Backyard Chickens: 4 Days In

About two years ago, my almost six year old decided she wanted a pig.  Not like a teacup pig to love and treat like a pet.  No, she wanted a legit pig to name “Bacon” and to sell for meat.  Yeah, I thought it was a little weird too.

Also, obviously we’re not vegetarian.

Please remember that our kiddos have quite a bit of Mid-Western farm blood in their veins.  They both love their Great Grandpa’s farm in Missouri but my youngest daughter especially has a love for all things farm-related.  Alas, however, we live in a neighborhood right outside of a southern college town so pigs are not a viable option.  (At least not the type of pig she wanted).

As a consolation for us not letting her have a pig, my husband and I (or maybe I finally convinced my husband) decided the girls could keep a small number of chickens in the backyard.  We have a decent sized backyard and live outside the city limits, so there are few if any limits on keeping chickens.

We toyed with the idea of chicks but finally found a small family owned hatchery a few hours away that would sell us six 5 and 1/2 week old pullets that were ready for their coop.  Last Friday, we brought home one Rhode Island Red, one Black Australorp, and four Buff Orpingtons.

Disclaimer:  I am NOT a chicken person.  Any information I have learned is from other people I know who have chickens and/or the Internet.

In the last four days I’ve figured out quite a few things that my friends/the Internet didn’t prepare me for. 🙂

They stink.

Seriously.  There’s only six of them.  How is there that much chicken poop and that much stink from only six tiny birds?

They’re sassy.

I knew hens could have quite an attitude but I wasn’t expected the sassiness to happen quite so early.  Although as the parent of an 8 year old, I’m not sure why this surprises me. 🙂

I’m becoming increasingly impatient about when they’re going to lay eggs.

I’m just going to have to get over this one because we’re not going to have any eggs until late summer at least.

Owning chickens makes you want to buy ALL the chickens things from Etsy.

I did not account for this in planning my chicken “budget”.

They’re oddly entertaining.

My lawn chairs have now migrated to the chicken coop area of the yard.  When your neighbors notice you’re sitting in the yard and just watching the chickens, you may have a problem.