When we moved into our home 3 years ago we were excited at all the space an opportunity that our lot provided. I immediately thought of chickens! We have woods, a yard and a giant hill with boulders, it’s a great place to have some animals. Since we moved in three years ago we’ve created a vegetable garden and built a greenhouse in our efforts to become more self-sufficient, the only thing missing was a flock of backyard chickens. We have talked often about getting a flock of backyard chickens but have always hesitated, not any more. Our youngest has been helping with the chickens at the resource center they go to and she can simply talk your ear off about chickens, their cones, who’s going to lay soon etc… Since chickens had always been part of the plan we decided that we would get them for her, partly as a birthday gift, this spring.
I started reading about raising a flock of backyard chickens and took a great backyard chicken workshop run by my good friend Amy to help prepare us and to get an idea of how these chickens will change our lives. Last Sunday we headed out to a local feed/farm store and purchased our backyard flock! The girls helped us pick out the ladies. We have two Buff Orpington, two Americanas, a Sliver Wyandotte and one supper adorable Rhode Island Red. The chicks have been making themselves at home in our house for nearly a week now and we are all smitten.
Prior to getting the chickens we discussed with the girls their roles and responsibilities as they pertain to the chickens and, like always, they agreed that they would participate fully in their care. I have been shocked how my oldest has taken on this responsibly. She has been getting up earlier than everyone, changing the chicken’s litter and refreshing their food and water, completely unprompted. I help her in the afternoon since she is doing so well with the mornings. Time will tell if this continues but she is definitely on the right track and I tell her daily how proud I am of her and her maturity. My youngest washes the water and food bowls daily and helps to corral the chicks while their pen is being cleaned.
The last step in this process is have an outside home for our lovely growing flock on backyard chickens. Our good friend Chris (Amy’s husband), the amazing woodworker behind Timber & Co., is going to build our coop and possibly run. We have about 3 months before it needs to be up, operational and predator proof. Wish us luck!