What Came First!

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So exciting! Saturday we got our first egg! Now I see why so many people have chickens. Over the past few months we have had our ups and downs with the chickens. Everyone said, “Oh chickens are so easy to raise.” “They eat everything!” “You will love them!” Well it hasn’t been all that easy. Now mind you I am an animal person, I have always owned and trained horses that was my profession of choice for years, and dogs and cats, pet rabbits, all kinds of assorted small animals, and I can keep fish alive longer than anyone else I know! When I was a kid we always had animals in the house from baby squirrels to a starving pelican we had it all, my mother did wildlife rehabilitation. So as you can see I am no stranger to taking good care of animals.

However, I am new to the whole chicken scene. In April I bought some chicks, the people in the store were not all that knowledgeable or helpful for that matter. They didn’t know what kind they were or if they were boys or girls or even exactly how old they were. Seemed strange but I had done some research and felt ok about bringing them home. Well one died within two days another simply disappeared (unfortunately I think a snake may have gotten it) I was devastated! How could this happen? I was trying to take such good care of them! In to the tub they came, heat lamps and all!

Next came the coop. Since no one here really had the time to build one,  I ordered a beautiful coop from Tractor Supply, supposedly large enough for 5-6 chickens, perfect I have 5!  So excited, I love getting stuff in the mail, the anticipation reminds me of Christmas!  A week later it showed up…very cute, but so tiny I don’t think two full grown chickens would ever fit in there! So the add ons started…it is a work in progress!

Now as my chickens are getting bigger and bigger I try and introduce them to yummy treats, I have so much to offer.  So far I think they are the pickiest chickens ever! They turn their beaks up at just about everything I offer, they seem to only like grapes, mealworms, and blueberries. So much for table scrape devourers. Is that a word???

Now that they are big enough, I am trying to be brave and I let them free range in the 3 acre fenced in yard around the house and put them in the coop at night. I got them to free range, I know there are dangers for them(raccoons, fox, coyote, Hawks) but I love watching them scratch and chase bugs, their silly antics amuse me! It is very peaceful to watch them, I couldn’t bear to keep them locked up all the time! So I will try to keep them safe and near the house where they have plenty of cover. Well…they have decided that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence and they keep flying over the fence to be in the horse field. Not good, so now we are trying to outsmart the little devils with all kinds of fancy fencing to keep them in the yard!

Not to mention I just found out we have two roosters! Now do I go get more hens to keep the peace or do I give the extra rooster away? So far so good no one is being too aggressive yet. I am hoping that since they were raised together they will be alright. We’ll see!

So as you can see it has not been all that easy, but finding that first egg Saturday made it all seem worth it!

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