Jason and I have talked over the years about getting chickens. I thought it was something that Jason and the kids would like and I would tolerate. We discovered that WCAs 4th graders hatched chicken eggs so we decided to wait until Grace was in 4th Grade and get our chickens then.
This past spring Mrs. Manukian's 4th grade class was given 40 eggs to incubate and hatch. In the end they had less than a dozen baby chicks. Mrs. Manukian purchases enough baby chicks so that each class member had one chick for the chick Olympics.
On "going home day" Grace was lucky enough to get 5 baby chicks, 3 were hatched by the class and 2 were purchases.
We set them up in a brooder (plastic box) in the garage with a heat lamp, watered and feeder. After exchanging many emails with Sarah (the crazy chicken lady) I felt confident we were doing it right.
The kids enjoyed going out in the garage checking on the chicks and playing with them. I had expected this. What I hadn't expected was my attachment to them. I found myself thinking about these little chicks all day long and wondering if they were okay.
Jason and I had decided to transform the kids' playhouse into a chicken coop. It didn't get done before we brought the chicks home and I started feeling anxious that it needed to be done so the chicks would have a home. Each night when I checked in the chicks I eagerly looked forward to the day I could move them to the new coop and watch them explore outdoors.
I had a new nighttime ritual. Each evening after coming home from work I would walk outside, swing open the Dutch door and watch my chickies.
Over the summer they got bigger and bigger. We finished the coop and the run and figured out treats, feeders and waterers.
We also decided to let them free range in the backyard.