Hey, y’all! Welcome back! I told you all that I was going to update you all on our newest addition to our homestead, which is our chickens. We have named these girls The Classy Cluckers!
First, let me tell you that we have wanted chickens for a long time. I have seen several people jump on the chicken bandwagon due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and everyone is trying to become more self-sustained. I think this is great and highly encourage it, but I also warn that you carefully plan and think about if you have never wanted to do it before. We have been planning this for a while. We have asked lots of questions, and have a great mentor as well. That said, getting these girls did happen a little before we planned! Here is how this played out!
After we bought our new house, we knew we wanted to grow our homestead, but the timing would be crucial. We were both working full time (before COVID) out of the house. The kids were in school, and we were just trying to get settled in. Then quarantine happened. I was home with the kids, and my husband lost his job due to circumstances of COVID-19. Adding the chicks could not have happened at a better time. Brian was able to spend time at the farm that he also works get things ready for the upcoming season. Then we received ten chicks from the farmer that works with Brian. It is the perfect time to get girls!
We had nothing set up for the chicks, so he also gifted us a “brooding box,” wood chips, and a bunch of well-wishes! I ran to the local farm store and got some feed, a feeder, and waterer. I franticly cleaned out a room that was storage so that we could keep the chicks away from the curious dog! As soon as Brian got home that evening with the girls, we got everything set up, and it was love at first sight! I do not know who was more excited, the kids, or me!
In the next few days of having the chicks, we managed to keep them alive and get plenty of chick snuggles. I became obsessed with reading about chickens and learning about the different breeds. We thought we had Rhode Island Reds (a misunderstanding) and then found out that we have Golden Comets. These are very productive breeds and lay brown eggs. I have always wanted to have Easter Eggers- or breeds that lay a variety of colors ranging from blues to greens and even purple eggs. One afternoon Brian and I went back to the local farm store to see if they had any of these breeds, and they did! I was so excited! We had planned on only getting one or two, but they had a minimum purchase of six. So here we are now with 16 chickens! Getting more chickens than planned is what they call chicken math.
We had fully anticipated not being very good at this chicken raising stuff on our first round of it. We thought we might lose one or two by now, but we are still going strong and have managed to keep all 16 chickens alive!
Raising The Classy Clucker
The Classy Cluckers are now about 11 weeks old and are thriving! We still have them in the coop because we are waiting on our electric poultry fence to arrive. Once it comes, we will get it set up and then run some string with Flagging tape to help keep aerial predators away. The electric fence will only protect from ground predators such as foxes, raccoons, etc. We had been planning on letting them free-range, but we want to establish our flock and make sure we can protect them first. We do live near woods and have seen several hawks and even a Bald Eagle. Therefore, our plans changed a little for now.
Meanwhile, the chicks are enjoying plenty of snacks and a nicely cooled coop. The kids love checking on them and petting them. Some of their favorite treats are watermelon and yogurt with strawberries! They do get other goodies as we are trying to get them to come to us without being afraid. However, we are still feeding them a good chick starter feed to make sure they grow well and become productive layers!
I am still toying with the idea of making a playground for them and putting a swing in the coop. If you have any advice or questions on chickens, please leave a comment! I would love to learn more and hear from experienced chicken keepers! Also, if you are new, it never hurts to ask questions. If I do not know, I will do my best to help find the answer!