I had my first hands on experience this weekend with raising chickens. My family and I ventured on down to a local feed supply store bright and early Saturday morning and came home with 4 adorable fluffy chirping chicks. The feed store was a fun place, all these big bins full of chickens, turkeys, and ducks. They were all so cute.
The week before I had all my children look online with me and pick the kind of chicken they wanted so we knew before we got there. They all went right to the breed types they chose as soon as we got there so they could pick out their chick themselves.
After we had our chosen 4 chicks nestled into a box (which the stores gave us) the kids explored around.
They LOVED the baby ducks.
I had to be strong, the baby ducks were the cutest things I had ever seen!! Seriously..But my mission was chickens only.
But we all giggled at how funny the baby turkey chicks looks. Silly bald necks! 🙂
After they finished looking we got into the car with our new baby chicks and started driving home. These little things can really chirp! I was wondering what I got myself into about 5 minutes in, because that peeping was driving me crazy. My husband was also about to turn around..but we kept on going.
15 minutes later we arrived at home, where we rushed them into a plastic tote we prepared for them. The thermometer said 90 degrees farenheight – perfect! Inside was a plastic font for water and a matching little feeder. We gently placed the babies in so they could get warmed up.
We knew we needed to dip their little beaks in the water so they would know where the water was, so we did that. Then we watched them wander around, drink the water, pick at their starter feed and fall asleep. We were gathered around and watched. I don’t think my kids left the side of that box all day.
I let the kids hold them for just a few minutes throughout the day, but not too much because I wanted them to rest and keep warm.
PS – when baby chicks fall asleep, they just crash down on the ground! Honestly they scared me a bit when they did this because it looks like they are dead, but I googled it and found that this is normal. Here is a picture of how they sleep sometimes:
After the first day we switched out the bin to a larger one we found in the garage so they have more room. Here is what our setup looks like.
WORTH THE COST FOR EGGS: NOT YET – I won’t be getting any eggs until June. But I will do an official price comparison once my hens start laying. I am guessing that it will still not be cost effective since eggs in the stores are relatively inexpensive, however these will be organic so I will be doing the math based on that.
WORTH THE TIME? YES – these baby chicks are so easy, they don’t require much time at all. Just check on food and water, and make sure they are warm.
Starting up chickens : cost me around $60 for all these items:
- Large plastic tote (free in my garage) you can also use a cardboard box!
- Pine shavings ($10)
- Heat Lamp with red light ($20)
- Waterer ($5)
- Feeder ($5)
- Thermometer ($1.00)
- Feed ($18 for a 50 lb bag – should last a few months)
- 4 baby chickens ($12)
Here are our babies – we have a Black Australorp, a Buff Orpington, an Ameraucana and a Silver Laced Wyandotte.
So it’s official folks, I am now a Chicken Farmer. 🙂 I have been spending lots of time holding them, thinking about how to keep them safe and happy. I seriously love them already and feel like their mother hen. Oh how I am dreaming of the warm summer days when these lovely chicks are all grown up and are strutting around my yard. I cannot wait for the lovely eggs they will lay for me every day. I truly am enjoying every bit of this adventure.
Any of you lovely readers get yourself some chicks yet this spring? What kinds did you bring home?