I'm going to be a mama!
I know it sounds crazy, but I am going to hatch chickens.
It's something that has been rattling around in my head for awhile now, an occasional idea that pops up and inspires me to do a flurry of internet research, but lately I've been thinking and researching more and more and a couple of days ago I decided this was something that was definitely going to happen, come hell or high water.
I was just going to get some chicks, but then I realized I'd be missing out on half the fun. So I started to look into incubators, but had a hard time justifying the cost. So I started to look into homemade incubators, but wasn't sure that I was capable enough, or that Mr. Ashley was willing enough. While doing all of this thinking, I also told everyone I know that I wanted to do this, and I put an ad on Craigslist about buying or borrowing an incubator.
This morning I woke up and decided, "screw it, I want an incubator and I'm getting one this weekend", and had my mind made up on one from Tractor Supply Co. that was $40 (and I was already sweating the $40).
My mom called one hour later and said she had asked a friend who works at a feed store about them and she said I could have hers! To keep! It's the same type I was going to buy this weekend and I can pick it up Monday!
My parents have chickens and a rooster and will save their eggs for me all week, and if all goes well, in about a month we will have some peeps in the closet!
And one day the Ashleys will have fresh, free range, organic eggs from our own little flock.
And I will be a Mother Hen!
Aw! That sounds like a wonderful idea! I have wanted to do that as well - maybe not hatch them - but definitely have some. But I looked at our Bylaws and our HOA will have none-of-it. Not even if they are in those new trendy little coops you can buy now. I can't wait to see pics and watch how your project goes! Goodluck!
I love this! The boys are going to LOVE going out to gather eggs with you. So cool!!
We hatched some chicks a few months back. My daughter loved them, she wasn't scared to pick them up even if they pecked her. haha
yay, how fun! free stuff always gets me excited.
OMG!! You will not need your maternity clothes for this. I so wished we lived closer and that we were "actual" friends vs. virtual friends. My daughter LOVES watching the chicks hatch when the rodeo comes....too much fun. Your kids are going to be over the moon. Congrats mother hen!!
Too bad you don't live in Texas:
Sounds fun the guy up the road has chickens and I just found out the other day he sells the eggs, I am gonna stop and get some. They I would assume are free range cause they are all over his yard!
YAY! I'm so excited! I can't wait for daily progress reports! You guys will have a blast. Chicks are sooo much fun! (I've grown fun stuff in closets before, too... ;-) )
Cute idea. I am much, much too lazy for such a thing.
I am so jealous! My husband will not let me have chickens and I have totally begged for them. Post all about how this goes for you--I want to be able to tell him that Ashley has chickens and it did not destroy her yard.
YAY! I cant wait to track the progress of the lil chicks!
Oh, the boys will love that! You are lucky that you live somewhere that you can do that. I have a funny story (at least to me) about raising chickens in inappropriate places:
In Alexandria, VA we lived in a townhouse complex in a very crowded area of town. Our neighbors 3 townhomes down from us raised chickens under their deck. In DOWNTOWN ALEXANDRIA VIRGINIA. And those same chickens repeatedly escaped from their pen. My dog, a Rottweiler, loved to chase those chickens, and I did not appreciate the chickens running into my backyard everyday. While I respect raising your own chickens (like you will be) I did not think it was the place for it. Needless to say, the chicks didn't last long; some animal came and ate them all. Seriously.
DH has been talking about chickens ever since we decided to move to VT... I'm not sure if he's serious or just trying to torture me (chicks are cute, but chickens? whole 'nother story...) Good luck with your endeavor and be sure to post pics of the chicks, so we can all go "awww..."
I'm all for having free eggs, and exposing the children to the miracle of life entering the world, but I hate grown chickens. Well, it's really the roosters that I hate.
You do realize that they are going to be loudly announcing the arrival of dawn EVERY SINGLE MORNING, don't you? I hope you took that into consideration.
We used to have some chickens in our neighborhood, and they were incredibly annoying. And the rooster had his timer set wrong, too. He would crow, LOUDLY, all throughout the night. I don't think I got a decent night's sleep until he mysteriously disappeared.
I just wanted to add my two sense. The last poster was just ragging on how annoying rosters are and you will probably have equal number of male and female chicks. The roosters will drive you mad. In my part of the woods there is a tiger reserve that you can drop off your roosters and they will put them in with the tigers for food (and exercise). You might look for something like that where you live because you will go insane with 5 roosters crowing every morning and evening. Good luck, sounds like fun!
Yeah, I hadn't thought about the rooster issue. I thought about that when I was going to buy chicks, but obviously, just like in real life, there's no guarantee on girls.
I'm not having a freaking rooster, that much I know. I don't think I'll be delivering them to any tiger reserves (lol) but I'm hoping I can Craigslist them quickly or something.
How long will it take to be able to tell that they are roosters?? Damn, that sucks.
Okay, seriously? Tiger reserves??? WTF? What was that saying... "and we was all like wha???" That totally applies here for me...
Cool, I'm glad you decided to take the plunge into the poultry arena!! My silkie eggs are just starting to hatch so we're really excited.
As far as sexing the chicks, you can do so right away but it takes some practice (watch "Dirty Jobs" for a quickie version!!). You have to first gently squeeze the chick, causing it to get rid of all it's fecal matter and then you look at it's vent (pretty much the area where all the fecal matter came out of!). If it has a bump, then it's a boy. No bump, then you have a girl. If you can successfully do this, then you'd be considered a professional "chicken sexer" - which is a pretty cool title that brings some prestige :-). Some breeds also have certain feather traits. If you can successfully
Or, you could be like us and just wait and see if one starts crowing. They find new homes :-).
We need to have a Closet Shower for The Mother Hen!
just be wary listing your roosters on craigslist. i know the tiger reserve (or perhaps a zoo) sounds awful to send them to, but doesn't having them fight eachother to death sound worse?
btw: it does sound like a lot of fun (but work!)!! cant wait to see how it all goes!
Hey - I've hatched chicks for 11 years now in my classroom (I teach first grade) if you need any help, or have any questions feel free to ask. I check out your blog often, although I'm mostly a lurker over on BH. My boys LOVE when I bring home the chicks in the brooder before taking them to the farm. You'll have a blast! (and will feel just like a Momma Hen - all anxious when day 21 approaches)
My call ducks are hatching. Stop by when you get a chance for pics. It will give you "poultry fever" ;-).
I am going to NEED NEED NEED many baby Ashley's Closet Chicks pictures. Do you think that LK will give them some lovins? I know that BLM would squeeze them hard.
I can't WAIT to hear about the whole process. I have a feeling that this is going to make for much blog fodder.
I am going to follow this closely. I want a couple of chickens for my backyard for the ggs and for the free fertilizer. I have a friend who is taking the plunge before me, so I hope to learn from her. Do you have to have roosters? I am really clueless about this.
Not to mention that currently, there is a ban in my city of raising livestock. some folks are trying to get it changed.
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