Why did you get into chickens?


5 Years
Mar 30, 2014
Thurston County, WA
Why we got into chickens.

My husband has End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). He went from Stage 3 Kidney Disease to his kidneys failing in almost one year. We are currently going through the motion for a kidney transplant and in three short days he goes in to have the surgery to place the cath’s for dialysis because he is going to need it sooner than later. His kidneys currently function at 10%

For the last year we have been trying to stabilize his diet. The biggest problem we faced was diet. He leaks protein so he needs to eat more protein than most people. The more we paid attention to what we put in our mouths the more we realized that what we were eating DH was not supposed to have. The “hidden” ingredients in the food supply are crazy. Because of one of the main filters in his body not working his body was working much harder to get rid of the things that he was putting into it. ESRD causes other symptoms such as nausea and changes the way food tastes. We learned the hard way to not let him season any food lol. This was another reason to make some changes. Every bite needed to count, especially for the days/weeks when the bites were few and far between.

There wasn’t a lot we could do but one thing we could do was make sure that the main meat source for our family was healthy, not injected with sodium and other chemicals to make it look “nice” for the grocery store. The start-up costs were steep for us but every single one of his doctors were overjoyed to hear that we were raising our own chickens for food and started a garden.

I won’t lie there are days when I go out to the chickens and just cry while I throw them their crack .. I mean cracked corn. We have no family that lives in the state so at times it is very lonely as well. This is hard; watching my DH go through this is the hardest thing. The great thing about chickens is .. they try to eat my toes. They make me laugh and give me a place to land when things are just too hard that day.

Our flock is small but that is slowly changing as the kids and I work on building more pens and other supplies we need in order to have 100% our own meat flock. There isn’t a lot we can do about DH’s kidneys and there are many days when we feel helpless, angry and afraid but chickens .. that we can do!

Why did you get into chickens?
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In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 26, 2014
That's wonderful. I feel like all animals give you a sense of peace. Be it dogs, cats, horses, or chickens! I hope your husband gets his transplant.
My sister had e-coli last fall and her kidneys failed. She was on dialysis for about month. While her kidney function has returned somewhat, we realize that one day they will give out and she will need a transplant too. She is also on a tight diet, and she can't eat a lot of foods a 9 year old loves. The doctors put her on increasing vigilance, it can get pretty scary. I do truly wish that we could eradicate all sickness and disease, the world would be a much better place.

I got into chickens because I wanted a hobby, plain and simple. My sister had been gravely ill, my grandparents had passed away within three months of each other, and I wanted something to brighten my life. We bought 8 chicks at an Atwoods store. We now have 5 adults, 12 chicks, and I'm embarking on incubation.
It worked, it brightened my life. Throughout my journey I ended up with a horse who also provides me his company. Chickens can bring such joy. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope your day goes great!


In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 23, 2014
I wanted chickens because they are different and rarely seen in Chicago, I was looking though a kids magazine and saw "grow a chicken" right then and there my obsession of chickens started. My father was all for it, but my mother was not. After about a good year of asking and pleading. My dad made a deal with me that is I at least get 2nd honors we could get chickens. I did it, we now have 5 hens. Why i got them? not sure but i sure do love them. They taught my family responsibility and gave us the best eggs ever.

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