February [Stories] 08

I’ve mentioned in the past that my parents didn’t stay at the house we had built back in Maryland. Instead we moved up to Pennsylvania. Even though I miss Maryland a lot, there were some perks to moving up here.

When I lived in Maryland, for whatever reason, I found a fascination in chickens. I thought they were neat little animals, even though I hadn’t really seen them in person very much. I asked to get chickens in Maryland, but my parents always told me no. One day my parents told me if I found a place that sold chickens after we moved, that I could get some. I felt that was fair, so I filed that away and stopped asking.

Fast forward, I’m 13 now. After school one day my friends and I walked to a local plaza near the school. Sometimes my friends and I would grab A&W after school and feel like cool kids. Well, this time we walked through and apparently a small farm store moved in. I swore I could hear peeps inside so I walked in. Sure enough, there were a bunch of chicks! I looked at them, talked to the clerk about what kinds of things I needed to get started raising chickens, and wrote down what he said.

Later when my parents picked me up I told them about my discovery, and reminded them of their promise. We went back to the farm store after I situated a small place for them. We picked up six chicks. I got them all set up and was super excited. A day later my mom said I should probably get some more, because they would be able to stay warm easier with more of them. So we ended up with 13. I admit, it was a lot more work than I anticipated. My dad really helped me out a lot. We built a chicken coop in the back yard. He did most of the work, and funded the project. However, we did use parts from an old barn falling over for the bulk of the wood.

So it was kind of like repurposing what we had. In the end the coop really came out looking great. I loved raising the chickens, and my parents were very impressed with how nice the chickens turned out. Very friendly, came when you called them. That flock lived a really long time. But it wasn’t without loss, Raccoons are fierce creatures.

Overall, I still love raising chickens, but did take off the last year. I expanded the chicken coop, but the issue turned into the older sections being too easy for raccoons to break into. I intend to do some beefing of security on it in the spring, and getting more chickens. It was a lot of work, especially in the winter, but they were always interesting to watch. I’ve even hatched them before with an incubator that I built. It’s something I’ll probably always enjoy doing.

Ducks ended up being cooler, but chickens are easier to care for!

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