If there’s one thing that can be said about living with me, it’s that there is never a dull moment! I seem to flow through life going from one phase to another. It’s a good thing my husband, Ed, is an easy-going man! Let’s see, there was “the houseplant phase”, “the sewing phase”, “the crocheting phase”, “the cake decorating phase”, “the doll-making phase”, “the animal rescuing phase”, “the doll collecting phase”, “the blogging phase”, and now “the chicken phase”!
Chickens aren’t new to us. Ed and I acquired some chickens once before–about thirty-two or thirty-three years ago–and we got 50 of them at once! Let me tell you, 50 baby chicks is A LOT OF CHICKENS! It’s quite an interesting story, and you can read it HERE. If you read part one, you will probably feel compelled to read PART TWO, when things really get exciting! Both will make you shake your head, and probably even laugh!
You’d think, after all of those past adventures with chickens, I would run the other way whenever I hear the word CHICKEN! However, time has a way of erasing bad memories, and I’ve really always liked chickens–which leads me into today’s story…
It all began when Ed went to Tractor Supply, and happened to mention that they had some baby chicks! The wheels in my head began to turn… Suddenly, I got this notion that I wanted to get some chickens again! The idea of farm-fresh eggs sounded appealing. Besides, we could build a “varmint proof” coop to house and protect our feathered friends! I learned how to do it from watching YouTube! So off I went, in search of some baby chicks–without waiting for Ed to build a coop!
I called Tractor Supply over the weekend, and the lady said they were out of chicks, but would be getting a shipment in on Monday morning. On Monday morning, I jumped in my car, and drove 38 miles to Tractor Supply–without calling first! When I arrived, guess what? No chickens! I came home empty-handed, and disappointed.
Tuesday morning, about 11:30, I called the store again, and was told the chickens had arrived! I took a moment to eat a quick sandwich, then jumped in my car again. I walked into Tractor Supply at 1:30. I walked back to the area where the chicks are kept, but the sales person wasn’t around, so I took a moment to look at chicken feeders and such. About that time, several people began coming into the store, and heading straight for the baby chicks! I ended up being third in line!
I began to panic a bit, either the store hadn’t gotten in a very large shipment, or they had already sold a lot of their chicks! I suspect it was a little of both. Several tubs were already empty. I wasn’t sure what kind of chickens I wanted, and there wasn’t a lot of time to decide! It was a little bit like the “After Thanksgiving Sale” at Wal-mart, if you know what I mean!
While waiting for the sales person, I struck up a conversation with the farmer ahead of me. He was there to buy 25 chicks. He convinced me to buy pullets (baby hens) and skip the rooster altogether. You only need a rooster if you plan to raise baby chicks, which I don’t (especially after our last experience!) One tub had only pullets, while two other tubs had pullets and roosters mixed–with no way to tell what they were. Of course, most people wanted pullets!
The nice farmer ahead of me, ended up only buying 20 chicks. I’m sure he did so, to make sure there were enough left for me, after I’d explained to him that I’d already made two trips over there attempting to buy chickens.
My next surprise came when I got to the check out. I had to present a photo ID to purchase the chickens! What the heck? They took my name, address, and phone number, too! I felt like I was going through an adoption process.
I safely made it home with my “precious cargo”, and got them set up in a box, under a light. I spent the rest of the afternoon, making sure they were happily settled in, and the temperature was at the right level (95 degrees!) For now, our six new residents are being housed in a large plastic storage container–in Ed’s pool room! I quickly plugged in a Wallflower from Bath and Bodyworks! Baby chicks are precious, but they don’t smell so sweet!
All of our little “house guests” are going to grow up to be “little red hens”. I’m in the process of giving them all names appropriate for “redheads”. So far we have: Lucy, Penny, Betty (after Ed’s feisty red-headed aunt), and Ginger. I need two more “redhead” names. Suggestions anyone?
I think I’ve learned a few things since our last chicken ordeal. For one thing, I came home with six chicks instead of fifty! Hopefully they will all turn out to be hens, as planned! The farmer told me that occasionally a rooster turns up in a batch, but not often. Last night I saw two of the baby chicks bowing up at each other–just like roosters do. It made me wonder…
The farmer ahead of me in line told me that he buys 25 pullets each spring. He furnishes his entire family with eggs for a year, then butchers the hens the following year. I don’t plan to do the same! My hens will either die from old age, or an unknown predator. We have no plans to eat these little red hens…
Have a great day! As for me, I’m about to go and clean out the “temporary chicken coop”! Let the good times begin! I’m sure I’ll have a few more chicken stories to tell in the future…