After our move to the country, we spent quite a lot of time in our backyard. Having the extra room for the girls to play and explore was wonderful. It wasn’t long before the girls and I starting daydreaming about having a few more pets. We love our sweet cat, Marcie, but another cat was not in the picture since we knew Jonathan and Aviah had developed allergies to the feline family.
Farm animals started coming to mind. Sorry girls, no horse — not quite enough room. Sheep? Hmmm … I’ve always wanted to have a pet sheep! My husband quickly reminded me that our property is not completely fenced off. We had several friends who had chickens, and I loved hearing all of the amusing stories about them. I daydreamed of gathering fresh organic eggs in the morning with an adorable egg basket. I pictured chickens foraging on the acre as the sun began to rise and hearing the sweet sounds of chickens coming from our open windows.
Time went by, and the idea of chickens still lingered. A little over a year ago, some neighbor friends asked if our girls would like to take care of their chickens while they were out of town.
“Oh, they would love to!” I exclaimed. I was as excited as the girls!
Each day we would walk to our neighbors’ chicken coop to give the hens fresh water and make sure their food dish was supplied. The neighbors mentioned the hens would love table scraps, so we giggled and smiled as we watched the two hens chasing little pieces of bread or pecking at lettuce leaves. When the girls collected the first egg, they were so excited and commented that it was “still warm”!
The girls and I couldn’t wait to show Jonathan! I expressed (many times!) how great it would be to have our own chickens and how excited the girls were! (girls including myself!)
About two weeks later, we visited a recommended hatchery — the girls and I were in awe! I never knew there were so many varieties of chickens! How could we possibly decide on which kind we wanted?
The ladies working at the hatchery were very helpful and patient as we asked numerous questions. After talking it over, we decided on Rhode Island Reds and asked if we could order four to pick up the following week. The lady looked a little concerned and recommended that we get six in case one or two didn’t make it. We agreed and purchased some needed supplies for the baby chicks. Taking one last peek at all the adorable bundles of cuteness, we headed home.
With building anticipation, we returned the following week to pick up our six chicks. As we waited, I began to peruse the many books written on chicken care. I had already done quite a bit of research on the Internet, but still felt a book would greatly benefit us. I kept gravitating towards a book entitled Chick Days by Jenna Woginrich. I would highly recommend this book — a fun-filled journal of three baby chicks as they grow into mature hens.
I added the book to our final purchases, and the four of us headed to the car with our box of baby chicks. My husband began the drive home as I held the box on my lap. The girls immediately wanted to peek inside the box, so I opened it ever so carefully and tilted it slightly so the girls could take a look. They were so cute, sweet and tiny! One, two, three … I counted to make sure they were all there, except I didn’t end on six. There were seven! I told my husband, but by that time we were nearing the highway. Grinning, Jonathan stated that they must have added an egg-stra.