Starting today I’m going to be hanging out with a bunch of young chicks. it might seem odd, but actually it was my wife’s idea. You see, as I’ve said many times before, she is very attentive to my overall happiness and physical well-being and in her own curious way she thought that if I brought some chicks home it might make us happier.
So, last fall I began the process of educating myself about all kinds of things I’d never thought about before. I knew that there had to be guys out there with a lot more experience with chicks than me and so I started emailing them and joined a website where they openly discussed all the unforeseen complications of this undertaking.
I learned where to pick them up, how to develop a relationship with them, how to introduce them slowly to your own lifestyle and how to eventually budget for the additional cost of taking care of them, feeding them and housing them. it was a far bigger project than I thought at first.
Some guys thought it was better to keep them inside. other guys thought it was a good idea to give them more freedom. I tried to talk to my wife about all the details of what I was about to do but she seemed very disinterested in anything except just getting them home and settled in. so, after months of preparation, the chicks will arrive tomorrow.
I found a great place in Ohio to pick them up, but since I was going to be with family on Easter, they agreed to come right to my door on Monday. It’s kind of exciting knowing that they will be here soon. I really don’t know what they will look like, whether they will let me handle them right away or just how slowly I will have to introduce myself to each one before we bond.
Oh and why does my wife want me to bring chicks to the house? because by about the first day of autumn we hope that we will be able to count on them to supply us with about 5 dozen farm fresh eggs a week.
You see, back in October I started building a new coop. it has literally taken me all winter. We just put the finishing touches on it this weekend and so with everything in place, we ordered 15 Barred Plymouth Rock chickens from the Mt. Healthy Hatchery in Ohio and they expect to deliver the little peeps to me by mail.
We have our brooder box all ready. We have the feed and water in place. We have the coop windows in and the whole place is critter proof. What comes on the mail truck is going to be a real treat. Little fuzzy, downy peepers huddling under the heat lamp, thinking that I am their mother and imprinting my presence as their first encounter in their new home so that over time they will become my very controllable pets.
It has been a wonderful process thus far thanks to the website, Backyardchickens.com. There I learned so much about coop construction, feeding and caring for chickens, how to raise baby chicks, what breeds are best and most easily handled and tons of other interesting stuff.
I shot videos of the construction process and posted them there. I plan to do the same with the new chicks when they arrive and to record their development daily during the first 8 weeks until they are fully feathered out and then frequently until they lay their first eggs about 5 months from now.
Springtime is a great time for new gardens, new flowers and new beginnings. and this year it’s going to be really exciting for me. I’ve not only got a bunch of young chicks coming, it was all my wife’s idea.
Marcus Carey is a Northern Kentucky lawyer with 32 years experience. He is also a farmer, talk radio host and public speaker who loves history and politics. He is a prolific and accomplished writer whose blog, BluegrassBulletin.com is “dedicated to honest and respectful comment on the political and cultural issues of our time.” He writes a regular commentary for KyForward.
photo from Backyardchickens.com