I've ordered my chicks! (and some questions)

smallcitychick

Songster
9 Years
Feb 23, 2010
195
0
109
Central Washington
I can't stand that there are so many people that already have their babies. I'm so jealous! I just ordered my baby chicks from MPC and are expecting them to ship mid April (Cochin, SLW, GLW, and LBL). I'll be picking up some australorps and EE at the local feed store. We actually went by the feed store yesterday to pick up some hardware cloth and they had baby chicks there (and puppies). My DS (6 yo) was SO excited about the chicks he didn't even care about the puppies! I'm splitting my chicks with my mom and SIL so I should only end up with about 5 or 6 total (haven't decided if I'm keeping a leghorn yet). I'll begin builing my coop the first or second weekend in March (probably second, my DD's 4th birthday is the first weekend). Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!!! My kids (ok, and me too) have been telling everyone they run into that we're getting chickens. We live in a small town, but we're still inside city limits and not on a farm by any means. Mostly people are excited for us, and I've even had a few offers to buy eggs from me when they start laying. But yesterday I ran into my first nay-sayer, she thought I was joking at first. Pooh, I'm still excited.

a few questions though:
I've kind of drug my DH into this with little input from him. He finally sat me down yesterday and said "WHY?!". I told him that I thought it would be cool to raise the chickens, get our own eggs, and they would make some easy to care for pets for the kids (and help teach them responsibility). His reply: "that's it?"........so are there any other reasons out there for a backyard flock? I grew up on a farm, and collecting eggs (slopping pigs, watering the horses, cows, and sheep, etc...) when I was little and I know that part of me is excited to see my kids experience a part of that. Oh, I have a garden too, and I told him that we could use the poo for fertilzer, but that was kind of a hollow point since he doesn't care about the garden either. Hit me with your best pro-chicken arguments
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We just did our taxes (we're using part of our tax refund to purchase the chickens and build their coop) and I noticed that there's a space for 'hobby expenses'. (We get a bigger refund if we itemize) Does anyone keep track of your expenses for your chickens during the year (feed, cost of chicks, straw/pine bedding, etc...) and then deduct it on taxes? I'm thinking that it might be pretty cool if we could deduct our expenses for keeping chickens. Anybody have any thoughts about that?
 

Amyable

Crowing
12 Years
Dec 16, 2008
3,112
32
296
Greenleaf, WI
Know nothing about tax questions. But I would tell DH that keeping chickens and having a garden is the best way to connect with and have control over where your food comes from. How many kids think food comes from a grocery store??? It doesn't, and your kids will gain so much valuble information about good food and sustainable practices.
Way to go!
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MissJenny

Songster
10 Years
May 11, 2009
974
10
141
Cincinnati, Ohio
Let me preface this by saying I am divorced -- ergo, I don't explain anything to anybody.
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Having said that, my boyfriend, who does not live here, is just beside himself that I am getting chicks.

I think it is spectacular that you have a garden and that you are planning to get chickens for your children to help raise and to provide safe food for their little brains and bodies. Not to mention the responsibility factor of caring for animals. (it is my experience that men don't care to be bothered with anything they don't care to be bothered with -- but my experience probably doesn't count.) These may not necessarily be "easy" pets to care for. Ya want easy? Buy a turtle.

Think of the wonderful family bonding experiences of raising chicks, the day-to-day feeding and cleaning and watering. Think of all the togetherness time and the personal conversations that can spring up while doing these chores. And think of all the valuable lessons your children will learn -- coop repairs, egg care, cooking lessons. Your kids are already way ahead of their peers and you don't have chicks yet.

Here's another lesson for your children -- seeing how to formulate a plan and follow it through step by step. They are watching you do this and benefitting from the hqnds on experience of doing it with you.

