My chicken adventure began last spring in March (2011). I got an email from TSC advertising their chick days. I then realized that I could have chickens (my fiancé and I had moved out of his parents’ house and built our own house on land that I was going to inherit from my father, whenever that time came). We had a house in the middle of our future farm with plenty of land and I decided right then "I want chickens!"
When I made my decision I began my research. That is when I found BYC. Of course, it was love at first sight and it made me that much more excited about starting my chicken adventure. Like a lot of people who are debating or haven’t started their chicken adventure I joined BYC before actually acquiring my first baby chicks.
I think it was a week after or so after I joined I went to TSC and bought 6 Black Australorp chicks and 2 Pekin ducks. (I was only going for chicks but couldn’t resist those little quackers.) I instantly fell in love and knew I was going to have to get more and though my idea for a coop weren’t set in stone, I also knew I was going to need a big one.
A couple of weeks after acquiring my first babies I had to get more. I got 4 EE’s from my local feed store.
And very soon after that I placed an order with a hatchery for 25 brown egg layers assortment, due June 20th. At this point I knew I had to get to work on my coop.
My coop went up pretty fast and it was amazing how magnetic it was. At this time, we had our garden growing beside where I knew my chicken coop was going to be built and after it went up that became a hang-out place for my dad. He loved sitting and watching the chickens and eating fresh tomatoes, watermelon, and sweet corn out of the garden.
All throughout last summer, my chicken coop was where you would find my dad. He would even come over when we weren’t home and just sit in the shade watching the chickens. He enjoyed me having them, because his mother had chickens and it reminded him of his youth. Oh, did I mention my dad was born in 1928? I’m just 22 but my Dad turned 83 August.11.2011. This picture of me and Daddy was took on his birthday this past year.
Anyways, my love attraction to my chickens was something I didn’t even expect. And now, this past summer will always be a memory I’ll cherish forever. This past December my dad got seriously ill and within 17 days my world got turned completely upside down. Within that time frame, my dad got put in the hospital and we came to find out that he had stage 4 lung cancer and was in his final stretch. We had no idea. My Daddy is/was/will always be my everything. I was truly a daddy’s little girl.
Now that he is gone I will continue to grow and expand my farm. I already advertise my eggs as “Hestand Farms Country Eggs” and now I have bought my first bull calve and will be buying some heifers. Though, nothing will ever replace my dad I’ll always have the land he gave me.
Also, since we shared our common ground for the love of my chickens, I know now that it will be something I’ll never be without. I placed another order to expand my flock to over 60. I feel like my chickens give me peace, even when I feel my world has crumbled around me. And I know this summer will be hard with Daddy not around, but I know I can sit beside my chicken coop, watch my girls, and always remember him.
So here are some pictures of my chickens. I love taking pictures of them.