May 13, 2019

A Guest Blog from Ari Katz on His Love for Raising Chickens

As many of you know, I’ve long enjoyed the pastime of raising chickens. I began raising chickens primarily for their eggs, but over the years, I’ve also grown fond of caring for them and learning about their many different breeds and varieties. Not long ago, during a visit with guests at my farm, 18-year old Ari Katz told me about his love for breeding, raising and showing these birds. Ari lives on a farm with his family and cares for a flock of hundreds, many of them stunning prize-winners. I asked him to share some photos and the story of how his passion for chickens first developed. Enjoy.

When I was eight-years-old, a neighbor got some backyard chickens so he could enjoy their fresh eggs. I was immediately infatuated with their idiosyncrasies, beautiful patterns, and different personalities. My parents agreed to let me get two or three backyard birds. By the time I was 12, I had a flock of around 10 “hatchery quality” chickens - Plymouth Rocks, Wyandottes, and Ameraucanas.

In 2011, I went to my first poultry show in Frederick, Maryland. That first show didn't go well, but I was determined to improve my stock. In the spring of 2012, I ordered Barred Plymouth Rock Bantam chicks from Adrian Rademacher in Minnesota. In the fall of 2012, I got a pair of Bantam White Plymouth Rocks from Richard Hickman, and in 2013, I got White Wyandotte large fowl from Tom Roebuck - three of the most successful breeders in the country. This paved the way for my success with breeding and showing chickens. I am now one of the highest ranked Bantam Plymouth Rock and Wyandotte large fowl breeders in the United States. I'm driven by the desire to breed birds that judges feel are the perfect representation of their breed.

My pet chickens give me great joy and pride - here are some photos.