Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Chicken Fiasco

The Chicken Fiasco actually started about 4 years ago!  We had found our "cottage in the country" one year before with two seperately fenced acres.  Right away we got to work building a horse shelter so I could buy a pretty Palomino Paint named Lily, but I am already getting off-subject! There is a funny story to tell about our dabbling in farm life and that actually may take awhile to explain! 
Anyway about the chickens!  At the time of my first brilliant attempt at chickens let me just set the scene:  (keep in mind I was raised in the suburbs) We had a horse, 3 goats (my husband surprised me with these), a dog, a cat and YES even a bull calf rescued and being bottle fed from the feed store!  Lest you think that was all, let me say there were also 3 children - two of them potty training boys!  At the point we rescue the calf, I had been rotating chicken eggs for several weeks until 4 hatched.  Quickly the chicks grew and quickly the calf grew and while everyone was growing like weeds the amount of pottying going on around me and needing to be dealt with daily or should I say hourly was getting overwhelming to say the least!  The first chicken fiasco soon had to come to an end.  One can only deal with so much pottying at a time.  The 4 chicks were given back to the nice lady who had lent me the incubator (2 ended up being roosters & sold at auction) and the calf went to a nice home. 
Now fast forward to Spring 2010.  We decide it would be nice to have chickens to feed our large family fresh and healthy eggs.  We plan to fill our already built chicken coop with chickens that my dear friend agrees to raise so I don't have to do that part again!  We spend hours researching finding an interesting mix of chicks to order online (to have a variety, and make sure to get hens) and place an order with My Pet Chicken to be delivered in May. 
Then, the chicks start arriving at local feed stores (February) and Leah goes crazy (she is now a crazy chicken lady and I mean that as a compliment) and comes home week after week with more than enough chicks for both of us.  Soooo, I cancel our online order....and then in May she calls me & says "why do you think the Post Office called me this morning?"  Uh oh.  They delivered 13 more chickens!  To add to this excitement, she is unable to raise anymore chicks and must deliver them to me at 1 week old!  So I am a chicken mama once again.  Did I mention we were also given 5 Rhode Island Reds who are already laying.  So I raised the new chickens in my basement, quite a smelly ordeal until they could go outside and then we had to move the older chickens to the horse stall.  Now we have 17 chickens! 
We meant to start out slow.  We thought we would have maybe 6 or 8.  Hmmm....the chicken thing is out of hand entirely, again.  But this time, we were more prepared and have a handful of solutions - we'll eat some, we'll talk our neighbor into some and we'll trade some because that's what life in the country is all about!  So if you're wondering what kind of chickens we have:  5 Rhode Island Reds (lay brown eggs), 4 Easter Eggers (lay blue/green eggs), 3 faverolles (cream eggs), 2 Silver Wyandottes, 2 White Plymouth Rocks, 1 Barred Rock and 1 Golden Wyandotte (all brown eggs).  We are having fun watching them grow, naming them cute names like Henny Penny, Puff Puff, and Speckles, looking for eggs and even taking out loads of chicken scraps.  Has it been a fiasco - absolutely!! But we have learned so much and enjoyed the process (for the most part!)  Soon, we'll have enough eggs to share or sell! 
And that's one of my favorite parts of country life too!


  1. Thanks for this very real and detailed post. I think chickens may not be right for us - at least for now. :) They're beautiful though.

  2. okay i am about the furthest person you can get from country living and yet i loved reading your post and learning about chickens! plus the whole too many chickens situation put a smile on my face!


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wife & mother of 4 beautiful children, 2 girls & 2 boys. small business co-owner; catering and a restaurant/alehouse, writer, gardener, lover of freedom and humility found in christ, small town enthusiast, book reader, admirer of noble truths, beauty and love