We first started talking about chickens during the 2020 shutdown. I recognize that this was a trend not unique to our suburban family. However, over two years later we are still going strong!
The chicken journey began when we ordered 10 chicks from Mt. Healthy Hatchery in Cincinnati.We picked our breeds out from a catalogue. We took detailed notes comparing the volume, friendliness, hardiness, and egg color of each bird. If I were to go back in time I would worry less about friendliness and volume and get more colored egg layers. People are looking for different things in backyard chickens, but I am starting to get really into eggs of various colors now. I still adore the hens we ended up with though.
They came in what I would describe as a little box for donut holes. There were ten little chicks and they were so cute and fluffy. I have never seen such precious little critters. I had to do a photo shoot. So adorable!!!
The chicks were growing so rapidly but the coop was taking a really long time to build. We tried to let them get as much outside time as possible during this season, but they slept in the brooder in our laundry room.
The chicks were all supposed to be hens, but we were ahead of time that the sex is usually only 90% accurate. In our case there was one rooster that started crowing at 15 weeks. Wild Style was an Olive Egger and I really wanted those green eggs, but he wasn’t going to lay any and we aren’t allowed to have roosters in our neighborhood. We ended up rehoming Wild Style to someone on a Facebook chicken group that I am a part of and we ended up making a very special friend in the process!
My dream chicken coop was officially done and we got our first egg. It was a big project that required all hands on deck, but it turned out so nice.
Before we went out of town my incredible, talented, genius husband built some game changing features to the chicken coop. He installed a rain barrel that is temperature controlled so the water will run if it gets cold enough to become frozen.
He also built a chicken feeder that holds 100 pounds of pellets so we only have to fill it once a month. I never did a blog post about this, but I need to! I have had requests so hopefully that will be coming soon.
We hadn’t even been chicken owners for a year yet, and somehow we were already hooked.
When hatching season rolled around in the summer of 2021 I had the chick itch. Our dear friend Dennis who adopted our rooster actually brought his incubator down to our house and helped us hatch 12 chicks and 5 ducks!
It was such a cool learning experience. I don’t think any of us will ever forget it and I would actually love to do it again sometime. We didn’t keep the chicks or ducklings, but the process of seeing them hatch and raising them those first two weeks was incredible.
Not all of chicken life is glamour and causes warm fuzzies, but we have loved having what we refer to as the “fine nine”. Although spoiler alert, we may go back to having 10 hens again. There are potential surprises on the way!!!