new chicks

 

 

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness

 from common things.”  

 Henry Ward Beecher

This morning for breakfast, I put a pat of butter in a frying pan and waited for it to melt.  I reached into the fridge and choose two eggs with sage green shells that Grace gathered from the coop, just yesterday.  I put down two pieces of white bread into the toaster and cracked the eggs into the pool of hot butter, where they immedietly started sizzling.  At just the right time, I used a wooden spoon (because I couldn’t find my flipper) and turned the eggs.  Turning off the heat, I grabbed a (fiesta) plate from the cupboard, buttered my toast, and put it and the eggs on the plate.  The older children were all in school and the younger ones had already eaten.  I sat at the table a nd ate my eggs with the hot, crispy toast and remembered all the mornings my Mom made me this very same breakfast before school.  Eggs and toast are a comfort food for me.  A perfectly fried egg is something to be proud of.

I remember when Rich finally agreed to let me get chickens.  We had stopped at Agway for something and I sat in the car with the children while he ran in.  When he came out, he smiled and handed me a brochure through the open window, and told me that it was time to order chicks.  Everyone in the car heard my happy cries, as I realized I was finally going to live out one of my dreams; to have a flock of chickens!

That was three years ago now.  The chicks came in the late summer, and by that winter they were starting to lay.  We have enjoyed two and a half years of our own rich, beautiful eggs.  Each one is interesting, big or small, speckled or solid colored, and sometimes we even get a tiny egg. 

Through the years we have lost some of our original, first chickens.  One of our hens hatched out eggs (for a second flock) and we lost some of those new ones, too.  Right now we get about 5 eggs a day. 

Grace and I are hooked.  We will always have chickens now.  They add so much to life here at home.  We observe them, laugh at them, hold them, and enjoy their eggs.

A few months ago, I ordered twenty five more chicks.  Five each of five different varieties.  On the morning the Post Office called, Grace went down with me (at 6:30 am) to get our box of warm, peeping chicks.  The two of us brought them home and got them cozy in the garage, in a big crate.  We put down wood shavings, filled their water and food, and sat down to watch them.  We’ve been sitting out there every chance we could get, all weekend.

 

 

 

The chicks get sleepy under their red heat lamp.  We smile as we watch them sink into the straw, limp, and looking very peaceful.

Most of the time, they are busy eating and drinking (and growing).  We put food in empty food lids and they seem to like it better that way.  They gather around in a circle and get right into the dish so they can scratch backwards and eat.  I found a metal water ring at Agway, made to use with a mason jar.  Delightful.

Yesterday afternoon, Grace and I took nine of the chicks outside for a little while.  Although they are tiny, they knew just what to do; scratch and hunt for little tasty morsels.  One of them found a leaf and got chased by her sisters, who thought it was something good to eat.

 

We have five each of:

Ameraucana (blue or green eggs)

Lakenvelder (white or cream eggs)

Welsummer (dark brown eggs)  I am most excited about these.  I can’t wait to see the eggs.

Rhode Island Reds (brown)

New Hampshire Reds (brown)

 

We haven’t raised any poultry for meat, although we may in the future.  For now we are simply enjoying our chickens as pets and the wonderful egg producers that they are.

 

 

0 thoughts on “new chicks

  1. Very cute pictures and good narrative. I raised bantam chickens when I was a little boy. I let the hens set and then show them to my parents customers when they came to the store. I changed $7.00 for hen with chicks and threw in a rooster for $1.00–back in the 1940’s. I made lots of money as a kid. I also had to take care of them–they got eye disease which I treated, had mites and required powders, and sometimes hid their nest. I found one frantically in an abandoned building next door full of rats. She had hatched out her chicks in a big toilet tissue box and could not get out. The chicks were about 2 days old. I let her out and she ran out to eat–poor thing was starved.I had a great first rooster. He got mad when the first time mom’s neglected their chicks. Once he actually spread out his wings to cover some chicks when it began to rain–incredible site. Sadly, he had a mean streak and would peck sleeping dog on the head. One morning I got up and my rooster was spread all over the yard and I had a very guilty looking dog. I did not blame the dog. You brought back great memories.frank

  2. 25 chicks!! Wow Shanda! We have chickens for the first time this year. We only have 5. I can’t wait until they start laying. The eggs are just to rich and flavorful. What are you going to do with all your eggs??! If all the chicks last and they all lay 1 a day… that’s going to be a lot of eggs!I loved the picture of the little chicks scratching around in the flowers! I cannot tell you how much I enjoy seeing these sweet glimpses into your life, it’s a real treat!

  3. @ANVRSADDAY – I loved reading your stories!  thanks for sharing!@inanorchard – I went a little wild that day, ordering chicks.  It didn’t help that you HAD to order at least 5 per variety!  We plan on eating the eggs, selling them, giving them away, or burying them in the gardens.  LOL

  4. I just love seeing all your sweet chicks. It will be great fun to hear about all their personalities and see how their feathers come out. Maybe you can have a stand off your driveway that sells eggs (rather than lemonade!), though I know your family can go through a lot of eggs!

  5. Such cute little chicks and the one on the lap of the little boy (sorry, don’t know which one it is!) is adorable and Grace is so gentle with them! Every time I take store bought eggs out of the fridge I wish I had some your colorful fresh ones!!

  6. New chicks are so fun. Congratulations on all your new babies.My kids are always excited to visit my parents when new chicks arrive.They got new ones this spring…the chicks are now teenage chicks, all gawky and awkward looking.They’ll be pretty soon enough. and I can’t wait! to get eggs from my mom. There is Such a difference between fresh eggs and store bought eggs.Happy Monday to you! =)

  7. You make me want to run out and buy chickens!!!  When I was a little girl we had chickens for a short time.  We raised cows and pigs on some land we had to fill our frig up.  I miss living in the country and enjoying life’s simple heart warming pleasures.  Have a blessed day!!!

  8. you’ve answered my question before I got to ask! I was wondering if it was hard to eat the chicken you’ve raised with your own two hands. It’s logical to eat them but I suppose emotional attachments is what’s stopping you from eating them?

  9. I loved this post! πŸ™‚ Your new chicks are so cute. I can so relate to your ‘chicken’ joy. I think I, too, will be a ‘chicken girl’ forever more.

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