alibi online
Weekly Alibi PodcastFree Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals
 V.18 No.6 | February 5 - 11, 2009 

Ask Chef Boy Ari

Q: I’m interested in raising hens for the eggs, but we have a tiny backyard. Does two or three sound like a good number? Also, will the eggs hatch if we let them? And what’s the best way to procure chickens?

—Hen Quest

A: It sounds like there are about 50 more very good questions behind the ones you’ve asked. You’re considering raising a flock of hens for eggs, fun and maybe some fertilizer on the side, and there are a few things you need to know. Raising hens is pretty easy, but it requires more guidance than I can give in this space, so I’ll refer you to, where you will find a community of hen-philes that obsesses about all things related to backyard chickens to a degree you may not have thought possible. There you will find detailed instructions on the many issues a chicken-raiser must consider, including an appropriate population for the square footage you have available.

I’d advise you to order more than you think you’ll need, since chickens tend to die, succumbing frequently to illness, predators and other dangers.

Probably the best selection of mail-order hens can be found at the Murray McMurray Hatchery catalog (, but you may have to combine your order with a neighbor, as the minimum is 25 chicks. Come springtime, baby chicks will be available in local hardware stores.

Most urban areas don’t tolerate roosters because they make noise and can be pretty aggressive. So assuming your hens are not in contact with roosters, the eggs they lay won’t be fertile—no little chicken will ever hatch.

Send your food and garden queries to


Today's Events

Albuquerque Wine Festival at Balloon Fiesta Park

Sample wines, live music, food trucks, jewelry and crafts.


Torino's Beer Dinner at Torinos' @ Home

Nob Hill Growers Market at Morningside Park

More Recommended Events ››
Join our mailing list for exclusive info, the week's events and free stuff!

  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • Latest Posts
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Rocksquawk Discussions
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Latest User Posts
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Upcoming Alibi Picks
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.
    A Film In Color/Glasir
    A Film In Color/Glasir6.13.2016