Back in April we got our first little batch of chickies for Scarlett Homestead. Many of you might chuckle and say “Who cares? Who hasn’t done that before?” Well, the answer there is me, friends.
Actually, both me and Judah to be exact. It was our first time and so we were pretty excited. We bought 6 straight run Rhode Island Reds. Straight run was the only option we had, so we took the chance.
Now, call me a first time city girl if you want to, but believe it or not, I had those chicks set on their gender within days. You might call it dumb luck, I call it my obsession with tiny fuzzy animals that makes me indulge in every tiny aspect of their lives until I know every single thing about them, and have read every book I can.
I really did school myself though. I read a few books on how to raise chickens, and especially how to raise them indoors for the first few weeks as they had no Mother….oh sorry, that’s not true….I was their Mother! And I was going to be the best Mother to a bunch of chicks, ever known to man. Or should that be known to chicks? Either way, you get it.
(This might have happened. I’m not admitting anything. Those chickies were loved. Thankfully not to death. I assure all you horrified chicken owners out there, that Little People Camping Playset time with the chicks was closely monitored and only for a few minutes at a time. No animals were harmed during these trailer excursions.)
(Now, come on. Have you ever seen anything cuter than a little chickie being pulled in a itsy-bitsy trailer?)
Rob laughed at me in good fun many times, as he had grown up on a farm and this wasn’t exactly new to him, however I was in charge of them every day and when I take on anything new, I make sure I have studied and researched the subject and I am well prepared. Two of the little girls almost didn’t make it through the first couple of days, but I persevered right along with them and no baby chick was going to die on my watch. They of course made it and we ended up with one rooster and 5 hens. Sort of the perfect situation for our first go at raising chickens. And me, well, I like to think that I have become very well educated at caring for and handling these kids of mine, and they have grown into healthy young adults and are thriving. See, it all comes down to good parenting folks.
Anyway, we may not ever go through the process of raising chicks in our home again now that they have a cozy coop on the Homestead, but I sort of hope we do. It was adorable, obviously, and I learned so much from watching them, and I really think it was good for Judah. I believe that kids learn so much about life from caring for animals. It helps with learning responsibility, caring for another living thing, treating animals with respect, and obviously letting them be involved gives them the sense of importance and ownership over a task that is essential in becoming well rounded little humans.
When Rob got the coop built and we finally moved them to the Homestead, it took them a while to even come out of the coop. They were terrified, and looking for me. Every day when we go up to check on them now, they hear the truck coming and RUN to the fence of their enclosure and follow you around the perimeter just waiting for you to come in. They love people. How cute is that?
Over time, Judah has now become their number one guy. He’s absolutely their favorite person because he spends the most time with them. We always bring little treats for them, like fruit or vegetable peels, and Judah is the one who gives it to them, so it goes without saying that they adore him.
(This is Sunny. And she has a face only a mother could love. And I do.)
Our rooster, Tic Tac (Judah named them all, and it’s pretty funny) is crowing now and he’s a pretty ‘large and in charge’ kind of guy so he likes to be heard, very often. But the most exciting development in the past six months is that on September 19th, we got our first three eggs. They’re right on target for timing of laying and I’m so happy it’s all working out. All 5 girls lay daily now and one of them lays a double yolk egg at least every second day. I’m still highly amused by these little details.
I’m sure that seasoned chicken owners are shaking their heads and maybe having a laugh at me, and that’s ok, but I’m really excited about it. It’s my first time with all of this and I feel like I had a hand in having it turn out successfully. I’m proud of my little accomplishment. Go back in time for a moment, and try to remember the first animal you raised. We all have to start somewhere, so this is my first start with a farm animal, and I am proud of how it turned out.
– Foghorn Leghorn