Sunday, January 20, 2013

Then 'til Now

Having never had baby chickens before, we were almost like new parents (not quiet as  nervous) awaiting the arrival and a little unsure of how the whole process was going to go. Here (in the photo above) is where it all started.  A phone call from the post office early on an October morning, let us know our babies were ready to be picked up. By the way, we found it unbelievable that we were going to have LIVE CHICKS arrive BY MAIL! Until you have chickens, that's not a topic that just comes up in conversations. Therefore, we didn't know much about them.  Amazing how once you do have them, you will find a segue to chickens in most any conversation.  

Although we were newcomers to the hobby of raising backyard chickens, we had done a lot of reading and new a little bit about what to expect.  We had their brooder box nice and toasty when they got to their new home.  Above, you see their first picture.

Of course, once we dedicated ourselves to being "chicken parents" I started shopping for chicken gadgets.  It seemed appropriate that their space should be named Mother Hen Drive, so why not buy a sign?? This picture was taken on the third day we had them. 

 For the first several weeks, we fed them medicated starter feed.  We had no trouble with it and the chicks seemed to love it.

The thermometer was placed in an easy to view spot so that we could be sure to keep the temperature right about 95 degrees for those first several days. 


 To the left and the right, you see the Rhode Island Red named Pretty Is. This is about the time she was realizing she actually has wings. 

The above two pictures are Black Jersey Giants named Gertle and Gussy. This is when they were about a month old.  Even at that point, we could tell a noticeable difference in their size.  "Giant" is a great part of their name.  


Francine is the Barnevelder.  It took us a few weeks to figure out if she was a Barnevelder or a
Partridge Rock.

Hissy, named by our eight year old, is a Partridge Rock.  This is her at about 4 weeks old. You can see how it was hard to distinguish her from the Barnevelder.

Rainbow, appropriately named by our now five year old, is a Golden Campine.


This is Shelly.  We are not totally sure what she is because we only ordered two Black Jersey Giants.  BUT, she is very much like a Black Jersey Giant and we are beginning to think maybe she is one.  Our order form says the seventh chicken is a "rare maran" but she looks just like the giants. Time shall tell.

They've always been good eaters.  Looking back at this picture now, they seemed so little even when at the time we took this picture, we thought they we so big! (Notice how much bigger the Black Jersey Giants are than the others.)
This picture was taken just a couple weeks ago.  They were eating sweet potatoes and cottage cheese.  I find myself laughing at the extent I go to, making sure the girls get good treats. And, on a regular basis, we mix the The Breakfast for Champions. You can find a recipe for that at

If you had told me a year ago that I'd be tending to chickens, and going the extra mile to make sure they get a healthy diet, I'm not sure I would've believed you. Funny how actually getting them will make your love for chickens take a 360 degree turn.  Well, maybe I shouldn't say it exactly that way.  I suppose it was never that I didn't like chickens, it was just that I had never put a lot of thought into them.  Now...I can't imagine not having them!

Today, the chickens are almost four months old and look like this.  They are growing and thriving and are such a joy to observe.

                                                     This is Francine, the Barnevelder. 

Gertle and Gussy have no problem holding their own...the giants that they are. :-)

Rainbow is the Golden Campine.  She is a very unique little chick.  She is also one of the most stubborn in being still long enough to get a good picture.

Pretty Is...isn't the name just perfect for her?  A Rhode Island Red, she always seems proud to grace the camera with her presence.

 This is Hissy the Partridge Rock.  Funny how all the names they got as babies are turning out to fit them just right.  She doesn't exactly hiss but she does make a sound and get out of the way when you're trying to get her to be photogenic. 

Then 'til's been just shy of four months and I'm so glad to be at now. Each day with this new found hobby is an adventure.  Having backyard chickens has been such an inspiration for our family.  They've made us want to do more things to become a little more self-sufficient. They are the building block of this sweet little homestead we've found right in our backyard.  Because of them, we are now anxiously awaiting the first eggs and planning a garden to have fresh and homegrown vegetables to eat with our "homegrown" eggs.  We're "bringing the farm to us" and we are loving it!


  1. oh the adolescent and teenage stage of chicken-hood! LOVE the pics!

  2. have 7 bjg cant wait for them to grow so cute 2 wks old