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Raising Chicks as a Family: What did I get myself into?

Oh gosh, I can’t believe that I am saying this but we are officially the owners of 4 teeny tiny chicks! We’ve been talking about it for a few months now and decided to make it happen while my parent’s were visiting over the weekend. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “she has officially gone crazy”, and yes, you are probably right but here is how we got here…

I grew up raising chicks and having chickens on our farm. Even now my parents own 22 chickens. Every year my mom buys a few chicks or ducks for Isla to keep at our house for a few days until they go to live with her in their huge chicken coop and get to be free range out on their 16 acres. Isla is the absolute best little chicken owner and loves them so much. Well, you see, now we live 10 hours away from my parents so she doesn’t get to see her chickens very much anymore and was quite disappointed about not being able to have chicks this year. The daily FaceTime calls with her chickens was not doing it for her and I was beginning to feel so guilty (not like I don’t already feel guilty enough for moving away) for ending up in this situation so I started thinking of a few options to give Isla her chicken fix.

The first option was to do a little chick rental program but I definitely think we would have had some BIG feelings when the chicks needed to be returned to the farm at the end of the “rental” period. The other option was to of course get our own chicks to raise and keep as pets. We only live on .25 of an acre right now, it’s the smallest yard we’ve ever had and definitely not 16 acres like my parent’s house, but a few of our neighbors have chickens and we have more than enough room for a small chicken coop so I figured why not? We eat so many eggs and buying free range organic eggs is crazy expensive (but so is owning chickens so don’t get me wrong). This seemed like the best route to go! Wait until I tell you this, I am terrified of birds. I’ve always been so freaked out by them no matter how hard I try not to be. So yeah, I am putting my best foot forward and putting my weird phobia aside so my 3.5 year old can live out her chicken dreams. 

My mom was the best help and got us all of the supplies we needed to start out on our chick raising journey. Isla picked out 4 chicks that lay blue eggs from Tractor Supply and named them Opal, Goldie, Latte, and Small Owl (unsure where that last name came from but it’s her favorite one). The kids are absolutely in love. Elliot won’t stop saying, “chickkkkkkk, tweet tweet!” and it’s the sweetest thing ever. The chicks will need to stay inside for a few weeks until they are old enough to be without their heater. We have the perfect little area for a small chicken coop that we plan to build in the next few days, until then the chicks are just hanging out in their enclosure in our laundry room which gives the kids lots of very very supervised time with them. We are visiting Virginia in a few weeks so I had to put out an ISO chicken petsitter on Facebook which is something I never saw myself doing, oh the things we do for our children. Nonetheless, we are really excited to be raising these little chickies as a family and I am looking forward to the learning experience this will be for the kids. 

PS. Make sure you look at all of the photos, sweet Isla girl wasn't always a fan of chickens.

Surprise chick photoshoot - 2022

Isla and her Ducks - 2022

Isla and her first chicks - 2021


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