Our family’s adventure with chickens started during the spring of 2016, about 9 months after moving to our little urban homestead. Starting something new is always intimidating but now that we’ve been at it a little while, we hardly think about it! These girls are a part of our daily lives, eat all our food scraps, AND they poop breakfast, so it’s a win all the way around!
The popularity of backyard chickens has increased a lot over the past few years. So much so that when my daughters and I made our yearly trek to D&B Supply this year to get our little chicks, there was a limit of 6! Whoa!
We grabbed ‘em and took ‘em home to our brooder, which for us is just a huge plastic bin, lined with pine shavings complete with contraptions for food and water. It is adorned with a heat lamp to keep them warm until their fluff becomes feathers!
At that point, we will take them outside to their portion of our chicken run, where they are separated from the current flock by wire so they don’t get picked on. We’ll keep the heat lamp on at night until temps rise a bit. After the current flock has had plenty of time to get used to the younger foul on the other side of the wire, we’ll put them together a little bit at a time and watch as they figure out the pecking order. Yes, it’s a real thing. In no time at all, the flock will be all together and grown and by the end of summer they’ll start earning their keep (laying eggs) and I won’t know which ones are which! I leave that part to my youngest daughters, who have chores to care for them daily.
This process repeats year after year and the joy of beautiful, farm fresh eggs continues for our family as well as the neighbors, family, and friends who get to share in our bounty!