When I was about 6 years old my father and I raised chickens. We kept around 30 hens and a few roosters. I remember going out on Sundays and hand deliverings eggs. Not for money but for the networking. We would visit (gossip) with each of our so called customers. Many would invite us in a while and I usually ended up with something sweet to eat. At this age my dad began to teach me a lesson about life. "The more effort put forth, the greater the rewards." During the past several years of life I had begun to lose sight of this principle and allowed myself to fall apart. As of recently, I have an awakening (intervention) of sorts. I am the proud father to the most beautiful pair of girls you ever saw. I have made it my responsibility, duty, mission or whatever you want to call it, to pass on to them the lessons and tools of life that my family left for me.
I bought the house that I grew up in from my family and our barn has laid in wait for more than 15 years. Empty and falling apart, my girls and I have been hard at work for every second we could spare over the past couple of weeks. The girls (ages 7 &11) become more and more excited with each new improvement. I think they are starting to visualize an end result. We have 25 cornish rocks and about 50 amber links. We bought them straight run because I love chicken. I haven't really told the girls what will happen to the roosters and rocks in the fall. I debate what to tell them. I thought maybe to tell them that the north-east winters are too tough for the roosters and they need to go to a big farm where it's warm year-round. I'm not sure if this would be good to tell them because more and more I have come to believe in truth. Every time I tell a white lie to protect someone close to me it backfires and I hurt the ones I love.
About our feathered friendsDay 1- An idea pops in my head.... Day 2- Off to the hardware & lumber stores. Day 3- Work on the old coop begins. There is a long road-to-hoe. The coop has been empty for several years and has no fence. Day 4- The kids have growing anxiety and I can't hold them off any longer. Off to get chicks. Now the work really begins. A water tub, heat lamp, feeder, waterer, shavings, feed and 25 chicks. Now were officially chicken farmers. Day 5- Work on the coop continues. Making progress now. Day 6- Man, this is a lot of work! I can't do all this for 25 chickens...... Off the store AGAIN! 50 more chicks, another tub, heat lamp, feeder, waterer, more feed, more shavings.... Holy Moly! What have I done. Day 7- The coop is progressing well and things are really looking up. The girls couldn't be happier and neither could I. we have a blast so far. Who would ever have thought that raising chickens could be so rewarding? I'm baffled. Day 8- The coop is a masterpiece in the works. The chicks are doing great and getting big fast. My girlfriend thinks I'm off my rocker. (I probably am) Last nite I sat and talked to a tub filled with chickens for nearly an hour. Day 9- Chicks have a lot of feathers and are spoiled. I play with them each nite after work. Can't wait to get them in the coop.