Did we have a clue how to raise them? No...
But we were confident we could learn as we went and how long could it really take to tear down an old shed and turn those scraps of wood and lumber into new lovely home for our quickly growing chicks? A lot longer then we thought, that's for sure!
It was love at first sight for our girls, who cried at the thought of the, growing into big chickens because, "They are sooo cute little!" From the beginning we have drilled into their little heads that, "These are not pet chickens. They are livestock. We bought them to give us eggs and some day we will eat them."
Whoa... had I really just told my 2 and 4 year olds that we were going to eat their cute new chickens? You bet and you know what? They were cool with it. In fact, my four-year old tells everyone, "The chickees will give us eggs and someday we are going to eat them like chicken."
Anywho, since April we have been busting our behinds building their coop and while it's not quite done yet, they have been living out there for the last couple of weeks. They are only about 7 weeks old so we have a few months still before they need a laying box or the extra space of a run. For now they are in their coop which sits inside a 4X10 run. Over the next month, we will add on the laying box and build an adjoining run so they have more space.
What About the Dogs?
from the occasional sniff. Of course our chickens are not yet free ranging in our yard so that will be a different story. Eventually we would love to get to the point where they can all be outside together, when we are home, but I don't know if that's going to be a possibility... I'll keep you posted.
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Chicken care (so far) has been pretty painless. The first week or so we had to physically place the chickens in the coop at night and shut them in. Now, as long as they have all gone in before dark, we don't even have to go out there. Their coop sits inside a small run in our fenced in yard, so they are safe even if they do decide to leave their coop for a midnight snack. We send the four-year old out each day to check on the chickens and give them fresh water and food. She loves to be with the chickens and readily puts on her boots and runs out to the coop to greet her little chicken pals.