If you’ve been on my Facebook page or follow me on Instagram (TheRealMojo68) in the past few days, you may have seen this adorable photo.
Dot’s grandparents received a shipment of mail-order chicks last week. I know. Mail order?! But apparently it’s quite humane. They ship overnight with air filter and cooling packs to keep the chicks comfortable. Good to know.
They ordered them quite a few weeks ago, which allowed time for Grandpa to build this amazing chicken coop.
Grandpa has a workshop out of his garage. I don’t mean a little table with a tiny saw for cute fun projects. I mean, this man works for a living and his garage is his workshop. There are planks and bins of nails and power cords and tools and tables and saws and rulers and instruments… any- and every-thing a woodworker needs. As you can guess, he’s very good at what he does.
So when Dot went over for the afternoon a few days ago, I followed. I wanted to see the chicks. I didn’t expect to fall in love with them. Or even better, have one in particular fall in love with me.
I named this one Ethel. While Dot held and played with several chicks, one and two at a time, Ethel was content to immediately fall asleep in my hand. Can you believe I spent half an hour holding a chick and looking at the others? That’s it. That was the entertainment of the evening. Watching chicks. And you know what? It was fun and I’d do it again!
Grandma Sue and I talked about the care and raising of the chicks. These are Rhode Island Reds and they’ll lay brown eggs. They’re supposed to all be female, but at this very young age it’s sometimes hard to tell. So they may end up with a Rooster or two. If that happens, he’ll go elsewhere. They want eggs, not more chicks.
Then Grandpa Harry took me out to the chicken coop he built. I tried to take a photo of Ethel in a bin, but she refused to leave my hand. Meanwhile, Dot’s chick pooped on her. I didn’t take a photo of that. You’re welcome.
For now, the chicks live in a large box in the family room. There’s a heat lamp that is constantly on, a feed tray and watering trough. The chicks eat, drink and sleep in this box. In about a week, they’ll be moved outside to the fenced-in garden area.
Grandma and Grandpa have fenced in six small fruit trees and the chicks will adjust to outdoor life under the mesh security. When they’re older [read: bigger] and more able to avoid birds of prey, they’ll be moved to the chicken coop. They’ll have full reign over that area until being locked up at night for their own protection.
Chickens are great for pest control. They’re also a great natural garbage disposal and will eat all your table scraps. Their droppings are natural fertilizer. And there’s nothing like farm-fresh eggs cooked to perfection on a lazy Saturday morning. Am I right?
Yeah. I’m really looking forward to living vicariously through Harry’s House of Hens.
Happy Eating, y’all!
And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!
That chicken house is fabulous. And having the little chicken nap in our hand: priceless. My grandmother always raised chickens and she said they kept her calm and took away her worries.
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Thank you, Julie! I’m looking forward to our first frittata with farm fresh eggs (say that five times fast!).
What a cute pack of fluffiness!
Aren’t they fantastic?!