I'm not suggesting you explain anything to anybody -- husbands, neighbors, whoever -- but if you feel the need clearly the answer is because your children deserve the very best!
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Jenny
 
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Ariel301

Songster
10 Years
Nov 14, 2009
1,355
20
151
Kingman Arizona
You might also try making the whole experience more educational for your kids by getting them into 4-H if they are old enough. They can learn a lot about the birds by doing a poultry project, and also about science, nutrition, competition, and record-keeping/keeping track of expenses. I did a horse project through my school days and I would definitely recommend getting your kids into it. Most clubs do a lot of community service projects too, and that's always a good thing for kids. By raising animals that produce food, kids learn about where their food comes from--something so many kids and adults both are disconnected from these days. I've met people who did not have a clue that milk came out of an animal's udder and they thought it was terribly disgusting when they watched me milk my animals, and could not believe that we drink something like that!

Other reasons to get chickens--the eggs you collect from your own hens are usually healthier for you than store bought eggs, because your hens are fed a better diet. If you crack open a store egg and a home egg and compare them, you will often see that the home egg has a richer orange color to the yolk--that's more nutrition for you. Also, by raising your own eggs in your backyard, you are stopping your support of cruel factory farmed eggs where the hens are not treated well. If he's into 'green' type stuff...you also can throw away less garbage by giving many of your food scraps from the kitchen to the chickens. And owning a pet of any kind is stress-relieving, which obviously has benefits for your health.
 

donnavee

Songster
11 Years
May 7, 2009
828
127
236
Hillsborough NC
I got my 1st chickens last April from MPC and my DH just sort of went along with my "madness", though he was a bit sceptical and didn't really understand. But once we opened the box of little cheeping fuzz balls, he lost his heart to them
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. I mean, really - they are just so darned cute! Now, 10 months later, he spoils them as much as I do. I think your hubby will come around too - the benefits of owning chickens are so great for the little time and effort we put into them. And don't forget, they are a great source of entertainment as well.
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By the way - we are getting 6 more this April and DH is excited.
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Knock Kneed Hen

California Dream'in Chickens
9 Years
Feb 15, 2010
4,154
87
278
So. Cal.
DH already thinks I'm a KOOK
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so he didn't question my wanting chickens....surprisingly he hasn't questioned my building a 10 x 12ft coop plus run. I think he just feels that if he keeps his mouth shut I won't rope him into helping me....OK, I won't ask him. I am so excited. Was going to put them in the Boxstall (therefore my moniker) but had a change of plans. DH is glad to have the boxstall back to store wood so he won't have to build a shed for the wood. Looks like it's a win win here...except that I think he has no clue as to how much it's going to cost to build this. I'm also using the tax return. The kids are way too excited and as pointed out by the others it's an incredible experience to offer kids. I took care of a friends chickens for a couple of months when they evacuated because of a fire and lost their home in the fire. My oldest son was in high school at the time. He ran down to look for eggs every morning. He was sooooo excited. Now my little ones (4,5 & 8) get to have that same joy. Congratulations on entering into the chicken world!!
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smallcitychick

Songster
9 Years
Feb 23, 2010
195
0
109
Central Washington
Thanks everyone! I think I figured out the tax question (I can use it as a dedecuction if I plan on making some money off of them, and then there's a 2% limit....I don't think it'll apply to me, but it was a nice thought)

You should have seen my DH's face when I told him I joined a chicken board! He really thinks I've gone off the deepend now!
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I've thought about 4H too, but seeing how my oldest is 6...it might not quite apply yet. I thought it would be cool to help them enter the chickens at the county fair though. We've had fish before, and I think my kids are ready for something with more responsibility besides just watching them swim around, and feeding them everyother day. I dont have to worry about chickens needing to be let out in the middle of the night, or needing to be walked...just food, water, and the making sure they don't get too hot or too cold. You're the entertainment factor will be up there too. We'll see if Dh comes around....he might, but he can be pretty stubborn. He's an egineer, and after I asked him for an opinion on the best way to build a coop he has seemed more interested. Time will tell I guess.
 

MissJenny

Songster
10 Years
May 11, 2009
974
10
141
Cincinnati, Ohio
Last I heard 4-H does have a program for little ones -- check with you County Extension Agent. And yes, the fair is a wonderful event for kids to get involved with.

Jenny
 

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