Well, we took the plunge.
The chicken plunge.
I’m writing this from my dining room table across from four sleeping chickies in a homemade brooder of a clear plastic bin, lit by a 250 watt heating lamp. But let me start at the beginning.
I think it started at last year’s Alt Summit after talking to Jenny of Frecklwonder/Mi Casa Su Casa and thinking to myself, maybe I could actually raise chickens. I should have been dissuaded after reading Jennifer Reese’s wonderful book, Make the Bread. Buy the Butter and her experience with chickens, but I was still completely charmed by the idea. Then I continued the conversation with friends and after almost a year of discussion with Eric and watching other families on our block start chickens, we finally decided that 2013 was going to be the year of the chickens.
In January, I bought a hen house off the Internet and a couple of books on raising chickens. I read an absurd amount of posts on Backyard chickens and ordered four chickies from Mill Valley Chickens.
Of course I want nothing more than to hug and kiss the girls, but they are rather young and I think they are a touch frightened of my big hands coming down to grab one, but the more we handle them, the nicer they are supposed to be. I try to pick them up once a day at least just to get them used to being handled.
Early last Saturday, we drove up to Mill Valley to pick up our girls. Instantly we fell in love with those little balls of fluff. We were given them in an old Nordstrom paper bag and carefully brought them home and immediately put them in the brooder. Out they popped cheeping all the way. Except one–who died within an hour of being home in the 95 degree brooder. And then another one die within 12 hours and we felt awful. And we were being such new paranoid parents, but it just happens sometimes. Like needing two cocktails awful. But we were assured the very gracious lady who runs Mill Valley Chickens that this can happen, but it’s OK. And our girls are now a week and a half hour and doing fine.
And growing! Oh, wow, how they grow–already sporting feathers amidst the fluff and to see them sleep is something else! But enough about me, let’s me introduce you to the girls, shall I?
Miss Lucy was named by the Peach and I think she is everyone’s favorite. She is quite a little charmer and I love her stripes. She’s our sole Easter Egger and we adore her.
Rumaki is quite the spirited Barred Rock and has more than enough fiestiness for the whole gang.
Goldie was named by Eric and has a very nice disposition although she is rather flighty.
And sadly, I can’t find a decent picture of our last chickie, Mabel. She’s smaller than her sister Rumaki, but just as feisty.
I’ll try to keep you updated on our girls with pictures. So far, so good… Have you raised chickens? Do you want to? Am I insane?