it was a great weekend

I’m a planner.

A thinker.

One who likes to prepare.

Last year I began watching a couple close friends as they began raising chickens. So much about raising chickens appealed to me, but we have just never been in a place (mentally, emotionally, with margin) to make that happen. So I watched my friends to see how it worked for them. After a year of watching, I knew chickens would be a part of life around here.

So, I began a few months ago reading up. A few books. A few magazines. A few websites. YouTube videos. Keeping it mostly between Chris and I until we decided it was time to make the jump. I did not need 3 boys and one girl asking every day when we’d be getting chickens.

Well, this weekend that time came. I actually had planned on surprising my soon to be 7 year old with the chickens for his birthday next month. A call to the Feed Store about that timeline resulted in an impromptu drive later that afternoon to pick up our little chicks. Evidently it is a little hard to get chicks after Easter. So strange to me.

We started July last year a family of 6 with no pets. In the last 9 months, we’ve grown to be a family of 7 with 7 animals. Life is good.

Touching, holding was very limited at first…so they took a lot of photos. Touching and holding is still limited.

This is quite possibly the happiest boy around. He originally wanted a yellow chick and had planned to name it Sunshine. Then he saw this little chick and all his plans changed. He took his time thinking of the perfect name…meet Camo.

This one is our oldest son’s chick. He named her Omelette.  He’s 9 and eggs are among his favorite food. So it is kind of a name of honor:)

This is FireCracker’s chick. She named it Kira. Then changed it to Leia. Then changed it to Lyla. Then Maya. Then back to Leia. Today it is Leia. Who knows what her name will be tomorrow.

My chick is the one on the left. She was the first to fly a good distance, so I named her Amelia, after Amelia Earhart. The red one is Little One’s…Chris named her Red. Then he changed the name to Reba (red like Reba McIntire). The kids nixed that and said her name has to stay Red. It is so funny to watch the pecking order already playing out. Red and Amelia are battling it out for the lead right now.

The chicks are pretty much always in the brooding box. We’ve let them out a few times to let the kids watch them. Crisscross applesauce, little hands on laps while chicks roam on the floor. The older boys get poop patrol.

All the girls: Leia, Spikey, Omelette, Camo, Amelia, Red

Little One is not sure what to think about the little chirping things!

The garden and coop will keep us busy outside for a while..Little One makes a good supervisor.

So we have joined the growing numbers of those raising backyard chickens. What was common for most families a century ago, is now making a comeback. Everyone has a different reason for why they choose to keep chickens. Our family had numerous reasons to begin this journey and we are pretty excited about all that will become part of our lives now that we will have 6 hens poking around here!

Happy Monday!

UPDATE: the visor is from Twirling Betty

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  • Heidi Jo the Artist - Love chickens! We plan on getting some ourselves this summer. :) I thought you might enjoy this artist, she’s a fav of mine:

  • angie - i can not even begin to describe how happy that made me to read your post! We, too, have considered raising chicks for a couple of years. I am so type A that i feel i can not pull the trigger until i know all i possible can. with limited time, i obviously haven’t been able to educate myself enough and thus no chickens to date! i’m hoping your experience and insight will help build my knowledge base and motivate me to get dem chicks! Also, could you recommend one book over another as far as best info/easily understood?

  • Stephanie - We are getting ours in a few months when MN has spring. I love Little One’s hat. Where did you find that?

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I love how thoughtful you are. Learning, absorbing…. you are an inspiration to me.

  • Sadee Schilling - As if your blog posts weren’t already adorable enough, Ashley, you have to go and add in some baby chicks??!! Sooo cute! My best friend in Colorado raises chickens in her backyard. We are moving back there at the end of the year and my little girls are already begging me to have chickens too! So it will be fun to watch how your family gets along with this adventure.

  • Marty Ann - You and your family will love having the chickens. I’ve been around them most of all my life. I’m now without any but I’m really thinking I “need” 6 or so this spring. They are great for kids. I had one that every time I went into the chicken house to get eggs she would come in with me and jump on the roost and talk and talk to me while gathered the eggs. I think she just wanted some food from me lol.

  • mikan - I remember that I used to tell everybody that “hens are the best pet ever!”. We had 3 and they were so free. They walked around and pooped around my neighborhood (feel bad about that! ) and every time I called them they dashed back to me. They so loved to be pet on the head. I learned that they don’t just pop out an egg. They groan and take 30mins to lay an egg. I actually wanted to cry when I first watched the whole process!

  • Anna Joy - Yay! We are chicken buddies! :) We’re only getting 2, maybe 3. And we’re skipping the little chick part and moving onto pullets. Want them still baby-ish but want eggs faster. What breeds are yours?

  • Lacey - Aw, we love our ‘girls’ too … and just are now seeing that one is a boy! My kids carry them around like footballs and the chickens act like little dogs going everywhere my boys do! Haha!

  • Ellie - Such cute chickens! The visor is so cute where did you get it?

  • Anna - The little ones diaper is pecking through! cutie clementine! Such cute visor! where is it from?

  • Shannon - We too, got chicks (4) last July. Totally a new adventure for us. We sometimes let them roam around the yard, but I’m quickly learning that they leave way too many droppings for my liking. Build a “poop board” under your roost for sure. Makes clean up way easier in their house. That’s one thing I’m super glad we did. If I’d known how much they poo, I’m not sure we’d have done it but the kids like it. Getting the eggs is fun too. Have fun!

  • AshleyAnn - Hey all…that visor is from Twirling Betty

  • Krista - How exciting!! what breeds did you guys get? I’m new to chickens as well, and I just brought home my first 5 little fluff balls. It’s so fun to be part of the growing group of backyard chicken-keepers!

  • Anna - Can I just say that whenever I see Little Ones face…it makes me so excited for my little boy with his cleft lip to be born. She is just perfection x x I LOVE her beautiful face x

  • Stoich91 - Haha my fave is Firecracker’s chicken…that thing is like…”Whoah…what’s going to happen next.” lol ;D

  • Jacci in Ohio - Oh, man. The cuteness. For realz.

    And how funny is Firecracker changing her chick’s name. My girls have all named & renamed baby dolls on an almost hoursly basis at her age. Makes sense that chicks would be the same! :D

    Love LO in that visor. It’s perfect for her!!!

  • Favorite Finds... « Jen Loves Kev - [...] Why do baby chicks just make everything better? So freaking [...]

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