Why I want to raise Chickens : Happy Homesteading

Why I want to raise chickens from happymoneysaver.com

I found this picture in one of my old photo albums given to me for safe keeping from my grandmother.  There were no names written on this picture, so I don’t know who this child is, but I noticed some lovely chickens and their roosting boxes in this picture. Their chickens look like they were able to wander around freely and the nesting boxes look interesting too.


I know life on the farm was really really hard work and many folks had to raise chickens for the fresh eggs. Some sold the eggs and others just made enough for themselves.

Interesting: did you know that there are heritage chicken breeds?  More than half of the 70 breeds of chickens found in the United States are in danger of disappearing, according to a recent census conducted by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) of Pittsboro, N.C.   Of particular concern are five breeds that were developed in North America: Javas, Buckeyes, Chanteclers, Delawares and Hollands. If you want to raise chickens as pets and layers consider raising a heritage breed!

I found a letter from my great uncle Emil Olson that he wrote to his sister and my Great Grandmother Lillie (who moved from Chappell, Nebraska to Pasco, WA in 1932).  You can tell in the letter they were close and loved each other very much. But the reason why I am going to share this letter is because it talks about the kinds of animals and how he raised chickens. He even mentions listening to the world series too (on old radios I bet)!  Here is a picture of him so you have a visual when reading his letter:


Here is his letter dated October 6, 1935:


{click on picture for close up of letter}

In the last paragraph if you can’t read the hand-writing it says:

“I culled our Leghorn pullets down to about 150 and they are sure starting to lay nice. We get 4-5 dozen per day. I sure like them and don’t think I will ever go back to the Reds again. “

In another letter written a month later (dated Nov 10, 1935) he writes:

“We are getting about 30 dozen case of eggs a week from our pullets and it sure helps as eggs are 28 cents per dozen now. “

So my Great Uncle Emil and his family would sell the eggs and earn money that way.  I think history is really neat.


When I was first considering all the different avenues of urban homesteading, I knew that my number one goal was to have fresh organic eggs from chickens.  Someday if I got enough land I would love to raise chickens to eat as well, but for now I am happy with getting fresh organic eggs. But I have to wait for June for that to happen as mine are little chicks right now.

I also feel like because my family from long ago raised chickens that maybe I should give it a try too. It will make me feel closer to them somehow, knowing a few of the things they went through.

And lastly, if times ever got to be tough or another depression occured, I would like to be at least a little bit self reliant to where I could have eggs for my family every day.



March 9th, our little chicks came home with us and our lives are forever changed! They are seriously the cutest little things ever. Here are our chicks and their names:


Roxie is probably my absolute favorite. She is so super sweet already and comes right to my hand when I place it in the bin. She is a Black Austroalorp and will lay a nice light brown color egg.


Molly is an Ameraucana. She is a really sweetheart too and will sleep nicely in our hands. Seems really gentle and not too jumpy or crazy. She will lay a colored egg like light green or maybe even pink!


Lacy is our Silver Laced Wyandotte and will grow up to be so very beautiful! My daughter thinks she is a rooster though because she is more aggressive and peeps loudly when held. I think she just has a louder personality than the others, but only time will tell. Silver Laced Wyandottes lay pale brown or tan eggs.


And this is Ginger, our Buff Orpington. I love the creamy color of Buff Orpingtons so I cannot wait for her to grow up.  Her personality so far has been really sweet, but still a little nervous when being held. Ginger will lay large brown eggs.

I am so in love with this bunch of chicks, I just want to stare at them all day long.

Overall, this has been a much better experience than I thought it was going to be.  Of course it’s only been a few days, so we will see what happens in the future. I still have a big chicken coop to make or buy plus I have to learn how to gather eggs, deal with broody hens and other fun adventures I am sure.

See more Happy Homesteading posts from me here.15 Comments

Why I want to raise Chickens : Happy Homesteading was last modified: April 6th, 2015 by Karrie

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  1. Sara Whit says:

    What little sweet hearts! I love chick time! Those little peeps and calls they make. What I like to do is boil up some eggs and just get the yolk out and mash is up and feed it too the chicks. They will LOVE you for it. But some people will not do this as they feel it makes them grow up wanting to eat eggs…. and you do not want an egg eater. That is why I change the form and look of the egg by boiling it. When they get a little larger I like to use finch seed as a treat. They love the small seeds. When they are older they will LOVE safflower seed and meal worms.

    • Thanks! Great idea on the egg yolks, I have heard that one, but not the finch seed and safflower seed. I will have to look into that one.

  2. Megan Robinson says:

    I want you to know that “Happy Homesteading” is probably the cutest most interesting idea for your blog/email. I find that I am looking forward to what you have to show from the “olden days,” and what “old things” you are bringing back into practice. I love that your family was rooted in Nebraska, that is where I am from, born and raised so its fun to see the pioneer days in my home state. Thanks for the wonderful info and always glad that you share!

    • No way Megan, you are from Nebraska? How wonderful! I am so glad you are enjoying the series, maybe someday I will be able to visit Nebraska and see what it looks like.

  3. I love raising chicks, they’re so cute and an amazing way to teach kids responsibility. Your post sa

    • I agree Shannon, great way for kids to learn about responsibility. I also might have them do 4-H so they can learn to show the chickens too.

  4. I just love your blog! We got chickens about 4 years ago and they are so fun! Your daughter could be correct though about Lacy being a rooster. We’ve brought home pullets three years in a row, and even though we only buy pullets, twice we’ve had them grow into roosters instead-(sometimes they sex them incorrectly at the growers). Luckily, we’ve found homes for them both as they were getting a little rough with the girls. We now have a little banty rooster who is just right. I hope your family gets as much as enjoyment as we do from our chickens.

    • Hello Kelly, yeah I have heard roosters can be rough with people. Can you have one rooster for all different kinds of hens? Just curious..if you have a Banty rooster can it fertilize say a Buff Orpingtons eggs?

  5. Loved reading the letter. Did everyone notice his awesome handwriting. Back then people wrote beautiful. Sometimes too flowery as I have seen some that is hard to read as it is so fancy. thanks for posting this.

    • That is so true Kari, I am also so impressed. My 13 year old sons handwriting is like chicken scratch compared to this. In fact some people can’t even read cursive at all anymore as we are moving to more digital world of computers and typing. I miss that old beautiful writing.

  6. Karrie, you have to check out this website:


    See a chicken goes to a tea party. so cute!

  7. Sharon Turner says:

    If I were you and had letters from the past I would be reading them like crazy to see what happened to your uncles farm. As the 1935 date was near the beginning of the dust bowl and many farms were lost, given up and so forth due to the conditions of the land and the depression that ensued after. All that cattle and all those chickens could not be supported in those conditions. I’d want to know what happened to them. Did he move to Pasco??

    My family hailed from the Dakotas and they migrated to Washington state also. One side to Everett and the other to Pasco/Yakima Area. It is amazing how many stories are similar and cross paths during this time period.

    I’m new to your blog, and am loving it so far. Keep up the good work.

  8. Sonya Brake says:

    I just found your blog and I’m enjoying it! I live in town with neighbors very close to me and I have 3 chickens (Mary, Martha & Macy). I love them. I check on them at least 4 times a day, every day. I have had them 7 months. Please keep up the chicken stories:)

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