Raising Chickens

We took the little guys to Rural King at the beginning of April for their “chick days” to see all the chicks and ducklings. I’ve wanted to have chickens for a couple years now, but the timing never seemed right because we always seem to have so much going on.  The boys were thoroughly entertained for 15-20 minutes (which is a LONG time for a 2 and a 4 year old) looking at all the different colored chicks, having me take their picture in a cardboard cutout, and trying to reach in to touch them.

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I was asked at least 5 times to “take baby chicks home”, but I told them, “Not this year.  Next year we will have chicks.”  It was SO hard leaving those cute little peeping balls of fluff behind.  Really, really, really hard.

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Fast forward to the end of April…. I needed to stop into Rural King again to get horse wormer.  While I was on the phone with my husband I jokingly said, “Awwww honeeeyyyy!  There are still chicks here without homes!”  His response… “Is that your way of asking me if you can bring home some chicks?”  I got SO excited!  I really wasn’t asking to bring them  home because I assumed he had too much going on with the upcoming fawning season to build me a chicken coop.  Still, in my excitement I said, “Can I?!”

All of a sudden I find myself in the car with these 8 cute fuzzballs!  Seriously though…. how cute are they?!  I wanted about 4 or 5 so the husband said to get more with the expectation that a few would die.

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So home they came and lived under a heat lamp in a large storage container in the living room….

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…until they started roosting on the edge of the container.  I really didn’t want to come home one day and find 8 chicks running around the house and pooping all over my floors.  So outside was where they were going to go!

Because this is my first time ever raising chicks, I had no idea how fast they would grow.  The two pictures above are only 11 days apart.  They are now about 75% feathered.  The only places they still have their fuzz is on their heads, necks, and chest.

My chicks are now outside in a (very) primitive chicken coop.  It’s pretty much 4 8×8 pieces of plywood held together in the corners with 2x4s.  There are a couple more pieces of plywood that we cover them with at night to keep them from getting out and something else from getting in.

We do have plans to build a permanent coop on the side of the house with a covered, open area that they can peck and scratch in.  But for now, while fawning season is upon us, the temporary coop will do just fine.

I’m excited for when they start actually laying eggs!  All 8 are alive, healthy, and full of spunk.  They are also all Amber Links.  This breed is supposed to be a docile and friendly breed that lays brown eggs.  The “docile and friendly” part is the most important for us.  We don’t want the kids being afraid of them.

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I’ve become quickly attached to my 8 little girls.  I’m brainstorming names, I talk to them, I pick them up and cuddle them.  I’ve even had nightmares about something getting into their coop to the point of me heading to their coop and checking on them.  Clearly, I’m invested in them.  Still, not knowing what’s coming next week, next month, and even next year is a bit worrisome. Any advice from seasoned chicken owners would be greatly appreciated!  I’ll be sure to update you when they start laying and when we have their new coop up!

 

 

 

 

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4 Responses to Raising Chickens

  1. This is awesome! I would love to have chickens some day

    Like

  2. I got chickens for the first time this year. I have 6 little girls and I love them to pieces! I would highly suggest liking The Chicken Chick on Facebook. She has a lot of followers, but she answers every question she gets! I’ve had moments of panic, asked her a question on her wall, and got an answer right away. She is a lifesaver!

    Like

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