What I’ve Learned: Chickens

It’s that time of year again.  Time to buy little bitty chicks.  They are so cute you just wanna pop em in your mouth!  Oh I love the little soft feathered hineys!  The tiny beaks!  Stop it!

Since I did all of that last year, I thought I would share some of the pros and cons of life with chickens.

First!  If at all possible, order chicks that have been sexed.  Even so, you may get a rooster.  Getting a rooster is not good.  Unless you want a rooster.  We bought our chicks at Trade Day. It’s kind of like the Monday Sale where I grew up.  I fell for some cute chicks and brought 11 of them home.  One of them died.  Three of them were roosters.  Having three roosters is not a good thing.  One rooster cares for the hens.  Three roosters compete and tear up the hens.  Nobody will take roosters off of your hands.  So be prepared.  You either have to kill them or hope they kill each other.  Two of ours went off into the country to a nice home where they could scratch dirt all day long.  At least that’s what Jon told me.

Second:  They poop.  A lot.  Everywhere.  They have no shame!  We are very fortunate to have a garden to throw the poopy straw into.

Third:  they are funny!  The rooster dances and scrapes his wing on the ground like a feathered matador.  The hens cackle and cluck.  Mine make noises like Sand People from Tatooine.  When they are loose they follow me wherever I go.  I love it when the whole lot of them are in a tizzy about something.  Usually it’s about something or someone they don’t recognize.  Chickens like consistency.  They are freaked out by the “new”.

Fourth:  Chickens eat scraps!  Yes!  Between the dog and the chickens my carbon footprint is almost zero.  Hahaha, not really.  But they do eat all the vegetable and grain waste I can toss out to them.

Fifth:  Chickens should run free.  Even if it’s only for awhile.  The more bugs and grasses they eat, the better the eggs taste.  Mmmmmm, bug flavored eggs.  Letting them run and peck also cuts down on food costs.

There’s just a few little highs and lows of chicken ownership.  Fear not!  You can do it.  Just don’t fall in love with them, or treat them like pets.  You never know when the apocalyptic poop is going to hit that proverbial fan.  Chicken dinners might be in order.  Keep the relationship sterile folks.  I’m saving you LOTS of heartache.


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