Monday, March 18, 2013

Raising Baby Chicks

Each year after Karson's birthday (March 10th) we go and buy baby chicks. We have for the past 3 years. It is honestly the most fun we have with these baby chicks. We love to teach the boys about them and snuggle and love on them. They learn to love us too and end up following us around when they are bigger because they have grown up around the boys. 

We have our big chickens and rooster in our outdoor cage that is away from our house. It is where we will eventually build a barn, but for now we just raise chickens. 

So after Kevin finished up his pallet built cage for the baby chicks we were off to Tractor Supply.

We couldn't even make it home before this boy was BUSTING to hold one of these precious chicks. 
We ended up getting 15 baby chicks. We got our usual Rhode Island Reds. These chickens are great layers and will lay eggs without a rooster. We have had great luck with them so we are kinda prone to keep getting them. Plus they are so good with the kids and have never pecked or flogged anyone :)

To stay on our budget, Kevin built our new cage to keep our baby chicks in bigger than we had last year. He used pallets that his work was going to throw away. He put two of them on the bottom and reused wood and even reused the nails from the old pallets to build this cage. We had chicken wire left from our big chicken cage so this new (bigger) chick cage was completely FREE!

Karson couldn't contain his excitement and before Kevin even finished up with the chicken wire he was loading his chicks in. 

We have had a lot of fun building this cage. The boys have put their new tools from Christmas to good use the past few weeks. This is such a good lesson for boys. 

Learning to use tools the correct way.
Working together.
Working with their daddy.
Planning out the way the cage will keep the chicks safe and a sturdy cage as well. 
Science, Social Studies, Math all in one project :) 

You have to be super careful with the chicks. They will just slip right out of your hands. It always looks like I am strangling them, but They actually love to be held and get so warm by your human body temperature.

So after much begging to daddy, we came home with 2 Mallard ducks as well :) After researching about ducks and chicks being together, it is very much advised to raise them together. 

They were out of the white ducks when we went, but today Nana & Papaw Brad went back and bought 2 more white ducks and 4 more baby chicks. 

That totals us with 19 baby chicks and 4 baby ducks. 
I am so excited to get them raised up and see them off to join their friends down the hill in the big chicken cage. I will be so excited to see my ducks swim in the little baby pool.

I would advise anyone looking to "begin" a farm to start with chickens. It is such a good learning experience for young kids and it's something you can learn as you go. 

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