My pets make my breakfast
One day I had a crazy idea with three purposes. They were to eliminate factory farm eggs from our house , to teach my three kids about the eggs that we loved to eat for breakfast and to have some new pets. My first job was to convince, Amanda, my wife, to get on board with idea. She was a little reluctant, mainly due the stories that she heard about chickens being stinky and dirty animals. Next, I did a lot of research online, mainly on www.backyardchickens.com forum to learn as much as possible. This forum would end up being a great resource for getting started and everything in between. Every question that I had, there was somebody to give me an answer. Then, I checked my local city ordinances to make sure that everything would legal.
We found a small backyard chicken farm nearby from an ad on craigslist and drove out there to get our first chicks. We wanted a variety so we picked out four 3 day old chicks in three different breeds. That day we took Peggy Sue, June bug, Rosie, Sara and Nadine home to their brooder, which is like a nursery for chicks and would be there home for about 8 weeks.
Now, I had to start thinking about building a coop. I decided to try building it using reclaimed lumber for the earth friendly reasons and a small budget. So, I posted ads on craigslist and freecycle and had a few responses from people offering to give me old lumber from old fences and other various projects and I ended up getting enough wood to build a nice chicken coop. Using reclaimed lumber had its challenges like warped boards and the like, but it ended up giving it character in my opinion.
After about a month, we suspected Junebug of being a rooster which we can not have due to city noise ordinances. So, we took him back to the farm and traded him for Maggie and Lola. A few weeks later we realized that Sara and Nadine were really Bob and Alejandro after they started their attempts at crowing. We decided to keep them and Bob turned out to be a good guard for the girls but was too aggressive with the family. We found a new home for him through an online ad and kept Alejandro for a while. The neighbor finally had enough of the all day crowing from Alejandro and started complaining about the noise so we found a new home for him as well. We enjoyed the unique personalities of our girls so much for nearly two years that we recently decided to add to the flock and picked up Sandy, Kiwi and Ju Ju Bee from a local feed store. Then, about 3 weeks later a family friend and school teacher called to ask if she could buy a chick to show her class for a couple of days and give it to us to raise with our new babies. I couldn’t turn down another fuzzy butt., so, we took in Jezzebel. If I lost you somewhere, we now have Lola, Maggie, Rosie, Peggy Sue, Sandy, Kiwi, Ju Ju Bee and Jezzebel.
Our family learned a lot about how we get our favorite breakfast item, but more importantly we learned that chickens can be more than caged up egg factories. They can be entertaining and loving pets, with great big personalities.