Chickens!

They’re here! They’re here! We’ve waited so very long and we finally have our first chicken babies. I know most people call them chicks but I prefer the term chicken babies.  So the babies are here and we had kind of a rough start but I think we are finally off the ground running.  We got chickens for two reasons.  To have healthy eggs to eat on a regular basis and just for fun!  The girls are going to be primarily responsible for their care.  They already invested some of their own money in our new chickens and supplies and are very proud of this.

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Our very generous neighbors gave us a giant water trough for a brooder and I built a custom lid for it to keep my cats and child visitors out of it. We ordered 10 chickens from mypetchicken.com. 

Their website is AWESOME.  Their customer service is even better.  If you ever want to order chickens online I’d highly recommend them! Or even if you just want to read up on all the different interesting breeds they have really great information on each one.  I found 2 Silkie chickens from someone local.  (If you don’t know what a silkie is you HAVE to google them, they are hilarious)  I chose to order online so I could be picky in selecting breeds and so that I could specifically order 9 hens and 1 rooster. Every family member had their own special chicken to name that looked different from all the others so we could easily identify them and so we could be fairly certain the chicken would be a she and not a he. If you’ve never experienced receiving chicken babies in the mail you ought to.  It’s a hoot.

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Dark Brahma
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Silkie

About a week into our new adventure half of the chicks just dropped dead.  We were mortified.  It’s so crazy how quickly we get attached to critters even though we know there are no guarantees.  We have had quite a bit of loss since our move out to the country.  But we have also experienced so many new joys.  I guess it’s part of life and good for the kids to learn about.  We have been able to model what healthy grieving looks like and how to handle disappointment gracefully. (and also not so gracefully 😉 ) Anyway, we aren’t exactly sure why the chicks didn’t make it so we have been a bit frustrated moving forward.

We made a few adjustments to our brooder setup and I went to a couple local feed stores and picked up some new chicks.  I’m still trying to track down a replacement for kid 2.  She was very attached to her White Cochin named “Mia” and they don’t seem to sell that particular breed locally.  So now we have a bunch of Buff Orphingtons, some Jersey Giants, Silkies, Silver Seabright Bantams, and a Dark and Light Brahma. We chose to get all super friendly breeds.  Everyone seems to be healthy and happy so praying they all make it to adulthood.  They will start laying eggs around 6 months old so it will be awhile yet.

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Silver Seabright

We also got 6 new guinea keets.  (Read about Guinea fowl in my previous post).  I decided to keep them separate from the chickens so I needed a separate brooder.  I found a pack n play for $20 and made a waterproof bottom for it and put a screen on top so keep the flyers in and it’s working out great. They have plenty of room and are growing SO FAST.  Here are pictures of the keets 3 weeks apart.

Now all we have to do is get the coop ready.  We are going to clean it out and add a window, vent, roost, and nesting boxes.  So much to do, so little time.  Thankfully the Spring weather is finally here and the days are getting longer and longer.

I’ve been dusting myself to get up again after a very very VERY long winter. Hope you all are enjoying Spring as much as we are. ❤

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11 thoughts on “Chickens!

  1. Love your farm stories and photos. I firmly believe growing up on a farm (as I did) provides your girls a much more balanced approach to life’s cycles to include death.

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  2. I had quit checking this Abbey as I thought you had quit posting. Luckily today I decided to try again. Happy to see your new life stories 🙂

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  3. Finally catching up email…but couln’t get the rest of the post to load. 😕 I’m sure it was a great story! Love your stories!

    Tami

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