Friday, July 3, 2015

Chickenmania, the prequil.

Pin It We got chickens.

This has been years in the making. Like most couples I've talked to on the chicken fence, one person really wants chickens, one really does not. With the addition of children, my husband was officially outnumbered. Three out of Four family members voted YES on the Chicken Proposition.

I did what any educated, modern person wandering into unknown territory would do: I went to Pinterest and started clicking links like it was my job. I read everything there was to read. Blogs, comment boards, infographics, opinionated articles, actual paper books like back in the day. If it was about chicks and out there, I read it.

Then I panicked and realized that we already missed the ideal spring window, and if we wanted our chickens out of our garage before our summer vacation and to lay eggs this year, we needed chicks within a few weeks.

I ordered chicks. In all my reading and researching, I didn't realize there were chicks widely available at feed stores, but there are. If you want to pay a bit less and aren't particular, go this route. But I also wanted one of two breeds, and ultimately chose Easter Eggers. They are "prolific" egg producers, they aren't gigantic, and they are said to be extremely friendly which is great if you know your kids are going to be all up in the hen house from the second they arrive. We also ordered a coop. Our coop holds three to four big chickens. I ordered five, figuring we'd either give two away or have some just incase. Because, life.

In the ordering clause it stated that it could be weeks depending on what hatches when. I ordered the chicks Sunday night at 8pm. A woman called me to tell me she was shipping them on Monday at 10am.

We ordered our chicks from Cackle Hatchery. Not only were they speedy and cost-effective, considering we ordered such a small number of chicks, but they sent a spare. We opened the box and - surprise! - there were six! (Really, if you are ordering chicks, look into them. They are wonderful.)

Mommas, do not make this mistake. I thought we would give two away. I thought we were doing some life exercise on understanding where food comes from and the circle of life and all this other stuff that I had all figured out in my head. Chickens are not pets, right? They lay eggs for a few years, you can send them off to a butcher after they don't lay, and you have the most wonderful base for your matzoh ball soup broth. WRONG. Every chick looks different. And within five minutes, five had names. My gracious children left one for my husband to name. And they all have different personalities. Maybe if we had ordered 50 chicks, that wouldn't have been a problem, but what is done is done. (My town also prohibits the amount of chickens you can keep. I'm pretty sure 50 is not acceptable unless you have a farm.)

Apparently I'm not the only person with this problem. Google how to expand a coop and you will come up with many ideas. So as soon as our coop arrives, expect to see how I turned the standard four-bird coop into the Lexus of bird homes for my flock of six.

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