I have recently become a Chicken Mom. You might be asking yourself, “What is a chicken mom?” Or you’re a fellow Chicken Mom that is obsessed with her ladies.
Last year we moved to a home with a backyard in the country and one of the first things I wanted was a chicken coop full of chickens. Living out here, and not in city limits, we were allowed to have as many chickens as we wanted. We decided to go to Cal Ranch in Idaho Falls to see their selection of chicks and they did not disappoint. There was a variety of breeds to choose from, they had everything I needed as a first-time Chicken Mom, and everything was on sale, which was a bonus for me!
Ten chicks became fifteen and fifteen chicks became 20. When I was finished buying chicks, somehow, I ended up with 27!!! That’s chicken math for you, right? 1 chick + 2 chicks = 25 chicks. They were so cute and of course, I needed an assortment of breeds to achieve the multi-colored egg assortment I wish to have when the girls start laying.
Call me naive, but as a first-time Chicken Mom, I never realized how much work they would be, (insert laugh here). The feeding, the watering, the checking if they are warm enough or checking if they aren’t warm enough. Did I mention that you also must clean their vents, aka chicken butts? If their poop gets dried and stuck there, they must be cleaned so the chick doesn’t die. Who knew? Certainly not me, but I for sure learned something new the day that I had to clean the poop off of six chicken butts! The first time we cleaned out the brooder we learned many new lessons as well. Although it was stinky and all-around disgusting, my kids helped me which made it more fun. I will always remember my oldest dry heaving as we dumped out the old bedding. Ah, memories!
We have had the chicks for close to seven weeks and they are fully feathered now! Although they are so much work, we absolutely love watching them and having them in our backyard. My children don’t even have to be asked to give them water or feed them. They willingly check on the chicks and take care of them when needed. Unfortunately, we had two casualties and are down to 25 chicks, two of which we think might be roosters. To be honest, I don’t know which sex any of them are yet, but I have my guesses. I thought I knew but then found out that each breed determines the sex differently than the other. Oops! As a proud Chicken Mom, I am happy to say that they all have names reserved for them when they reach adult chicken hood and sex can be determined.
We loved holding them in our hands, but the time came to put them in the coop. If there was one major thing I learned about this whole experience, it was that you should have your outside chicken coop before you even start thinking about buying chicks. We had some issues when we ordered our coop from Tractor Supply Co and the coop was delivered 3 weeks later than it should have been, not to mention that I had ordered it about a week after I bought my chicks. It should have been plenty of time but there was issue after issue. I had anxiety at the thought of having to assemble the coop myself (husband was out of town when it was delivered) but to my surprise, the oldest who is 14, jumped right in and had the whole thing built for me. I was a proud mom, all I did was stand there and hold pieces together for him, I didn’t even look at the directions. He did a beautiful job, and the girls are loving life out in their new coop. We still have to add on a chicken run for them, but I love the progress we have made.