She also offers advice to urban chicken farmers about rats, which was the reason we had to get rid of our chickens (fear not, they went to a happier place, and I do not mean that euphemistically). They come for the eggs and the chicken feed and finally, there was little we could do but put down traps and poison. The canyons surrounding Los Angeles are famous for their large ratticus norvegicus populations. Huge families of the things. I'm not really squeamish about them but they are, frankly, a drag.
Our chickens were a mixture of Easter chicks from schoool (yes, we were the nimrods who agreed to look after them "for the weekend"), hand-raised araucana hens and scrappety hens rescued from the pound. Together, however, they delivered 8 or 9 eggs a day in shades of brown, blue and green. As we have a family of red-tailed hawks nearby, and of course coyotes and raccoons, it is imperative that the chicken run is completely covered in wire netting.
Now that spring is here, I'm looking forward to hand-raising some more chicks or perhaps following in the steps of my younger brother who has adopted battery hens, with much success. He didn't knit them sweaters but did have to put a special heat lamp in their coop because of the freezing winter temperatures (and their lack of feathers).
The Rottal Hens (decidedly non-Urban)