Have you put off getting chickens because your wife/girlfriend has said she wants nothing to do with chickens?
Well, I’ll give you a little tip. Go ahead and build the coop, get the chickens and start raising them like you’ve always wanted to. I guarantee your significant other will fall in love with the little rascals more than you.
My wife scoffed when I first broached the subject of getting a flock for egg production. She insisted that if I did get chickens, that I better not expect her to have anything to do with them. To her, chickens were dirty, smelly creatures that had no place in an urban surrounding.
Needless to say, I built the coop.
I ordered 25 female and 2 male New Hampshire Red chicks from a reputable hatchery. I put together my brooder (which consisted of a large cardboard box and heat lamp situated in my office at home) and awaited their arrival. My wife immediately informed me that I was not going to keep the chicks in the house. I continued my endeavor with no remorse.
The chicks arrived on Feb. 21st. I promptly picked them up from the local post office and brought them home. I ensconced them in the brooder and awaited the wife’s arrival home from work.
Now, if you’ve never raised chicks, the one thing you need to know is that they are loud. They cheep incessantly. So, when my wife arrived home she was greeted with the sound of happy but ever hungry chicks cheeping and chirping their little hearts out.
She immediately followed the sound into my office and stated: “I can’t believe you’ve got those things in here.” I smiled and offered to let her hold one, but she declined.
I kept the chicks in the office until they were feathered (about four weeks). During that time, my wife would increasingly find a reason to come in and have a look at the girls as they grew. I should mention here that when I ordered the chicks, the hatchery included an additional female and an “exotic” male to my order for free. So, I ended up with 29 chicks in the brooder. The “exotic” turned out to be a Silkie, I think, and guess who named it Frank? Yep, my wife. I told her we had agreed not to name the chickens because they were not pets, but livestock for our urban “farm”. She said, “Well, he looks like a Frank, so that’s his name.”
He’s been Frank ever since.
Once the girls (and guys) were feathered, I moved them into the coop out back. The very same coop that my wife had insisted needed a window in it so the chickens could look out at the scenery when inside. Mind you, this was before I had even ordered the chicks that my wife had said she wanted nothing to do with. That of course had not stopped her from having definite ideas about how the coop should be designed. They got the window. I drew the line on the chandelier however.
I feed my chicks non-medicated, GMO-free, feed. Every morning when I go out to feed and water, my wife has a “plate” ready for me to carry out to the girls filled with fruits, vegetables, and bread that she has cut into bite sized portions for them. She had practically forced me to go to our neighborhood organic food store and talk to the manager about getting the fruits and vegetables they were throwing away every day. We ran into one of our daughter’s friends from high school who works there and she said she would be glad to deliver those items to us every week, so it’s turned into a nice feed supplement for us.
To make this long story short, we now have 26 hens that are just weeks away from laying their first eggs. I honestly can’t tell you which of us is more excited at that prospect. I do know that my wife has told me I have to have the yard and coop area cleaned up by the time they start laying, because one of her friends from work has a little boy who wants to come over and gather his own eggs for breakfast. She also has collected and saved any egg cartons she could get her hands on, so we have a good start to being able to store the eggs.
And just today, as we were sitting out back by the coop, she addressed one of the chickens about something, and then turning to me said, ”You know, we should put little colored bands around their necks. We could call the ones with blue bands Lucille, the ones with red bands we could call Mary, and the ones with yellow bands we could call Phyllis.” I asked her to what purpose this would be. She simply looked at me and said, “Well, that way you know who you are talking to.”
I think she likes the chickens.