Q&A: Raising Chickens with Kim Purucker

Local coop-keeper Kim Purucker clues us in on what it’s like raising chickens from scratch.

Editor’s Note: From raising chickens and goats to knitting a masterpiece to pickling and preserving, we present your ultimate guide to mastering the homespun, do-it-yourself life in Indy. So slip on your gardening gloves, and let’s get dirty. (See all Indy DIY stories here.)

Kim Purucker and her family are cuckoo for coops, touting themselves as “Marion County’s proudest urban farmers.” They started raising chickens just last June in the backyard of their Crow’s Nest home, but they’ve already expanded to accommodate nine birds, given their backyard digs a name (Purucker Farms), and created customized egg cartons (available only to friends and family members—for now). Follow along with their adventures at puruckerfarms.com.

How did these coop dreams come to life?
The honest answer is, my husband and my kids were bugging me, and I finally said okay, yes, I’ll try it. They have the bright ideas, and Mom does all the work. But now I’m the one who’s goofy for them.

What’s the appeal?
When they’re all laying, we get five eggs a day—three brown, a white, and a blue. We enjoy the fresh eggs, knowing where the eggs came from, and knowing what the chickens have been eating.

Do they have distinct personalities?
Absolutely. We have one named Betty, and we call her Bossy Betty. She wants to be the first one out of the coop. We have two that go at their own pace, and one of the others is with Betty all the time.

How do they compare to typical pets?
When they’re in the backyard, I can call them, and they’ll come running and follow me back to the coop like dogs. When I’m inside and they’re outside the coop, they’ll come to the back door and peck on it, like, “Hey, don’t forget about us.” They’re attached to their humans as much as the humans are attached to them.

Any roosters in the bunch?
No, I don’t really see any significance to roosters. They’re loud and they’re mean.

What do you wish you had known when you started?
I worried about them too much in the beginning. I worried whether it was too hot or whether the sprinkler was going to hit them, just goofy stuff. They mostly take care of themselves.

This article appeared in the April 2014 issue.