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'I'm raising a gold mine': Local woman's chicken coop coming in handy as egg prices rise

Jodi Valencia-Quezada and her husband have been raising chickens in Des Moines for four years.

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With the price of eggs on the rise, it's no doubt people across the country have dreamed of waking up to free, farm-fresh eggs. 

But for many people across Iowa, that dream is already a reality, even in Des Moines. 

"I'm raising a gold mine," Jodi Valencia-Quezada said with a laugh. 

Valencia-Quezada and her husband started their backyard flocks about four years ago. 

Currently, they own ten chickens, including Lola, Lulu, Lacey, Bebe, Bonita and Blankita. 

"I enjoy watching them," Valencia-Quezada said. "They're characters. They're funny, they each have their own personality."

In the winter, the couple normally gets seven eggs a day. When summer rolls around, they anticipate getting up to 10 a day. 

"I trade with a neighbor across the street," Valencia-Quezada said. "We barter in the summertime: she brings over her excess fresh produce, and I give her eggs in return."

For those looking to raise chickens of their own, Valencia-Quezada says there are easy ways get started.

"You really don't need a lot of things," she said. "It doesn't have to be an expensive coop, this one's built with old pallets that we got for free, scrap wood that we got for free."

Still, Valencia-Quezada urges people to do their research before committing to a flock. 

She recommends checking rules and regulations in your area, and making sure there's time in your schedule.

"It's not really as easy as you think. It is a lot of work," she said. 

But at the end of the day, Valencia-Quezada says that work is well worth it. 

"I think the best thing is having the fresh eggs . . . and knowing where your product came from," she said. 

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