encouraged me to explore your blog. I’ll be back. Thank you.

  16. City Boy, enjoyed the read. I’m 6 months into being a mother hen and learning along the way. Have 5 hens to add — going for the sex links this time. Thank you 4 the learn. Country Girl

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