Here a Chick, There a Chick, Everywhere a Chick, Chick

Today on the way home from a field trip to a cave in more southern Indiana, the kids and I stopped at a farm store and picked up a dozen chicks and their paraphernalia. Whether to get chicks or not this spring has been a much discussed question in our home the past weeks, with proponents on either side. Most of the children who have to clean the barn were vocal in their disapproval of adding more of the messy, smelly creatures. I on the other hand, have long wanted chicks, and our poultry population has declined to just two useless (but cute!) roosters. Tim, who eats eggs nearly every day, prefers the fresh ones we had last summer to the store-bought version, so he’d already given his approval.

We ended up choosing three varieties: Barred Plymouth Rocks, Buff Orffingtons, and “Production Reds.” Theoretically all are female. They’ve taken up residence in a box in Andrew’s room for their first month or so, where we can easily regulate the temperature in their container. I’m not sure what he’ll do when he comes home for Easter, but we’ll figure something out. (His reaction upon hearing about them was – “Argh! LOL”)

For a hilarious piece on the sad demise of his family’s chickens, check out Josh Harris’s blog of Feb. 28, 2006.


Hind's Feet said…
WE were next door obtaining cider and apples (pie and apple sauce to soon follow!) We thought about running over to see what you were all doing. But, I feared I would decide we "needed" chickens. Maybe we can visit yours?
Rachel Pierson said…
Hi Anne,

I tried to count them...nine?

This reminds me of the spring my Mom came home with a bunch of ducks! I was in third grade. We had those little guys swimming in the bathtub by afternoon, but my Dad sent them to the basement by evening.

Anne said…
Kim -
Yum! and Double Yum!
Absolutely - you're welcome any time, as you know!

Rachel -
There are 12, four of each of three varieties. Ducks would be so much fun, but Tim has said "No" to ducks, or "coyote bait", as I think he called them. We've had some tough luck with raccoons and some of last spring's adult chickens. How did your ducks do?
Rachel Pierson said…
Ther were twelve to start with. We named every single one. By the time I was a youngster, my Dad was industrialized and livestock was (were?) pets.

Of course we had to put little dots of food coloring on their heads to know which one was Daffy and which one was Duffy and so on.

We had a really good time with those ducks. Some of them became wild animal food. One, in particular, I remember we found in the corn field and it appeared that its heart had been torn out! (I think I had a vivid imagination!) We did end up with a pair or so and they did have eggs. Most of these eggs rotted because Daffy (who ended up being female) made her nests in hidden areas. Also, my Mom was not interested in eating possible future pets. We finally restricted her to a pen, and she successfully hatched an egg, but didn't know what to do with the result, so we had to rescue the little fluff and my sister named him Dotsey. He was, apparently in the struggle to hatch, robbed of oxygen and was retarded (when the little egg strated to squirm and squeek, Daffy booted it out of the nest...we had to hunt for it). He was a delight to us he was especially entralled with my sister, and followed her everywhere.

I really enjoyed the story that you linked to. I was rolling on the floor laughing about the $50 eggs, etc, etc.
mom said…
At one time we were living in an old farmhouse near Lancaster, PA. The house was in a shallow dell between two knolls. On each knoll was a large chicken warehouse--where chicks were raised until big enough to go from market to dinner table. Every so often a large truck would pull up to one of the warehouses and men would corral the chickens onto the truck. Occasionally a lone, daring chicken would make his escape. One day we found that several, maybe half a dozen, had escaped together. The older boys (middle school age or younger) caught the escapees and brought them home. I fancied myself something of a homesteader at the time (after all I made my own cottage cheese and yoghurt--even butter!) but had no clue about raising chickens. We did learn something of the expression "pecking order". Needless to mention, those chickens would have been more beneficial to mankind, and no worse off personally, if they had gotten on the truck.

I certainly hope, for your chicks' sake, that you do better than I did!
Jill said…
Sorry--I don't know how to change names (but I'll give it a try) and ususally blog as "Mom". I'm Jill to most of the world.

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