Some things I have learned since I started raising chickens...


8 Years
Jul 6, 2011
Thought this might be a fun thread, everyone can chime in....
(Moderators...if I am putting this in the wrong place I apologize in advance...)

Some things I have learned...

That you will find yourself being a vet and doing things to chickens that you would never consider doing to any other pet. For me that was bumblefoot surgery, followed by shots of antibiotic. Never thought I would do something like that, but we saved my hen. (The vets around here have the idea that chickens are a waste of their time.)

That what starts out as "livestock" with the intent to provide your family with eggs and some extra meat will quickly turn into "My Babies." They will have names and become part of the family.

That you will find yourself buying things at the grocery store just for them. For me that is watermelon...I detest any kind of melon and hate to touch it, but I have bought more watermelon this summer for my babies than I have ever bought in a lifetime.

That the grocery store clerk will grimace when you tell her that the watermelon that she just rang up looks really good and you reply back "It is for my chickens!"

That you will consider the folks at the feed store part of your family now...after all, you see them more than some of your own family.

That you will look at every small building (or even large) one and say to yourself or in some cases even say out loud that it would make a great coop.

That after you have had a hen in your garage, bathroom, bedroom or even living room (chicken hospital) for more than a few days it just becomes part of your day. But that when you go to reintroduce her to the flock you wish you would have had a friend with her, so she was not lonely and now the newbie that gets picked on when she goes back to the others.

That a chicken will want to run and fly after being kenneled for several my case, she flew right into a pole, which I thought for sure was going to result in her going right back to the garage. But she is fine.

That you used to brag up your kids to other people, but now all you can do is talk chicken to people.

That you are now considering how to break it to your husband that you really would like to redecorate the kitchen with chickens and roosters, even though it was only a year ago that you turned your kitchen into something straight of of Italy, with grapes and wine. (In my case, I am going to slowly just start adding some stuff in...)

When people you have not spoken to in ages hear you have fresh eggs and are suddenly calling and casually inquiring about what is new in your life.

That you have driven hundreds of miles to procure pullets/chicks. For me it has been nearly 1000 since the 4th of July weekend.

That you spend countless hours just watching chicken TV.

That three months ago you thought all chickens were the same, now you have breed books, charts, and websites you refer too and can now spot the difference between breeds based on combs, ears, muffs, leg colors, etc.

That you talk to your chickens about anything and everything under the sun.

That you buy hanging baskets of flowers to hang in their run, because they need some color and pretties too.

That you commission someone to paint a mural on the side of your coop, because it is just sooo cool. (See avatar.)

That you will spend your weekends at a poultry show and swap, that is over 100 miles away...just to see some cool chickens.

Something that starts out little will end up bigger...the coop, the run, the number of chickens you plan on having, etc. It is what most people lovingly refer to as chicken math. However, at the same time your flock, coop, run and heart grow and grow...your bank balance will decrease.

That you will find the people on this site the most friendly, helpful people ever and you will spend hours on here reading, learning and sharing everything under the sun about chickens.

So what have you learned????
I've learned that TSC is my favorite store to go to! (I never though THAT would happen.....)

I've also learned that I watch these chickens like a hawk.....(or mother hen, I guess), always noticing if someone doesn't seem "quite right". My motherly instincts are never wrong.....

I've also learned that, if someone comes to visit, and I take them out to see the chickens, and let them hold or pet one, they are totally amazed! "Oh, I never knew their feathers were so soft!" "They run to you, that's so funny!" "OMG, your chicken looks like a feather boa!"

And sometimes, I just need to step away from the family and go hang out with the chickens for an hour or two......Helps relieve my stress.....
I have learned that getting chicken poop on me does not require an immediate stripping and shower. It's just poop, not the end of the world as we know it. Additionally, if a chicken sneaks into the house and happens to poop on the floor, a damp paper towel or Kleen Wipe of some sort is sufficient to clean it up. The entire kitchen, bathroom, living room or wherever doesn't need immediate mopping.

I have learned it's cute when a chicken sneaks into the house, not a catastrophe. It's even cuter if said chicken snuggles down into blankets on a bed, or in a chair to take a nap, and that's where you find it.

I have learned there really IS an interrogative "Bok?" which can convey interest, curiosity, be a greeting, a request for attention, or simply a "Hello" as a chicken casually strolls up to your computer desk where you've been busy perusing BYC for the past couple of hours with the back door open because you simply forgot to close it when you came in to post a silly poultry tale that had "just happened" - and then got caught up in something else in this or that forum.

I have learned the terror of seeing a listless chicken's expression and not knowing what to do to make him or her better. I have learned ACV, poly vi-sol and cuddling a sick chicken on your chest, while stretched out in a recliner, can do wonders for its condition. But it takes time.

I have learned how surprisingly wrenching it is to say good-bye to a beloved chicken when efforts to save it fail.

I have learned that chickens actually smell wonderful when I cuddle 'em and bury my face in their feathers. No, really. It's a nice fluffy scent!

I have learned I must re-establish my dominance on an irregular basis over a bantam rooster weighing just a pound, but the eleven pound black Jersy Giant rooster never needs to be told I am the Boss of Him.

I have learned I can have chickens or I can have flowers growing in pots, but not both. Oh well, there are cut flowers available at any grocery store, if I want to put some in a vase in the house.

I have learned the sounds which mean "Hawk!" and the wonderful, happy trilling sound of a contented chicken.

I have learned you don't need to have a baby in order to utilize a baby monitor. (Mine sends VIDEO and audio, wirelessly, from two cameras in the coop.)
I have learned that like most things, having chickens is a chore, an effort, an expense, time consuming, challenging, depressing, frustrating....but it beats the hell out of a goldfish.
Man - you guys covered most of it!

Let's see....
I have learned that waiting for the first egg is the most nerve wracking thing in the world
I have learned that finally getting said first egg is amazing and you can look at it for hours
I have learned that eating that first egg is bitter sweet cause you just want to look at it
I have learned that humans can be roosters (my hens think I am)
I have learned more about chickens then I ever thought I would (Thanks BYC Peeps)
I have learned that I will NEVER get the money back I spent getting these 6 ladies but thats OK (DH is not so sure about the OK part)
And, I have learned everything in all the above posts, and its all wonderfull!
And sometimes, I just need to step away from the family and go hang out with the chickens for an hour or two......Helps relieve my stress.....

A couple family members last night were a little pissy, so I said I am going out with the chickens....and I did. They ran to see me, and kept talking to me back, and we had a nice calm chat about how pissy the family members were

I learned that at work I talk to each person with chciken feed on the cart asking any and all questions I can, without driving them away!

I learned that pecking order can be so cruel.

I learned that I have more hope and determination to heal a sick hen, and reintorduce her to the flock she left.

I learned that my sick hen cries to me, and when I sit in the garage and talk with her, she quiets right down, and goes about being a chicken. When I leave her, she cries until I come back again.

I learned I HATE having to go to work.

I learned I worry about the chickens when a storm is going on,and I am at work.

Oh...I could go on and on......In a very short 6 months I have fallen in love with having chcikens, just wish my 6 months have been smoother. But I trudge on, and hope in 2 months time it will finally settle down. ???​
My mom had chickens a few times when i was growing up. I had chickens in the past that were free range 24/7 on a large farm my that my then hubby and I were managing. I had 3 young kids at that time, so i didn't have the time to know the chickens well. I have found out this time around that each one has personality and how smart they are (well, most of the time, lol)! I am amazed at the things i have learned this time around.

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