Adventures in Chicken Keeping: Day One

Well, we did it. We are now chicken owners. And I feel a little bit like I felt when I first became a mom - panicked! Haha. Seriously. What did I get myself into? I feel this sense of responsibility and fear and I keep running back to my chicken books and favorite chicken web sites. I feel like I know just enough to know that I know NOTHING! Our first day with baby chicks had some fun moments but it also had some slightly traumatic ones and since everything I read says chickens stress out easily and don't do well with stress, well, I'm feeling a little stressed! And in typical mother-hen fashion I find myself wanting to go check on them obsessively, which I can't do since they are at my in-laws house down the street.

SIDE-NOTE: I have the coolest in-laws ever! We've wanted chickens for a while and so they are graciously letting us have them at their house and sharing in the adventure with us. They have also let us rip up part of their yard and put in a garden. So far we have strawberries and mint in the ground, more plants in their garage ready to plant, and lots of seeds germinating on their kitchen counter. Seriously, they are the coolest!

Back to today...The biggest drama we had with the chicks was over a very severe squeeze my two and a half year old son gave one of the chicks. Not a fun experience for any one involved and especially not for my sweet, tender-hearted mother-in-law who had to leave the room crying. Thankfully, the poor chick seems ok though, and we will be keeping my son out of arms reach of the chicks for the time being until he can learn to be more gentle.

We really don't want to loose any chicks (my sweet mother-in-law would never be able to handle it), so, I'm praying tonight for happy, healthy chicks who live to be happy healthy chickens without any "pasting up" or othercomplications.

Overall, though, I feel excited. Having chickens has been something Bryan and I have talked about for years and it's fun to see it actually happening. Honestly, for most of that time it was something Bryan was more excited about than me, but as we've moved closer to the goal of chicken ownership my excitement has perhaps surpassed his.

I've never been much of an animal lover or a pet person, but chickens feel different to me and I'm really looking forward to getting to know each of my girls. Plus, they are pretty much the most practical pet ever in that they provide food for the table. I'm definitely looking forward to fresh eggs in just a couple of months!

So, here's to a whole new adventure - chickens. Wish us luck!

And if you own (or have ever owned) chickens please, please leave a comment with any advice you may have for us poultry newbies!

Rejoicing in te journey,

Bethany Stedman