Tuesday, March 17, 2009



Not too long ago, I said something to B about raising our own chickens. I was slightly kidding, as I didn't think he'd go for it, but I brought it up wondering if it was worth having your own chickens to lay eggs, and then to eventually use for meat (something must be wrong with me if I am considering killing an animal on my farm for my own purpose...sigh). He was actually pretty receptive to the idea, and we even talked about maybe one day going to the farmer's market to sell our own eggs (along with a variety of other things, but that is a ways off). Neither of us knew if having chickens would really save us money (let's be honest, eggs aren't the most expensive thing I buy from the grocery store, but I guess any money saved is money saved), but we also couldn't see what it would hurt. They'd eat the bugs, hopefully provide us with eggs, and one day we'd be able to use them for meat. We kept it in the back of our minds, and when we saw ads for them in the paper, continued to talk about getting them.

Well, yesterday, I went to the local feed store and came home with these:

Yup. 10 little pullets (female chicks). I can't for the life of me remember what kind they are...just that they lay big brown eggs. I think they have the word Golden in their name too, but don't quote me on that. These chicks are currently in our bedroom, as we have nowhere else in the house to put them that the cats won't get them. Haha. Who would have thought we'd have chicks in our bedroom?

Anyway, neither of us have ever raised chicks before, so it is sure to be an experience for us. I don't think it is supposed to be hard, but that doesn't mean anything. My main concern is getting the dogs to leave them alone once we put them outside (and for good reason, since we didn't give the dogs much thought when we got goats, which was not smart on our part since they ended up attacking one of them...high prey drive). For some of the dogs, this won't be a problem, but the others...they will need to be taught, and we will have to keep a close eye on them for a while. Granted, they don't chase the geese that hang around the pond anymore, but chickens that are around the house might be different.

I must admit that I find these little boogers quite cute. They sleep in the oddest positions. They fall over quite a bit. And they have stellar hearing. I was quite a bit away from them and made a noise, and the whole group of them started and began running around their bin. I am going to do my best not to get attached to them though. I need to start teaching myself not to get so attached to every little living thing that comes into our lives.

I'm looking forward to this adventure with these little babies though. I'm excited to see how fast they grow and to get our first egg (not for about 5 months or so most likely!). It is sure to be an experience!


Kati said...

We used to get chicks every year.. we used them for eggs.. not meat.. its super fun. My dad still has some.. he keeps them until they stop producing eggs and then they get butchered.. **peeks around for PETA**

Celine said...

Happy St Pat's day
Those chicklets (lol) are too adorable!

What A Card said...

Oh, how fun! I hope it goes well, as I'm thinking of getting chicks once we move (if we move somewhere more country-ish)...I'd love to be able to see your experiences here first :)

You may be interested in reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It's actually kind of sanctimonious, but maybe just read the sections about raising their own chicks and slaughtering their own chickens. Very interesting! The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan also has a section where he visits a farm and slaughters a chicken.

Donn24g said...

awww those chicks sure are cute!!! It would be hard for me not to get attached, but then again anything that tiny is cute. Once they get bigger it may be a different story, and a lot more work;-)

and Happy st. Patties day!!

My New 30 said...

Hi, I'm Mary popping over from the SITS roll call to say hello. I'm trying to make a practice of visiting the blog of the person who posts ahead of me on roll call and today that was you!

I love animals too - I just lost one of my lab mix breeds - she was never real healthy but it was sad to lose her because she wasn't that old. Shortly after that we had an opportunity to take in a puppy about 4 or 5 weeks old who was left in a box in the Walmart parking lot, so I'm a new Mama too! Course, you have a lot more babies to tend to LOL!!

I would love to have chickens and while I do live outside of the city limits in the county, I am still in a subdivision with houses on top of one another, so it's not much different than the city. Still we don't have protective covenants forbidding chickens, not that I'm aware of anyway. One of my neighbors had a rooster before, and it was highly annoying! I don't know anything about chickens except you need land around you - I have heard that they can smell, so don't locate them near your house! Fresh eggs are the BEST though, so good luck with your new venture!!

Have a great day!


Lora said...

oh, how fun! I love farm fresh eggs...I'm so spoiled by them. Good luck with this new adventure :0)

Anonymous said...

They're so cute! I want some now. Hehe.....i'm sure there will be some stories about them in the future!

JK said...

How exciting! I haven't gotten my chicken house ready yet so I haven't even looked into chicks but am going to get some soon I hope. I don't think they should be that hard to raise either. My aunt has done it all of her life. They may not lay many eggs till about a year old, but after that, I am told that they will give you one about every other day.
I am going to have to train my dog to not kill them as well. He is a heeler an is really good at killing my cats. He is going to get some firm teaching this spring when I get new kittens. I have been told by the old timers that if they kill a chicken to disipline them with the dead animal. I know it sounds rough, but... and if that doesn't work, to hang the dead animal from their neck and let them carry it around for a day or two and that is supposed to break them of it. ??? Who knows.
Best of luck. Keep me updated on your adventures! Maybe we can learn from each other?

Suzi said...

We have 13 hens, 2 roosters and 2 households. My SIL and I collect between 10-12 eggs daily. I have given 8 dozen eggs away in the last 6 weeks. It is worth having them. Next Fall we intend to put some of the hens in our freezer to eat at a later date. I am a bit of a city girl and it turns out that it will be my job to process the hens.....should be interesting. And on a side note....yes roosters ARE mean. I let them out of the hen house every day and one of them jumps out and shows signs of chasing and spurring me. I have been fortunate so far. Good Luck!

Suzi said...

If they have "golden" in their name they are probably a Golden Sexlink. We have 2 of those. Once they get big enough the cats won't bother them and once you train the dog(s) they will be fine too.

Kristen said...

Oh how cool is that!

My grandmother had a chicken that fell of a truck in her front yard...lucky chick :-)
she kept it in the dog pen and it eventually laid eggs. My brother would sit with it and feed it popsicles

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