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First attempt at raising chickens and ducks

Updated on March 29, 2015

The decision to raise chicks and ducks

3 weeks ago I found out our local farm supply store was selling chicks and ducklings. I told my husband we should get a couple of chicks so we could have fresh eggs. We eat a lot of eggs, and I bake a lot so it seemed like a good investment for us. I thought he'd say no, but he said yes! We got showered and dressed, and drove over to the farm supply store. I instantly fell in love with the cute little things. We got all of our supplies, and picked out our chicks. Then I said, "Aw, how about a couple of ducklings they are adorable!" He agreed, and we got 2 and I was super excited. We came home with them, and set up their indoor temporary home. The sales clerk told us they wouldn't be able to move outside until the temperature reached 70 degrees and stayed there. Our flock consists of 2 Cornish hens, 4 Rhode Island reds, 1 Pekin duck, and 1 Rouen duck. We have been hand feeding them, holding them, letting them out to play in the basement, and the ducks get to swim in the bathtub once a week. I never thought it was possible to spoil chicks and ducks, but I think we are achieving it. The kids even play with them now that they are bigger, at first they weren't allowed to. We didn't want broken legs or wings on the tiny babies.

Rouen Duck photo found on the internet

Feeding and care for young chicks and ducks

We bought the Nutrena chick starter feed, Manna Pro grit chick grits, and some Happy Hen treats for the chicks. We bought 2 quart watering containers, and 1 gal. feeder. Then we bought a large rubber container, pine bedding, and a heat lamp. We put the pine bedding, about 3 inches deep in the bottom of the rubber container,hooked up the heat lamp over the container, next we filled the water and feed containers, and then added the chicks and ducklings. They loved their new home. After about 2 weeks the chicks started getting wing feathers, and I was in the laundry room on the other side of the basement when my husband asked if I had a chick out of their cage, or if one passed away and I hadn't told him. I was confused, and said 'No, why?" We are missing a chick! I started to worry wondering what had happened, then in our search my husband found the chick laying in a blanket she had found by our rocking chair. At that moment he put the chick back in the cage, and went outside to the garage and built a lid for their temporary home. It consisted of 4 -1"x 2" boards made in to a rectangle, and topped with chicken wire he stapled to the top. A pretty simple fix that has kept everyone safe. Our next step is building the permanent coup in the back yard.

The lid my husband built

Benefits of raising your own chickens

  1. Fresh eggs, you know your chickens are fed right and not chemically induced.
  2. They are known to be friendly, stress reducers.
  3. Their poop makes for good garden fertilizer.
  4. You can sell their eggs, and your customers can have that same organic freshness your family enjoys.
  5. You could use your chickens for meat, personally I don't know if we'll have the heart to eat any of ours. (Jokingly we named the Cornish hens Fried and Roasted) They are winning our hearts over day by day!

These are just a few good reasons to raise your own flock of chickens.

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Our flock

It's about time for hubby to get that coop built! They're growing fast!
It's about time for hubby to get that coop built! They're growing fast!

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