It is perfectly possible for us all to make small changes to our way of life, the simple act of keeping a few chickens and keeping your family in eggs is one of the easiest ways to begin. You can do it whether you live in a town or the country, even if you only have a small garden. Children adore chickens and will happily take on a lot of the day to day care. Furthermore, it will start to teach them where food comes from and the rewards that even small scale self sufficiency can bring. Chickens bring life and colour to the garden and everyone will enjoy their antics. Owning a few chickens is an easy way to take on responsibility for producing some of your own food. You need very little space to keep a couple of chickens and even the smallest backyard can accommodate them. If you are just keeping chickens for eggs you do not need a cock; hens will lays whether or not their eggs have been fertilised. Hens do not make much noise, their quiet clucking is unlikely to upset anyone. Chickens function pretty well with most domestic animals. Cats are generally not a problem at all; a few inquisitive sniffs and the chickens will quickly let the cat know who is boss - the chickens! Chickens clean themselves, they have a daily preen in the morning to ensure their feathers are all gleaming. You will be surprised how delighted people will be to look after your chickens overnight or for a few weeks whilst you get away from it all. It gives them a tiny taste of self sufficiency and the one pay off they should always get its to collect and keep the eggs. The eggs your chickens will produce will taste better than any eggs you have ever tasted before and there is notihing so satisfying as being able to pop out into the garden to get a few freshly laid eggs. Your chickens will develop a routine of their own for egg laying, the times of the day they lay can vary throughout the year. Fresh eggs do not need to be refrigerated, though they should be kept in a cool place. The basic principals of care are simple. In the morning you replenish their food and water supply. They should be fed twice a day at best, but once a day is possible. Chickens enjoy a varied diet; left to their own devices they will eat seeds, plants, fruit, berries, insects, worms and grubs. Chickens also love scraps from the table and will happily eat leftover crusts, cereals, salads and some leafy vegetables. Chickens must have a good supply of fresh water. Once a week the chicken house should be thoroughly cleaned - old straw should be discarded and the roosting bars and nest box given a light scrub. The chickens will create a dry patch in their run which they will use as a dust bath, you will find them lying on their sides in the dust bath delightedly showering each other in dirt! Chickens generally prefer to sleep at night on roosting bars or perches. Birds are supposed to do 50% of their mess at night, therefore a droppings tray or board should be placed underneath the perches to catch the mess. This makes the weekly clean up very easy..