It was a late afternoon on a steamy May day. First things first, I don't handle the heat well and early summer was firmly rooted in place. My daughter and I were stuck in traffic. The endless road work stalled us at least an hour every day after school. That's the moment my daughter spoke up. "I want chickens."
Chickens make for a great dinner and so I of course asked, "To eat?"
"No. I want chickens to raise."
And so began the journey.
A little something about our family. We're all animal lovers, but we're far from urban farmers. We already live in the country so there are farms all over, but my girl, she wanted chickens. I made a deal with her that hot day that I've come to regret. If she came up with half the money, put in half the work to get a coop/brooder and whatever else was needed, I'd agree to raising laying chickens.
Part of this deal was she had to come up with a coop design and she would put the work into caring for said chickens. There was lots of doubt on my end, but she agreed.
She spent most of the summer blissfully unconcerned about earning money for the chickens. She didn't bring it up, not once all through June. Then just as the dog days hit in early July she starts looking for extra work and asked how much the chickens would cost.
A little research and asking around about local chicks led me to having to find chicks online. $5 a pop and a butt ton for shipping. The grand total came up to $50. That led to earning the money.
From washing cars to sweeping and mopping, my girl found a way to get up $25 dollars. Once that was complete I had to inform her that she needed to find supplies for a coop before I would order the chicks.
To be honest there are still quite a few things she still needs, but my girl pulled through. I'm kind of proud but kind of scared. My brother offered up an unused rabbit hutch and a roll of wire. He said free, I said make her negotiate. In the end she got the stuff with nothing more than an offer of unlimited hugs. Really? It wasn't that easy when I was a kid.
I brought up she'd need to learn how to care for chickens. That meant from chick to grown. Off she went and she had a lot of surprises in store for me.
My girl has a phone. Yeah, at 10 years old that's a bit much, but it has free phone service and makes me feel better when she's off with family and friends. Anyone, this girl spent a week looking up videos and articles on chickens.
She informed me what type of feeder and waterer the chicks would need and how much room they would need once they got here. Talked to me about the brooding box and even brought up some concerns about health issues.
So, I've got some chicks coming through the mail and I've never, I mean never, raised chickens. After a little reading I chose the Buff Orpington breed. Big, friendly and great layers. Perfect.
With the arrival date later this week, I've spent the morning putting together the brooding box. Think she helped? Nope. Here's hoping her work starts once the little feather fluffs get here.
I'm planning on recording this journey both here on Vocal and on my mommy blog, Cats and Dogs plus Me. It's going to be a wild ride.